WOOSTER — Brian Polen, an ultra runner and co-owner of Vertical Runner in Wooster is preparing for an epic journey leading into Memorial Day Weekend.
Beginning at 4 a.m on May 22, Brian will leave tDixon, Indiana on the Ohio border and travel the Old Lincoln Highway in an attempt to run across the State of Ohio, ending just beyond East Liverpool, Ohio in West Virginia. Polen and his support crew, comprised of his two son’s, Blake and Beau; will travel the Old Lincoln Highway to accomplish this feat in just three days. Additionally, Josh Vanderzyden, from Nuhop, will be following Brian and his team to create a documentary of the experience and to tell short stories of the towns along the way. Each day Brian hopes to average 82 miles each day.
Due to COVID-19, traditional races have been cancelled all across Ohio so Brian and his wife Tammy — co-owner of Vertical Runner — hatched a crazy idea for a new kind of race, “The Run Across Ohio – Virtual Run.”
Instead of just providing a virtual event that runners could engage in from their locales, Brian decided he should run it first to show participants the unique and historic parts of Ohio along the Old Lincoln Highway. They wanted to create an event where runners would feel part of a larger community … something bigger than themselves.
Vertical Runner selected Camp Nuhop, an outdoor education center and residential summer camp for children with special needs in Perrysville, Ohio, as the beneficiary of this event. Like most non-profits, Camp Nuhop has experienced a significant negative, financial impact due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We are truly grateful and touched that Vertical Runner and the greater running community would engage in the Run Across Ohio,” said Trevor Dunlap, executive director of Nuhop. “The work we do with children at Nuhop is paramount to their social emotional growth, and the fiscal support from this event will enable us to continue to provide what these children deserve, a safe, nurturing learning environment where kids are empowered to succeed.”
Learn more about Camp Nuhop at www.nuhop.org.
Running is a social experience and runners are compelled to engage in fun, epic and meaningful events, even during this time of social distancing. The Run Across Ohio (RAO) is a “virtual” 245 mile run/walk across the State of Ohio. Participants will have between June 1 and July 31 to complete the distance in and around their own communities.
Each runner’s goal is to cover the 245-mile distance (equal to that from Van Wert to East Liverpool) over a nine-week period. This equates to roughly 27 miles per week.
The registration fee is $50, plus processing fees. Each registration includes a commemorative Run Across Ohio Event T-Shirt, collectible finisher’s medallion, race bib, weekly motivational and informational emails, and access to a private Facebook group where runners can connect with others who are also tackling the challenge.
“Let’s just say from the Vertical Runner Perspective we know that our friends and customers are experiencing great disappointment with their spring and summer events being cancelled or postponed,” said Brian Polen. “It is now harder than ever to connect with their running friends and community at large. This virtual concept allows them to accomplish an incredible feat, stay motivated during unprecedented times and also help support a worthy organization. It has always been our philosophy during hard times to give everything you can and when if feels like you have given too much, give a just a little more. With the run across Ohio we are hopeful to pour thousands of dollars into Nuhop. And believe me running 245 mile in three days will really hurt.”
Runners can register for the event at https://registration.verticalrunnerrm.com/events/run-across-ohio-old-lincoln-hwy-05062020229
Why the Old Lincoln Highway?
Because it’s awesome! Here’s the description from the Historical Marker: “Conceived by leaders of the automobile industry to encourage the building of “good roads,” the Lincoln Highway was established in 1913 as the first transcontinental automobile route in the United States. It traversed twelve states and 3,389 miles from New York to San Francisco. The first route across Ohio connected Van Wert, Delphos, Lima, Ada, Upper Sandusky, Bucyrus, Galion, Mansfield, Ashland, Wooster, Massillon, Canton, Minerva, Lisbon, and East Liverpool.”
The Virtual Route will take Brian and the crew through some of the coolest little towns in the State of Ohio, many of which were the cornerstones of early transcontinental travel! Virtual registrants will be asked to certify that they will comply with the current CDC Guidelines and other directives from the governors of their respective states in participating and completing their R.A.O.. Vertical Runner emphasizes that participants “exercise alone” or only with immediate family members.
A virtual 245 mile run across Ohio, following the route of the old Lincoln Highway is designed to raise money for Camp Nuhop in Perrysville.
Brian Polen, an ultra runner and co-owner of Vertical Runner in Wooster is preparing for an epic journey leading into Memorial Day Weekend. He will run 245 miles across Ohio following the route of the original Lincoln Highway. He is inviting others to help him raise money for Camp Nuhop by during their own virtual run across.
Three days, 245 miles on the Lincoln Highway