Eau Clairian Pulls a Forrest Gump and Runs Length of the Entire United States

Lizzie Resch

52 days before his wedding, Jared Choate ran off. Literally. The 29-year-old started a more than 3,000-mile journey by foot from New Jersey to California. Jared had run one marathon prior to this, which was 26.2 miles. His wife, Kelly, said he likes challenges. “Once he decides he’s going to do something, he’s going to do it,” Kelly said. “He said that it was the first thing he thought of that he didn’t think he could do.” Jared started his run on September 1, 2010 after saving up money for costs.

Jared has avoided shelter costs many nights by talking to police to see if there is a park he can stay in and camp. “One night, he slept in a pirate ship at a park,” his wife Kelly said. “Somebody called the cops on him.”

“He basically survived on everything he has saved up,” Kelly said. For food, Jared makes sure to get plenty of protein and calories. “A lot of times he goes to McDonald’s and gets food off the dollar menu,” Kelly said. Jared has avoided shelter costs many nights by talking to police to see if there is a park he can stay in and camp. She admits every day is crazy. “One night, he slept in a pirate ship at a park,” Kelly said. “Somebody called the cops on him.” Jared had to alter his route only once due to weather (in Illinois), and has had to rush back to Wisconsin twice during the journey. Once was for a friend’s wedding, and once for his own wedding. By the time this issue went to press, Jared was in California on the last leg of the trip. “He’s going to finish on Santa Monica Pier, just in time for Valentine’s Day,” Kelly said. She will be meeting him there. Jared and Kelly will be coming back to Eau Claire and the couple plans on saving money to move to Los Angeles. Jared would like to write a book about the experience.