The ambitious Barrow women of Ross Township, Ohio, have a nifty plan for seeing America, amassing an amazing T-shirt collection, helping some good causes, and staying fit while they’re at it.
They’ll even find time to squeeze in some shopping.
This summer, mother Doreen and daughters Christine (21) and Staci (17) embarked on a mission of running a race in every state. They’ve already hit the streets of nearby Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia, and by the end of September, they’ll have crossed their home state off the list.
“Almost all of the races benefit a good cause,” Doreen told the Middletown Journal.
A horse raiser by trade, Doreen has been running since 1979. She was a member of the Talawanda High School cross-country team, and she later competed for Miami (Ohio) University.
Christine now attends that very school, and while she says each race is “only an excuse” to travel as a family, grab colorful tees, and see strange sights, such as the world’s largest rocking chair (located in Cuba, Missouri), she’s in it for the long haul.
Maybe it’s a push from a higher power. All three Barrows are also members of the Richmond Road Baptist church, and as they move from state to state, they pass out homemade religious tracts.
“When we are done we will have run, eaten, and witnessed in every state in the country,” Christine told the Journal.
Doreen says there’s no set time frame for finishing their goal, though she’d like to see her daughters reach 50 in her lifetime. If that doesn’t happen, Staci and Christine plan to carry their mother’s ashes as they complete the journey.
But it’s too soon to think of such things, and even if Doreen, who admits to being “slower than [she’s] ever been,” doesn’t join her girls on each and every starting line, she always does her part. At races she sits out, she distributes water or helps with runner registration.
“I’ve been running races for 34 years,” Doreen said. “Even back then I knew race volunteers were the unsung heroes of racing.”
“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