Running Across America

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Elite ultrarunner Charlie Engle is preparing to set out on a little jog next week, and he’s inviting all of us to follow along as he runs (and twitters!) his way across the U.S.

On September 13th, next Thursday, Charlie will set out to break the speed record of running coast-to-coast across the United States, with the intention of completing the challenge in just 45 days. That’s 3,106 miles in a month and a half, averaging nearly 70 miles a day.

That sounds pretty crazy for us mere mortals, who are lucky if we can work in a five mile run a few times a week, but Charlie has plenty of experience with long distance runs. For instance, he once ran for 111 straight days, covering more than 4000 miles, to cross the Sahara Desert.

When he sets out next week, Charlie is embracing another use of technology to share his experiences from the road. We’ve seen plenty of adventurers use blogs and audio/video dispatches from their expeditions, but this is the first time that I’ve seen someone use Twitter. For those that don’t know, Twitter is a high tech way for people to stay in touch and share with their friends what they are doing at any given moment. Twitter posts, known as “tweets” are generally very short, perhaps one or two sentences in length, and the convey what you’re doing at that moment. Once you create your Twitter account, you can then have friends and family subscribe to your feed, and they’ll get constant updates, through a variety of sources, on what you’re up to.

I’ve been invited to several of my friends Twitter feeds, but so far I’ve resisted. I just didn’t think anyone would want to know about the daily minutia of my life. But Charlie’s feed, which can be found right here, may just get me to change my mind. It’ll be a fun experiment for following along on this journey, and should provide some interesting insights into what Charlie is thinking while he runs. So? Anyone else have a Twitter feed I should know about?

Good luck Charlie! We’ll be following along and pulling for you!

Kraig Becker

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