Cross-country runner who started in California hits home stretch in Maryland

Maryland

FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — A runner from California has crossed the country and is making his way through Maryland this week after running more than 25 miles a day since June.

26-year-old Antonio Hays of San Diego, California, was in the Peace Corps in Cameroon, Africa, a nation of 27 million people. He had no running water and a lot of time and, for that matter, energy; so he decided to run and run and run. Now back in the States, he started his run from San Francisco in June. The cross-country run is finally coming to an end this week in Maryland.

“I love to run and I really wanted to see what the farthest distance was that I could cover; how far it was that human endurance can take you,” Hays said.

This fall weather is comfortable to conclude his adventure, though he endured some 100-degree temperatures in Nevada this summer, but his parents followed him in their car for emotional support.

“It’s both an incredible challenge, but it’s also a mental challenge because he’s out alone on the road for hour after hour day after day,” said Shawn Hays, Antonio’s father.

“Every night’s a matter of trying to recover from the day’s physical challenge and then getting up the next morning and doing it again,” Shawn Hays said.

Antonio says his months-long endurance has taught him simple lessons that can apply to everyday life.

“If you have a really big challenge or a really big goal, you just have to focus on taking the next step,” said Antonio.

Profound advice from someone who spent 3,300 miles on his feet thinking about it. As for running coast to coast, Antonio simply says he did it one step at a time.

Antonio has gone through about a dozen pairs of running shoes on his adventure. A highlight of his run was a visit to his grandmother’s house in Nebraska in September.

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