Anna Runs America, Part 2

By: Louis Motnesi, III
By: Louis Motnesi, III
A week ago, Anna Judd visited Meridian as part of her run from Venice Beach, California to New York City. It may sound impossible, but not for Anna, who is running an average of 33 miles a day.

Anna Judd shows off the many insect bites that have plagued her since entering Mississippi.

Anna Judd didn't just wake up one day, fit and ready to run from coast to coast. She had already fallen in love with Marathon running before she embarked on her cross-country run.

"I did about 20-some-odd marathons over the course of two years," said Anna.

Twenty marathons and an attempt at an ultra-marathon, a 100 mile race that she couldn't finish.

"Like four of my toenails fell off. I had blisters."

On her web site, a video blog, which dates back over 100 days before her run began, chronicles the challenges, trials and training techniques she used to make herself stronger. She even made her own pair of shoes. But no amount of training can make running as average of 33 miles a day feel comfortable.

"Some days are really, really difficult, and some days are easy,” said Anna. “And when I wake up in the morning, I don't know which one it's going to be."

She's constantly using sun-screen and bug-spray, though it's not always effective. Several close encounters with aggressive dogs convinced her to carry a taser.

But the most recent challenge has been the heat and humidity of Mississippi.

"She's been trying to transition to night running, because it just started to get hotter,” said Jason Martin, the driver of the team’s RV. “Earlier, it wasn't as big of a deal. But this morning, it was like 3:30 in the morning when she woke up.

“I'm a California boy, so I can take the dry heat, but this humidity [takes] a little bit of getting used to."

But when the three travelers crossed into Mississippi for the first time in their lives, they got a welcome unlike any other.

Watch part three of Anna’s story Friday at 6:00 on WTOK to see it.

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