A family of eight that’s running across the United States to educate people on the benefits of staying healthy made a stop in Boston this weekend.

Dr. Ed Chicoine and his family have been trading off running shifts, relay-style, putting in more than 50 miles a day, trekking through Canada and the U.S. It’s the first time anyone has attempted to make such a journey by foot.

Having completed more than 5,000 miles in Canadian territory, the family stopped in Southie and rested in the Hub through Columbus Day weekend.

“[The world] has lots of disease and obesity, and we spend so much money treating a disease that can be prevented altogether without drugs or surgery,” said Chicoine. “You don’t need to rely on harmful chemicals, you just need to be more active.”

 

Shacked up in an RV built for two, the family chugs along state to state with one person running to meet them at their next stop.

Then they switch.

“We put all our lives on hold,” said Chicoine about his family.

Everywhere they stop, the Chicoine family spreads the word about health and wellness at schools, social events and meetings with city officials. Last week, they met with former Mayor Ray Flynn and City Councilor Bill Linehan.

Chicoine said being crammed in small quarters with his family can create cabin fever, but the daily runs keep everyone sane.

“We do, on average, a half marathon a day each,” he said. “By the time we finish, we think we might average 100 marathons each.”

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear.

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