Kevin Gose of Louisville is using his summer vacation to make a statement about diabetes.
Gose, a teacher and cross-country coach at Bullitt Central High School and alumnus of Murray State University, is preparing to run 500 miles from Ashland to Hickman. He will begin his trek across the Bluegrass on June 25.
"I'm a chubby, 42-year-old guy, and if you saw me walking down the street, you'd say, 'That guy can't do anything like that,'" he said.
Although he is not a diabetic, Gose has plenty of family history with the disease. He is dedicating his 500 miles to his parents and diabetes awareness.
"It's a way to honor them," he said.
Gose's father was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and struggled to manage the disease. Then his mother and sister were both diagnosed with diabetes. Thankfully, Gose has not shared the same fate.
Through diet and exercise, Gose has lost 60 pounds over three years. The weight loss has helped lower his risk of diabetes.
"What I hope other people take from it is if someone sees this ordinary guy can do what seems like this extraordinary thing, maybe it will make putting down the doughnut a little easier," Gose said.
His family has been very supportive. His wife, Amy, will be meeting him at numerous stopping points along the way.
"My wife has the harder job, she will be doing the support," Gose said.
He plans to run two sessions of 20 miles a day for a total of 40 miles daily and hopes to reach Murray around July 4.
Gose will give his schedule some flexibility in case of injury or inclement weather. He is willing to slow his pace to make sure that he can safely complete the 500 miles within 16 days.
The route will be a zig-zagged pattern to take him through more Kentucky towns. If the point is to raise awareness, Gose said, he needs to see people.
"If you have something you believe in, you should make an effort to show people how important it is to you," he said.
For more information and a chance to donate, go to www.runacrossky.org. People can help by funding the run or by donating directly to the American Diabetes Association.
"One of my favorite stories is when we launched the website I asked students to tweet it out. This one kid came into the classroom talking about how stupid the guy is who's running across Kentucky," Gose said. "One of the other students started poking him and telling him to stop."
Contact Becca Schimmel, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652.