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The Ritzville Adams County Journal
Ritzville , Washington
July 5, 2012     The Ritzville Adams County Journal
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July 5, 2012

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Page A-2 July 5, 2012. Ritzville Adams County Journal Biking Viking visits Ritzville on worldwide tour By Katelin Davidson News Editor Anders Forselius is on a cycling journey from Olympia, Wash., to Olympia, Greece, but his adventure expands beyond just a biking trip. Forselius, also known as the Biking Viking, has a mission to bike through all 50 states and during his time there, compete in at least one marathon per state. He passed through Ritzville on Wednesday, June 20, staying one night before continuing on to Spokane. Forselius biked from Pasco that morning, covering about 83 miles in his daylong journey, while he averages 70 miles a day. Forselius is o/iginally from Ljusdal, Sweden, and a freelance writer for a magazine called "Runners World" in his home country. He spends the majority of his time traveling, biking and running marathons, and continues the journey not only for himself, but also for a young boy who lost his life over 10 years ago. During one of his six journeys across the United States, Forselius met a woman who told him the story of how she had lost her son. Alex Blackburn underwent a heart transplant at four months old, but passed away in Spokane at the age of 12 from a viral infection. "His final wish was tohave his ashes spread all over the world," Forselius explained. "He gives me a reason to continue." Forselius bikes and runs to help raise money for Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA), which assists children and young adults the ability to afford organ transplantation. He carries Blackburn's ashes with him during all of his competitions to remind himself of why he needs to continue his journey, and also celebrates moments important to Blackbum's life. Blackburn's last meal was pesto pizza at David's Pizza in Spokane, and anytime Forselius travels through the area, he stops to enjoy the same meal Blackburn ate. At the age of 44, Forselius does not have any intention of stopping his worldwide tour anytime soon, though he says his mother wishes that he would. Forselius constantly jokes about how much his mother wishes he would spend time at home instead of traveling the world. But Forselius enjoys the journey too much to stop, especially the opportunities it provides him to meet new people and have new experiences. Forselius typically tries to stay with a local family when he is traveling a city, either sleeping on a couch or camping in the yard. When passing through Ritzville, Forselius stayed with Reid and Shannon Phillips, and it served as his second time visiting with Journal photo by Katelin Davidson BIKING VIKING. Anders Forselius is on a biking journey from Olympia, Wash., to Olympia, Greece and hiscycling trip brought him through RitzvUle last week. He is pictured with his bike while holding a golf driver and a small box containing the ashes of a 12-year-old boy. the family. Forselius first cycled into Ritzville in July 2011, and saw the Phillips' in the front yard. He promptly turned around and asked if he could camp in their yard. Forselius explained that he had created alot of relationships and friendships similar to that with the Phillips, with families across the U.S. He uses Facebook and networking to find places to stay along his journey, but the majority of the time hi stays in firehouses. "I ask local people for the best route to my next city," Forselius said about his journey. "I always try to take the most scenic ways." Forselius bases his trip around marathons and typically runs one marathon per week. He has competed in marathons in 37 states, including Washington, D.C., but insists that Washington is one of his favorite states to travel through. "The most beautiful state is Washington," persisted Forselius. "I saw all the wheat fields and it was so beautiful." To keep his trip interesting and different than his last journey, Forselius has decided to expand from just running marathons in every state, but also to do other activities. An avid golfer, Forselius travels with a driver strapped to his bike and has decided to golf in all 50 states. A new goal that he picked up while staying with a family in the Tri-Cities is to kiss a pug in all 50 .states, as well as Guam and Puerto Rico. Forselius uses his sarcasm and humor to keep not 0nly himself entertained, but also all of the people he meets along the way. Forselius enjoys participating in marathons across the U.S. because of their diversity and traditios. He fondly remembers runningin his first American marathm and how at that point in time, h did not fully understand some of the traditions. He first ran in the Boston Marathon and he describes his shock when he reached Wellesley College and hundreds of women were holding signs saying, "kiss me." Unsure of how to react to the situation, Forselius passed by the women before researching the tradition later, and discovering it was a famous part of the race that has always been associated vith the marathon. Forselius has countless years of i00lue I00ike Caf00 & 509 659 0402 - ) - Caterllrlle CiDInpalrlW 4ca west First Avenue THURSDAY: BBQ BACON BURGER OR SOUTHWEST CRISPY CHICKEN SALAD FRIDAY: TURKEY MELTS W/BACON, SALAMI, PROVOLONE CHEESE & SUNDRIED TOMATOES WE CATER: ANNIVERSARIES, MEErlNGS, MEMORIALS WEDDINGS & MORE! 659-0402 experiences running marathons, but ' each one creates a new memory and serves as a fundraising opportunity for him. In support of raising money for cancer research, Forselius sells each foot of his race for $1 to help raise money. Among the trips that Forselius has taken is the 15,000-mile journey on bike from Athens, Greece, around Europe and back to Athens. After he completes his trip back to , Olympia, Greece, Forselius hopes to be able to complete a cycling trip around Central and South America. For the past 15 years, Forselius has combined his cycling and running together to create this incredible journey. He started running in marathons at the age of 18 and though he has suffered some. injuries, nothing seems to be able to slow him down. For learn more about Forselius or to donate, visit his website http:// or follow him on Facebook by searching "50 States Marathon Tour." E p, 00nly $I6 Adams County V Hailed to You 216 W. Railr0ad Ave., P0 Box 288 659-1020, FAX 659-0842 :::::::::::::::::::::: ltre Food and Drug Administration inspectors are .Nag tougher on"ditty, wheat berg sent to elevators, :: County Wheat Growers association afternoon: an-automobile accident hap- , hours - broke Mrs. Chris vchich the people- Rieek Wlio' was driving the car, for the league at 2:15 Sunday afternoon 3ii:6f itsjourney in a di- in Riille just fifteen days store to . Official county and S permits amd licenses-still :: must be obtained, beta Boi,:lo; hope to build a fadlity near Ritzville to salvage eleal transformers ...... Cool weather has: kept combines, out of the n 'STROLLING SINGERS' provided music during the Washtucna-Benge FOurth of July eelebm  fields throughout East Adams County as farmers net- Jim Harder, John Harder. Louise Kinch, Rod vously await  chance to send harvest into hi gear. Karen Ki-h .l,ira Rnlilbn .... Three Puget Sound area families will learn about Kinch, Cathy Blankenship, Scott Blankenship, Jean Nunamaker, ,,..., ,, .... ,,..,,,,., Dan Blakenship and Nancy Neise. " ; .... wheat farming life i Adams County gig s weekend as of the 1987 Farm-City Swap. Now in and Bill urnal-Times office and traffic safety, at the regular meeting last Thursday nighL was attempting to ransack SheriffMelven Oestreich's car -- Washtucna businessmen organized a merchant's A record crowd of over  persons attended the of Wheat Growers and Washington magazine. in the midst of an$85:bm'lg boom, largest in the number. variety that many Adams county farmers are plng for the grand reopening, I I ]1