Pete Kostelnick has set a new speed record for running across the U.S., smashing the previous mark that had been in place for more than 36 years. The endurance athlete arrived in New York City on Monday of this week, bringing an end to his six-week odyssey that began in San Francisco back on September 12.
Officially, Kostelnick covered the 3067 mile (4935 km) distance between San Francisco and New York in 42 days, 6 hours, and 30 minutes. That beats the old record – set by Frank Giannino Jr. back in 1980 – by 4 days, 2 hours, and six minutes. That means that he had to average more than 72 miles per day – every day – to set the new mark.
While in the midst of this record setting run, Kostelnick set a brutal schedule for himself. He would sleep in a support vehicle until 3 AM, then run 40 miles (64 km) over the course of 7 or 8 hours. He would then take a break to refuel and rehydrate at lunch, before hitting the road once again. The second leg of his daily mileage would usually be another 30+ miles (48 km).
Only twice throughout the course of the journey did he fail to hit the 70 mile mark on any given day. He also took one full rest day along the way too. And on his final push into New Your City, he ran 87 miles (140 km) nonstop.
Kostelnick is no stranger to difficult runs, although he's never done anything like this one before. He is a two-time winner of the Badwater Ultra however, and holds the course record for that event at 21 hours, 56 minutes, and 32 seconds. That is a brutal race of course, but not much can compare to the daily grind of a transcontinental run like the one he just finished.
Congrats to Pete on amazing job. Breaking a 35+ year old record is never easy, and he just lowered the mark to a point that it could take another 35 years before someone else gets close.