For Matt Kearns, “no rest for the weary” is more than just an expression—it’s a lifestyle.
The 37-year-old embarked on the Wind 100, a 100-plus-mile run from Montauk Point to Long Beach, on Saturday morning to raise awareness for offshore wind. But the North Babylon native’s work is far from done.
The Wind 100 was created by Mr. Kearns in collaboration with the Sierra Club, a non-profit organization focused on bettering the environment, as a way to highlight Long Island’s opportunity to invest in offshore wind farms, none of which exists in the United States today.
“Matt is running through Sandy-affected areas to raise awareness that our geography can threaten our electric, but it also provides us with one of the best solutions,” said Sierra Club spokesperson Lisa Dix in a previous interview.
The route, which is essentially a straight shot west on Route 27, was chosen to connect the two points on Long Island where offshore wind farms could be implemented, said Ms. Dix. The two points represent the areas with the most offshore wind potential because of their physical location and because their coasts sit in areas that have been deemed usable for the project by the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management, which oversees federal waters.
“We’re not done here,” Mr. Kearns said in a phone interview on Monday. “I know personally I’m not going to rest until offshore wind is a part of Long Island and the rest of New York’s energy mix.”
Mr. Kearns departed from the Montauk Lighthouse just after midnight on Saturday morning, followed by a van of emergency service workers and a police escort.
“Throughout the Hamptons, we had a police escort,” he said. “I stopped at Gubbins [Running Ahead] in Southampton about 30 miles in. I was feeling pretty good.”
After losing 8.5 pounds in the first 30 miles, however, food intake became problematic. “I couldn’t get the food in quick enough to process to keep my body moving forward,” he said.
Mr. Kearns ran 90 of the 100 miles, a 22-hour process, before becoming ill and finishing the last 10-mile stretch by car.
“It was a little disappointing—but, ultimately, it’s not about me or my personal goals, it’s about Long Island’s opportunity and to show there’s public support,” he said. “The run was just an opportunity for people to come out and show their support for offshore wind, and I think we really proved that through this.”
Upon arrival at the Long Beach boardwalk, Mr. Kearns was greeted by more than 600 friends, family members, community members, and offshore wind supporters, said Sierra Club spokesperson Kim Teplitzky in a press release.
“I mean, we were able to get people talking about renewable energy on a Saturday night, which probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise,” Mr. Kearns laughed. “It’s been such a great opportunity, and I feel really grateful to be able to be a part of all this.”
Going forward, Mr. Kearns said although the run is over, he has full intentions of continuing to push New York State government leaders to invest in offshore wind.
“We’re really looking for policy initiatives to make it a reality,” he said. “We’re at a critical point and it’s time to act.”