Kyle Lang, a Princeton student and lifelong runner, is spending his summer crossing America, Forrest Gump style. He was inspired to take on this challenge after completeing a 101 mile “ultra-marathon” in two days. First, the obvious questions. Lang will run 2,976 miles according to Google Maps, which is how he planned his route. Sometimes he gets advice to avoid hilly areas or restricted roads, GPS’s don’t take terrain into consideration. He also deviated his route to pass through one of the organizations he’s raising money for.

Lang is raising money for three different organizations, all of which have had a significant impact on his life: Great Rivers United Way in Wisconsin, Every Hand Joined in Redwood Minnesota, and the New Jersey Special Olympics. Lang trained for this trek for six months, but he’s been running since middle school. He was always a “middle of the pack” runner. When increasing speed didn’t help, he decided to increase distance, During one practice, a friend of his had one interval left. He asked Lang to yell out “For Chrissy!” and explained that he was offering the interval up to his sister’s upcoming marriage. The friend finished strong, and Lang found a source of inspiration that he refuses to run a single mile without. On his website, KyleLangRuns.com, people can submit “intention requests,” which are problems and requests for Lang to pray for during each mile of his run. Lang found a deeper level of passion for running through this intention process.

He’s running for something greater than himself. The intentions can be about anything, from making it through an exam, to a relative’s health. These prayers help Lang just as much as the 8000-10,000 calories a day he’s supposed to consume. His goal is to run 40-45 miles a day. This week he’s been battling shin splits, so he’s been going at a bit slower pace. He breaks it up, running for a few hours in the morning, taking a break, running more in the afternoon, another break, and running again in the evening. Lang is studying Psychology. He’s not sure what direction that will take him yet. His guiding philosophy is about doing something you love in service to others, for something greater than yourself.