Just days before the world rang in a New Year, Carleton alum Katie Visco ‘06 became the youngest woman to run across the country. The journey began nine months earlier in Boston and spanned a total of 3,132 miles when she ended in San Diego. According to Katie during an interview on San Diego’s local news channel 10, her cross country run was equivalent to running 119 marathons. Some states she ran through include Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New York, Missouri, Idaho and Illinois, but total over fifteen.
During another interview she stated that Kansas had been her favorite state because she had received the most support there. People came out of their homes and hugged her, and even offered her fresh baked cookies.
Prior to beginning this cross country run, though she ran track and cross country for 11 years, she had never run more than 14 miles in any given day. In order to meet this goal she had to push herself and run 18 miles almost every day.
To make sure that she was going about it in a healthy manner, she broke the 18 miles into three separate runs during the day. During her breaks between runs she took time to enjoy cliff bars, sandwiches, and fruits. In the same interview on news channel 10 she joked that in the past nine months she probably consumed more than 400 bananas.
One of the prevailing questions that she was asked on every television news show she appeared on was: “Why?” What would possess a young woman of 23 to decide to run across the country?
Katie’s answer was as simple as the question. She was doing it to “inspire people.” She said that this run had taught her that “anything in the world is possible. Anything in the world that you want to do…Just follow your dreams.”
At one point she injured her knee and was unable to run for three weeks, but during that time she walked the mileage needed for the day, instead of giving up. She indicated in a blog that struggle was important because it made you stronger.
Visco also ran to raise money for a charity called “Girls on the Run” which helps to support girls on track teams. Katie reported that this organization helps girls develop self-esteem and self-confidence, make healthier life choices and also acquire new friends. But she also made it clear that she was doing this to empower everyone, not just girls and not just the young.
For years, Visco has been passionate about running. It is through her attempt to share that passion with the United States that she hopes to encourage people to explore and pursue theirs in order to help them discover new things about themselves
At the end of her interview on local San Diego news channel 10, Visco said, “If you go for your passions, you will become you.”