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Book Review: Running Water

Posted Jan 02 2012 5:46pm

Abe Clark reached out to me and asked if I would like to read his book about his run across the country. I jumped on the opportunity;  I love reading and I love stories like this… I highly doubt I’ll ever run across the country, so I can live vicariously through these types of stories!


Running Water
by Abraham Louis Clark
ISBN: 978-0984734504

Abe was newly engaged when the 2010 earthquake in Haiti left hundreds of thousands dead and the rest of the country living in terrible conditions. He decided to do what he could to “change the world”, and that was running across the country to raise money and awareness for Living Water International . When he was sailing on lake Michigan, one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world, and could see his abundance of fresh water while other people around the world are fighting over mud puddles for a cup of dirty water. After doing research about the water crises, Abe found Living Water International to be the most reputable and efficient non-profit with principles he believed in.

Interesting facts about Abe’s quest to run 2,960 miles across the country…
- He’s young, only 24 when he accomplished this.
- He did it on his own, no support crews alongside, just him and a Baby Jogger he named Ruby.
- He relied on the goodness of others for places to sleep at night.
- Other times he simply set up camp alongside his route wherever possible.
Running Water

Abe had some really rough times during this run: snowstorms, a family funeral, digestive distress, bloody noses, weird people… but it also seems like he had some great moments too, ones that often came from interactions with other people. It’s interesting to read of the people that just opened up their homes to him and how they just adopted him into their families for a night or two or three. They would drive him back to the place where he stopped for the day in the morning, then pick him up 20-50 miles down the road.  It made me stop to think, would I invite someone into my home?  Part of me wants to say yes, but part of me isn’t sure.  But I’m happy there were people who did this for Abe.

I also loved how he took time during this whole journey to speak to christian groups or experience some local culture along the way.  He took some time to ride a horse and to even comfort a poor bunny that had been injured.

Through it all, it seems like Abe learned some valuable lessons about how important and significant human interaction is. By the end of his solo journey, he longed for a “normal” life where he could see his loved ones. And he recognized the value of experiences over just accumulating stuff. These are pretty huge lessons to learn in your early 20′s!
Running Water autograph

I really enjoyed this book. There are some typos in it and some grammatical issues… but some of that helps you to know it isn’t a slick marketing ploy about “How you can run across the country!” or anything like that. It was definitely a personal story… there were no tricks or tips on the food/fuel needed to sustain this effort. In fact, it sounded like Abe just took calories wherever he could and it didn’t seem like a scientifically plotted out plan.   No helpful hints about how to dress or prepare or recover from this feat of endurance.  It’s the remarkable story of one man’s journey to become the 15th person to run solo and unsupported across the US.

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