The Type 1 Diabetes Run Across America
Completed Wed., April 7, 2021!
The Type 1 Diabetes Run Across America, including the first ever documented Mouse2Mouse Run from Disneyland to Walt Disney World, began at 6:00 AM on Saturday, February 1, 2020, at 47th Street Beach in Newport Beach, CA.
I ran 14 miles to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, and planned to run a total of 2761 miles to Disney's Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, FL in less than 100 days, supported by my wife and only crew member, Leslie.
Total distance from coast to coast was to be 2831 miles, but routing changes near the Gila River tribal lands stretched it to 2845.
Due to the pandemic, we paused the run 51 days in on March 24, 2020 at mile 1261 in Tarzan, TX, and resumed six months later on September 24 during a lull in the numbers. I made it to Texarkana, AR and mile 1800 on October 18, 2020, then paused again due to COVID spikes in the Southeast.
On March 2, 2021, I resumed in Texarkana. This time, I completed the remaining distance to the Magic Kingdom, then two days later, Indialantic FL's Atlantic coast beach. I reached the ocean at 3:57 PM on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
Total days of running: 90; elapsed time: 431d 9h 57m.
It look way longer than I expected. I was ready for thunderstorms, blisters, and vehicle repairs, but I certainly didn't expect a funeral, a pandemic, and the temporary closure of the Happiest Place on Earth.
But I don't give up easily. I was determined to inform people about the struggles Type 1s face in exercising safely despite justified fears of brain damage or death from exercise-induced hypoglycemia.
I wanted to serve as a positive example, and I wanted to pay tribute to the tenacity every single Type 1 summons to live with Type 1 diabetes and keep going.
Epic is for everyone. Hard does not mean impossible.
GPS History and Race Report: Type 1 Diabetes Run Across America
Click GPS Track and filter for Custom Date Range: 02/01/2020 to 04/07/2022. To see the Race Report, click Race Report.
PLEASE NOTE: I had to stop the run three times: in March 2020 for my father's funeral, later that same month and the following months for Covid lockdowns and related pauses, and finally from October 2020 to just before March 2021 when Covid spikes in southern states on my route made it difficult to avoid becoming a carrier.
Not how I originally imagined it.
ALSO NOTE: There are two gaps in the track that I know of: one in Moreno Valley CA where I was getting bizarre or simply blank readings in a canyon just west of San Timoteo Canyon Road, and near Nogales, AZ, when my Garmin InReach finally gave up the ghost after three trip-and-fall episodes. Garmin overnighted me a replacement. If you need the GPS watch tracks or timestamped selfies near unique landmarks to substantiate that I actually ran every mile, I'm happy to oblige.
What can I say...life happens. You adapt and move on.
More Info About The Route & Transcontinental Runs
History of Transcontinental Crossings
Over 500 people have now completed runs across the USA, making journeys of persistence, grit, and self-discovery that have occurred since the first transcontinental highways were built in the early 1900s. In fact, many trans-con runners and walkers still use the remnants of the 100-year-old Bankhead Highway, the first all-season transcontinental highway in the US, for transcontinental runs.
Other Type 1s have run or walked across the USA. Doug Masiuk and Noah Barnes. Doug ran 3400 miles in roughly 217 days, May 20, 2012 to December 23, 2012. From January 1, 2017 to December 9 2017, 10-year old Noah and his family walked 4240 miles in 343 days from Key West to Blaine WA. Also, Jordan Provencher ran across the USA in 2015 for his Type 1 mom, and Jim McCord ran it in 2002 for his T1D daughter.
Roadside America is like nothing else! Our less-traveled route includes:
- Rice, CA's famous "shoe fence" and faraway-to-everywhere sign
- Vidal Junction, CA's "last chance gas" -- the most expensive gallon of gas you'll probably buy in the US
- Phoenix and Scottsdale's famous spas
- The desolation of Arizona's Mojave and Sonoran deserts
- El Paso's alligator sculptures
- Long-abandoned motels, cafes, and bus stations in west Texas recalling turn-of-the-century salt mining operations
- Guadalupe Pass, the tallest point in Texas
- Potassium mines and uranium enrichment facilities of south and eastern New Mexico
- Loraine, TX's surreal abandoned downtown, where mature trees have grown straight up through old storefronts
- Sulphur Springs, TX's glass restrooms and Monty Python Silly Walks crosswalk
- The small-town charm and natural beauty of southern Arkansas
- The beautiful Mississippi River crossing in Greenville, MS
- Leland, MS, "birthplace" of Kermit the Frog
- BB King's hometown of Itta Bena, MS and location of the famous blues "crossroads"
- Rural Alabama's roadside scrap metal, pecan, and fruit stands
- Florida's fish camps
- Dunnellon, FL's statue of the Blues Brothers
- The only pedestrian-safe roads into the Magic Kingdom (hint: it's near cast parking)
- And a final run to the finish over Melbourne, FL's beautifully scenic pedestrian bridge to the Atlantic Ocean's beaches
It's a heck of a trip.