Natchez resident hopes to run marathon in every state

Published 12:05 am Sunday, August 23, 2015

NATCHEZ — Forrest Johnson gets a unique view of many cities and states that most other people would otherwise visit as just a tourist.

Johnson is a marathon runner, and possesses a unique goal.

“I’ve been running a couple different marathons and I have a goal to run one in every state,” he said.

Johnson most recently tackled a California run and has also knocked off Texas, Tennessee and Nevada. He has plans for Colorado in October.

“It is just a challenge,” he said. “I started off running 10Ks, like the Crescent City Classic. Then my buddies and I challenged each other to run a half marathon and the natural progression was to do a full one.”

Johnson made his full marathon debut in 2012 and hasn’t turned back since.

“I liked the challenge and it helps me keep in shape,” he said. “One of the things about it is I like traveling to cities and doing this, I get an interesting view and perspective running through the city.”

But it wasn’t as simple as walking out and running for Johnson, who has put in countless hours of training for the events.

“I obviously do a lot of running and then do some cross training,” Johnson said. “I typically run four days a week. I usually do short runs Tuesday and Thursday, and usually run long on Saturdays. Cross training wise, I have a kayak and go to the state park to do a lot of upper body core and arms, and I also do some weight training.”

Johnson said the summer months have been especially tough with rising temperatures.

“I did a 20 mile run in the first bit of July and that was pretty tough,” he said. “For training, I just get up at 4 a.m. to beat the heat as much as I can.”

Ultimately, Johnson said the feeling of finishing a marathon is hard to beat.

“It feels really good and is exciting,” he said. “Like I said, it is just a challenge and helps me keep in shape. It is a good feeling of accomplishment crossing the finish line.”