“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a run.” Forrest Gump’s fictitious cross country gallup is a sweet, inspiring portion of the classic film. Of all the ridiculously improbable moments in the movie, the non-stop running feels like the most improbable… except a Kentuckian has done it three times.
Stan Cottrell made his first run across America in only 48 days. The 3,000-mile trip in 1980 set a Guinness World Record. Now at 78, he’s making the trip one more time. On Monday he was honored by Governor Andy Beshear at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville after running across the Big Four Bridge. A ceremony was also held in Mumfordfordville, not far from the farm he grew up on in Hart County.
“It’s my passion. It’s just like this, having this kind of encounter and realizing this gift that I’ve been given, I give it back to the world,” he told WBKO during the stop in Western Kentucky.
To complete the trip, Cottrell is running 30 miles a day for 100 consecutive days. No, I’m not kidding. The septuagenarian is running more than a marathon a day for more than three straight months. He began his quest in Los Angeles May 7 and intends to finish in Washington D.C. by Aug. 14. It’s a task that’s difficult to comprehend for recreational runners, but Cottrell is not your average runner.
After the conclusion of this trip, Cottrell will have recorded almost 260,000 miles in his lifetime, the equivalent of about ten trips around the globe. He’s ran the span of the Great Wall of China and been to more than 40 different countries, bringing a message of peace and friendship everywhere he goes. This trip is raising money for a variety of charitable organizations, including the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Go Vets Foundation and many more that can be found at friendshipsportsassociation.org.
Cottrell has used his passion to make the world a better place. He’s not just a great Kentuckians or a great American, he’s an exceptional human being.