Run Strong, Run Long

Goleta Man to Run to Texas for Cancer Research

Texas native Dustin Hucks will return home from Los Angeles in mid-August, but he won’t be flying or driving - he’ll be running. He is running home to the City of Lubbock to reunite with his family and particularly his aunt, who is suffering from stage four lymphoma.

Hucks organized the run with the American Cancer Society (ACS), and he hopes his travel will be a plea loud enough to raise $1 million dollars toward cancer research by the time he reaches home in mid-September. “Cancer has touched both my family and friends,” Dustin writes on his website, “And I wanted to take an opportunity to do something to support further research.” He gladly accepts donations on his website or directly to the American Cancer Society.

Currently, a little less than two months away his big run, Hucks trains here in Santa Barbara. Running from his home in Goleta to Stearns Wharf and back some days, barefoot on Astroturf on others, Hucks runs on a highly varied schedule under his coach, Eric Orton.

The motto Orton brought to training is “run strong, run long” - and what a long run it will be. He originally wanted to begin his run in Santa Barbara, but the mapping, he said, was not realistic. And so he looked to Los Angeles and chose Burbank for his starting line.

In Los Angeles, he’ll find Interstate 10 and run it through the desert to Phoenix, Arizona. From there he will take Interstate 40 north to Flagstaff, east into New Mexico through the mountains near Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and cross into northern Texas. He’ll run into the Texas Panhandle, and from Amarillo head south through the flat plains and end, ideally, in Lubbock one month after he starts.

Hucks was born and raised in Lubbock, and has made preparations to have his return home publicized for his aunt’s sake. He has a Twitter account for updates, a GPS tracker for interested parties to follow his trek, and an entire team to follow him to ensure his safety.

Hucks will leave Burbank on August 15, his birthday, and plans to see his aunt on September 15. “I do believe this is going to be the best birthday I have ever had,” Hucks wrote in his blog, and for someone who originally moved to California to write screenplays, he is quickly making a name for himself.

Blake Hunsicker is an Independent intern.

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