Student crossing off bucket list goal to run across nation

April 27, 2015

Audrey Jensen
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It would seem impossible for any student to pull a Forrest Gump and run across the U.S. with papers, mid-terms and finals.

But graduate student Paul Borsuk plans to finish running from California to Georgia in just under five months while working toward his MBA in business.

Borsuk started his run in Monterey State Beach, Calif. with his lifelong friend Chris Malasig on Feb. 8 and hopes to finish by June 30.

He waited until he was in between careers to live out his 10-year dream.

“When I found out for sure that I was going to get out from active duty service [in the Army] that’s when I told myself I needed to set aside some time for me and take some time between my military and CPA careers,” Borsuk said.

As part of his run, he looks to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project through a link on his website.

“I think it ties it all together; for one thing I’ve always wanted to do this as a bucket list kind of trip. Chris is a wounded warrior, and I see what he goes through every day,” Borsuk said.

Borsuk runs 25-28 miles per day and spends most nights in a motel.

“What’s hard is that I’m exhausted after my 25-mile run,” he said. “Even though I tell myself I will study right away, after a shower I want to take an hour nap, then get coffee or an energy drink and then study.”

To prepare for the journey, Borsuk started building his mileage per week and chose his route.

“In the Army your focus is not to run 70 miles, the most we ran was four miles. I had to increase my mileage so I went from 25 to 80 miles in one week,” Borsuk said.

He asked Malasig in December if he would come along as support. Borsuk chose the southern route because he knew there would be a lot of snow up north since he started the run in February and preferred to run in warmer weather.

Malasig will meet Borsuk with his car at a stopping point during the day. All of their supplies, food and water are in the car.

Borsuk also had to prepare for obstacles while running through each state such as muddy roads, weather and stray dogs.

Borsuk and Malasig had to spend three hours digging their car out of mud and run through the Mojave Desert.

Between running and studying for school, Borsuk has enjoyed what each state has to offer.

“What’s cool is seeing the terrain change as you cross state lines, in southern California as you go into Arizona that’s where there’s finally water around. As you go into New Mexico you see green landscape but it is mostly desert. As you finally go to Texas it’s no longer desert, it is brown dirt,” he said.

Along the way, Borsuk threw the first pitch at an Oakland A’s game in Phoenix. He also learned that he is the third cross country runner to go through Hobbes, New Mexico.

On April 21, they reached their halfway point in Snyder, Texas. Borsuk hopes from Texas onward will be a smoother journey than the first half of the trip.

He added that all he can do is take the journey day by day.

“It’s a great feeling to be done every day, but I’m not really sure I’ve really had much time to take it all in yet,” he said. “Once I’m done with this trip I’ll be really, really happy when I finish. I’ll probably cry because I’ll be so happy.”

To follow the rest of their journey across the United States and donate to the Wounded Warrior Project go to