Richard’s run starts at sunrise at the Atlantic Ocean
Tampa Bay Times did a piece on Richard’s Run and overall experience!
“In 2010, the struggling economy forced Richard Cohen and his wife to close the family business, a baby furniture and accessories store outside of Atlanta. They had whittled their life savings trying to save the business. And they knew they would soon lose their house. Cohen started looking for work. “But after a week,” he said. “I got pretty frustrated and decided I’m not in the frame of mind to look for a job.” So he decided to go for a little run.
On Valentine’s Day 2011, Cohen, then 60, touched the water at Jacksonville Beach and set off on a 2,350-mile journey across the United States. He ran 20 miles a day, taking only occasional days off, while his wife, Sheryl, accompanied him in the couple’s 11-year-old car. Five and a half months later, on July 28, Cohen reached the San Diego coast.
He wrote a book about his experience, 20@60, A Baby Boomer’s Run Across the U.S., which was published earlier this year…”Read the rest of the Interview Here
After 10 hours of sleep last night, I feel great. Trying to get back to a normal routine. Visiting with my family and touring San Diego with them.
There was a live news report when I reached the beach, yesterday morning at 6:15
Thanks again to everyone. It’s been a great adventure!!!
Today was all I had hoped it would be. Just an amazing finish to an incredible journey. (Sorry if I ramble a bit).
I got up at 4:00 AM because I had to finish my 2.3 mile final run at 6:15 AM, at the Crystal Pier. The first thing I did was skype my son, Jeffrey, in Israel, to share this experience with him. He was the first person I told about my plans, and the first to encourage me to do it. He was also the one who told Sheryl of my plan, since I couldn’t muster the courage to do it myself. Thank you Jeffrey for all of your great ideas and encouragement.
It was pitch black when I started to run, so I had to almost feel my way to the beach. I was so fired up, I was way early for the cameras. They were filming live for the early news.
I picked Julie up at Fanuel St., 1/2 mile from the beach. We jogged to Mission Dr. and had to hang around until they were ready to film. Julie and I ran into the area, and then proceeded to the beach. Julie, seeing your big smile and hugging you in the Pacific was my motivation for 5 1/2 months.
As I ran to the water, I thought of running away from the water in Jacksonville.
I was waving my 3 flags as I walked into the Pacific Ocean. What an incredible feeling. I was overwhelmed. The camera crew was following me as I touched down. The best part was that my son, Jason and grandaughter Rachel surprised me and were there to see me finish. Thank you, Jason and Rachel for this amazing surprise. Danielle and Ari, I know you were with me today in spirit. Also, my brother-in-law, Nessim, and sister-in-law, Diane, flew in from New York to be there at the finish. I was stunned. What a great ending. They were with me everyday of the run, as were their kids. Thank you so much.
Thanks Brian and Susan for all you’ve done for us while heading towards San Diego and while here, and for the publicity we got through Myrna.
I want to thank my family and friends who were so interested and supportive of my effort. To my long lost childhood friends from Montgomery who I reconnected with, thank you for so much encouragement along the way. My classmates Alan, Mary, Dickie, Bobby, James, Shelly, and Marsha, Steve, Rhea and Raymond–thank you!!
Suzie, and kids, I know you planned from the very beginning to be here for the finish and that means so much to us. Thanks for everything, and your daily calls to Sheryl to check on us.
To my sibs, Ellen, Mark and Marshall– thanks for your encouragement, interest, and concern. I know you were worried about my health and safety. We really appreciate your checking on us regularly.
To all of our friends and family from all over the country– thanks for your daily check ups on our progress and interest and encouragement and advise. Your daily phone calls and emails were Sheryl’s lifeline to the real world.
To new friends from all over the world, who I have recently met or have yet to meet, thank you for your kind words of encouragement, support and interest from the very beginning, and along the way. You embraced my run more than I could have imagined. You have no idea how much your comments have meant to us.
Thanks KitKat for your invaluable help while we were gone. We appreciate all you did for us.
To my wife, Sheryl, I can only say again, that without your help, I would not have been able to even get out of Jacksonville Beach. I now pronounce you “Magellan, the navigator”. You have learned, in 5 1/2 months, and over 16,000 miles, the 4 points on the compass. You are a real adventurer–I love you!!
Below is one of the TV interviews from my finish.
Enjoy the pictures!! I’ll post more after I get some sleep.
2350 miles– Jacksonville Beach to San Diego
Thank you all—Richard
Today was my final 20 mile run. A nice, easy, fun run. I finished 2.3 miles from the Pacific Beach. Tomorrow is my final run. I did a little victory dance when Sheryl picked me up today. Couldn’t hold back.
There will be a television camera crew at the finish tomorrow. I’ll try to put the TV station link up on the blog tomorrow. They will be filming live, so I have to finish my run at 6:15 AM. So, at that time, I might as well not even go to sleep tonight.
As I finished my run today, Sheryl was taking my picture and a gentleman walked by and asked if we wanted him to take our picture. After he took our picture, he asked what we were doing. Sheryl told him about my running, and what we were running for. He told us that he has been unemployed since ’07. He went back to school, got his teaching certificate, and has not been able to find any job. His wife works, but her job is in jeopardy now with all the cutbacks in California.
He thanked us for drawing attention to the huge unemployment problem. Since I began to run on 2/14/11, the problem has not improved–5 1/2 months, and no progress. Very sad.
I’m stepping into the Pacific Ocean tomorrow– WOW!!
Today, I ended my run in the city we are staying, Poway, “the city in the country”, as the sign says. After my run, Sheryl and I drove the final route I will be taking tomorrow and Thursday. I’ll be running tomorrow, my final 20 mile run. I’m stopping 4 miles before Pacific Beach so I’ll have a very leisurely run on Thursday–to finish my transamerica run. Hard for me to believe.
Last night I met Noah Coughlan, a 27 year old who just finished his run from San Diego to Jacksonville. We ran basically the same route, in reverse. He finished on 7/9. He drove a lot of miles yesterday, so we could meet and spend some time together. What a very nice young man. It was great visiting with him and discussing similar experiences. Congratulations again to Noah!!!
Julie says she’s ready for the 1/2 mile run with me, to the finish. I told her, “it’s not a race or a sprint to the water”. I’m in no condition to race her to the beach– not in shape for sprints. But, knowing Julie, she’ll be one step ahead as we hit the water.
When I was running today and thinking about the last 5 1/2 months, I had a lump in my throat and some tears. It’s just hard for me to comprehend what I just did. Noah said it’s been almost 3 weeks and he still is having a hard time relating to what he did.
I told Jason today that my body knows it’s the end. For the past week, I’ve had a huge increase in minor pains, that come and go. Today, both my knees started to hurt. In 22 years, I’ve run over 7500 miles. But enough is enough, and I won’t test my 27 year old knee surgery any longer. Crystal Pier, at Pacific Beach, is coming at the perfect time. If I thought I still could, I’d be doing a running back flip into the water. I am so fired up !!!
Today, I navigated up the winding, steep mountain road to Julian and Ramona. Fortunately, this is the last major obstacle on the run. Sheryl stayed close by since cell service was spotty, and the road was very difficult to run up. On a good note, the temp was very comfortable, probably around 80 degrees.
Julian is a nice mountain town with plenty of pies for everyone. Should be named Pie Town II. Didn’t stop to sample them. Just wanted to get down the mountain towards Ramona. This puts me about 44 miles from Pacific Beach.
A lot of people have asked what I think about, since I don’t listen to music when I run. Here’s a few hours worth:
Somewhere in NM, I had a craving for a coke. I called Sheryl and asked her, when she picks me up, to please bring a big cup of ice and a few bottles of coke. I got in the car, poured the coke, and drank. It was the most refreshing drink I’ve ever had. Bare in mind, I’d just run 20 miles in 105 degrees. But, anyway, from that point on I’ve had 3-4 cokes after every run.
For those health nuts who are looking down your noses about my new drink, just remember after 20 miles, the goal is refreshment, not health–at least for me.
So, I started forming a coke commercial. Enjoy this very low budget, unrehearsed, and poorly acted commercial. Sheryl stars as the videographer and voice.
Today I ran through the Borrego Desert towards Julian, in the mountains. We left our cousins house early to start running before the real heat set in. As it turned out, it was only around 100 today, plus as I move towards the mountains, the temperature will drop dramatically. I may be finished with the intense heat.
Yesterday, Brian and Susan took us to experience Comicon, at the San Diego Convention Center. A lot of great sights and people watching. 150,000 people attend Comicon, where young people go to see the latest comic characters and video games and what the upcoming year will bring as entertainment. Captain America was everywhere, as were vampires.
The weather in SD was magnificent–sunny and 75.
Thanks Brian and Susan for a great day of sights. We also saw Julie for the first time in over 2 months. She looked great and we’ll be seeing her everyday. She’s working out now to run that last 1/2 mile with me. She’s nervous going from a high school hurdler to a distance runner (1/2 mile to Julie is “distance”).
Enjoy the pics.
2288 miles. Thursday, I will be stepping into the Pacific after my final 4 mile run. I’m having a hard time believing that I’m almost there.