Teacher runs across the state to raise funds for cancer research

She's a teacher with a mission. Not just to educate students, but to broaden her knowledge of the state, raise money for Candlelighters, a cancer research organization, and unite the Nevada communities that are celebrating their centennials, in particular Las Vegas and Sparks

Susan "Ernie" Rambo, who teaches drama, puppetry, writing and study skills at Walter Johnson Junior High School in Las Vegas, is running about 25 miles per day around the state of Nevada.

By Saturday afternoon Rambo reached Miller Road near Genoa. She's traveling with Romona Thomas, another Clark County school teacher, who is shadowing Rambo in a Land Rover. Inside it is their food, water and camping gear. Most of the time they keep a lot of space between each other, except during the stretches that Rambo fears a mountain lion may jump out of the shadows. She calls herself a "city girl."

"The heat doesn't bother me though it definitely slows me down, but I keep moving," Rambo said from the road. She'll be in Carson City today.

"Patagonia makes long underwear and I wear that to protect me from the sun. So, I'm the woman walking and running around Nevada in her long underwear."

Her effort is called the 2005 Nevada Ramble Centennial City Run, an event she designed herself. She'll run 1,250 miles in 51 days from June 15 through Aug. 4, offering a proclamation uniting the cities in Nevada that are celebrating centennials including Las Vegas, Sparks, Minden, Mina and some smaller towns.

Dignitaries and officials are invited to sign her proclamation as she runs through their town. She said camping out in the desert has been a bonus on this trip, but she and Thomas don't pass up the opportunity to stay in a hotel. Showering is a priority, then eating real food. Rambo then checks in with her father, Dick, and is in bed by 8:30 p.m.

She has ran about 50 marathons and ultra marathons in the last 18 years. Last year Rambo ran from Nevada's northern border above Jarbidge to the southern border by Avi.

"It was a neat day because we were finally off on this big journey that we'd been planning for three years."

The Ramble started in Las Vegas and will end there, but in the meantime Rambo will run through Red Rock Canyon, Pahrump, Rhyolite, Boundary Peak, Minden, Genoa, Carson City, Virginia City and Sparks.

"I'm doing it for the physical challenge. I'm doing it because I appreciate all of Nevada's geography. The basin and the range geography fascinates me."

From there it goes to Walker River, Gabbs, Berline and Ione, Austin, Hickison Summit, Eureka and Ely.

After Ely, Rambo will run through Cave Lake State Recreation Area, Osceola, Baker, Minerva, Sunnyside and Rachel and Alamo.

The 48-year-old runner started out this trip weighing about 115. Rambo estimated that she's lost about three pounds so far.

Along the way she plans to distribute literature on and encourage donations to Candlelighters for Childhood Cancer of Southern Nevada.

"I would love to come up with a word that sums up this experience and I just can't. I'm looking at these hills surrounding Genoa and I encourage everybody to come out and see this."

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