Therapist and author Richard Singer plans to run and walk across America in 45 days in a bid to break a 28-year-old Guinness World Record and to raise money for children for Cayman.
Mr. Singer who works as a part-time lecturer of psychology at the International College of the Cayman Islands hopes to raise US$1 million in his 2,800-mile journey on foot from Los Angeles City Hall to New York City Hall later this year.
All funds raised in the States in his million dollar run will go toward five US-based charities, while monies raised in Cayman will go to an ICCI scholarship.
‘With the scholarship, these kids will know they have a college education waiting for them when they graduate from high school. I believe that will be a motivating force for them to strive in their daily lives and at school and give them something to look forward to,’ he said.
‘Knowing they have a secure future will hopefully influence their behaviour,’ he said.
Charities in the US set to benefit from his run are Damon and Stella Foundation for Mental Health; Make A Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to sick children; the Indra Loka Animal Sanctuary in Pennsylvania; a scholarship fund for Choices Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centre; and WorldPeace1.com, a peace advocacy organisation.
‘Personally I’ve dealt with depression and suicide issues as I am recovering from addiction. That is how some organisations that will benefit from this came about, due to my own personal relationship with them,’ said Mr. Singer, who is recovering from addiction to cocaine and alcohol.
He has written two inspirational books and is a trained psychotherapist who has lived in Cayman for three years and is father to twin sons, aged two. He is also donating 50 per cent of royalties from his books to charity.
‘I believe anything is possible,’ he said, adding that if Frank Giannino could make it across the US – from San Francisco to New York – on foot in 46 days, he believed he could do it in 45.
Mr Singer is training twice daily for the record breaking attempt. To be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records, he must smash the previous record set in 1980.
Mr Singer has acquired the services of Anthony Embry, a publicist who has represented popular TV show Desperate Housewives and movies American Pie Presents Band Camp and The Devil Wears Prada.
His bid to cross the country in record time will be filmed by a television documentary crew.
A spokesman for Guinness World Records confirmed that Mr Singer had filed a proposal with the organisation, which had been accepted.
‘It’s going to be quite an adventure,’ said Mr Singer. ‘I’ll be averaging 60 miles a day. I’ll probably be running and walking for 16 hours a day. I’ll probably get through about six pairs of running shoes,’ he said.
As well as being hopeful his training will see him through to success, ‘I’m going to rely on passion and determination in this attempt,’ he said.
The route through the US states will take him from California through the southern states before running through his home state of Pennsylvania and onto New York. No date has been set for the record attempt, as the final routing and sponsorship need to be worked out first, but Mr. Singer anticipated it would be in a few months.
Anyone interested in sponsoring the bid can receive more information by emailing [email protected].