Potsdam graduate ran 67 miles to promote adoption and foster care
Monday, November 19, 2018 - 2:51 pm

Jessica Hurlbut, left, at a pit stop Friday with one of her pacers, Tanya Hewitt, who accompanied her on the road into Canton. North Country Now photo by Craig Freilich

North Country Now

MASSENA -- A SUNY Potsdam graduate student and mother of five children -- two of whom were adopted – had to quit her planned 110-mile run to promote foster care and adoption after her feet couldn’t take any more after about 67 miles.

Jessica Hurlbut, who earned her master of science in teaching degree in childhood education at SUNY Potsdam, undertook the ambitious campaign in snowy and wet weather starting Friday from Massena, made a pit stop in Potsdam and headed to Canton by early evening, and ended it early Saturday morning near Flackville.

She was barely able to walk, Hurlbut said in a video recorded from a car and posted online.

“I was on a 12-hour leg, already behind schedule,” and decided “with the prodding of my husband and others to allow the pacers to continue on,” she said about supporters from the running community who had taken turns to accompany her along the way.

That was after running a distance that was more than two whole regular marathons.

With all the volunteers and support from the community Hurlbut said she has “just been blown away.

She rode in the car to the finish in Massena “and by the time we got there more than 100 people had showed up” in support, she told us Monday morning.

She said she saw a couple of athletic trainers Sunday who told her they believed her injury was “just tendinitis” and she was being careful, using crutches – something a lot of long-distance runners have on hand – to keep weight off of it.

Hurlbut and her husband Greg adopted two children from the New York State foster care system, and want to increase public attention on the thousands of children across the country who are waiting to find their “forever families.”