Anna Judd, a 29-year-old resident of Orange County, has set out on a mission to run across America to raise money and awareness for veterans. Judd came up with this idea about 18 months ago when she was thinking of a way to combine her love for running and finding a way to support veterans. She left Venice Beach, Calif. on March 22, 2014 and arrived in Superior on the evening of April 7, 2014. Arriving in Superior, she had ran 550 miles of her 3200 mile journey, which will end in New York City at Freedom Tower around the Fourth of July.
Her mission on this trip is to help further the awareness of veterans issues. She explained that every day there are 23 veteran suicides and over 23 million Americans are affected by those suicides and other veteran health issues. She also wants to encourage people to find ways to contribute to these causes by using a new GPS based app called Charity Miles. Charity Miles allows a person to run, walk bike, hike or just move for a cause, the miles moved are rewarded by many corporations to the charity of your choice. You can run or walk with Anna virtually and help veterans as well by going to Charity Miles and using the hashtag group #runamerica. She is also hoping that her commitment will encourage others especially Veterans to use exercise as a holistic approach to caring for health issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Anna’s route has her running about 40 miles a day. One of the things that they have had to do is make adjustments to the schedule, injuries, weather and fatigue often delay the team. Anna explained that when the obstacles are challenging she thinks of the many veterans she has interviewed and finds the inner strength and courage to keep on going.
She has a small crew of three with her. Miss. Robot is the daily operations staff who manages all the outreach, connectivity and media request and her friend Sam Patel assists with logistics and managing the route. The three explained that this project, has become one of the hardest jobs they have ever had but one of the most fulfilling. They commented on the kindness of strangers they have met along the way, including the nephew of the new owners of the Copper Mountain Motel in Superior. A former military medic himself, he provided them a complimentary room at the motel, offered some medic advice on caring for the foot blisters and other minor medical issues the team is facing.
Anna was planning on running on the Canyon segment of the LOST Trail as she continues her trek East. She runs or walks every step of the way, constantly thinking of the courageous efforts US Veterans make every day.
You can learn more about Anna and her journey at www.annarunsamerica.com she is also on Facebook, Instagram and Hangwithme.