(Picture from Barclay Oudersluys's Facebook page.)
A 23-year-old Michigan man stopped in Batavia for a rest last night on his journey across the United States to raise money for charity.
Barclay Oudersluys is running to benefit the Hall STEPS Foundation, a runner-related organization that aims to fight global poverty. Currently he has raised about $8,000 for the foundation. His goal is $10,000.
"The money will be used to build a well in a village in Mozambique that does not have easy access to clean water," Oudersluys said.
Oudersluys named his fundraiser Project Gump after his favorite movie "Forrest Gump." He based his route on the movie and started his marathon at the Santa Monica Pier in California on May 9. He plans to finish at the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Rockland, Maine, on Aug. 15.
By the end of the marathon, he will have ran 3,200 miles across 15 states in less than 100 days.
Oudersluys runs approximately 31 miles each day. He starts running at 6 a.m. and stops around noon. He has ran in all kinds of weather conditions including snow, thunderstorms and extreme heat.
Finding a place to stay every night has been a challenge. His friends follow behind him in a minivan with water, food and his gear.
So far, Oudersluys has ran through 12 states. He has about a quarter of the marathon left to finish.
"I have met a lot of cool people and seen many sites along the way," Oudersluys said. "Running is fun and relaxing for me."
After he completes the marathon, he has one week to rest up before he starts law school at the University of California, Berkeley.