Running + Vlogging Across the U.S. with Hellah Sidibe
Hellah Sidibe is one incredible human. His personality is infectious, he’s an amazing creator and he is one of the most driven individuals we’ve ever met.
We caught up with Hellah half way through his run across country—yes, run on his own two feet across the United States—to hear more about how it's going and his vlogging along the way.
1. GoPro: For those that haven’t heard your story yet, tell us who you are and how you got here.
Hellah: My name is Hellah Sidibe, and I’ve been running every day since May 15, 2017—over 1440 days straight! On my 163rd day of running, I shared a video on YouTube about my streak, and that’s when it all started! I started vlogging more regularly, and one thing lead to another!
After running for two years straight, I challenged myself to run across the country. And here I am now!
Running has brought me so many opportunities, so my hope is that this run will inspire others to make them happy no matter how crazy it may sound. I want it to be about so much more than just me. I want it to be something that can bring positivity and unification to our country while it’s becoming more divided.
2. What inspired you to partner with the nonprofit Soles4Souls for this journey?
A pair of shoes goes a long way. Soles4Souls’ mission aligns so closely with my personal lifestyle and values—it was a no brainer.
I grew up in Mali, West Africa, and I remember getting a “new” pair of shoes and making them last for a few years. Soles4Souls turns unwanted shoes and clothing into opportunity by repurposing them from going to waste and putting them to good use — providing relief, creating jobs and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty.
I am also hosting a personal fundraising campaign for Soles4Souls—every dollar counts and is so appreciated—please help me hit my $50,000 goal! To make a donation, you can visit my fundraising site here.
3. You’re over halfway done your transcontinental run—you’ve already covered over 1,000 miles. How the heck are you feeling?!
I feel amazing! My body is adapting well now. But at the beginning, my body was destroyed.
My example is a ping-pong ball. I felt like I was a ping-pong ball getting smacked left and right in between the mountains. But, I fortunately feel a lot better now and I’m doing great.
4. What do you think about while running?
When I’m running, I think of EVERYTHING. Every day I think about the finish line. I think about my next running segment, I think about not getting bit by snakes (cause I’ve seen a couple snakes), life in general (like how i see myself in the future)—everything. I also day dream a lot. I’m out there for 10-12 hours a day, so the day dreams are endless!
5. We heard you’re hitting your four year anniversary of running every SINGLE day soon. Where do you hope to be by then?
Hahah! I had hoped to be done with this continental. But, I’ll be a little behind. I should be Indiana or Ohio by then. But more importantly, I hope to be a better runner by then. You can always be a better runner! Theres no end line. I hope to be a stronger runner—physically, spiritually, emotionally.
6. Let’s talk about your vlogging for a bit. When did you first pick up a GoPro camera?
I first picked up a GoPro in 2017 when I went to Puerto Rico. I borrowed it from my girlfriend’s cousin actually, and I think it was a HERO5. I had no idea how to use it. I just pressed the button and let it do its thing. I didn’t really know what to do with it. But when I watched the footage back afterward, it was SO COOL. I was hooked, and I knew I had to get my own.
Fast forward to December 2017, I actually met the amazing Nick Woodman [GoPro founder and CEO], and he gave me my first ever GoPro! I took it with me to Africa and used it to vlog about my time there. I’ve loved GoPro ever since.
7. Do you have a go-to accessory for vlogging while running?
YES! I love The Chesty. I get all my POV with The Chesty. The Shorty Tripod is also awesome. I film all my IG stories using just the tripod with HyperSmooth on, and the footage is SO good.
People ask me all the time, “What camera do you use?” And I always love to tell them, “It’s just a GoPro!”
8. Ultimate pump up song?
Ooh this is a good one. I LOVE ‘Till I Collapse by Eminem. I think that’s what goes through my mind with this trans-continental. Like, even today, I was falling asleep while running—how does that even happen?!—and I threw on ‘Till I Collapse, and it was the ultimate pump up that I needed.
9. Lastly, how can people follow along on your journey & how can they get involved?