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In 2017, professional runner Rickey Gates ran 3,700 miles across the continental United States with just a small backpack and an anthropologist’s curiosity to discover the divided America in which we live.

In the book Cross Country, Gates documents this epic experience from South Carolina to San Francisco, sharing first-person essays and interviews from the ordinary and extraordinary people and places he saw along the way.

While Gates delivers unparalleled insight into the extreme athletic and mental challenge of this transcontinental run, running is not the core focus of Cross Country—it is a story of the remarkable people across the United States who we would otherwise never meet.

• A travelogue that follows along Rickey Gates’s run across the country, and the individuals who live in it
• From South Carolina to San Francisco, the five-month-long run covers 3,700 miles of hiking trails, rivers, and roads.

Gates slept in the rain, carried meager possessions on his back, ran through the night, endured mental and physical challenges, and survived on a staple of gas station hot dogs and Pop Tarts.

Delivering a patchwork portrait of America, Gates’s captivating story captures the spirit of our country—that grit, determination, and compassion are qualities that can unite us all.

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