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From sea to shining sea Wolpin keeps on running

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“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean,” Forrest Gump.

—-

There’s not too many people who could share a similar tale. Seth E. Wolpin, a Potsdam native who now resides in Seattle, Wash., says only approximately 30 people throughout all-time have made such a journey.

Mr. Wolpin is expected to join that list later this month. His journey, unlike that of the fictional Mr. Gump’s, began along the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Seaside, Oregon on April 5. If all goes according to plan, it will end Saturday along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean in Boston.

Running approximately 31 miles per day, Mr. Wolpin said he thinks he’s on track to meet his goal.

“I’m on track. It’s tentative, but I would say I’m on track,” he said from his cell phone Friday evening, as he’s making his way across Central New York.

According to Mr. Wolpin’s blog, Friday marked the 100th day of his run, which has now surpassed 3,100 miles.

“I think I have 230 miles left,” he wrote from the home of a family friend in Little Falls, where he was spending the night.While Mr. Wolpin was fortunate enough to have a roof over his head Friday, the trip has included many days where he hasn’t been quite so lucky.

“I stay in motels probably about 40 percent of the time, camp about 40 percent of the time and stay in people’s homes about 20 percent of time,” he said. “In Iowa, Idaho and Wyoming I was away from populated areas and hotels so I camped a lot.”

Mr. Wolpin, who is pushing all of his supplies in a baby stroller, said along the way he has received several offers to stay in people’s homes, but more often than not those homes sit many miles, sometimes hundreds of miles, off his course.

When asked why he decided to run across the United States, Mr. Wolpin offered up a few answers.

“It’s a desire to see America up close,” he said. “I honestly don’t have a single reason, just a desire for adventure.”

That desire for adventure took him to the top of Mt. Everest last year and one of the goals for this run is to raise money for the education of his sherpas’ children. Between the two of them, one of whom has since passed away, Mr. Wolpin said the men had seven children.

“They’re doing what they’re doing to pay for their children’s education,” he said. “I figured I would help.”

After climbing Mt. Everest, Mr. Wolpin said he realized a couple of things.

“I’ve decided I’m a better runner than a climber,” he said, adding he also had the desire for an adventure that was a little closer to home.

“I’ve traveled a lot outside of the U.S. and I decided that my next adventure should be in the U.S.”

That being said, Mr. Wolpin said he’s not sure where his next adventure will take him.

“I have a bucket list, and there are other adventures I want to do,” he said, adding that learning to sail is among the adventures on his list.

When asked what was next, Mr. Wolpin replied, “I’m not sure what the next one will be, but I would like to climb the remaining six summits.”

The six summits refers to the six mountains he would have left to climb in order to conquer the seven summits of the world and climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. According to the website, www.sevensummits.com, which was last updated in December 2011, that adventure has been completed by 348 people from around the world.

The bucket list also includes several adventures that Mr. Wolpin said he would rather not share.

“I don’t want people to think I’m crazy,” he said, adding that he understands his list may not end up completed.

“Everyone has dreams,” he said. “We can’t do all of them, but we can take a stab at it.”

As for highlights of his current trip, which has seen him go through eight pairs of sneakers, Mr. Wolpin said there are way too many to possibly share them all.

“The Teton Pass was amazing,” he said. “I ran across the Continental Divide as the sun was going down. That was amazing.”

And in Iowa as he was running down a dirt road, he encountered a parade coming straight toward him.

“There were 530 tractors coming down a dirt road towards me,” he said, referring to the parade, which was made up mostly of antique tractors.

Another unique part of the run has been watching the seasons change.

“I’ve literally seen the corn grow,” he said.

In high school Mr. Wolpin ran track and cross-country until he turned 17 and quit school. But despite being a high school dropout, Mr. Wolpin, who recently turned 40, actually holds a PhD in Public Health and now works as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Washington.

After quitting school, Mr. Wolpin said he stopped running, not picking up the sport again until six years ago.

“When I was 34, I realized half my life had gone by. I was living a sedentary life and being a couch potato. That’s when I decided to run again and do marathons and ultras.”

Ultra marathons are races that are longer than the traditional 26.2 miles of a marathon with 50 miles and 100 miles being common distances.

“I do ultra marathons regularly every month,” he said, adding that prior to running across America, the longest he had ever ran was in one of those 100-mile races.

“I didn’t get into this because I’m an elite runner. I’m a slow runner and I don’t compete, but this is my social network,” he said. “It’s a great way to spend a weekend for me.”

One of the most common questions Mr. Wolpin said he gets asked is how he’s going to get home. Unlike Mr. Gump, Mr. Wolpin said he won’t be turning around and running back home. Mr. Wolpin plans to travel to St. Lawrence County to visit with family and friends before flying back to Seattle in time for the start of the new school year.

Information on how you can help Mr. Wolpin contribute to the Sherpa School Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, another charity he’s supporting through the run, is available on his blog.

Mr. Wolpin is the son of Sharon Jackson of Potsdam and Miles Wolpin of Parishville.

On the web:

www.sethwolpin.com up close,” he said. “I honestly don’t have a single reason, just a desire for adventure.”

That desire for adventure took him to the top of Mt. Everest last year and one of the goals for this run is to raise money for the education of his sherpas’ children. Between the two of them, one of whom has since passed away, Mr. Wolpin said the men had seven children.

“They’re doing what they’re doing to pay for their children’s education,” he said. “I figured I would help.”

After climbing Mt. Everest, Mr. Wolpin said he realized a couple of things.

“I’ve decided I’m a better runner than a climber,” he said, adding he also had the desire for an adventure that was a little closer to home.

“I’ve traveled a lot outside of the U.S. and I decided that my next adventure should be in the U.S.”

That being said, Mr. Wolpin said he’s not sure where his next adventure will take him.

“I have a bucket list, and there are other adventures I want to do,” he said, adding that learning to sail is among the adventures on his list.

When asked what was next, Mr. Wolpin replied, “I’m not sure what the next one will be, but I would like to climb the remaining six summits.”

The six summits refers to the six mountains he would have left to climb in order to conquer the seven summits of the world and climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. According to the website, www.sevensummits.com, which was last updated in December 2011, that adventure has been completed by 348 people from around the world.

The bucket list also includes several adventures that Mr. Wolpin said he would rather not share.

“I don’t want people to think I’m crazy,” he said, adding that he understands his list may not end up completed.

“Everyone has dreams,” he said. “We can’t do all of them, but we can take a stab at it.”

As for highlights of his current trip, which has seen him go through eight pairs of sneakers, Mr. Wolpin said there are way too many to possibly share them all.

“The Teton Pass was amazing,” he said. “I ran across the Continental Divide as the sun was going down. That was amazing.”

And in Iowa as he was running down a dirt road, he encountered a parade coming straight toward him.

“There were 530 tractors coming down a dirt road towards me,” he said, referring to the parade, which was made up mostly of antique tractors.

Another unique part of the run has been watching the seasons change.

“I’ve literally seen the corn grow,” he said.

In high school Mr. Wolpin ran track and cross-country until he turned 17 and quit school. But despite being a high school dropout, Mr. Wolpin, who recently turned 40, actually holds a PhD in Public Health and now works as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Washington.

After quitting school, Mr. Wolpin said he stopped running, not picking up the sport again until six years ago.

“When I was 34, I realized half my life had gone by. I was living a sedentary life and being a couch potato. That’s when I decided to run again and do marathons and ultras.”

Ultra marathons are races that are longer than the traditional 26.2 miles of a marathon with 50 miles and 100 miles being common distances.

“I do ultra marathons regularly every month,” he said, adding that prior to running across America, the longest he had ever ran was in one of those 100-mile races.

“I didn’t get into this because I’m an elite runner. I’m a slow runner and I don’t compete, but this is my social network,” he said. “It’s a great way to spend a weekend for me.”

One of the most common questions Mr. Wolpin said he gets asked is how he’s going to get home. Unlike Mr. Gump, Mr. Wolpin said he won’t be turning around and running back home. Mr. Wolpin plans to travel to St. Lawrence County to visit with family and friends before flying back to Seattle in time for the start of the new school year.

Information on how you can help Mr. Wolpin contribute to the Sherpa School Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, another charity he’s supporting through the run, is available on his blog.

Mr. Wolpin is the son of Sharon Jackson of Potsdam and Miles Wolpin of Parishville.

On the web:

www.sethwolpin.com up close,” he said. “I honestly don’t have a single reason, just a up up close,” he said. “I really don’t have a single reason, just a desire for adventure.”

That desire for adventure took him to the top of Mt. Everest last year and one of the goals for this run is to raise money for the education of his sherpas’ children. Between the two of them, one of whom has since passed away, Mr. Wolpin said the men had seven children.

“They’re doing what they’re doing to pay for their children’s education,” he said. “I figured I would help.”

After climbing Mt. Everest, Mr. Wolpin said he realized a couple of things.

“I’ve decided I’m a better runner than a climber,” he said, adding he also had the desire for an adventure that was a little closer to home.

“I’ve traveled a lot outside of the U.S. and I decided that my next adventure should be in the U.S.”

That being said, Mr. Wolpin said he’s not sure where his next adventure will take him.

“I have a bucket list, and there are other adventures I want to do,” he said, adding that learning to sail is among the adventures on his list.

When asked what was next, Mr. Wolpin replied, “I’m not sure what the next one will be, but I would like to climb the remaining six summits.”

The six summits refers to the six mountains he would have left to climb in order to conquer the seven summits of the world and climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. According to the website, www.sevensummits.com, which was last updated in December 2011, that adventure has been completed by 348 people from around the world.

The bucket list also includes several adventures that Mr. Wolpin said he would rather not share.

“I don’t want people to think I’m crazy,” he said, adding that he understands his list may not end up completed.

“Everyone has dreams,” he said. “We can’t do all of them, but we can take a stab at it.”

As for highlights of his current trip, which has seen him go through eight pairs of sneakers, Mr. Wolpin said there are way too many to possibly share them all.

“The Teton Pass was amazing,” he said. “I ran across the Continental Divide as the sun was going down. That was amazing.”

And in Iowa as he was running down a dirt road, he encountered a parade coming straight toward him.

“There were 530 tractors coming down a dirt road towards me,” he said, referring to the parade, which was made up mostly of antique tractors.

Another unique part of the run has been watching the seasons change.

“I’ve literally seen the corn grow,” he said.

In high school Mr. Wolpin ran track and cross-country until he turned 17 and quit school. But despite being a high school dropout, Mr. Wolpin, who recently turned 40, actually holds a PhD in Public Health and now works as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Washington.

After quitting school, Mr. Wolpin said he stopped running, not picking up the sport again until six years ago.

“When I was 34, I realized half my life had gone by. I was living a sedentary life and being a couch potato. That’s when I decided to run again and do marathons and ultras.”

Ultra marathons are races that are longer than the traditional 26.2 miles of a marathon with 50 miles and 100 miles being common distances.

“I do ultra marathons regularly every month,” he said, adding that prior to running across America, the longest he had ever ran was in one of those 100-mile races.

“I didn’t get into this because I’m an elite runner. I’m a slow runner and I don’t compete, but this is my social network,” he said. “It’s a great way to spend a weekend for me.”

One of the most common questions Mr. Wolpin said he gets asked is how he’s going to get home. Unlike Mr. Gump, Mr. Wolpin said he won’t be turning around and running back home. Mr. Wolpin plans to travel to St. Lawrence County to visit with family and friends before flying back to Seattle in time for the start of the new school year.

Information on how you can help Mr. Wolpin contribute to the Sherpa School Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, another charity he’s supporting through the run, is available on his blog.

Mr. Wolpin is the son of Sharon Jackson of Potsdam and Miles Wolpin of Parishville.

On the web:

www.sethwolpin.com


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