Former Phoenix Clark Finishes Run Across America
GREEN BAY, Wis. - Former Green Bay cross country standout Abe Clark (2005-08) completed his 2,960-mile run across the United States on Wednesday, June 30 in Atlantic City, N.J., becoming just the 15th person to accomplish the ocean-to-ocean trek solo and unsupported.
Clark began his 136-day journey across the country on Feb. 15 in Oceanside, Calif., crossing 15 states in the process for an average of 25 miles per day - a distance that equates to more than 110 marathons.
"I felt like it was a time in my life where I could take (the run) on," Clark said. "It was definitely one of my biggest dreams and I'm glad I was able to pull it off."
The 24-year-old Gillett, Wis., native raised nearly $90,000 along the way for Living Water International, a non-profit Christian organization that has coordinated clean water initiatives in 24 impoverished countries. The funds raised by Clark will aid in drilling wells, fixing water pumps and other methods of providing clean drinking water.
As Clark approached the Atlantic Ocean on June 30, he said he began to reflect on his long voyage.
"There was a lot of emotion," Clark said. "The last day I did 43 miles. I was out there running by myself and I actually started to cry at one point just thinking about everything coming to an end. There was a lot of my family out there and it was very exciting - happy times."
Green Bay cross country coach Mike Kline, who guided Clark throughout his college running career, said it takes a unique person to accomplish such a daunting feat.
"What Abe has that a lot of people don't have is the ability to survive," Kline said. "I'm very proud of him and very excited for him - he's an outstanding young man."
People wishing to support Clark's initiative can still do so by visiting his Web site, www.runningwater.cc. The site also contains a daily blog documenting his journey, along with photos, videos, news and more.
Watch: Clark Finishes Run Across America
Watch: Cross Country Coach Mike Kline on Clark