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Running For Good: This Iowa Teenager Ran Across America

by Elyse Loeb

18-year-old Rae Heim has been running barefoot across the United States in order to raise money for children in need of shoes. The Iowa teen began her journey in Boston, Massachusetts on April 1st and hopes to reach her destination of Huntington Beach, California in October.

She said she started running barefoot after breaking a toe last year and shedding her running shoes for comfort. Shoes now feel like dead weight to her, although she wore them through New Jersey, where broken glass and nails littered the highway, and dons them on gravel roads.”

The run started out as a personal challenge; Heim played softball and dreaded even the short run around the bases. That was until she found out people thought she couldn’t run. So Heim set out to prove them wrong. Last year, she began by entering road races and then decided to take it to the next level with a run across the country.

Before beginning the trek, she set up a website to document her progress and than realized that she could turn her personal adventure into a fundraiser. Under the assistance of Soles4Soles, a charity that supplies shoes to needy children, Heim has helped to raise $2,900 which equates to 2,900 pairs of shoes.

Heim runs three days on one day off and then four days on two days off. Last week, she managed to do five days showing her personal fire to finish the adventure.”

The trip is about 3,000 miles and so far Heim has conquered about 1,200. She runs alone, averaging about 20 miles a day. Her supportive mom watches her every move using a GPS and has friends set up across the route to check up on her.

Only 1,800 miles and 4 months to go. To keep track of Rae’s progress or help pay for some of her expenses check out her website From Sea to Shining Sea. And Rae we wish you the best of luck in completing your journey.

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