2012-07-28 / News

Coast-to-Coast runner crosses Kirkersville

By Scott Rawdon


Transcontinental runner Albie Masland, right, jogs through Kirkersville on US 40. Stephen Robbins, race director for the Columbus Travis Manion Foundation 9/11 Heroes 5K Run, flanked Masland through the Columbus area. Beacon photo by Scott Rawdon. Transcontinental runner Albie Masland, right, jogs through Kirkersville on US 40. Stephen Robbins, race director for the Columbus Travis Manion Foundation 9/11 Heroes 5K Run, flanked Masland through the Columbus area. Beacon photo by Scott Rawdon. KIRKERSVILLE – Albie Masland counts on running to clear his head and help him solve life’s issues – and he has plenty of time to think about it.

Masland has been running across the United States since March 17, and Wednesday his trek led him through the lake area on US 40.

Masland, founder of Operation Amerithon, began his cross-country journey in Dana Point, California and plans to finish Aug. 18 in Washington DC.

Masland is dedicating his trek to raising awareness of the Travis Manion Foundation, whose mission is to support the nation’s veterans and honor fallen heroes.

“I was inspired to perform a selfless act,” said Masland. “It’s one thing to say you’re going to run across the United States and another to actually go through with it.”

A local 5K is set for Sept. 8, at First Responders Run Park on West Main Street in Westerville. The foundation holds 5K runs nationwide to remember, honor, and support men and women in the armed services, police and fire departments, and emergency first responder communities.

Masland said he’s been running along US 40 since St. Louis and will stay on it until he reaches Cambridge, where he’ll take Rt. 22. Much of his journey was on the famed Rt. 66. He said he grew up playing soccer and lacrosse, and wasn’t much into running until recently, when he ran his first marathon and found that running really helped him maintain mental focus.

Masland, a Pennsylvania native, said life became challenging so he decided to run across the United States. “I’ll figure all my problems out that way,” he said. Masland, 28, said the only down side to his first transcontinental run is how to top it after reaching Washington DC. “Everyone asks me, ‘What country’s next?’”

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