This Princeton junior is running across America this summer to raise money for charity
That’s nearly 3000 miles
This summer Princeton junior Kyle Lang is running 3000 miles across the United States for charity. Setting off from Washington state and ending in Coney Island, New York, he is running over 40 miles per day and dedicating each mile to good causes.
When we spoke he was nine days in and still running through Washington, enduring injuries, blisters and a 10,000 calorie diet. We’ll check in again further along his three-month journey.
What exactly are you doing?
I am running from Washington with my foot in the Pacific Ocean to Coney Island, New York with my foot in the Atlantic Ocean. I am doing this for two main reasons. First, to give back to three different non-profits and organizations that have a big impact in my life. The other reason is to dedicate each mile to a different intention to pray for different things/struggles going on in people’s lives as I’m running. I have been running 40-45 miles a day. In the morning I cover about 20 miles then I take a break. In the afternoon I cover about 13 miles then take another break, and at evening I cover about 7-12 miles. Then I rest for the night and pick it back up the same routine the next day.
Where are you running?
I can’t run on the interstate, so I have been running on highways and some bike trails as well as the occasional back road.
How were you able to train for this on top of a full course load?
Training was the most difficult part of the semester last year. I had to put up 120-140 miles a week on top of everything else. I had to do a lot of early morning runs starting as early as 2am and my average wake up was around 4:30-6am last semester. Supportive friends that supported me and encouraged me along the way from studying or running with me really got me through the semester.
What motivated you during training and while you’re running?
While I am running the big thing that motivates me is mile intentions and understanding that what I am doing is not for me but for something bigger than myself. Bring able to pray over health of friends parents, someone struggling with loneliness etc and having that particular mile dedicated to something bigger than myself helps me get through the mile when I might be sore, tired, or something else.
What has been the best part of your journey so far?
Meeting so many helpful giving people. People that have gone out of their way to give us a place to stay, a warm shower, or a milkshake. I am just meeting a lot of good people.
What has been your greatest challenge?
Getting enough food in me. I am supposed to be getting 8-10,000 calories a day on top of running. I’m not always hungry or don’t feel like eating after a hot and humid run. Being able to maintain a good diet has been harder than some of the physical pain.
Do you run at cross country at Princeton?
I did in high school, but I am not nearly fast enough to run in college. It is just something I’ve always had a passion for.
What has been your longest run?
The summer before my senior year of high school I ran 101 miles in two days. I ran 47 miles one day and 54 miles the next.
You are running a marathon and a half every day. How do you recover?
I ice as much as possible. I haven’t been stretching enough, but I try to stretch. What gets me through the longer stretches of the runs or at night is when people call me up in the middle of day while I’m running. I talk to friends or family about their summer which takes my mind off things and gets me motivated for the rest of the day. I average seven hours asleep along the road which is more than during the school year, so I feel a little more rested.
Do you listen to music?
I don’t listen to music. I started off with audio books but after about two days I couldn’t focus.