Barrington resident Jessica Goldman, 41, made a solo, unsupported run across the country from mid-April to mid-July.
For this feat, she has been selected the New Hampshire Union Leader’s July Athlete of the Month, sponsored by Apple Therapy/BASC.
Goldman has so many stories about her run that she only mentions the buffalo gnats she encountered in the Midwest, and the quarter-sized welts they left all over her body and face, as a side anecdote after half an hour of conversation.
“Crazy things happened every day,” Goldman, 41, said Wednesday of her run from San Francisco to New York City. She covered more than 3,200 miles — sometimes more than 60 miles a day when towns were far apart.
The Dover native and Barrington resident raised more than $27,000 for the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) along the way.
She’s reportedly the second documented woman to complete a solo, unsupported run across the country.
Goldman downplayed her achievement Wednesday, crediting years of distance-running, comprehensive training and extensive preparation for her success.
“I brought the right stuff and I did the right training, and it kind of went pretty smoothly,” she said.
Except for the buffalo gnats, of course. And the hail in Nevada. And the blizzard in Colorado. And the eight pairs of sneakers she burned through while running on hot asphalt, or on the gravel that “chewed up” her feet in Iowa. And the miles of surprisingly steep grades in Pennsylvania. And the more than two gallons of water she sometimes drank per day, while pushing her food, clothing and supplies in front of her in a wheeled cart she called a “thingamabob.”
Goldman said donations for the BIAA are still coming in, and welcome, through her donation page at: biausa.donorpages.com/ForwardMotion/.
Photos from the run and more information also can be found on the Facebook page she made for her journey, titled “Jessica Goldman Forward Motion.”
Goldman outpaced the field in voting by eight members of the New Hampshire Union Leader Board of Judges, earning 30 points in the selection of July’s athlete.
July’s second-place athlete, with 24 points, was Dover baseball player Evan Zuchowski. The pitcher helped Dover Post 8 win this year’s American Legion junior and senior state tournaments. Zuchowski pitched a complete-game one-hitter against Lebanon during the junior tournament, striking out 17 as Dover won 3-0. He also pitched five shutout innings in Dover’s 10-0 triumph over Bedford in that tournament’s title game. He was used in relief in the senior tournament and helped Dover win its first senior state title since a Dover team led by Sam Fuld, now a major league outfielder, won the tournament in 2000.
Atkinson golfer Nicholas Pandelena took third place in the July voting. The rising junior at Boston College placed second in this year’s New England Amateur Championship, carding a four-round, 3-under-par score of 281 at Winchester CC in Massachusetts.
Other July nominees included Atkinson golfer Joe Leavitt and baseball player Drew Merrick of Trinity High School in Manchester, who tied for fourth; basketball player Jon Martin, a 2014 graduate of Manchester Central High School, in sixth; and Bow soccer player Sarah Carlson, in seventh.
All Athletes of the Month will be honored at the Union Leader’s annual sports banquet, The Leaders: A Celebration of New Hampshire Sports Champions, on Feb. 8, 2015, at the Radisson-Manchester.