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Promoting health while on the run

Brothers Jeremiah and Isaiah Godby are running across Oregon to encourage people to exercise


Photo Credit: KEVIN SPERL  - Isaiah Godby, left, and his brother Jeremiah are joined by a group of Crook County Kids Club members as they head out from Prineville Tuesday morning on their way to John Day.

If brothers Jeremiah and Isaiah Godby were to write an essay this coming fall on how they spent their summer vacation, they could talk about running 1,600 miles across Oregon.

The Oregon State University students are running simply for the health of it, encouraging people to incorporate exercise into their lifestyle.

Their trek began on July 7 in Corvallis, taking the duo to Astoria, down the coast, across to Eugene, south to Medford, then east to Klamath Falls. They eventually ended up in Bend before heading to Prineville this past Monday.

On Tuesday, the Crook County-Oregon State University Extension Office hosted a send-off event for the two runners in Ochoco Creek Park, prior to them moving on towards John Day.

Their efforts are a way of inspiring Oregonians to take charge of their own health and to educate local communities about the role of the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences, where they are earning exercise and sports science degrees, and the OSU Extension offices.

“I weighed nearly 210 pounds my junior year in high school and the summer before entering my senior year I turned my life around and let the beauty of exercise and proper nutrition take over my life for the better,” said Jeremiah.

Apparently his change in lifestyle included running, a lot of running.

In 2011, he teamed with his father, Dennis, cousin Jonas Ely, and Isaiah, to trek 3,000 miles across the country from San Francisco to New York City. The following year, Jeremiah ran from the Canadian border to Sacramento, Calif., covering 1,000 miles in 34 days.

Both runs were to promote the causes of naturopathic medicine and other forms of natural medicine.

Isiah, promoting a preventive lifestyle as a health transformation, ran in “The Run: West Coast 2012,” a 1,700 mile journey from Mexico to Canada.

Stephanie Russell, registered dietitian with Prineville’s OSU Extension Service, organized the sendoff.

“The OSU Campus contacted us a few weeks ago and asked us to put together an event for when the brothers came through,” she said. “We got together with the Crook County Kids Club to be sure that we sent them off right.”

Russell brought along a bike-powered smoothie machine that she loaded up with cantaloupe and orange juice, encouraging those in attendance to take a turn on the pedals.

Meanwhile, Jeremiah talked to the kids about running and eating healthy foods, telling the kids that he was eating around 6,000 to 8,000 calories a day during the run.

“So, running is a great way to allow yourself to eat whatever you want,” they laughed.

While in town the brothers stayed with Kristi Hiaasen, an educational program assistant with the Extension Service.

“We have a garden, so we served up a vegetable medley with lentils, rice and boiled eggs for dinner,” she said. “We finished it off with a fruit cobbler and vanilla yogurt.”

Hiaasen fueled the duo early Tuesday morning with what she described as an OSU favorite — a fruit and spinach smoothie.

The brothers hope their running story inspires others to get more exercise, eat better and make other health improvements.

“We just want to inspire people to live a balanced life,” said Isiah, as they left the park. “It’s not as complicated as people think. Walk an extra block or park your car further away in the parking lot.”

To track the runners’ progress, visit their blog at http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/healthrun/



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