Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) June 19, 2012
Imagine growing up in small town America in Michigan and one day deciding to do something remarkable for a worthy cause. Setting your goal, making a plan and implementing it is the only option when you know it is worth pursuing, even if you understand this vision will physically strain you to the point of exhaustion each day. Now imagine realizing your goal, which has only been accomplished by 241 others dating back to 1900. On Wednesday, June 20, 2012, this will become reality for avid runner Chris Nicholas.
His emotional journey began on March 25th and 88 days later will mark his first victory. Nicholas, 33,, has been running across the United States solo with only his hydration pack on his back and a 65 lb running stroller with an American flag attached to its side, carrying all of his necessary gear that he pushes 35-40 miles per day.
This Wednesday, Nicholas will reach Santa Monica Blvd. and Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, CA where he will have covered nearly 2,900 miles on foot. Out of the 241 individuals who have ever run from coast to coast, only about 40 of them have run solo (taking their own gear without a support crew).
Nicholas started in Washington D.C. and ran through 16 states, meeting thousands of individuals along the way. His longest single day stretch surpassed 73 miles. Rain, wind, up and down mountains and even the heat of the Mojave Desert challenged Nicholas throughout his experience, not to mention the numerous dogs chasing him.
Memorable times won’t be forgotten, such as throwing out a first pitch at a Major League Baseball game or sharing his story with students along the path. Most importantly though, Nichols will always be able to pride himself on not only sacrificing his body throughout this journey, but also his own financial means of funding the trip in order for every donation from his website or private donations given along the way to go directly to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
“I wanted 100% of all donations to go to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, so I didn’t give funding the trip myself a second thought. It meant I had to be a bit conservative on what I ate and fortunately I couldn’t go on a shopping spree anyway since I had limited space in the stroller,” Nicholas said.
He has been raising money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, emphasizing that donations made from cities he travels through will stay within the local area to serve children through a children’s hospital within their area.
“The way the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals work is that all donations go to the closest Children’s Hospital, even if it means one location will get $50 and another location gets $2,000. Regardless of the amount, every donation means that someone was part of my journey and made the commitment to help their local hospital through my dedication.”
Nicholas has talked to more than 1,800 students along the way and has built a following of more than 31,000 on Facebook and Twitter. On Wednesday June 20th he will finish at the end of Santa Monica Blvd. and Ocean Ave. to a crowd waiting for him. The finish will also be streamed live nationally on his website http://www.runandfinish.com courtesy of Mlive.com.
Escorted by the Santa Monica Police Department beginning two miles out from the finish line and entering to the tunes of a local band, Another Dying Breed, this event will be an extremely emotional occasion for Chris and anyone that is able to attend as he crosses the finish line. The band will begin at 5:30pm PT with Chris crossing the finish line at the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica Wednesday June 20th at 6pm.
Although the transcontinental run side of his journey will wrap up Wednesday, less than 14 hours from the finish, Nicholas will board a flight to Oahu, Hawaii courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau where he will then run an additional 140 miles around the island before flying back home to Michigan.
"I have never been to the states of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada or California before this journey and to now add a run through them at the state of Hawaii makes this trip a trip of a lifetime for a runner like me," Nicholas added.
Donations can still be made on Nicholas’ website, http://www.runandfinish.com. Throughout his travels, he has talked about his drive to take on this goal even though he is just a regular guy. Yes, he enjoys running marathons and half-marathons, but this has all been about the journey rather than the destination. When challenging times arose, Nicholas was easily invigorated with the support he received and more importantly, the focus he kept on the children.
If you'd like to contact Nicholas for an in in-studio, office, on location or even from the road Skype interview, please contact him via cell phone at 616-915-4922.