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Manchester resident nears finish of 353-mile run

Manchester resident Ben Hall has been running the equivalent of a marathon for 12 of the past 14 days.

On Saturday, he is expected to finish his 353-mile, two-week journey from Manchester to Fulton, N.Y. as he attempts to raise awareness on cancer prevention and $5,000 for the American Cancer Society.

"The battle is in the mind," Hall said Wednesday, adding that his ongoing motivation is the reality that he's only days away from finishing. "Yeah, I'm fatigued physically, but if your mind isn't in the right spot, you can forget about it. You've got to stay positive and you've got to believe that you're going to accomplish your goals each day."

Hall, scheduled to run about 37 miles from Cortland, N.Y. to Syracuse Friday, is expected to arrive in Fulton at about 1 p.m. Saturday after running the final 22 miles from Syracuse.

Hall, a 31-year-old director of operations for the Baltimore-based landscaping company Lorenz, Inc., started Sept. 28 in Manchester and has since visited 11 towns and cities across New York and Pennsylvania trying to raise awareness on cancer prevention.

He has run between 21.3 miles to 37 miles each day.

"I'm physically pretty sore," he said. "My muscles are fatigued to say the least."

As of Friday morning, Hall had raised $3,780, according to his website,

Throughout his trip, every hotel has provided a complimentary room and at nearly every restaurant, someone has picked up his tab after hearing why he is running 353 miles.

At one stop, a hotel employee went to the local Walmart, bought Hall sunscreen when the hotel had none and left it at the front desk for him the next morning.

"The generosity and kindness of so many strangers has really awed me," he said.

Hall is running to the home of his late uncle, Timothy Thurlow, in Fulton, which is about 30 miles north of Syracuse.

Hall, whose aunt and uncle both died from cancer within the past 10 years, has said the memory of his aunt and uncle have been the inspiration for this effort.

His goal has been to run as much of the trip as possible and thus far he estimated that 85 percent of his travel has been running.

"If I stop, it's to chug some water or to stop at some gas station and get some fruit," he said.

A typical day for Hall begins with breakfast between 6 and 6:30 a.m. After letting his food settle, he starts running at 9 a.m. and has been finishing between 2 and 3:30 p.m.

"In the beginning, I was pleasantly surprised of my ability," he said. "Now I can definitely see my body wearing down."

He said he has been interviewed by seven to eight newspapers, two television stations, and a handful of radio stations throughout the past two weeks.

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