New Hampshire was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It borders Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. It ranks 44th in land area, 46th in total area of the 50 states, and 41st in population. It became the first post-colonial sovereign nation in the Americas when it broke off from Great Britain in January 1776, and was one of the original thirteen States that founded the United States of America six months later. It was the ninth state to ratify the United States Constitution, bringing that document into effect. New Hampshire was the first U.S. state to have its own state constitution, and is the only state with neither a general sales tax nor a personal income tax at either the state or local level.
It is known internationally for the New Hampshire primary, the first primary in the quadrennial U.S. presidential election cycle. Its license plates carry the state motto: "Live Free or Die." The state nickname is "The Granite State", in reference to its geology and its tradition of self-sufficiency. Several other official nicknames exist but are rarely used. Among prominent individuals from New Hampshire are founding father Nicholas Gilman, Senator Daniel Webster, editor Horace Greeley, founder of the Christian Science religion Mary Baker Eddy, poet Robert Frost, author Dan Brown, and comedians Adam Sandler, Sarah Silverman, and Seth Meyers. New Hampshire has produced one president, Franklin Pierce.
It is the second most forested state in the country, after Maine, in percentage of land covered by woods. This change was caused by the abandonment of farms during the 20th century as many farmers took wage jobs in urban areas or moved to more productive areas. The return of woodlands from open fields forms the subject of many poems by Robert Frost.
It is finally time. Its been many months since I first concocted this idea to run across the Great Granite State of New Hampshire. Many nights the moon has risen and set, many days has the sun cast its shadows upon the land. The mighty tree's reach for the sky, as their colors blanket the landscape. The sap flows fast, the air is getting crisp. The steeples ring out for all to hear and New Hampshire's Autumn charm remains in full swing. I am very excited about this great adventure to discover a different side of New Hampshire from what we are used to. In a world where we relay on cars to travel and peer through windows to see the world; I choose to use my legs, run along and breathe the air, hear the sounds, taste the spirit and see it for all of its undeniable beauty.
This great journey across our state beckons us forth unto the landscapes of a thousand men before. We have no idea what is in store for us, though we are certainly having a great time trying to guess. We'll start by dipping our legs into the Connecticut River, retrieving a vial of water and then lacing up our shoes for our long journey home. We'll run to the east, across many towns, past many fields, along ancient rock walls and by the homes of many a hardened local. New Hampshire is a rugged place. The hills are long and seemingly endless. The night will be cold, the air crisp and the leaves will fly about. I can't wait to run through historic downtown Portsmouth, hear the sounds of generations gone by only to run along the sea to the end of our long journey home.
We've spent weeks planning this adventure and everything is in place. My ankle is 100%. My anemia is under control. I have but one thing on my mind for this run and its called: Experience.
Kurt Hahn once said, "Without self-discovery, a person may still have self confidence, but it is a self confidence built on ignorance and it melts in the face of heavy burdens. Self discovery is the end product of a great challenge mastered, when the mind commands the body to do the seemingly impossible, when courage and strength are summoned to extraordinary limits for the sake of something outside the self--a principle, an onerous task, another human life."
Self discovery is that little voice in your head that dares you to dream it, moves you to do it and wills you to experience it. And as I continue to discover my own Human Potential, and discover a deeper sense of self; I strive to discover a better sense of self worth, answer the unanswered questions of days gone by and transcend into a place of other worldly thoughts and beliefs. This place is where the fire burns within, the place that lights the way at night, that keeps me questioning during the day and the place where self discovery isn't marked by a map; but found through the use of our mighty compass.
It is truly an honor and privilege to be running to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Hampshire. For a few years now I'm dreamed dreams and wished upon wishes and worked hard and diligently to see to it that my dreams come true and my wishes are granted (sorta). But in our time and age there are young people, kids, who don't have the same luck, the same freedom, the same ability to live their dreams and see to it that their wishes do come true. As I live my dream of running across the state and grant my wish that the task will be done... I'll think of the young people of the Make-A-Wish Foundation who are the same as you and me. They dream, they wish... they should be given the chance to achieve. This is for them.
The Run Across New Hampshire
Miles: 124 = 100% Pavement
Time: 30-36 Hours (Prediction)
Start: Route 9 Bridge (Brattleboro, VT - Chesterfield, NH)
Saturday, October 18, 2008 - 6am
Finish: The Seacoast Science Center at Ordiorne Point State Park in Rye, NH
Sunday, October 19, 2008 - 12pm-6pm
Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 53.
Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 33.
Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 58.
Join us Friday as we tell you how you can follow our journey LIVE and for ways you can join us on the RANH!