College grad faces unemployment, runs across country instead

By Leah Villanueva
Staff writer

Some people graduate from college with no idea what their next endeavor will be. That wasn’t the case for Sarah Emoto, who decided to run across the country. For fun.

Emoto, who graduated from the University of Redlands in California last spring, ran through College Park along Route 1 Saturday afternoon, marking day 125 of her coast-to-coast run from California to New York.

“Life’s short, I don’t have time to think about whether or not I have time to take a few months and run to New York.  It’s a no-brainer.  Plus I don’t exactly have a better plan,” she wrote on her blog in June. “Running 3,000 miles seems like a good use of time for my college-educated, unemployed self.  The bad economy, the competitive job market, the ‘what do I want to DO with my life’ question, they’ll all still be there when I’m done.  Right now I might as well lace up my shoes and live a little.”

University Police Capt. Robert Mueck, a family friend of Emoto, drove alongside her as she made her way from the University Police Station past the Beltway, and two of Mueck’s children — Jacqueline, 14, and Hunter, 12 — also ran with Emoto for a bit of the trek.

An officer from George Mason University had been keeping pace with her since she stopped by that campus the day before and also ran with her Saturday. Emoto said he was the many people she had met and who ran alongside her throughout her journey — some joining for one mile, others for up to 30 — who were the main highlights of her whole adventure.

“This is something I kind of always wanted to do, and I always thought I would do it when I’m old and have time, but then I decided I have nothing better to do right now,” Emoto said. “I also wanted to do this to honor law enforcement and just give a big thank you to them, because I think they often get forgotten and taken for granted.”

Emoto made stops at a long list of police stations across the country along her run, and Mueck said he was happy to have joined her for just a small part of that journey.

“She’s picked up a very daunting task. Running across the country is something I would never let myself do,” Mueck said. “That she dedicated this to law enforcement is very cool, but I just can’t believe that she was actually able to pull this off.”

Emoto said along with the people she met, this run has allowed her to see the whole country from a perspective she never had during her previous cross-country road trips by car, from basking in the view of the Colorado Mountains to taking in the sights as she ran through Washington D.C. However, having run between 35 and 40 miles every day for so long, Emoto said she is looking forward to crossing the final finish line.

“At the beginning it was all about the journey and the experience, but now my brain is so fried and my body so exhausted, I just want to get there,” she said.

Emoto has kept a blog up of her run at www.chasingasphalt.wordpress.com — it’s extensive, heart-felt and worth a look. She estimates she’ll reach New York this coming weekend on Dec. 3 or 4.

You can also check out Campus Drive on Facebook and on Twitter at @theDBK.

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