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Pete Kostelnick runs across the U.S. in 42 days, breaks trans-America record

American ultrarunner Pete Kostelnick broke a 36-year-old longstanding record of fastest crossing of the United States by foot on Monday.

Pete Kostelnick

An American ultrarunner has run across the United States faster than any person before him.

Pete Kostelnick, 29, arrived in New York City on Monday by foot averaging more than 115 kilometres per day for six weeks to crush (unofficially) the trans-America record. He completed the approximately 4,935-kilometre trip in, according to his support team, 42 days, six hours and 30 minutes. The previous 36-year-old record was held by Frank Giannino at 46 days, eight hours and 36 minutes, as per the official Guinness record books.


Giannino was at city hall, the terminus point, in New York City to meet Kostelnick as he broke his more than three-decade old record. Giannino’s run was officially 4,989 kilometres.

RELATED: Karl Meltzer breaks Appalachian Trail record, runs 3,525 kilometres in 45 days.

The Boone, Iowa native departed San Francisco on his 29th birthday.

Approaching the finish line

Finishing video

His run, known as Pete’s Feet Across America, began on Sept. 12 in San Francisco before arriving in New York City on Oct. 24. A small team accompanied Kostelnick in a support vehicle as the ultrarunner’s daily schedule included almost 65K, beginning at 3-3:30 a.m., before his first day’s break. He would then stop for 30 minutes, eat, and continue until reaching his daily goal that kept him on record pace. He slept in the support RV around 7 p.m.

Pete Kostelnick

He averaged almost three marathons per day for six consecutive weeks to break the longstanding record.

According to Kostelnick’s team, every step was recorded for the purpose of ratifying the record with Guinness World Records. He wore two identical GPS watches, in case one breaks, to capture data of his run. The support team also gathered signatures and eyewitness reports along the journey to verify that Kostelnick did the entire journey on foot. The emphasis of verifying proof is particularly important after a British ultrarunner was found to have cheated a record attempt across the United States.

RELATED: Report finds that Robert Young cheated parts of trans-America record attempt.

Kostelnick is an accomplished ultrarunner and owns a lifetime marathon best of 2:41:06. In 2015, he won the Badwater 135 in Death Valley. He won again in 2016 and broke the course record. He runs for Hoka One One.

Finish line