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Des Moines Public Schools teacher running across the state of Iowa in four days

By Ophelie Jacobson

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    DALLAS COUNTY, Iowa (KCCI) — A Des Moines Public Schools teacher is putting one foot in front of the other and running across the state of Iowa.

Cory Berkenes started his 300-mile-long journey Wednesday in Omaha. Thursday marked day two of the trek as he traveled from Adair to Bondurant. KCCI met up with the North High School teacher in Adel as he was running.

“I love Iowa,” Berkenes said. “I’ve been across it on the bike before. I’ve been across it in a car, but never on foot.”

He said the goal is to finish the run in under four days. If he completes it in 96 hours, it would be record time. Cory said his family is what keeps him going.

“They’re here supporting me. They run with me,” he said.

Crystal Berkenes, a teacher at North High School as well, is Cory’s wife. The couple has been married for 20 years. She said it is incredible and surreal to watch her husband take on the challenge.

She has been running with Cory for a few miles each day. So have their daughters.

“They’re teenagers, and they’ve had the most amazing attitude,” Crystal said. “They’ve really enjoyed this experience too.”

Crystal has also been helping Cory stay on track. She had a paper with a detailed list of stops along the route and a place to track his splits. She’s also been meeting up with him periodically to give him food and water.

The two educators hope Cory’s trek across the Hawkeye State inspires students to always put their best foot forward.

“It’s just fun just to show them what we could do if we work hard and we’re committed,” Cory said.

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