Andrew Rodriguez didn’t quite run around the world, but he has run four of five planned half marathons, covered 25,000 air miles and visited seven countries and two U.S. coasts, all the while making great memories for a good cause.
Some of those memories: A torrential downpour that turned a half marathon in St. Lucia, an inner suburb of Brisbane, Australia, into a 10K. Running through the Old City in Jerusalem and along the Seine in Paris. Meeting up with family and friends, including Rutgers fraternity brothers, near his hometown outside of Los Angeles. There, the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences senior and some friends ran in the Great Race in Agoura Hills in memory of a close high school friend who died from leukemia.
“We’ve all been running in memory or honor of somebody,” Rodriguez said. “I wanted to show that cancer affects everybody. It’s not just limited to a certain part of the world.”
There’s one more race to go: the Rutgers UNITE Half Marathon on April 12. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at Rodriguez’s journey-for-a-cause, Hope, Sweat & Cures, the fitness and fundraising program for City of Hope, the California hospital where Rodriguez’s dad, Frank, was successfully treated for prostate cancer.
Races: 4 down, 1 to go
Weeks: 5. Rodriguez left New Jersey on March 4, returned last week and will complete his “Run the World 2K15” effort on April 12.
Longest layover: 18 hours in Bangkok, where he had dinner with friends at a rooftop bar.
Cities visited: 10 – Reykjavik, Iceland; Paris, France; Istanbul, Turkey; Tel Aviv, Israel; Jerusalem, Israel; Amman, Jordan; Bangkok, Thailand; Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia; and Los Angeles, California.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brothers who ran with him in the Agoura Hills, California race: 7. (Another brother came to Paris to run with him there.)
Race dedications: 5. Each race has been dedicated to friends and family members, including Rodriguez’s dad, Frank. In California, they ran in memory of his high school friend, Michael Miyamoto. Others honored friends and family members, too.
Letters from ambassadors: 2 from John Berry, U.S. Ambassador to Australia, and Jane Hartley, U.S. ambassador to France and Monaco, who wrote: “I commend you for your dedication to learning about other cultures and encourage you to continue raising awareness on healthy living.”
Missed: 0 mid-terms. Well, sort of. He asked that one exam be moved and he wrote two papers in place of exams for other classes. “My professors have been pretty accommodating," he said. "I let my professors know ahead of time, in November, what I was planning to do.” He has already completed his requirements for his political science major and planning and public policy minor.
Lost: 1 GoPro camera, somewhere in Thailand
Trip cost: $4,500. Rodriguez funded the trip with money earned in part during his internship last semester at M Public Affairs in New York.
Funds raised: $6,500 for Hope, Sweat & Cures, City of Hope’s fitness and fundraising program. Rodriguez says he and his team are on track to raise about $10,000. His fundraising efforts continue. To learn more about Rodriguez’s journey, watch the video above.
- Dory Devlin
For media inquiries, please contact Dory Devlin, Rutgers Media Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org