The Ohio native will run the path of the rivers of South Carolina from Cedar Mountain to Folly Beach on Nov. 2. Hanson’s journey is scheduled to end on the morning of Nov. 5.
The Running for Rivers website describes Hanson’s run as an “endurance adventure” to benefit American Rivers, an organization dedicated to river conservation.
“Keith, aside from being a talented ultramarathon runner, is first and foremost a dedicated biologist and conservationist,” said Dan Wyar, Running for River’s marketing and communications director. “I think his goal is to draw attention and bring awareness to the importance of rivers and clean water.”
Hanson’s training for Running for Rivers has included running three other long-distance races this year. He has run up to 90 miles per week in order to allow his body to adjust to the amount of stress it will be under during the run. He has also been mentally preparing for the run by using visualization techniques.
Four crew vehicles will follow Hanson on his run, providing Hanson with everything — food and water, medical supplies and even a bed for him to use for short periods of time. Though Hanson has run 100-mile races before, he said there is no way to expect what he will end up needing during a run this long.
“The training has been done,” said Hanson. “The easiest part is running. The hardest part is the next three days of making sure that we have all of the supplies and that everybody is ready.”
Because of the intensity and duration of the run, Hanson has to make sure he is continuously eating so that he has enough energy. Hanson will have burritos, Coca-Cola and Hostess Cupcakes, among other items on hand throughout the race.
While a 300-mile run may seem impossible to some, Hanson's fiancée and fellow environmentalist Laura Mudge said she wasn't surprised when he announced he wanted to create Running for Rivers.
“He’s always looking for a new adventure, something new to do,” Mudge said. “So when he first announced it, it was like, ‘Oh, OK, let’s do it.’”
Mudge, who will be a part of the crew during the race, said Running for Rivers showcases who Hanson is as a person.
“I think you can probably see this coming out of this exhibition he’s put together, but he’s very genuine, very fun and he loves getting people involved and bringing them together for something a little bit bigger,” Mudge said.