There are easier ways to reach Virginia Beach, VA, than the route Jim Shiew is taking.
But the 70-year-old resident of Buena Vista, CO, isn’t interested in comfort. He’s running across America to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation—a Florida nonprofit near and dear to the veteran’s heart—and he’s willing to endure some hardships along the way.
The worse part thus far, Shiew recently told the local Mountain Mail newspaper, has been boredom.
“Some roads, it’s so tedious I count the yellow stripes,” he told the paper.
He may face tougher obstacles between now and next fall, when he plans on reaching the East Coast. He began his trek in January, and come October or November, should he make it all the way to Virginia, he’ll have run some 3,330 miles. As of Tuesday, April 1, he had about 2,000 miles to go, and judging by the Mountain Mail story, he’s in good spirits.
“I’ve met a lot of nice people,” Shiew said, and in particular, he mentioned the family he met at the Santa Clara Indian Reservation in New Mexico. First, two young girls gave him a case of water, and later on, the children’s father hopped into his truck, caught up with Shiew, and donated money to his cause.
To date, Shiew has raised “a couple thousand” dollars for the charity, and since the Special Operations Warrior Foundation isn’t covering any of his expenses, some well-wishers have floated him money to help with the run.
Amazingly, Shiew is going it alone, and he’s devised a system whereby he uses two cars for each segment of his run. He’s averaging about 13 miles a day, and his process involves driving one car out a couple of miles, running back to the first one, and then driving back to his starting point and starting over again.
“I never run uphill,” he said, “and I never run against the wind.”
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg