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December 6, 2022

From pain sprouts passion for Aprylle Gilbert

At the age of 15, Aprylle Gilbert figuratively ran away from the East Coast. On May 11, she will literally run back.
Gilbert, 45 and a mother of two, will take off from Santa Cruz, running down to Long Beach where she will follow historic Route 6 to Provincetown, Mass.
The run will take just about three months to accomplish, covering 3,652 miles across 14 states.
And she’s doing all of this to raise money for disadvantaged children in San Jose.
“It would be great accomplishment, but I didn’t want to do it for nothing,” Gilbert said. “I wanted to do if for an organization to raise money.”
Her motivation begins back to her teenaged years when, according to her website, she fled a tumultuous family home, coming out west.
Gilbert left her Rochester, NY home and hitchhiked across the country until she wound up in Arizona.
She had a ninth grade education, got a job at a Taco Bell and was living out of a one bedroom trailer.
She made her way to California where she got married and in 2003 bought a 100-acre home in unincorporated Morgan Hill where she raised livestock and farmed with the goal of living sustainably with her husband and two daughters.
But Gilbert got divorced in 2009 and had to give up her farm and her animals.
The emotional sting led her to take up running, and running she could do very well.
Gilbert found she could easily do 30 to 50 miles and decided to parlay her remedy for negative emotions into a positive force for the youth of Santa Clara County.
Gilbert helps out at the Washington United Youth Center in San Jose.
The organization only has funding to be open two days a week, but it is searching for ways to help expand, which includes offering music programs and running programs—both of which are right up Gilbert’s ally.
Gilbert is a musician, playing folksy music, according to her website. Her music is also serving as a platform to help raise money for her journey.
She is playing a fundraising concert 6:30 p.m. April 17 at BBQ 152 in Gilroy with Mark Fenichel.
She has a site set up for donations atcrowdrise.com/coasttocoastforkids/fundraiser/apryllegilbert where she has raised $1,150 as of Wednesday morning.
Gilbert said she isn’t in a place in her life where she feels like she can directly mentor kids, but she said she still wants to do something to help inspire them.
“I wish I could use my experience (in life) to help kids stay in school,” Gilbert said.
She has been training for this run for two years, taking trips to Tahoe, Vedauwoo, Wyo., Big Sur and traversing the Santa Cruz mountains and surrounding trails.
Her typical training regimen takes her from Campbell to Los Gatos then over Old Santa Cruz Highway along a popular bike path.
For more information on Gilbert’s journey and fundraising events, visit aprylle.com. When she gets started, she will have a link to follow her progress.

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