Runner crosses Captiva on behalf of beaches
Aristotle once said, “All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion or desire.”
It is passion that drives Luther Rupp to jog the perimeter beaches of Florida. It started with a workshop where Luther met Martin Strel, a man in the Guiness Book of World Records for swimming notorious rivers such as the Mighty Mississippi and the Amazon. A thought struck Luther.
“Why not think big? It takes the same amount of energy to think big as it does to think small and it is so much more fun,” Luther wrote on his Web site.
Strel caused Luther to want to live his passion and do it well. Since he loves Florida’s energy, running the beaches, speaking and teaching, it seemed like a perfect way to live many of his top passions.
“After much thinking, the plan came to fruition,” he said. “It just took the guts to do it.”
With a van carrying his tent, kayak and bicycle, he started jogging Florida’s beaches in January at the Florida/Alabama state line heading north to south. On June 27, the Ohio man reached Captiva Island. He has only taken the month of February off to attend to business for a friend.
“I’m relocating to Florida, one beach at a time,” he said after his morning jog on Captiva’s beach.
While staying at Jensen’s Twin Palm Cottages, Luther was excited to learn Captiva is passionate about its beaches. In the 1950’s, Captiva Erosion Prevention District was created to handle erosion-related problems. As a governmental body, the CEPD has been successful in its mission to keep Captiva’s beaches beautiful through renourishment projects.
“We love that Luther is bringing attention to one of our greatest resources,” noted Kathy Rooker, the Senior Administrative Consultant for the CEPD. “He enjoys them as nature, which is what we like about his idea.”
It is hard to imagine Captiva with very little in the way of beaches, but that was true in 1988 before the island-wide projects. Today, the small island is renowned for its angelic white sand beaches. It has been ranked in the top 10 beach destinations by several sources and highlighted in magazines like Disney Family Fun.
“CEPD does a fantastic job,” said Luther. “Compared to places like Palm Island, where there is a serious erosion problem, Captiva has a special quality.”
While Luther commends Captiva for its beach erosion prevention, he must continue his jog. Next stop: Sanibel.
“I’m hoping to jog Sanibel in two days,” he said of the 12 miles.
Luther has met several interesting people and visited some interesting beaches along his journey. As for why this 57-year-old man has decided to run Florida’s perimeter beaches, he said it’s for himself.
“You should always follow your heart,” he said. “Listen to your heart instead of your mind.”
As of June 27, Luther had jogged 377 miles with several more to go. If you would like to follow Luther on his sand-filled journey, visit his website at www.floridaperimeterbeachrun.com. He updates it regularly with a journal of his jogs and the people he meets along the way, pictures of the places he’s visited and a map of where he is going.
“This is good for Florida beaches,” said Dave Jensen, CEPD’s treasurer. “Luther is a good spokesperson for our beaches and we love having his support.”