U.S. Athlete, Injured 2 Years Ago in Southwest Finishes What He Started
Contact: Chris Nicholas
Phone: (616) 915-4922
Three years ago (2012) Chris Nicholas became the 30th person to ever run solo unsupported across the United States when he ran 3,000 miles from The White House in Washington DC to Santa Monica, California in 88 days. He is the only resident of Michigan to-date to run solo unsupported across the United States. Less than four months later he began an attempt to become the first person in history to cross the United States solo twice within 12 consecutive months. This time, from Portland, Maine to Key West, Florida then across the south to San Diego, California and then north hugging the west coast to Portland, Oregon. 6,000 miles; twice the distance of his first journey.
Nearly 1,000 miles running on his second journey a knee injury caught up with Nicholas and he faced going home, but instead a bicycle shop owner, one of the many 80,000 followers of his journey on social media contacted him. After discussing the possibilities and talking with his sports medicine doctor via phone, Nicholas was sent a bicycle and all the gear to continue the trek across the country possible. Five days later, Nicholas was pedaling rather than running. On January 1st he reached Key West, Florida where he married his fiancée, Alexis, who he had been away from him for two and half months at that point.
Two days later he continued his journey going north towards Tallahassee, then westward towards San Diego, California to cover 3,000 miles before reaching the west coast. His bride returned to Michigan (their home state) 3 days after the wedding, where she continued to support his journey and wait for his return.
Things turned bad again 600 miles across the state of Texas when Nicholas’ knee injury continued to nag at him and ultimately made it impossible for him to continue. He had trekked 4,100 miles of his 6,000 mile journey. His disappointment haunted him for the past two years, until summer of 2015.
Nicholas surprised those that followed him running across the country and bicycling across the country when he announced that it was time to finish his goal. On July 5th 2015, after traveling from Michigan, he started out in the middle of Texas and reached San Diego then turned north finishing in Santa Monica, California. Nicholas chose to stop in Santa Monica because of the continued knee issue and because he was content with finishing at the intersection of both his run and now bicycle across the country. His journey and inspiration to everyone he meets is that you can set a goal, sometimes it might not be achievable, but that does not mean you have to give up on it. Chris, did not give up on his goal and was determined to achieve it.
Nicholas, who is an ultra-distance athlete is self-supported, budgeting his own expenses so that the over $16,000 that he raised during his first and second journey was able to go to charities that he supported. These included the Wounded Warrior Project, Make A Wish Foundation, and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Nicholas has appeared on national and local media throughout the country to raise awareness for these three charities, in addition to the dollars donated. He also talked with students at local schools, running and cycling groups, and organizations in cities that he reaches.
“Appearing on local media helps to spread the awareness, especially when people say that they have seen me on TV, heard me on the local radio station or read about my experience in the newspaper; it helps to bring awareness to the idea that goals can be big, it will be tough, but it can be done,” Nicholas continued.
When he ran across the country, Nicholas averaged 30 to 35 miles per day over an eight-to ten-hour period. Cycling he covered between 50 and 100 miles a day on the bicycle, ensuring he can still share his experience with people along the way.
For interviews please contact Nicholas directly at 616-915-4922 and thank you for your time inspiring others to never give up.