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Brothers on run to promote health
Three pairs of shoes, countless layers of sunscreen and 6,000 calories a day.
That's what it takes to run solo from the Canadian border to Sacramento.
Dodging approaching semis and flanked by fruit trees, Davis resident Jeremiah Godby, 19, on Tuesday ran through Live Oak and Yuba City during a final stretch of his trek to promote natural medicine and healthy lifestyles. He will meet up with his brother, Isaiah Godby, who has been running north from Mexico, in their hometown today, and together Thursday they will trot side-by-side 15 miles to a health fair at the capitol.
"It's just as mentally tough as physically. Sometimes I'm sunburned, my legs hurt, but still am runnable," Godby said. "It's like my job. Hundreds, thousands of people are counting on me."
Godby left the Canadian border on Aug. 11 and has racked up between 11 and 51 miles a day. He runs a pedestrian route outlined on Google Maps, taking him on mostly side roads, unless there are none.
Such was the case as he passed through a major swath of Oregon on Interstate 5, where people repeatedly called police to report a crazy man running with a baby.
There was no baby, he recalled with a laugh, as Godby showed off the contents of his jogging stroller — his only support on his 1,000-mile journey. Food, toiletries, water, ice and clothes is all he carries, adding an estimated 70 pounds to his journey.
As he jogged down Tierra Buena Road on Tuesday, he kept one sun-bronzed arm on his stroller as he faced traffic, occasionally stepping off the freshly resurfaced road to jog in the dirt.
Godby's interest in running began in high school, when he shifted from being a bulky football player to a lean cross country racer, shedding about 50 pounds in the process. Last year, he and his brother, father and cousin ran from San Francisco to New York for a similar cause.
Their goal is for more people to live healthy lifestyles and reduce, and possibly eliminate common chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity. Jeremiah and Isaiah Godby, 21, both plan to follow in the footsteps of their father, Dennis Godby, and become naturopathic doctors.
Dennis Godby, who has long been as an advocate for health, is proud to see his sons tackle what he said is a national health emergency.
"Drastic times call for drastic measures ... We are trying to make a proportionate response," he said. "He believes in a cause so much he is willing to pound his body millions of steps to make a point."
People often ask Jeremiah Godby why he is running, and he is happy to explain.
"It's like I've earned the right to be heard," he said. "Any guy who's crazy enough to do this, I must be pretty passionate."
Despite the loneliness and aching legs along the way, Jeremiah Godby has enjoyed the mountains of Washington and the thrill of running into a bear on one rural road. Mostly, he loves any roads with shade and trees as he averages 10-minute miles pounding pavement in summer sun.
Smiling as he headed toward George Washington Boulevard, Godby said he encourages people to adopt healthier lifestyles, "just so you can live a happy life."
"It's not so much how long you live, but how you live it," he said.