Joseph Michael Liu Roqueñi loves running, and to prove it, he's taking a very long journey.
Yesterday, Liu left Montreal to go for a run that will take him all the way to the southernmost tip of Argentina, and he's doing most of the trip barefoot.
In all, the run is expected to take about two years, and cover a total of 19,000 kilometres.
At the moment, Liu has only raised about 1/20th of the money he says he'll need to complete his journey. He hopes to raise the rest during his trip.
He's teaming up with a different charity in each of the countries he's passing through. First up is Pathways to Education Canada.
The Concordia student has been training in Montreal since last summer, CBC News reports, with prep work including exercises like running barefoot through the snow.
As he set off yesterday, Liu wasn't completely barefoot: he had huaraches on, which look like a pair of flip-flops held on with bungee cords. But for much of the run, he'll be wearing nothing at all on his feet.
He also wasn't alone as he started his journey - some of his friends were running alongside him - but he will face a lot of time by himself over the course of the next two years. That's one of the things Liu says he's afraid of.
"There's a few, from getting attacked by an animal, to getting robbed, to facing those lonely times," he told CBC.
As for why he's taking on this epic journey, he told Concordia that the goal is to be a pioneer.
"I want to be the first person to run barefoot across the Americas," he said.
Via CBC News