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Two Men, 3,000 Miles, One Country: Running Across America

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Staying Motivated

Ulrich and Engle are soliciting volunteers to keep them energized during their cross-country trek. They're looking for volunteers who are local residents -- up to five for each mile of the journey -- and who can give them inside information about the communities they're running through. Runners of any age, gender, ethnicity, or physical shape can sign up to join them.


When not talking to volunteers, they'll have their iPods to entertain them. "The goal is to not have a negative thought in my head," Engle says, "because once that thought gets in, it's hard to get out."

Engle and Ulrich will also have tons of support from their friends and family, who will be there along the way to cheer them on. They'll also be advocates for Engle's and Ulrich's health, acting as their voices of reason if it ever gets too dangerous to go on.

Engle wants to have "a running conversation" with the volunteer runners about what it means to be an American today. "Everyone has a different definition," says Engle. "I hope I get answers that will surprise me. I want to remind people that there is no stereotypical American anymore, that we are truly a diverse country. Though our country is going through struggles, I'm optimistic to see a positive outlook."

Become a Volunteer Runner

If the thought of running long distances is daunting to you, like it is to me, you can relax; you don't have to be a marathon runner to join Ulrich and Engle. At a pace of about 12 minutes per mile, just about anyone can run and talk with them. Volunteers sign up to run a mile but can run for as much as they'd like.


By running across the country, Ulrich and Engle want to show the uniqueness of America. Whether it's the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes, or the pond you and your neighbors swim in every summer, they want to highlight the diversity of the American landscape and they want you to see it along with them. So get out and cheer them on!

Keep track of Charlie and Marshall's exact route and sign up to run with them and be in the documentary at the link below.


Originally published in, June 2008.


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