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Runner crossing nation stops in Peabody

Contributing writer

Peabody residents and people from the surrounding area might have noticed a man pushing a strange looking stroller that sported a large American flag on Friday.

Chris Nicholas recently experienced his first trip to Kansas while running an impressive 2,800 miles across the U.S. to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. The funds he is raising on his journey will be donated to hospitals and stay in the local area of wherever the money is donated from.

Nicholas’ journey started March 24 and stretches to a staggering 73-day journey, weather permitting. This equation requires 40 miles a day, on foot.

While in Peabody, Nicholas stayed at the new bed and breakfast in town, owned and operated by Lynn Berns. He spoke with students at both the elementary and high school. After speaking to the older children, students and staff gathered a collection for his cause.

He also spoke with anyone who was curious about his astounding journey at the HUB after school and enjoyed dinner with the Berns family and guests at the Coneburg Inn Friday evening.

“From here, I will go down to Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, California where I will end my journey at the Pacific,” Nicholas said while speaking to grade school students. “There have only been 266 people to ever run across the entire county.”

Nicholas told the children about severe weather he ran into while in Ohio. He stopped in a farmer’s barn for shelter until a local police officer picked him up and gave him a ride. He also showed the second flat tire he experienced while in Kansas and the hydration pack he carries in a backpack.

“I will go through eight pairs of shoes while on my journey and burn approximately 5,000 calories a day,” Nicholas said. “I eat four or five big meals because of this. I also drink half a glass of pickle juice because I sweat out so much salt while running. This helps with leg cramps.”

What are his future plans?

“My team and I recently discussed booking a flight from L.A., Calif. (the last stop on his journey) to Hawaii so I can run across the main island,” he said. “Nobody has ever done that before, so I think it sounds exciting.”

Last modified May 9, 2012

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