Woman aims to inspire others by running across the U.S.
Starting Sunday afternoon, Somerville resident Katie Visco will, at 23 years old, attempt to become the youngest woman on record to start a run across America.
According to available figures, only about 170 people have run from coast to coast — and out of those 170, only 10 have been women.
Running across America has been a dream that Visco has had for many years. But after searching for a cause to drive her dream forward, she finally found one last year.
An Illinois native, Visco came to the Boston area a year and a half ago to volunteer in the City Year program. Set up to help young people succeed in life, the program helps the high school kids it serves and is a life-changing experience for volunteers.
In her work at City Year, Visco met countless young people who lacked both a belief in themselves as well as any hope that they might be able to fulfill their dreams in life.
Visco decided she should use her dream of running across America to help inspire others to live out their own dreams in life — whatever those might be. She said her run will be all about “empowering people to find their passion, create a plan to embrace it and run toward it fully.”
Visco has been a competitive runner for the last 11 years. During high school, she was on the cross country team. Following that, she ran on the track team at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., where she was named team captain and graduated with a degree in economics. Since moving to Somerville about eight months ago, Visco has been working at the Boston Sports Club in Davis Square a few hours each week, while spending most of her time and energy planning her journey.
After departing from Boston’s Christopher Columbus Park at 2 p.m. Sunday, Visco will be running down to Philadelphia, across Pennsylvania to Cleveland, then onto Chicago. From there, among the states that she’ll be running across will be Kansas, New Mexico and Arizona before she arrives at San Diego approximately nine months “down the road.”
Along the way, she’ll be speaking to youth groups, local media and whoemver else her dedicated team of friends and family can line up to hear her message of hope and inspiration.
Visco will be accompanied by a van that will be driven by one of her supporters all along her 3,200-mile journey. Two of the regular drivers will be Visco's parents, who are among her most enthusiastic backers.
For anyone who would like to find out more about Visco’s run, visit PaveYourLane.com
Wicked Local Somerville