One leg of an ambitious project to run from coast to coast included an Indiana native crossing Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif.
Chris Miller jogged the length of MCLBB the morning of Dec. 1 after getting permission from base commander Col. Sekou Karega.
Miller and his cousin Mike Dusman, both from Fort Wayne, Ind., set off to run across country, starting at Ellis Island, N. Y., on July 13 and is expected to finish at Venice Beach, Calif., Dec. 13.
Dusman said the 3,200 mile run is called the Chris Cross the Nation Campaign and is intended to promote awareness of drug and alcohol abuse recovery.
“It’s a celebration of a family member’s recovery (from addiction), and an effort to reduce stigma around people trying to recover from addiction,” Dusman said. “We want to celebrate recovery, not stigmatize it.”
Miller said he has been a runner most of his life.
“In our household our dad had a rule that everybody went out for cross country team when they started sixth grade, so I started running in middle school and I haven’t stopped since,” he said.
One of Miller’s inspirations for his running career was the fictional character Forrest Gump from the movie of the same name.
“I was 9 or 10 when that movie came out,” he said. “I’ve seen it several times and it definitely influenced my decision to continue running cross country and marathons. I’ve run marathons all over Europe for years.”
Dusman, who drove the support van, is filming this endeavor.
“We’re recording stories of the people and places we encounter as we’re traveling across the country so we can make a documentary that focuses mainly on addiction and recovery and telling stories of hope,” he explained.
Miller said he has learned a lot from the people he’s met during the run.
“Ohio is in the news a lot because of the opioid epidemic and we met a lot of inspiring people there who told us difficult stories (of addiction and recovery),” he said, “but in the end there was a silver lining, there was a positive side to it.”
The final leg of the journey will take the pair to famed Venice Beach, hopefully arriving by Dec. 13.
The long run has also enlightened Miller about where the source of inspiration can come from to overcome any of life’s difficulties.
“One thing that I have realized on this entire journey is that you could take any skill, it could be the most obscure skill, and you could use it to not only motivate yourself and better yourself, but also inspire other people.”
To learn more about Chris Cross the Nation or to follow their progress check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/chriscrossthenation/, or https://www.ccthenation.com/.