EFFINGHAM — For David Wilcox of Sitka, Alaska, it’s all about the competition — but not for grades, games or sports. It’s setting a record as the second youngest person to run across the country.
“I try not to think about quitting,” he said during a stop in Effingham this week.
David started looking into the run as a young teenager after learning about other teens who had made the run across the country.
He was determined to be the first to make the run himself, going from Huntington Beach, California, all the way to Atlantic City, New Jersey, before his 16th birthday. The challenge was convincing his parents to let him.
“We’re middle class people with middle class jobs,” said Brett Wilcox, David’s father. “And doing this was going to be a big thing for us. We were going to have to quit our jobs and go on the road. We sat David down and told him if he wanted to do this, it was all on him. If he wanted to do this, we’d be in 100 percent.”
And that’s how it’s been since Jan. 20, when Brett and David took off from California, running nine miles a day for the first few days of the 3,000-mile journey before taking on 20 miles of the sun-drenched Southwest on their way to the East Coast. Keeping Brett and David going is Kris, David’s mom, and his younger sister, 13-year-old Olivia, who drive ahead of the guys in a truck and camper.
“I turned into the early bird,” Kris said. “The ideal day is we wake up, have breakfast, get them on the road, get in the car and they run for the early day, we get the trailer set up and have a meal ready on the stove.”