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Ultrarunner Pete Kostelnick named USATF Athlete of the Week after 3,067 mile trek across America


INDIANAPOLIS – Pete Kostelnick (Lincoln, Nebraska) undertook what most would consider to be an impossible feat – running across the United States – and prevailed to complete 3,067 miles in 42 days, 6 hours and 30 minutes, unofficially setting a new record by four days. If confirmed by Guinness, this will break the previous record of 46 days, 8 hours and 36 minutes, set by Frank Giannino in 1980.


Kostelnick was inspired to take on the challenge based on a combination of his passion for ultra-distance running and seeing the country from the road.


“This feat means more to me than anything else I've ever done,” he said. “The main reason is due to the amount of time and effort I put into planning, training, and executing it. It was over a year of preparation and also included many others helping plan and execute. With the record standing since 1980, it was a very high bar, so breaking it meant all the more with so little margin for error in an endeavor where so much can go wrong.”


He averaged 72 miles per day and maintained a carefully monitored schedule to ensure his health. During the long runs he stayed motivated by “reminding myself of all the people who were pulling for me back home as I carried the live tracker.”


The transcontinental journey began in San Francisco and ended in New York City where he was greeted by his wife and a crowd of supporters, including Frank Giannino.


Now in its 15th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.


2016 Winners: January 13, Garrett Heath; January 20, Donavan Brazier; January 27, Keni Harrison; February 3, Jenn Suhr; February 10, Vashti Cunningham; February 17, Galen Rupp; February 24, John Nunn; March 2, Curtis Beach; March 11, Bill Collins; March 16, Da’mira Allen; March 24, Michelle Carter; March 31, Janet Bawcom; April 8, Maria Michta-Coffey; April 14, Keni Harrison; April 22, LaShawn Merritt; April 28, Courtney Okolo; May 6, Ida Keeling; May 12, Willie Gault; May 18, Marquise Goodwin; June 2, Keni Harrison; June 9, Tia Brooks; June 16, Donavan Brazier; June 23, Sydney McLaughlin; June 30, Tia Jones; July 7, Allyson Felix; July 15, Bernard Lagat; July 22, Allen Woodard; July 29, Keni Harrison; August 5, Chantae McMillan; August 11, Myrle Mensey; August 20, Michelle Carter; August 26, Matt Centrowitz; September 1, Megan Roche; September 8, Christian Taylor; September 14, Joe Gray; September 21, Jenny Hoffman; September 30, Jeff Henderson; October 5, Libby James; October 13, Brian Pilcher; October 20, Andy Wacker; October 27, Pete Kostelnick.


We welcome your nominations!

To nominate an athlete for USATF Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to

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