NBC's Roker embarking on 50-state marathon
Nov. 05, 2015
NEW YORK (AP) — Al Roker is testing his endurance again — and this time he's picking up some frequent flier miles.
The "Today" show personality, a year after completing a marathon 34-hour weather forecast, plans to give reports from all 50 states within a week starting Friday. If successful, he'll try to have it certified as a Guinness World Record, not that anyone has done it before him.
Last year's stunt raised $70,000 for the USO. This year, Roker's trip is benefiting Feeding America.
"If we can shine a light on something that's a problem, I'm willing to do anything," he said.
Roker takes care of the big travel issues first, starting Friday in Honolulu before flying to Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday.
Then the real fun begins. Starting in Spokane, Washington, on Sunday, Roker travels through the Northwest that day. He cheats a little on Monday, visiting the Four Corners, enabling him to cross off Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado at one stop, and gradually makes his way East.
He'll be delivering forecasts throughout his travels, either on "Today," local NBC affiliates, cable networks like CNBC, MSNBC or The Weather Channel and online. Planes, trains and automobiles will shuttle him across the country, and Roker is packing a few books and a supply of movies on his tablet.
Johnny Cash's travelogue song "I've Been Everywhere" has been referenced. Roker promises not to sing it.
The NBC veteran will be dependent on the weather to keep on schedule. A bad storm or two might force some rescheduling.
"Don't think it's not lost on me," he said.
Roker is scheduled to begin next Friday in Stamford, Connecticut, before making the 45-minute commute to Manhattan and a finish line at the "Today" show studio.