Why Would Anyone Want to Run Across the USA?

My first race as an adult was the OC Half Marathon back in 2006.  I was running it with my oldest daughter, Lauren.  We had trained together all summer, even running a 12 miler so that we would be ready for the “real thing”.  During the event at mile marker 11, there was a split in the course: If you were running the half marathon (13.1 miles), the sign indicated to turn left.  If you are running the full marathon (26.2 miles), the sign indicated to turn right.  I did the math.  Let’s see… carry the two… right!  I blurted out “Lauren, if we were running the full marathon, we would still have 15.2 miles to go!” Both Lauren and I laughed out loud and then, at the same time, said: “That’s INSANE!”  The challenge might as well have been to run across the USA. We were both in so much pain, even walking another 15 miles seemed impossible!

My First Marathon

Want to know something funny?  Just nine months after stating that running a marathon would be INSANE, I did it!  That’s right, I ran the Long Beach Marathon that same year – in 2006.  After I met this challenge, I was looking for the next challenge and I continued to run longer and longer races – 50 miles, 100K (62 miles) and then a full “100” – the 100-Mile Endurance Challenge.  While I DNF’d (Did Not Finish) the first 100EC in 2010, I was able to finish 10th at the 100EC in 2011 with a time of 27 hours and 56 minutes. This is when I adopted the saying “Something that once seemed impossible, turned out to be merely difficult.”

100 Mile Club®

Just as I was looking for my next challenge, I hit on the idea of running across the USA.  As with the 100EC, I will be running in support of the 100 Mile Club®.  Inspired by the 1992 Olympics, special education teacher, Kara Lubin, used the dream of becoming a gold medalist to inspire her hard-to-motivate students. That year, The 100 Mile Club® was born from a simple idea, run 100 miles and earn a medal. With incentives given along the way, including our unique milestone t-shirt, lessons in goal-setting, determination, and team spirit are delivered alongside exercise. The 100 Mile Club® now has  in over 250 schools in 20 states (April 2013). In fact, last year, this dynamic organization went international, adding two schools in Japan and another in New Zealand.

Run Across the USA

As we run across the USA, the idea is that we will visit schools and talk with students about becoming a part of the 100 Mile Club®. Since the route passes through some major cities, such as Phoenix, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Atlanta, Charlotte and Richmond, we hope to schedule some large venues where we can speak to lots of kids at the same time. Here’s a full (interactive) route of the run across the USA. You can zoom in by pressing the + button.

View RAUSA Route Map v2 in a larger map

How to Get Started

Right now, the Race Across USA is looking for other runners with the same dream – to run across the USA – and, to make a difference in the young people of this country.  We are looking for 10 individuals to fill the ranks of the core team – those that will run the entire country, coast to coast.  If you are interested, please fill out the contact form.  The finalists who will run across the USA will be selected by October 1.  On October 19, 2013, we will open registration for those who want to run one of the states that the Race Across USA will pass through, namely California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.  You can stay up-to-date with the Race Across USA by subscribing here.

Darren Van Soye

Darren started programming computers when he was 16. Because of his intense interest, he applied for and was accepted to UC Irvine's Computer Science program. Now, after 25 years in the High Tech industry, his passion has turned to high-leverage projects that bring about sustainable improvement in the areas of health, economic empowerment and education.

4 thoughts on “Why Would Anyone Want to Run Across the USA?

  • July 15, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Wow Darren. Quite ambitious. I can’t say that it surprises me. It is quite a lofty goal. For those of us who might be interested, can you fill in some of the broad brush plans, such as how many miles per day, how long to finish each state and the whole shebang, etc.? Best of luck to you.

    • July 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      Hey Matt! Basically, we are running 120 back to back marathons over a 140 day period. The cut off is generous – 8 hours per day. You can read at about it (and the races across the states along the route) here http://raceacrossusa.org

  • July 18, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I would love to be apart of this… As a single mom i know i cant run across the united states with you.. Nor do i think i would even get accepted to do so 🙂 EC100 was my 1st attempt at a 100 Mile race.. I dropped at mile 67 last year… I am already registered for the 2013 race… I hope i finish on my second attempt like you did!

    • July 19, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Thanks Shavaughn! Can’t wait to meet up at the 100ec in October. We are having training runs again this year. If you are able to make them, they should prove to be very helpful. One thing I plan to do is double up on one or more of them and run 50 miles. This seemed to help a lot. Darren


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