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ANNA RUNS AMERICA ...

South Boston NewsSouth Boston News
Halifax County runners join Anna Judd for some miles Monday morning. Judd began her 3,000 mile odyssey in California and is approaching the finish line for her cross-country run at New York City’s Freedom Tower.
SoVaNow.com / July 31, 2014
The morning of Day 129 in running across the United State began in Halifax County and would end in Chase City. Day 130 would mean trekking from Chase City to Crewe at a runner’s pace. The next day, Anna Judd, who has been clicking an average of 26 miles-plus each day, will be getting closer to her destination – the Freedom Tower in New York City.

Judd, 29, launched her journey in March at Venice Beach, Calif. The artist, who paints in oil and acrylic, began training in 2013 to tackle the run across the country in a way to raise money and bring awareness for the 22 million-plus veterans in the U.S. In her own words of why she has chosen this path, “to inspire, to enlighten, to bring hope, to become stronger, to grow, to expand, and to learn.”

Several local runners had the opportunity to join Judd on her daily run that routed her through the area. “There were several of us that ran different mileage,” said Natalie Holden.

Holden ran with Judd for 8.66 miles and was inspired by Judd’s energy and dedication. “It’s funny how there are some people who can touch your life for a moment and make an impact for life,” Holden said. “We ran down the road and she talked the whole time, affirming us in our running group, affirming Virginia and the beauty of the area.”

Holden explained that Judd has completed approximately 2,400 miles and has about 400 more miles to go. Judd is traveling with a photographer and documentary filmmaker who goes by the name Ms. Robot. The filmmaker drives an RV four miles ahead in Judd’s running route as a way to support the long-distance runner.

“She’s not on a crazy mission. She’s very laid back about it and is enjoying her journey,” Holden said.

Holden explained, “I just thought her journey started as one thing and is ending as another thing … it’s not about herself, but about the veterans and those who can’t run, and can’t move, and the forgotten ones. You can feel that when she talks.”

Teaka Coleman also joined Judd for four miles on Day 129 of Anna Runs America. “I actually thought it was amazing and very inspiring, much different than our early morning runs,” Coleman said.

Coleman and Holdren are part of a local running group that support each person in their running goals through training runs. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I could only run four [miles] today, I wanted to run more, but work was calling,” Coleman said.

Coleman, who has completed 5Ks to half-marathons, was amazed to learn that Judd’s calorie intake per day ranged at 8,000 calories a day that are eaten after 5 p.m. Judd’s diet is the way she keeps her energy level up in order to meet the challenges of the next day. “She is one of the most profound professional athletes. She talked about running in the Deep South in Alabama and Mississippi area, and at times it was so hot she [Judd] felt like she was running in a wool sweater with a hood up,” Coleman shared.

Coleman was grateful to be a part of Judd’s historic run. The local runner explained that conversation and company help when running. “She was extremely appreciative of us meeting her and making her day go by so much faster,” she said.

Holden agreed, “She [Judd] was appreciative that there were as many of us that ran as many miles with her as we did. She appreciated the conversation and that we did almost half the mileage with her for the day. Time went by fast and we all felt really energized and really happy to do it.”

To learn more about Anna Judd’s journey for veterans and to follow her to her destination, visit annarunsamerica.com.

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