NPHS graduate running across the country
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.”