Pete Kostelnick runs Alaska to Florida

5,300 Miles in 98 Days: Pete Kostelnick Runs From Alaska to Florida

Filed under: Endurance  News  Running 

From Anchor Point, Alaska, to Key West, Fla., Pete Kostelnick ran diagonally across the U.S. He averaged more than 50 miles per day for his 5,384-mile run.

Pete Kostelnick runs Alaska to Florida
Photo courtesy of HOKA ONE ONE

On November 5, Kostelnick reached the tropical blue waters of Key West, finishing one of the longest transcontinental runs in history.

Kostelnick began running on July 31 from Anchor Point, Alaska, the westernmost point on American highways. His route ended in the southernmost point in America, Key West.

This journey, what Kostelnick called the K2K (Kenai Peninsula to Key West), was more than 5,000 miles long and self-supported. You can see his GPS record here. Per his Instagram, Kostelnick ran 5,384 miles.

Think of it as a massive diagonal crossing of North America. He ran along U.S. and Canadian highways, averaging just over 50 miles per day for 98 days straight. Talk about endurance!

Pete Kostelnick runs Alaska to Florida
Roughly his route, per Google Maps

Prior to his race, Kostelnick stated he believed nobody had run from Alaska to Florida, nor had anyone run a self-supported FKT of 5,000-plus miles with an average pace of 50 or more miles per day.

K2K FKT: Pete Kostelnick Runs From Alaska to Florida

The HOKA ONE ONE athlete set the record across the U.S. in 2016 from San Fransisco to New York. For that record, he had a support team and averaged 72 miles per day.

Kostelnick wanted to challenge himself on another transcontinental run and do so self-supported. He ran the entire distance pushing a stroller with his gear. During the K2K, he was on his own and had to supply his own food, clothing, and maps.

Each day, Kostelnick woke up between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m., finishing by 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. after running an ultramarathon. Then, he would unwind and take care of some housekeeping before sleeping.

All that for 98 days straight.

He packed five outfits, some cold-weather gear, and a bright, reflective neon-yellow vest. His choice of footwear was the HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 6 and Clifton 5.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, his pace was thrown off near the beginning because of a fire in Alaska. It forced him to take a day off — so he ran 90 miles the next day! After that, he continued to pace himself according to his plan without skipping a beat.

“It is a mental struggle,” Kostelnick said in a documentary of his accomplishment. “I always try to find ways to break up the day into smaller pieces. It’s looking at a map and saying, ‘All I care about right now is just getting to the next big curve in the road.'”

And now, surely it’s time for him to have some much-needed rest. Congrats to Kostelnick for once again running an astounding distance at a near-unbelievable pace.

View this post on Instagram

Day 98 complete Kenai, AK to Key West, FL Run complete Today’s miles: 51.6 Total miles: 5,384.3 Starting time: 5:00 am Alaska Daylight Time, July 31 Stopping time: 2:57 pm, Eastern Standard Time, Nov 5 Total elapsed time: 97 days, 6 hours, 57 minutes Average miles per day: 55.3 miles I thought today would be cake. I was giddy about today’s first song of the day being my “theme song” of the entire run, having heard it on the airplane for the first time as I flew into Anchorage about 100 days ago (Shania Twain was my first crush). I thought back on how I saw amazing glaciers and some of the world’s largest mountains in Alaska. I remembered seeing a couple grizzly bears from 40 feet away and somehow remaining calm. I recalled seeing forest fires and breathing smoke for several days in a sleepy trance before a man welcomed me to his lodge for a beer on the house. I could practically smell sugar beet trucks and hear hawks screeching across millions of trees cheering me on along the race course. I felt the cold rain making me count down the miles to Estevan SK, and a few tears left on the pavement when North Dakota welcomed me back from Canada with sunny skies. The simplicity of country roads in Kentucky and the hard-fought narrow shoulders of Alabama. Family in Iowa and new friends on bicycles in the Yukon. Every single day I thought back on. 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 pm, 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 Ocean 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 pm, I tagged the Southernmost Point. Song of the day: Shania Twain-Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed; Fastball-The Way #timetofly @hokaoneone #HOKAclifton #HOKAbondi #chafesafe @squirrels_nut_butter #Ke2Key

A post shared by Pete Kostelnick (@petekostelnick) on

Nate Mitka
By
Midwest born, Nate Mitka is based in the GearJunkie Denver office. He is an advocate of all outdoor activities and has developed some habits, like running without headphones, eating raw vegetables, and fixing the chain on his ratty old bike.
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