Farmer’s cross-state run ends with his death

Photo via Border to Border at 65

Reggie Oeltjen had an ambitious idea for a 65-year-old man. The Stewartville, Minn., man wanted to run across the state — that’s 280 miles in 20 days — for no other reason than he could.

He and his daughter, Natalie, started two weeks ago. He will not finish. She reports he died in his sleep on Wednesday morning.

“While this is unexpected and very difficult for us, it probably couldn’t have been a better way to pass,” his daughter wrote on their blog.

Earlier this month, he told the Rochester Post-Bulletin he knew he’d never be good enough to run the Boston Marathon, so he started thinking of what else he could do.

He had been running about 15 miles a day and had hoped to reach Byron, Minn., in time for the Med City Marathon, the Rochester Post-Bulletin says.

Running enthusiasts in southeast Minnesota are planning to join his daughter to run the half marathon.