Running Home - IA FKTOmaha, NE to Muscatine, IA276.6 Miles < 72 Hours Post #2: Why
Why would anyone want to run 276 miles in a single go? And even if the answer to that question was obvious, why would someone who lives in New Jersey decide to run across Iowa? Every long distance runner has their own “why” for what drives them to the pursuit of covering long distances on foot. Sure there is bound to be a good amount of overlap in individual’s “why”s, but every long distance runner’s “why” has some unique spark or twist to it. Some people will never understand the “why”s of long distance running no matter how many they hear from multiple runners. Some people will intentionally deride the “why”s in a condescending, cynical manner. I’ve explored my “why” in previous blog posts. It’s a multifaceted motivation for me. I like to push myself to see what I am capable of and tackle tasks that may seem daunting to most. I believe that life is bereft without seeking new challenges. That is the short version of my “why” for long distance running, but it doesn’t explain why I chose to run across Iowa.
The simplest explanation as to why I chose Iowa of all states to run across is that Iowa was home to me for the first 26 years of my life. Honestly, the FKT route, "Run Across Iowa (IA)", probably wouldn’t haven’t have even really piqued my interest had I not called Iowa home for the majority of my life so far. Although I have spent more time living in Iowa than New Jersey, I’m certain that I’ve seen more of New Jersey than Iowa. I’ve explored more areas, everything from historical sites to tourist attractions to state parks and forests, in New Jersey than in Iowa. Which is a major motivation for choosing to run across Iowa, to see and experience more of my home state than just the Quad Cities and the immediately surrounding area. While living in Iowa, I didn’t explore much beyond my home town of Davenport and the surrounding Quad Cities. I have driven all the way across Iowa on Interstate 80, but the whole point of crossing a state via an interstate is to do it as quickly as possible with minimal stops. Granted, an FKT attempt has the same goal in mind, but two key differences are the mode of transportation (doing it on foot one step at a time versus at 75 MPH in a vehicle) and the route (interstate versus two lane highway). I hope to see more of Iowa in my 2-3 days running the length of the state on Highway 92 than I did my entire time living there.
In addition to seeing more of Iowa, I also chose to run across my home state simply for personal motivations. I still have friends and family in Iowa that I rarely have an opportunity to see. Usually it’s only around Christmas when I make it home to visit and those visits always feel rushed. Making an additional trip back home to visit my folks and hopefully catch up with some friends I haven’t seen in years was a huge motivating factor for me in deciding to chase this FKT.
28 July 2022
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