The American ultrarunner Pete Kostelnick arrived at his destination in Key West, Florida on Monday after spending more than three months on his feet after leaving Kenai, Alaska. Kostelnick decided the best way to transport the gear he would need would be in a jogging stroller he christened the Amelia Dawson (Amelia for the American aviator Amelia Earhart, and Dawson for Dawson Creek, which is mile zero of the Alaska Highway. “I wanted a ship name for the stroller and liked how it sounded,” Kostelnick told us.)
Kostelnick is best known as the ultrarunner who holds the record for the fastest on-foot crossing of the US, which he finished in October 2016 in 42 days, six hours and 30 minutes. The project was called Pete’s Feet Across America.
After arriving in the Keys, Kostelnick revealed what was in the stroller.
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Amelia Dawson stroller items that made it to the finish, part 1 of 3: Picture 1: An American Legion hat given to me from James on Day 63, a geocoin given to me from the Lematta’s on Day 7, an Airborne patch given to me from Phillip on Day 78, a Roanoke Alabama pin given to me from Russ on Day 83, some baseball cards given to me from Dyl on Day 70, a Fort St John pin given to me by Thomas on Day 33, an officer coin given to me by AJ on Day 69, an officer badge given to me by Jeff on Day 51, a Gadsden Running hat given to me by Hayden on Day 82, and a No Barriers flag given to me by Noah on Day 81. Picture 2: A can of bug spray Summer gave me before venturing off in Alaska, along with other items that made the entire journey—a tent, tripod, LifeStraw, eye covers, tire pump, and two cans of bear spray. Picture 3: Two HOKA ONE ONE jackets, arm warmers, gloves, buff, and two hats that made it the entire way. Picture 4: Electronic equipment including all sorts of cords, portable chargers, GPS watches, and the GPS tracker. All made the entire way except for several new cords picked up along the way. Picture 5: A taco and Dorothy costume picked up in The Villages on Day 90. I wore the taco costume all of Day 93, but never got around to Dorothy. #timetofly @hokaoneone #HOKAclifton #HOKAbondi #chafesafe @squirrels_nut_butter #Ke2Key
The items in the first photo are gifts he received from various people he met along the route. They include (among other items) an American Legion hat, an Airborne patch, some baseball cards, and a police patch from Weyburn, Saskatchewan. The second photo reveals such essentials as bug spray, bear spray, Kostelnick’s tent, a pump for the stroller tires, and a water filter.
The third photo shows various items of Hoka-branded gear. Photo four is his electronics and GPS. The last photo is of a taco costume and a Dorothy costume (Kostelnick wore the taco costume, but not Dorothy). Apparently his sense of humour did not suffer, even if his feet and legs did.
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Day 93 complete Starting Point: Sebring, FL Stopping Point: Clewiston, FL Today’s miles: 73.8 Total miles: 5,133.4 Off into the starry morning just after 4 am. The Walking Taco and Taco Tuesday have been done over and over. But what if there was a Running Taco on a Wednesday? That would certainly raise the bar on this Halloween. Got an amazing sunrise, and later an amazing sunset. Shane came and ran me into the sunrise and Chris joined me a bit later. The landscape today changed from citrus to swamp to sugar cane. At first, I was the salty taco with a side of lime (tree, I think). Then, as things heated up, I became the spicy taco with a side of sugar (cane). A few officers came out to make sure I wasn’t going bad and staying fresh. Important that I stashed my water bladders under other items in the stroller to keep cool for a 40 mile stretch with no services. I enjoyed that mini Alaska Highway-like desolate section. And if you’ve ever been on a road trip with me, you know Love’s Travel Centers are my theme parks. Find one with a Subway or Arby’s and you might have to drag me out kicking and screaming. I found one with an Arby’s on the way into Moore Haven, and cherished the chance to cool off and regain composure. I’m not so sure the 90 degree temp shown shortly later in Moore Haven was accurate, but being dressed as a taco all day isn’t easy. I saw my first gator today. It only took 78 days to run from Yukon Grizzly to Florida Gator. Song of the day: Of Monsters and Men-Mountain Sound #timetofly @hokaoneone #HOKAclifton #HOKAbondi #chafesafe @squirrels_nut_butter #Ke2Key
The run took 97 days, six hours, and 57 minutes, and Kostelnick averaged 55.3 miles (almost 88 and a half kilometres) per day. On the last day, he wrote the following:
“About eight miles out from the southernmost point, I hit a wall in the hottest day of the run. I told everyone I’d make it to the finish by 2-3 p.m., and that was starting to seem unrealistic. I remained calm and moved on, and with three miles to go I had 29 minutes to get there. No easy task when you’re hurting, but I figured I had it.”
“Pretty soon I remembered I had to find the bottle of Pacific Oean water for the finish. That wasted 45 seconds. Then, I also had to use the restroom, which ended up being a side street, costing me 15 seconds. Today’s second song of the day came on for the last half mile, and it was perfect. At 2:57 p.m., I tagged the Southernmost Point. Song of the day: Shania Twain–Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed; Fastball–The Way.