I am pleased to announce that last week, I was honored with acceptance onto the Core Team of athletes participating in the inaugural Race Across the USA (RAUSA), a 3000-mile journey from California to Maryland across the mid-drift of the American Heartland. These ten runners will be racing to the nation’s Capital with several goals in mind, “but the primary one,” as the RAUSA site explains, “is to raise awareness about the childhood ‘inactivity’ epidemic. According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. At the present time, 18% (or almost one in five) children, aged 6-19 in the United States, are obese.” So, the RAUSA is a charity run –and the specific charity is the 100 Mile Club®.
The 100 Mile Club® is a non-profit 501(3)c organization designed to provide “a low-cost solution to ‘inactivity.’ Kids are challenged to run (or walk) 100 miles in a school year.” In most American school districts, there are approximately 170 days each year. This would require each child to walk/run less than a mile per day to reach their goal. The program costs only $10 per student a year to fund and the secondary aim of the RAUSA is to raise funds for those families who cannot afford the cost of the program.
The RAUSA traverses 3000 miles from January 16th to June 2nd of 2015. It begins at the Pacific beaches of California, and heads almost due east across Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina & Virginia to pause at the White House, and then terminate at the Atlantic Coast of Maryland. The trek will last 140 days, and will average around a marathon (26.2 miles) per day for the entire journey.
I wrote a piece on transcontinental runs back in the Spring of last year (05/30/13). I find it ironic and humbling to be able to participate in such an undertaking. Here is a brief excerpt from that article:
It is a little-known fact that before modern-day ultra-marathon runner Dean Karnazes completed a solo crossing of the US, men from all walks of life made it from Los Angeles, California to New York City, NY, nearly 85 years before him. Dean’s route virtually mirrored that established by race organizer C.C. Pyle, the brains and finances behind the first transcontinental race in America.
March 4th, 1928 saw nearly 200 men line up to begin what would become an 84-day footrace covering roughly 3400 miles. The race began in Los Angeles, with contestants from Canada, Estonia, Finland, Great Britain, Germany, Italy and the United States. The cost of admission was a hefty $125, but supposedly included square meals, lodging and incidentals along the way. The route followed Historic Route 66 from LA to Chicago, and then veered east to NYC. Most of Route 66 was still a patchwork of urban pavement with long expanses of dirt, mud and holes in between towns. By the end of the Mohave crossing the first week, the 199 starters had already dwindled to around 130.
This RAUSA follows the historic Bunion Derby route until the halfway point around Dallas TX. From there, it stays east as opposed to veering north to Chicago.
In addition to a registration fee, there is a fundraising minimum of an additional $2000. Anyone interested in running a few miles with me while I cross your state, contributing to the 100 Mile Club® fundraising goal, or simply wanting more information, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or check out the race site (http://raceacrossusa.org).