Journey of 3,100 miles begins in April, Autism Awareness Month
(dateline) – To raise awareness for Asperger’s Syndrome, Steve Knowlton will run from San Francisco to New York in a month-and-a-
At age 47, Knowlton intends to set a Guinness World Record by running 3,100 miles across America, averaging about 70 miles per day for 45 days. Two years ago he ran from Seattle to Key Largo, 3,717 miles in 100 days.
“Steve shares our goal to strengthen communities through understanding, inclusion and support for those affected by Asperger’s Syndrome,” said Theresa Namie, director of ANSWER, Aspergers Network Support (http://aspergersmn.org). “Almost everyone knows someone with Asperger’s, often without even knowing it or perhaps misunderstanding its place on the autism spectrum. We want to foster a better understanding of the difficulties and complexities of people with Asperger’s – but also their unique strengths so that more people come to realize the positives.”
In 2009, Knowlton met Terry Hitchcock, who’d never run a marathon before running one per day for 75 days, all the way from St. Paul to Atlanta in 75 days – at age 57. Both runners felt a kinship – both inspired by causes that loom larger to them than any finish line or endurance record. Hitchcock was a recent widower when he ran over 2,000 miles to encourage support for children of single-parent families.
“Because of someone very dear to me, I had some questions about Asperger’s Syndrome,” said Knowlton. “Terry introduced me to ANSWER. They were able to help me to understand autism and how it impacts individuals and families. Now that I know, I know this is what I was meant to run for. I knew I had to run across America and do whatever it took to accomplish it.”
During the run, ANSWER will provide educational links and downloads to educate the general population on Asperger’s and autism, a neurological developmental disorder affecting one in 88 children. Community organizations, corporate sponsors and schools are encouraged participate by using ANSWER’s campaign to promote inclusion through education.
Support the cause:
About Steve Knowlton (stevesrun.com):
Steve Knowlton lives and grew up in Prior Lake, Minnesota, where the eighth-grader’
About ANSWER (aspergersmn.org):
ANSWER's mission is to create a network that advocates for community awareness, furthering research, better education and support of individuals and families living with Asperger's Syndrome. The 501c3 nonprofit organization serves as an informational channel where ideas and resources can be shared utilizing public relations, the web and parent networking. ANSWER supports training for educators in the areas of social skills, daily living skills, relaxation, and transitional skills. ANSWER offers a holistic approach – from diagnosis to independent living – by making resources available and advocating for affordable intervention and support programs.