Originally from Ohio, 25-year-old twins Max and Zach Prizant set out on a fundraising adventure May 31 to benefit Heart to Heart International. After losing their jobs in the hospitality industry due to COVID-19 cutbacks, the young professionals discussed a plan to take this unexpected time off from work to travel on foot across the United States but with the added caveat of raising money for a good cause. They knew they wanted to find a nonprofit that was helping those affected by COVID-19, and their research lead them to HHI. The plan: travel from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City… running and walking the entire way.
“Seeing the resources, the volunteers, the transportation and all of the places that Heart to Heart has helped is very impactful,” said Max Prizant after a visit to the Heart to Heart International Headquarters this summer.
“Now we know what we’re doing is not just numbers on a Facebook page or numbers that we’re tracking of the miles we’ve ran in terms of distances we’ve covered. This is actually going toward making a difference.”
To follow the Prizant Brothers journey on social media and/or to donate to their goal of raising $30,000, follow them on Instagram at @zacinthebox and @mpzant or on Facebook at Max Prizant and Zachary Prizant.
Blog Post – written by Zac Prizant
On May 21, 2020 at 6:26 p.m. (PT), identical twin brothers, Max and Zac Prizant, set foot on the western entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to begin their 3,000-mile journey across the United States from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. The kicker . . . they would be travelling entirely on foot – running, walking and hiking – to reach their goal of raising $30,000 ($10 per mile) for Heart to Heart International’s disaster relief and COVID relief efforts.
From their very first day when they got handcuffed for crossing the 10-mile, no-pedestrian-lane Bay Bridge at 4 a.m., the Prizants have had a wild yet rewarding journey.
As of November 18, the brothers have crossed through California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Iowa and are approaching just south of Chicago. At this time, they have traveled about 2,150 miles of the 3,000 and have raised $9,368 of their $30,000 goal. They are posting photos, stories and videos to their Instagram and Facebook pages: (Follow Max on: Instagram – @mpzant and Facebook – Max Prizant and Zac on Instagram – @zacinthebox and Facebook – Zachary Prizant.
When the Prizants finished a trek through Nevada’s 120-mile wasteland of Dixie Valley, they went face to face with a herd of wild horses and encountered snakes, scorpions and extreme heat to cold temperatures while still traveling 30 miles a day through the dessert.
Recently, the twins experienced their greatest challenge yet! Their support vehicle – a Hyundai Santa Fe along with a 1978 Jayco camper (which they had bought on Facebook marketplace when COVID first hit) – burned to the ground near York, Nebraska on September 17, burning all their possessions and diminishing their chances of continuing on their journey.
Determined not to quit after the fire, the two brothers took action. Zac flew home to Poland, Ohio where the now 25-year-olds were born and raised to drive his mother’s Yukon Denali back to Nebraska while Max procured an even older camper than that which the two had originally shared to finish the journey.
The Prizant’s average between 20 to 30 miles per day on the days they travel, with 62.1 miles (100km) being the most they’ve run in a single day! This garnered kudos from Grammy-nominated artist Mike Posner, who also has run across the continental United States., as well as Colleen Quigley, U.S. Olympic steeplechase runner.
Although the Prizant’s have occasionally had a driver assist them with pulling the camper along while they run, the brothers typically operate as a two-man team. The Prizants park one of their vehicles (usually the one pulling the camper) at the day’s destination then circle back in the other car to the day’s starting point. They then run to the destination and leap frog back to get the vehicle at the starting point before repeating.
It is the equivalent of not only running across the country, but also driving across the country four times!
The brothers embarked upon this journey when both of their casino management positions were cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They’d been talking about doing a trip like this for some time and realized this was their best opportunity to make it a reality.
Max and Zac have completed over two-thirds of their journey. For this final third, they hope to get the word out beyond the scope of friends and family and are aiming to finish before the first of the new year.
They selected Heart to Heart International to be their nonprofit beneficiary for the journey primarily because of its effort to help those affected by COVID-19. HHI is a global humanitarian organization based in Lenexa, Kan. with a mission of helping communities affected by disasters including hurricanes, wildfires, and, of course, disease outbreaks.
Donations can be made at https://www.facebook.com/donate/786354105481037/786354152147699/.