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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > Jan-17 > AMERICAN DREAM


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Two-time Badwater champ Pete Kostelnick has shattered the record for running across the USA. Crossing from Pennsylvania into New York state on 24 October, he finished at New York City Hall a massive four days ahead of the previous world record – which stood since 1980. In order to run an average of 72+ miles a day, Kostelnick rose between 3:00-3:30am for 42 days. Key to the journey’s success was making sure that every step of Kostelnick’s cross-country run was appropriately documented for the Guinness World Records’ consideration. So, each morning, Kostelnick strapped on two identical GPS watches (in case one broke). In the afternoon, he replaced those with two more, while the support team gathered witness signatures, took videos and photos, and assembled media reports. But enough about running: arguably Kostelnick’s most impressive achievement was the 13,000 calories he consumed each day! Flying in the face of nutrition naysayers, his diet consisted of McDonald’s, fizzy drinks, Subway sandwiches, massive steaks and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

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About Men's Running

We all think we’re giving 100% in races. But watching some elite athletes, their faces contorted in late-race agony, I can’t help but ask myself: how hard am I really trying? In Matt Fitzgerald’s How Bad Do You Want It? – a brilliant book with a toe-curlingly bad title – he writes about our ‘unreachable physical limit’. That’s not to say we are all super-athletes of unlimited potential. Quite the opposite: we are all wimps unwilling to break free from our mind-forged manacles. It is not the body that slows us down, but the brain. The bravest athletes – the Prefontaines, Radcliffes and Brownlees – get closer to their physical limit than most. The rest of us? My guess is that we rarely realise more than 80% of our physical potential. Yet we can, with consistent training and iron-willed determination, walk a little further along those hot coals. Perhaps not as far as Radcliffe or Brownlee, but further than we’ve ever gone before. It’s a theme that David Smyth explores further in the month’s ‘Suffer club’ article on page 60, speaking with some of these athletes about how they’re able to push themselves to their very limits. So next time you find yourself in a race, telling yourself the same old lie that you’re trying your hardest, be brave and ask yourself honestly: can I give more? The answer is, inevitably, yes.