An Alexander native is on the last leg of a cross-country run from the West Coast to the East Coast and will be finishing the 2,800 journey this weekend.
Maggie Seymour set out on July 22 from San Diego to make the 100-day run to Virginia Beach, Virginia, to raise money with Run Free Run, a non-profit organization.
Seymour is a Marine Corps captain and she said she wanted to find a way to help different veteran organizations, gold star families and special needs athletes.
“Running is something that I love to do. I’m not fast by any means, but I can go long distances,” Seymour said. “This is a way for me to give back to some of those groups that have been awesome communities to be a part of.”
Seymour is averaging about 33 miles a day. While most of it has been by herself, she said she has had people join her for a few miles.
For Seymour, the best thing about the trip has been the people she has met and learning that there are many small communities across the country.
“I’m meeting people from all over and everyone has been so kind and welcoming,” she said. “Being from Alexander, I grew up in a small community. America is full of them and they’ve all been very nice and welcoming. I’m very grateful that I get to see them.”
And, while she said she is seeing some amazing things and has so many stories from her trip, she said the most humbling experience she had over the past 100 days was when she was given an honorary Purple Heart while running through Texas.
Seymour said while on her trip she met with several organizations, one of which was a Purple Heart organization, which gave her the honorary award.
“It was really humbling, really powerful, to have a group of people I feel have sacrificed so much — I mean literally limb and/or life — to reach out and say ‘thank you’ is an incredible kind of feeling,” Seymour said.
Seymour is being sponsored by National University in San Diego and any money left from the sponsorship will go to helping her final goal.
While she has a goal of $50,000, Seymour said she has raised just under $35,000, but said that number is expected to increase as she finishes the run.
Seymour said she should reach Virginia Beach on Saturday.
She will be wrapping up the trip with a final event at the AMVETS post in Jacksonville on Nov. 10.
Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1233, or on Twitter @JCNews_samantha.
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