Maps and Start Date

I’ve finally picked a starting date for the run! the first day will be Saturday, May 9. This means, if everything goes well, I will be finishing on August 16 in Maine. It also means that I can now give actual dates for when I will be in or near specific places. I compiled each of the daily maps so you can look on those and work a calendar to figure it out or if you know where you’ll be you can let me know and I’ll tell you when I’ll be closest.

Check out the maps here: Maps

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Call for Help

Hey guys! I’m in the process of looking for help in two ways. First, since running across the country entirely by myself will be very boring so I’m trying to find people to run with me. If you know anybody from any part of the country who would be interested (running clubs, cross country teams, some guy who ran once, etc.) please let me know or tell them to get in touch with me! Second, I’m looking for some sponsors to help fund this trip. This means by both gear and actual funds. So anybody who runs a shoe company, or a peanut butter manufacturing facility, or just has bags of cash laying around I would love to hear from them as well. Thanks!

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F.A.Q.

Not surprisingly, as people have found out about this event I’ve gotten a lot of questions, most of them pretty similar. So I thought I’d take the time to answer some of them here. Seeing as I still have a lot of planning to do, some of these answers may change but I’ll do my best to answer them for now.

Question: Are you running across America?

Answer: This is the one people always start with, and luckily it has the easiest answer. Yes, I am going to be running across America. Next question.

Q: How far is that/ How long will that take?

A: Well, it kinda depends on where you start and finish, but for me it’s gonna be about 3,150 miles which I’m going to run over 100 days.

Q: Do you really think you can run more than a marathon for 100 days?

A: Actually, yeah. Those of you who know me know I’m a pretty confident guy, maybe sometimes too confident, and that confidence hasn’t let me down on any of my endurance events yet so I don’t think it will this time either. Also, it’s pretty different from running a marathon in that for this I won’t be going all out. If I were to try to run this whole thing at my marathon pace, about 7:00 per mile, I’d make it through one day pretty quickly but after that things would go downhill quickly. But, if I do what I normally do for a 30+ mile training run and stick to about a 9:00 pace for my miles I should be ok. I usually recover from those training runs pretty quickly and I can always run fairly well the next day, so this seems within reach.

Q: How are you gonna train for that?

A: Run. A lot. I’ll throw in a bit of cross-training, but as much as I can I’ll just run. A lot.

Q: What are you gonna eat?

A: Honestly, this is about where we get past where I’ve reached so far in my planning. I know I’ll try to stick pretty close to my diet but there will definitely have to be some sacrifices on the road. More specifically, I’ll try to keep my pre-race breakfast of juice/Gatorade, a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, and a banana. I’ll try to drink my favorite rehydration drink immediately after every run, pineapple blended into a smoothie with milk, no other ingredients. I like to eat a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar, almonds, raisins, and chia seeds every day so I’d like to keep that up. I’m also a big believer in chocolate milk, so that will be a staple too. Snacks will hopefully be fruit as much as possible, and also maybe trail mix or granola bars. And for any other meals I’m not too picky, I just like to have a whole grain starch (bread, pasta, brown rice), a protein (usually poultrIy or fish), and a vegetable. I don’t have too many rules, I just like to keep it simple so that’s what I’d like to do on the road.

Those are all the popular questions I have answers for at the moment, but I’ll be sure to answer any more as they come up!

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My Route

I finally finished planning my route across America. It was kinda tough with only the two end points to work with and having to go over every mile to make sure the road seemed safe to run on. But Google maps was extremely helpful and now I’m finished! There may be some minor changes from here on out, but this is a rough idea of my route. Below I listed all major (or minor) cities that I’ll run through or near and the day that I’ll be there. I haven’t decided on a schedule or starting date yet, so the days aren’t specific but that will all be worked out later. At this time if anyone lives in or knows someone in these cities who would like to run with me let me know and we can start coordinating that. Also, If you want a more detailed picture of a specific day let me know and I can hook you up.

Day City
1 Los Angeles, CA
3 Hesperia, CA
4 Victorville, CA
10 Bullhead City, AZ
11 Kingman, AZ
16 Flagstaff, AZ
24 Cortez, CO
26 Durango, CO
31 Alamosa, CO
33 Walsenburg, CO
35 La Junta, CO
37 Lamar, CO
44 Great Bend, KS
46 McPherson, KS
49 Emporia, KS
54 Sedalia, MO
56 Columbia, MO
57 Mexico, MO
61 Jacksonville, IL
62 Springfield, IL
63 Clinton, IL
67 Lafayette, IN
68 Logansport, IN
70 Huntington and Fort Wayne, IN
73 Findlay and Fostoria, OH
76 Elyria and Cleveland, OH
77 Mentor, OH
79 Erie, PA
82 Buffalo, NY
87 Syracuse, NY
88 Utica, NY
90 Johnstown, NY
91 Saratoga Springs, NY
94 Claremont, NY
97 Sanford, ME
98 Portland and Brunswick, ME
100 Rockland, ME
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Charity Partner: The Steps Foundation

I’m proud to announce that I have found a charity partner for Project Gump! I will be teaming up with Sara and Ryan Hall’s Steps Foundation. Steps is a new charity, just founded in 2009, but it has already done a tremendous amount of work. Their goal is to utilize the connectedness of the running community to help people rise out of poverty. At this point, I have decided to set a goal of $10,000 for Project Gump, which Sara tells me will be enough to build a well in Mozambique where there is limited access to clean water. You can read more about Steps here: http://thestepsfoundation.org. I’m very excited to begin working with this foundation and start raising money for them! You can begin donating towards my goal here: http://www.crowdrise.com/projectgump.

Thanks and stay tuned here for more updates and follow me on Twitter at @ProjectGump!

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Here’s the Plan

So I’ve done some crazy things in my life, from jumping off a bridge onto (not into) a frozen river to riding my bike 700 miles on the highway to my grandma’s house. In the summer of 2015 I’m planning on doing something that will top all of them. I’m gonna run all the way across America from California to Maine. I’m calling this adventure Project Gump, obviously after my favorite movie Forrest Gump. In tribute to Forrest’s route, I will be running from Santa Monica Pier in California to Marshall Point Lighthouse in Maine. This is a distance of over 3,000 miles (3,130 to be exact) and I plan on doing it in 100 days. That means that I will be running over 10 5-ks per day. This brings me to why I will be doing this in 2015 and not this year. My reasons are:

  1. I already have a few things planned for this summer which I’m not going to opt out of.
  2. I’ve realized that this will take a lot of planning so by giving myself over a year I will have a well-structured plan rather than a haphazardly thrown together one.
  3. Semi-related, I want time to be able to find and connect with a good charity for this run.
  4. I will be finishing my college career in the spring of 2015 so this will be a cool “before I start real life” adventure.
  5. I’m gonna want a whole year to train up to being able to run 30 miles per day.

At this point, I am in the very early stages of planning, so don’t expect any sort of coherent plan at this point. This is just what I do know/think at this point. I know that I will need to find funding for this trip. I have already started making a list of the likely expenses, including food; both for me and a potential crew, shoes; I expect to go through five or six pairs during this, and other supplies; possibly a jogging stroller if I decide not to use a crew. I know that I would like to find a good charity to support with this. Ideally I will find a charity that advocates an active lifestyle for fun and health. I am also looking into charities for a few different diseases that I will consider. I know that I will want to connect with runners across the country in the towns that I run through. For this, I will be reaching out to running clubs in towns and cities close to my planned route and letting them know about my plans throughout the next year. Finally, I know that I want to spread the word about this as far as possible. That’s why I created this blog and a new twitter account (ProjectGump) to chronicle this great adventure.

At this point, I would love for everyone who reads this to follow both of those if you are interested in hearing about what I’m to to as far as this run is concerned. Also, If anyone has any suggestions for any charities I should look into partnering with for this run, let me know and I will try to get in contact with them. Also, If anyone has any contacts in running clubs across the country, I would love to connect with them as well. Finally, if anyone is so motivated, I would really appreciate any money that is contributed at this point. Just know that any funds contributed at this point will go towards funding the run. I would like to keep the funding for the run and donations to a charity separate so that once the run is fully funded, all donations can go only to the charity. Once I have decided on a charity partner a donation site for that will be launched. To fund the run visit http://www.gofundme.com/6bn51w.

And don’t forget to follow ProjectGump on twitter. Thanks for reading and tell your friends!

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