EUGENE, Ore. — A Eugene man is planning to run across Japan to raise money for tsunami relief.
It was just before the New Year that Aaron Porter came up with the idea to run across Japan.
Long before Japan, it all started by running to solve a problem, not escape one.
Nearly every day Porter is out on the trails.
“I’ve been called pretty crazy. There’s other runners that are a lot more intense than I am, I think, but I do my fair share,” Porter said.
That’s an understatement. At 42, Porter has run 12 marathons and six ultramarathons.
“I only started in 2005, so I’m kind of a young runner as far as runners go. A couple years after that, I started doing ultras and trail running and that’s where, my favorite running in on the trails,” Porter said.
Now he faces the biggest challenge of them all: Japan.
“I was over at a friend’s house basically and we were just talking about running. And then how conversations go from one topic to the next, I also expressed that I was really interested in Japan, like I’ve got a calling. I’ve got to go to Japan for some reason and was like, why don’t I combine the two and just run across Japan?” Porter said.
Running across Japan might seem like an impossible task, but Porter knows about tough battles, which he isn’t shy about in a video promoting his trip.
“I used to say I’m addicted to running. But really, running is my recovery. I quit drinking, with the help of family intervention and treatment back in 1998. I also quit smoking in 2000. By 2005, I replaced my addictions with running. That’s when I ran my first marathon,” Porter said.
“Kind of sounded like something that would be perfect for Aaron to do. One, he loves running, and I could totally see him wanting to help people through something that he loves,” said friend and runner Stefanie Albert.
Albert says he’s beyond dedicated and Porter won’t have a problem raising money while he’s raising his heart rate across Japan. From helping himself, to helping others.
“To take the term recovery, I can apply it towards other like disaster areas, like the tsunami in Japan, and maybe after that, the Philippines. They recently had a typhoon hit there. I end up, you know, going across the world and help other people recover just by my own recovery. Just, you know, use that as the jumping board for recovery efforts,” Porter said.
Porter will run roughly 1,800 miles, about 20 miles a day.
Right now he’s looking for sponsors to help fund the trip and help match a donation for relief efforts. If you’re interested in sponsoring him or want to learn more about the trip, click here.