Entries in Running (4)


Army Vet Runs Across Country Planting Flags for Fallen Soldiers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(GALVESTON, Texas) -- At each mile marker he crossed on his 2,146-mile trip from Minnesota to Texas, Mike Ehredt stopped running for a moment to plant a flag representing a fallen American soldier.

On his journey, Project America Run, he has jogged 26 miles a day across the country to memorialize soldiers who died in the Afghanistan war. In 2010 he ran from Oregon to Maine to honor those who died in Iraq.

"It's to honor and say thank you to those that died in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said. "I stop each mile, put a flag down that bears the name, rank, and hometown, in the numerical order of their deaths, and it creates an invisible wall across the country. I just wanted to do something for them, something genuine and pure that no one would replicate."

Ehredt, a 51-year-old Army veteran from Idaho, will be joined by hundreds of marathoners Sunday in Galveston, Texas for the last leg of his run to the Gulf, which began back in August. The marathoners will accompany Ehredt for the last 10 miles through the city, and then Ehredt will run the last mile alone, as he has many of the 2,000 before, and will plant his last flag at the edge of the water.

"There's a lot of satisfaction in that. Just being able to create that wall (of flags) from north to south and touch the water of the Gulf, you can't really explain it," he said.

Ehredt will speak at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston about his experiences later in the day, as well, as part of Veterans Day weekend. Ehredt said he's sure he'll field many questions about how a 51-year-old man's body can withstand 26 miles of running each day for 81 straight days.

"I never looked at the big picture," he said. "Never looked at the Gulf or the Atlantic. I just knew I could go out and move forward for five, six, eight hours. Like going to work."

A grandfather of three with a fourth grandchild on the way, Ehredt said he is more enthusiastic about Project America Run than he ever was during his working years.

"I can honestly say if I was this enthused about my work when I was working for the post office as much as I was enthused about this I would never have retired. I'm enthused about getting up every day," he said.

Part of his joy, he said, is knowing that he is remembering the fallen soldiers who fought overseas, soldiers whose families hear about his project and are grateful their son's or daughter's life is being remembered."

"I stayed with a family who had lost their son, and I had a mother meet me where her son's flag was being placed," he said. "There was even a lady from the Houston paper who did five miles with me, and I put flag in her hand, with the name on it, and it kind of gets them. It's powerful."

The trip from Minnesota to Galveston, Texas was meticulously plotted so that the number of miles would match the number of soldiers who died in Afghanistan. In each city, a host family, arranged ahead of time, has housed him and fed him.

Ehredt said that the 67 families, many of whom are associated with the American Legion or veterans' groups, were his favorite part of his days on the road.

"Sometimes they will think you want peace and quiet after your day, and put you up in a hotel and take you to dinner, but I prefer to stay at the homes because there's a community, and you learn from them, and learn about the area. I've been talking to myself all day. I'd prefer to talk to other people."

He also said the encounters he's had on the long stretches of road, especially through the scenic highways of Tennessee, southern Mississippi and Louisiana, have been highlights.

Ehredt's family, including his grown children who live on the East Coast and his partner who lives in Idaho, checked in periodically as he made his way south. His partner will join him in Galveston for the grand finale, he said.

When he is finished, he said, he will head home with her and get started on "a honey-do list a mile long" before running another marathon in three weeks.

"In a way it's bittersweet," he said. "I've been fortunate to see the country on foot from Oregon to Maine, and then to do it again to see even the Deep South now. It's sad that it all comes to an end and I'll never experience America like this again."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Runner Concedes US Olympic Spot 

USTF/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After two U.S. Olympic runners tied for third in a race for a spot on the women’s 100-meter team, officials scrambled to devise a way to pick a winner.  There was room for only one of the women to go to the London Olympics.

A day later, on June 24, they gave the runners two options: flip a coin or face each other again in a one-on-one race. The runners agreed to a runoff scheduled for Monday afternoon.

But hours before the two were scheduled to race, Jeneba Tarmoh announced that she would withdraw from the contest, giving up her position to Allyson Felix.

Tarmoh told USA Track & Field (USATF), through her agent, Kimberly Holland, that “I understand that with this decision I am no longer running the 100-meter dash in the Olympic Games and will be an alternate for the event.”

Tarmoh and Felix each ran the 100-meter dash in exactly 11.07 seconds. Thousands of photographs were taken at the finish line, but they did not show a clear winner. While a tie-breaking procedure existed for preliminary events, USA Track & Field officials could not find one for races deciding Olympic berths. An ad-hoc committee hastily conjured up an 800-word document detailing protocols for both a coin toss and a runoff.

“We are disappointed that Jeneba has changed her mind regarding her position on the Olympic Team,” USATF President Stephanie Hightower said in a press release. “We all worked hard to reach a consensus on the tiebreaker.”

Felix will join Carmelita Jeter and Tianna Madison on the women’s 100-meter roster for Team USA in this summer’s Olympic Games in London.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Alabama Cops Claim Grandma, Mom Ran 9-Year-Old Girl to Death

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(GADSDEN, Ala.) -- In what prosecutors are describing as a horrific case of child abuse, two women are facing murder charges in the death of a 9-year-old who authorities say was ordered to run for three hours until she collapsed.

Savannah Hardin became so dehydrated after running last Friday, according to police in Gadsden, Ala., that she had a seizure and died a few days later.

The little girl was allegedly being punished by her grandmother, 46-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard, and her mom, 27-year-old Jessica Mae Hardin, for having lied about stealing some candy.

It's unclear to prosecutors whether Savannah Hardin had been verbally ordered to run or if physical coercion was involved.  What they do have is plenty of eyewitnesses who said they saw the girl running for hours.

The alleged victim's father, Robert Hardin, filed for divorce in August of 2010, accusing Jessica Mae Hardin of being an alcoholic and displaying bi-polar tendencies.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


45,000 Run in 2011 ING NYC Marathon 

John Foxx/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Update: Geoffrey Mutai from Kenya  is the new NYC Marathon Champion with a new course record time of 2 hours, 05 minutes and 06 seconds. He was followed by fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai and Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia.

Firehiwot Dado of Ethiopia won the women's race in a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes and 15 seconds, beating fellow Ethiopian Buzunesh Deba.


On Sunday more than 45,000 people will run the 2011 ING New York City Marathon.

The marathon, whose course starts on Staten Island at 9 a.m., goes through all five boroughs and ends in Manhattan, will raise an estimated $35 million for the city.

Faces to watch in the women's race are 2011 Boston Marathon Champion Caroline Kilel from Kenya,  Inga Abitova of Russia and Werknesh Kidane of Ethiopia, wife of defending 2010 NYC marathon champion Gebre Gebremariam.  

In the men's race 2009 champion Meb Keflezighi from the United States will compete against a strong field of Ethiopians Gebremariam and Tsegaye Kebede  as well as Kenyan Matthew Kisorio.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio