On the first day, Isaiah Godby took a salt shaker from a Burgerville in Monmouth to replenish the sodium his brother sweated out running in 94-degree heat.
Godby, 21, and his brother, Jeremiah, 23, experienced excruciating cramps and collapsed after running about 20 miles between Corvallis and Dallas.
“I had tears in my eyes,” Jeremiah said. “I just wasn’t expecting (the cramps).”
The Godbys are Oregon State University students in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. They set out July 7 to run 1,675 miles through 30 Oregon counties and into Idaho by early September to promote the college and health.
“We’re not trying to start something new, but emphasize what’s already going on,” Isaiah Godby said.
They made it to Douglas County Wednesday evening, wrapping up the day at the OSU Master Gardeners’ Discovery Garden by River Forks Park west of Roseburg.
Isaiah had been sidelined with a sore Achilles heel for a week and only returned to running Wednesday. Still, the two said their bodies have adjusted to the long-distance running, and they have learned to hydrate and replenish their electrolytes.
On average, they run 32 miles a day, with some rest days, and try to eat somewhere between 6,000 and 8,000 calories a day.
The brothers, who are majoring in exercise sports science, fitness and nutrition, have done two prior long-distance runs. They ran from California to New York in 2011. In 2012, Isaiah started at the California-Mexico border and Jeremiah began at the Washington-Canadian border and they met in the middle. On that run, they pushed their supplies in baby strollers.
On their current run, the College of Public Health and Human Sciences has provided them with a van and a driver.
For the first couple of weeks Jason Hsu, an OSU student studying graphic design, helped keep the Godbys hydrated and made sure they had whatever else they needed.
Sean Riley, 23, and a senior in public health, replaced Hsu this week. Riley met the Godby brothers in elementary school.
At Discovery Garden, Riley and the Godbys were greeted by three members of the Douglas County OSU Extension Service, who provided water, lemonade and healthy snacks.
Larry Sutton, a master gardener, led the three to the herb garden before eating. He encouraged the Godbys to walk barefoot on a large area of thyme.
“This is a good thyme,” Isaiah Godby punned. “It just feels better than my shoes.”
Isaiah ran about 24 miles Wednesday after spending the previous week in the van with his sore heel. He attributed the injury to wearing the wrong shoes.
“There’s so many times where my brother and I will have to run through injuries, run through pain,” Godby said.
Jeremiah Godby ran 27 miles Wednesday, only the second day he’s run under 30 miles.
Jeremiah started running in high school. He lost 45 pounds, which made a huge impact on his life.
But neither brother was prepared for long-distance running, despite a shared dedication to exercise, until a few years ago.
“We just kind of transformed our bodies,” Jeremiah said. “Our dad is a big-time runner, a long-distance runner.”
Their father, Dennis, graduated from OSU in 1978 with a major in exercise and nutrition. He is now a naturopathic doctor in California. The brothers speak of him as a strong inspiration.
They will run over the next two days to Grants Pass, where they plan to speak at a Boys & Girls Club about health and exercise.
“It doesn’t really matter what it is, just get up,” Isaiah said.
• Reporter Megan Campbell can be reached at 541-957-4221 or firstname.lastname@example.org.