HOUGHTON - The 513-mile trek from Grand Rapids, Mich., to Houghton is taxing enough as a 10-hour drive. Just imagine it as a two-week run.
But Breanna Cornell plans to do just that in August. The Grand Rapids native is undertaking the project to raise funds for the Michigan Technological University rowing team, of which she is a member.
Cornell will start Aug. 10, and plans to finish sometime between Aug. 20 and 25.
"It started off kind of as a joke with my friend," she said. "We were talking about carpooling when we were going home for winter break and he said he was surprised I wasn't going to run back to school. I said 'I should do that.' And if I'm going to run, I should run for something I love."
Cornell's been training since January, running at lengths of up to 45 miles.
For this, she'll be running about 50 miles a day; 48 at the shortest, 56 at most.
All donations are going to the Michigan Tech Fund.
"It all goes toward the rowing," Cornell said. "I'm not taking any of it for the run itself."
Cornell's been rowing for five years, and joined the Tech rowing team as a freshman last year. She enjoys the camaraderie with the team, built up over many mornings of 5:40 a.m. practices.
"When you're on a boat, you're with four to eight other people, so you have to focus and work together to move gracefully through the water, so it's about teamwork," she said.
The team also works in the community, holding events such as Learn To Row lessons.
"It's just putting physical fitness back out into university students," she said.
Cornell will post updates about her progress at run2live.webs.com/runtotech2011.htm. The site also contains instructions on how to donate.