The Running Man

On Aug. 6‚ 2005‚ Dan Williams ran across the finish line at the Douglas Island Half−Marathon in Juneau‚ Alaska‚ completing the quest of a lifetime. He had accomplished his goal of running a race in all 50 state capitals.

Georgia (Oct 12, 2006) — On Aug. 6‚ 2005‚ Dan Williams ran across the finish line at the Douglas Island Half−Marathon in Juneau‚ Alaska‚ completing the quest of a lifetime. He had accomplished his goal of running a race in all 50 state capitals.

“I’d never heard of anyone running an officially−timed race in every state capital city‚” said Williams‚ interim chair of the chemistry department. “So a while back‚ I set the goal of doing just that.”

It all began with a weight loss challenge from his wife more than 20 years ago. He has been on the run ever since‚ racking up thousands of miles on American soil.

“One day out of the blue‚ my wife looked at me and said‚ ‘You’re obese‚’” Williams recalled. “It was 1985‚ and at the time I weighed about 230 pounds. I knew I needed to do something because of my family’s health history with strokes and heart problems.”

The couple began exercising with workout videos‚ but eventually Williams became more adventurous and stepped outside.

“The first time I ran‚ I thought I was going to die!” he said.

But Williams was soon hooked on running‚ losing about 45 pounds in the process. He now runs 25 to 30 miles a week.

“I don’t run every day since that could lead to injury‚” Williams said. “I spend about two to three hours per week at Wellness Works when I’m not running.”

Although he has accomplished his goal of running a race in every capital city‚ Williams is working on another one: running a race in all 159 Georgia counties. So far‚ he has run in 141 counties‚ but the remaining ones may provide a challenge since there are no organized events in those regions.

Never deterred from a goal‚ Williams said‚ “I’ll just have to organize them myself.”

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