PennUltimate Run

One lap perimeter-run around Pa.
In pursuit of redistricting reform.

The Cause continues...

About


A Pennsylvania man in 2011 completed the PennUltimate Run, a one lap, thousand mile, 39-day perimeter-run around the state of Pa. to raise awareness and sound alarm bells about political redistricting. (Paul Revere meets Forrest Gump, if you will.) He returned home to what would become one of the most gerrymandered districts and states in America, and he has helped put in motion major reform efforts...
The overarching goal of the Run/Cause is transparency and independence in the redistricting process. Redistricting may be the most important act of American government at all levels every ten years. Proper redistricting enables fair elections and better government. A goal in Pa. is to replace the legislature-run redistricting process with an independent commission. See the "Blue Paper" below.

The Run itself started April 1, 2011, the deadline for the U.S. Census Bureau to publish the data required for this decade's nationwide redistricting. Averaging a marathon per day, the lead runner forged a route clockwise around the state, pushing a 70lb packed jogging stroller Sisyphus-like over the Appalachian mountain chain (twice). Mile upon mile he extended a relay baton to those who would help fulfill the Run’s goal. The Run entailed: harsh weather, unnavigable road surfaces, adverse traffic conditions, after-dark perils, tutelage (of a sort) by the State Police, live GPS-tracking, and overnight stops often decided by fate. An indispensable support team assisted from locations afar. The Run has earned nationwide praise and media attention.

The Cause today can be supported via Fair Districts PA (co-founded by the lead runner) and more broadly through the National Gallery of Redistricting Art™ and other efforts. The Run and Gallery are activities of the firm pjmathison.




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Maps / Tracking


Actual Route

The 1,022-mile PennUltimate Run actual route includes detours not recorded on the map below, such as getting lost, escaping weather, foraging for food (Walmart parking lots are the size of Texas BTW), visiting lawmakers' offices, entertaining requests from reporters ("Can you run that stretch again for the camera?"), and even doing what bears do in the woods. Much of the route was mapped-out the night before each day's run and shaped solely by the location of the far-too-distant next budget motel. How To Use This Map: Click on the map's colored features for Run details. Zoom in/out and click on other doodads. The Green icon represents the START/FINISH. Go clockwise along the Red route line and click on the Yellow icons for daily highlights.



GPS-Tracking

(Powered by InstaMapper)

Live GPS-tracking was enabled daily during the Run and utilized by millionsish of people (we lost count) to follow or join the lead runner/s. Trackers included family, friends, Run staff, students, lawmakers, members of the news media, social media followers, supporters/sponsors, motorists, the public at large, and apparently the State Police. The location of the runner/s was transmitted about once every two minutes and was accurate to within a few hundred yards.

Webpage Screenshot Mockup
InstaMapper (GPS Tracking) Mockup - PennUltimate Run



Media Coverage


metro Philadelphia
Maineline Suburban Life
Public Opinion (Chambersburg)
Bedford Gazette
WICU NBC 12
Erie Times-News
Allied News (Grove City)
Daily Local News
The Daily/Sunday Review (Towanda)
The Times-Tribune (Scranton)
RUNNER'S World
CBS Philly
Philly.com
PoliticsPA
Ballotpedia
CNN


Downloadable Media Coverage - PennUltimate Run



Below is sample media coverage of the Run. Members of the news media used the popular GPS tool to track down and join the lead runner, which provided for enjoyable in-Run encounters and occasional free fuel (food & drink). Items below are displayed in roughly chronological order, starting with the earliest date. Click on an item's title to download it.


ARTICLES, BLOG POSTS, TV HIGHLIGHTS, ETC.

Quixotic quest to fight gerrymandering (pre-Run story)
Middle of the Freakin Road, centrist blog

Running for a Cause (pre-Run story)
Metro Philadelphia, weekday commuters' newspaper

Running around the state for redistricting (START of the Run)
Main Line Suburban Life, weekly "Main Line" Phila newspaper

1,000 mile run to support better redistricting (START of the Run)
Public Opinion, newspaper serving greater Chambersburg, Pa.

Man runs through town for redistricting awareness (heading west towards Pittsburgh)
Public Opinion

Redistricting focus of run (friendly encounter w/ State Police)
Bedford Gazette

Runner runs-on about redistricting (video):
DailyAmerican.com, newspaper serving Somerset Co., Pa.



Man races around state... (heading north from Pittsburgh towards Erie)
Allied News, newspaper serving Grove City, Pa., et al.

Man Running Across State (Halfway Point)
WICU12, NBC TV affiliate serving greater Erie, Pa.

Runner makes strides...for redistricting awareness (Halfway Point)
Erie Times-News

Half-way done 1,000-mile lap around PA (Run update, from the perspective of the START)
Daily Local News, newspaper serving Chester Co., Pa.

Running to draw attention to redistricting (heading east from Erie towards Scranton)
Daily Review, newspaper serving Bradford and Sullivan Co.'s, Pa.

Anti-gerrymandering jogger stops by (rounding the corner, heading south towards Philly)
The Times-Tribune, newspaper serving Scranton, Pa.

Are You Aware of Gerrymandering?
RW Daily, blog of RUNNER'S World magazine

Lead Runner In PennUltimate Run Reaches City Hall in Phila.
CBS Philly / KYW Newsradio

Wayne man completes quest... (FINISH of the Run)
Main Line Suburban Life

Long, winding road ("Opinion" piece by newspaper editorial board)
The Times-Tribune

Race for the cure - of redistricting process (post-Run)
Philly.com, online news from The Phila Inquirer and Phila Daily News

Redistricting awareness run across PA concludes...
PoliticsPA.com, an online political community for Pennsylvania

Running a marathon a day for a cause (post-Run, sit-down interview)
Main Line Suburban Life

Redistricting reform in PA (for posterity)
Ballotpedia.org, an interactive almanac of state politics

"GERRY-RIGGED" (TV documentary inspired in part by the Run)
CNN

View/Hide Downloadable Media Coverage


Photos


Below are sample photos from the PennUltimate Run. Photographers included members of the news media, Run volunteers, and obliging citizens. The main in-Run photographer was the lead runner, who focused primarily on making forward progress, coping with the elements, and not-becoming roadkill. Click on a section title to display/hide its contents. Click on a photo to enlarge it (most of them, anyway). All photos are © pjmathison unless otherwise credited underneath.

BABE

(The anthropomorphic jogging stroller)


Rt 30 west of
Chambersburg
Rt 30 west of Chambersburg

Rt 30
Breezewood
Rt 30 Breezewood

Rt 281 west of Somerset
"Family Reunion"
Rt 281 west of Somerset / "Family Reunion"

Lake Erie
"Halfway"
Lake Erie / "Halfway"

L. Fair
Logistics Boss
L. Fair

K. Kauffman
Social Media Maven
K. Kauffman

L. Portzline
Communications Advisor
L. Portzline

F. Gump
Exemplar
F. Gump / Exemplar
Mama?

B. Turner, Office of
U.S. Rep T. Platts, York
B. Turner, Office of U.S. Rep T. Platts, York

D. and S. Fair
Hosts, Pittsburgh

M. Cianci, Owner
Cianci's Motel, Greenville
M. Cianci, Owner /
Cianci's Motel, Greenville

K. Flynn, Owner
Bradford Inn B&B, Towanda
K. Flynn, Owner / Bradford Inn B&B, Towanda

Devoe's Barber Shop
Dickson City, "Opening Day"
Devoe's Barber Shop / Dickson City, "Opening Day"

J. Donelan, Cmdr
A.L. Post 568, Scranton
J. Donelan, Cmdr / A.L. Post 568, Scranton

Progeny
Bethlehem
Progeny / Bethlehem

Rocky
Phila. Museum of Art
Rocky / Phila. Museum of Art

Azavea.com Team
Philadelphia
Azavea.com Team / Philadelphia

M. Milne + J. Curry
Supporters, Philadelphia
M. Milne + J. Curry / Supporters, Philadelphia

E. Bryant
Supporter, At the Finish
E. Bryant / Supporter, At the Finish
P. Bannan

Mr. (Mrs.?) Ed
Bentleyville
Mr. (Mrs.?) Ed / Bentleyville

View from W. End
Bridge, Pittsburgh
View from W. End Bridge / Pittsburgh

Rt. 98 Edinborough
"Potential Lodging"
Rt. 98 Edinborough / "Potential Lodging"

Lake Erie
"Afoot"
Lake Erie / "Afoot"

Rt. 6 west of
Smethport
Rt. 6
west of Smethport

Rt. 6 east of
Wysox
Rt. 6 east of Wysox

Rt. 191 Overlook
Lehigh Valley
Rt.191 Overlook / Lehigh Valley

Ben Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia
Ben Franklin Pkwy
 / Philadelphia

Flight 93 Memorial Chapel
Shanksville
Flight 93
Memorial Chapel / Shanksville

Rt. 6 Corry
"Oh crap"
Rt. 6 Corry / "Oh crap"

Rt. 6 Potter County
True!
Rt. 6 Potter County / True!

Rt. 6 Mainesburg, Voted
"Best Street Sign of the Run"
Rt. 6 Mainesburg / 
Voted "Best Street Sign of the Run"

Rt. 6 Burlington
"Temptation"
Rt. 6
Burlington / "Temptation"

PA Route 6, "One of
America's Most Scenic Drives"
PA Route 6 / "One of America's Most Scenic Drives"

Rt. 191 Stockerton
"Shut Up!"
Rt. 191 Stockerton /
"Shut Up!"

Rt. 191 Nazareth, Voted
"Best Motel Sign of the Run"
Rt. 191 Nazareth / 
Voted "Best Motel Sign of the Run"

Test run, view 1
Radnor Twp
Test run, view 1 / Radnor Twp
B. Ecklund

Test run, view 2
Radnor Twp
Test run, view 2 / Radnor Twp
B. Ecklund

At the Start
"Pontificating"
At the Start / "Pontificating"
P. Bannan

At the Start
"First Steps"
At the Start / "First Steps"
P. Bannan

At the Start
"Next Steps"
At the Start / "Next Steps"
M. Milne

Memorial Square
Chambersburg
Memorial Square / Chambersburg
M. DeLoach

Lincoln Hwy
Bedford
Lincoln Hwy / Bedford
E. Kohler

Flight 93 Memorial
Shanksville

Rt. 281 west of
Somerset
Rt. 281 west of Somerset
R. Vogel

Rt. 208 motel stop
Grove City
Rt. 208 motel stop / Grove City
K. Struthers

Rt. 6
Corry
Rt. 6 Corry
M.A. Mook

Rt. 6
Meshoppen
Rt. 6 / Meshoppen

At the Finish
"Baton Pass"
At the Finish / "Baton Pass"
P. Bannan

At the Finish
Wayne War Memorial
At the Finish / Wayne War Memorial
P. Bannan


Thank you


Thank you for your interest in the PennUltimate Run and in redistricting reform.

Now, take a step:

Fair Districts PA
National Gallery of Redistricting Art
Be active otherwise

Go.