Impressively fit septuagenarian runs across America

America map
At 78, Stan Cottrell is running across America, from west to east (Image credit: Getty Images)

A 78-year-old runner is running 3000 miles across America – for the third time.

Stan Cottrell runs an impressive 30 miles daily. He hopes to run for 100 consecutive days from Los Angeles, in California, on the west coast to the US capital of  Washington DC on the eastern coast.

Earlier tis week, the runner from Kentucky, ran into Indiana, some two-thirds of his way through his epic trans-American journey.

He has previously run the route twice  and he holds the world record for the fastest Trans-America run. In 1980, he took just 48 days to complete the ultra run.

Over the years he has ran a total tally of more than 260,000 miles – the equivalent of 10 times around the earth. He has completed ultra distance runs in 40 counties worldwide.

In 1984, Stan also ran for 53 days to cover 2125 miles from the Great Wall of China to Guangzhou.  He has completed a run across Europe in 80 days.

The real-life Forrest Gump, who started running age five, has also run from New York to San Francisco in 48 days to set a new Guinness Book of Records.

In 1984, he founded Friendship Sports Association, an outreach using Sports, especially ultra-distance “Friendship Runs.” 

His secrets to being able to run for so long include “eating only nutritious foods”, such as grilled chicken or fish, fruits and vegetables and whole grains, rather than sports specific snacks and gels.

His choice of the best running shoes are  Hoka running shoes, which he changes every two hours. He expects to wear out 12 pairs by the time he reaches the finish of his latest challenge.

Cottrell's run is raising funds for several charities, including the Friendship Sports Association, Go Vets Foundation, Larger than Life, WLOC Clothes for Kids Inc., Feed the Children, Hope for Families, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation and TongueOut. 

Fiona Russell
Outdoor writer

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favorite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing (both downhill and backcountry). Aside from her own adventures, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy getting outside and exploring, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.