Woman traveling the length of the Mississippi to make Prescott stop this month

By Zane Douglas on Jul 16, 2019 at 9:39 a.m. | River Falls Journal

Running a marathon is hard. Extremely hard. The training that goes into it is extensive, difficult and time-consuming. Victoria Bradford Styrbicki won’t let that get in the way of her mission which is to run the length of the Mississippi River. She’ll have to run or bike a marathon every single day.

Bradford Styrbicki is the creator of a project called Relay of Voices. She plans to run from Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way, she’ll be stopping in 104 communities and learning about life there by shadowing families, individuals or workplaces.

Bradford Styrbicki is from Louisiana and lives right near the mouth of the Mississippi River, but she said she feels disconnected from her family, her friends and the river back home. So she wants to reconnect with the river, but in a more meaningful way — by stopping at many cities on the 100-day trip.

“The realization that I will be stopping where there are people who have connected to this river, who have depended on it, lived on it and who have given back to the river… it might really be connected to the way my family lived our lives,” Bradford Styrbicki said.

On July 31, Bradford Styrbicki will be in Prescott by way of Saint Paul. She will be shadowing Prescott members of the Friends of Freedom Park Board, the Historical Society and the chamber of commerce.

Bradford Styrbicki is a longtime dancer, but didn’t take up running until about three years ago. At 38 years old and with only three years of training, she said she will occasionally have to listen to her body when she needs to stop, at which time her husband, Tom, will take over. She said she experiences severe migraines, so she might have to take a break every once in a while for that as well.

Bradford Styrbicki’s time in Prescott will be short, but it’s part of a much longer, more strenuous journey across the country.

“I’m going to learn about a type of humanity or a way of living our lives as humans that I think I got away from by living in an urban environment,” she said.

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