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Running Across America – Corner To Corner

Eric Keeler

  • 31.60% funded
  • £ 1,580.00 pledged
  • Open

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**IMPORTANT** This page is for donations to help FUND the challenge. If you wish to donate DIRECTLY to the charity, Spinal Research, then please visit the link below;

Donate to the charity Spinal Research


About Me

Hey there! For those of you who don’t already know who I am, I am Eric and starting in April 2018 I will be attempting to cross America using only my feet, whilst raising money and awareness for a charity called Spinal Research. This challenge should take me around 8 months to complete as I cover over 4,200 miles (6,760km). Here is a little background about me.

After growing up in a small English village, I found myself working for the last 4 years in a kitchen in the beautiful Austrian Alps. The last 29 years have been an adventure, one that was certainly full of ups and downs. After living the party lifestyle in Greece for years I found that I was not in the place that I wanted to be. With my continuous accidents and hospital trips I began to realise that it was time to start looking after myself. 2010 was the start of a long journey that has lead me to the person that I am today.

Flash forward to 2013, after moving back to England my health and lifestyle had improved immensely. I was sitting on the underground in London, reading the paper at 6am, and noticed an advert from a charity to run the London Marathon in a few months time. In my tired state I thought to myself “I can do that, it’s only a little bit of running!”, and before I knew it I had signed myself up to my first race. I was still living mainly on unhealthy food, but at least I was not hungover every day, and like many first time marathon runners I had never run further than to catch my train before! After raising over £1,000 for Spinal Research, and running the marathon in a very slow time of 6 and a half hours, I vowed never to run again, this hurts.

A few days later it had sunk in that the pain in my legs from running was the only reason why I did not want to run again and I decided I wanted to do more, I was hooked. Not on the running but on the excitement of it all, doing something good with my time, the energy of race day, and just as importantly the shiny medal you get at the end! Since then I have learnt more about the charity and what they stand for, the vital research which they fund into one day reversing paralysis. I have managed to raise over £6,000 in the last 5 years with the help of my friends, family and the great people who support me, and run many more races ranging from 5km to 100 miles!

Although I am still generally unhealthy, and have a nice belly to prove it! But now it is time for something big, something than I can never forget, something that can connect so many people, get the name of this amazing charity out to as many people as possible and hopefully raise a colossal amount of donations to help fund research for the coming years.

 

About the run

As you may have guessed already, the challenge is to run from one corner of the United States to the other, making the trip entirely by foot! I will be starting in April 2018 in Lubec, Maine on the Canadian border, and traveling through 15 states and 11 major cities along the way, before finishing at the Mexican border at San Diego, California in around December 2018.

I hope to cover around 50km every day, and take a few days to recuperate and see the sights and the big cities when I reach them! Obviously it is impossible to say that I will be able to make 50km every day, some days could be through mountains, bad weather or in the desert, but I am hoping that the good days will make up for the bad ones! I will be taking everything I need in a modified baby stroller, donned with logos, sponsors and solar panels to keep all my electronics going in the middle of nowhere. I will be mostly living in a tent along the way, but if anybody offers me a bed, sofa or floor for the night, it would be rude not to accept!

You can see a detailed map of the route here.

 

Why ask for money?

I have spent the last few years planning this crossing and I am very excited to start running at the end of the winter. So far the challenge has be funded entirely by me and some amazing companies who have been excited to get involved (See my sponsor list below, they have all helped to make this challenge happen!). My hope was to fund as much of the trip as possible so that any money that was given/donated to me could go directly to the charity Spinal Research, although I never realised just how much this challenge would cost. You can also see a list of all my purchases for the trip down below to hopefully convince you that I am not asking for you to fund a “holiday”.

I would like to make clear that I will be spending my money first and foremost to survive whilst running across America, any donations given through this page from you amazing people will  be spent only when my funds are gone. At the end of the run any money that is left over from donations here will be donated directly to Spinal Research.

 

Sponsored Items

  • Running Stroller – Out’n'about
  • Custom running shirts – Scimitar Sports
  • Compression shorts and skins – BioSkin
  • Powerpack – Omnicharge
  • Running watch – Fitbit
  • Wash bag – Scrubba

Paid for by me

  • Website
  • Return Flights Europe – America
  • Insurance
  • Visa
  • Mobile and WiFi coverage in the US
  • Solar Panel
  • Tracking device plus subscription
  • Lights and safety equipment
  • Enough running shoes for 8 months
  • Running clothes for 8 months
  • Lightweight waterproofs for running
  • Water filter
  • Camping equipment including Tent, sleeping bag, groundsheets, cooking equipment
  • Survival Equipment
  • Spending money, around £3,500 (Sounds like a lot but is only around £16.50 a day)
  • Emergency reserve money, £2,000

Current total invested by me is around £10,200

 

Click here for an example photograph of what you can expect as a print when you donate through one of the tiers offering a print at the end of the run :)

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Christine Smith

+The Project FAQ's

Why run across America?

I remember seeing this guy on Tv when I was around 13 years old, and he had just finished his run across the States. I always remember thinking to myself that that would be such an amazing adventure and achievement to make, but something so crazy that I never would have actually thought about doing. At the time I don’t think I had ever run further that to the local shop and back! After I did my first Marathon back in 2013, something made me think back to that man I saw on the TV, and that just started the cogs whirring in my head. Ever since then I havn’t been able to get the idea out of my head!.

Are you running for charity or some cause?

As you might have seen on the above, I will be trying to raise awareness and much needed funds for Spinal Research, who I have been fundraising for since 2013. Spinal Research is the UK’s leading charity funding medical research around the world to develop reliable treatments for paralysis caused by a broken back or neck. To find out more about this amazing charity then please check out their website.

Are you insane?!

I have been called a lot worse!

How many miles will you run every day?

During the run, I hope to cover roughly a marathon distance every day, although it will depend on everything from the weather, terrain and where abouts I will be running, but if I can average this distance then it will allow me to have days off when I need them and also a few days to explore every city that I pass through.

How many hours a day will you run?

Again this will depend on weather, terrain and where I am, But ideally I would like to cover that day’s distance in no more than 8 hours.

Where will you sleep?

I will be taking camping equipment with me and will camp for the majority of the way. I also have friends along the way who I will be staying with. If you live along the route and would like to offer a garden, floor, sofa or spare bed then you would be an amazing person. I can picture that camping for 7 months will get tiring very quickly!

How will you carry your camping gear?

I will be pushing along a modified baby stroller for the 8 months that will be carrying everything I need to survive. From running equipment, to my tent and water supplies.

How will you charge your electronics during the run?

I will be equipping my stroller with a solar panel to help keep some external batteries charged. This will hopefully give me enough juice to keep everything I need charged up!

How many shoes will you need for the run?

I am hoping to not need anymore than 10 pairs of shoes along the way and will take 2 or 3 pairs in the stroller with me and replacing them as I go along.

Can we track you during the run?

I will be using a tracking device throughout my run where you can see exactly where I am in the States, the link to track me will be available in the days leading up to the start.

What will you do in case of an emergency?

The tracking device that I will be using has a built in SOS feature. In case of an emergency, all I need to do is press the button and the nearest emergency services will be alerted with my GPS coordinates.

Are you crazy?

Most definitely!

How can you have time for that? Don’t you have a job?

Fortunately I do not have a very important job. As I work in a mountain resort and my contracts are seasonal, this means that If I want to take a season free then it is possible to do so. On the downside it does mean it is taking me a long time to save for this adventure!

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