Road War­rior!

NPHS grad­u­ate run­ning across the coun­try

North Penn Life - - FRONT PAGE - By Jennifer Law­son jlaw­son@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com

On May 13, 25-year-old Alex Galante launched a jour­ney from Vir­ginia to Cal­i­for­nia, but KH wDVQ’W fly­LQg RU GULvLQg.

The 2006 North Penn High School grad­u­ate is mak­ing the 3,300-mile trip on foot — he’ll be run­ning to raise money and con­scious­ness for the Wounded War­rior Pro­ject.

“I’m do­ing it as a chal­lenge to my­self and to raise aware­ness for a good cause,” he said. “I love run­ning and I see it as a big ad­ven­ture.”

Galante, an alum­nus of Millersville Univer­sity, got the idea about a year ago, and it started out “al­most as a joke,” he said.

“I was talk­ing to one of my co­work­ers and I said I want to move to San Diego,” he said. The idea to ride a mo­tor­cy­cle cross-coun­try came up, “then it just evolved and he said, ‘Why don’t you just run across the coun­try?’”

Galante did some re­search and de­cided to go for it.

Last fall, he cre­ated a web­site, galantes­run.com, which has links to his Face­book (face­book.com/galantes­run), Twit­ter (@galantes­run) and blog (galantes­run.word­press.com). He will be tak­ing a net­book and smart­phone to send up­dates from the road.

About two weeks ago, he re­signed from his job as a de­signer of cor­ru­gated prod­ucts in Lan­caster. (Af­ter his jour­ney, he plans on pack­ing up and re­lo­cat­ing to San Diego.)

Galante is leav­ing from Vir­ginia be­cause he wanted to do a “wa­ter-to-wa­ter” run, and he’ll be fol­low­ing a bi­cy­cle route to Kansas. He de­vised his own route for the rest of the trip.

The trip will take him through nine states, he said. He is plan­ning on run­ning and walk­ing 35 to 40 PLOHV SHU GDy DQG H[SHFWV WR fiQLVK LQ Septem­ber.

About halfway through he plans to take a few days off, and his girl­friend is go­ing to try to meet up with him LQ -uOy.

Galante looked up in­for­ma­tion about other run­ners who have made this trip to see what’s worked for them and what didn’t.

“There are two schools of thought, you can have some­one fol­low in a car, but I can’t ask my friends or fam­ily to do that,” he said. “Some peo­ple have brought their stuff with them, so I de­cided to get a pack on wheels and do that.”

He will be push­ing his pack in front of him, which will con­tain four ex­tra pairs of shoes, a tent, a sleep­ing bag, two jack­ets and enough clothes for a week.

He’s made some con­tacts on­line and has lined up places to stay along the way, but he said he could use more.

Galante said he’s al­ways been an avid run­ner. He’s par­tic­i­pated in the Wounded War­rior Pro­ject’s Tough Mud­der race, a 10- to 12-mile ob­sta­cle course, and his brother is in the Marines, so he thought run­ning in the name of the char­ity would be a gRRG fiW.

“I feel like it’s a chance to give back to them for all they’ve done for us,” he said.

The pur­pose of the Wounded War­rior Pro­ject is to raise aware­ness of the needs of in­jured ser­vice mem­bers, and pro­vide di­rect ser­vices and pro­grams.

Galante’s goal is to raise $10,000 for the char­ity. He has a fundrais­ing page on the Wounded War­rior Pro­ject’s web­site, wound­ed­war­rior­pro­ject.org. Donors can give di­rectly to the or­ga­ni­za­tion, or do­nate to Galante by click­ing on the “Do­nate Fuel” but­ton on his web­site to help him fund his run. (Any left­over funds will be given to the char­ity.)

As he pre­pared for his de­par­ture, he said he was ner­vous.

“Ob­vi­ously I can’t tell what will hap­pen,” he said. “It’s the un­ex­pected things you can’t pre­pare for. I’ve run through sce­nar­ios in my head. If bad weather hap­pens, I’ll do this. If there’s a bear, I’ll do this.”

How have the peo­ple in his life re­acted to his de­ci­sion to run across the coun­try?

“My fam­ily is very wor­ried,” Galante said. “My friends think it’s cool, but they’re very wor­ried too.

“I won’t see my friends for a few months, and I’ll miss them,” he added. “I’ll miss my girl­friend and my fam­ily. They’re all sup­port­ive of me.”

Alex Galante

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