• Sweden edition
 

Swede completes record-breaking US run

Published: 14 Sep 2007 17:41 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Sep 2007 17:41 GMT+02:00

On Friday morning at 8.30am local time, the 59-year-old business reporter dived into the Atlantic at Virginia Beach, thereby bringing to an end a journey that began 96 days earlier at Florence, Oregon on the Pacific coast.

Suneson's stated goal when embarking on the trip had been to traverse the continent in 100 days or less.

Having covered an average distance of 53 kilometres (33 miles) per day, he was finally able to throw himself into the Atlantic four days ahead of schedule.

"I may even be the oldest person ever to run all the way across the US without a support car or any other assistance. The statistics are however not entirely reliable," he wrote on his website shortly after his arrival at Virginia Beach.

Armed with just a jogging stroller in which to carry his luggage, Suneson left the west coast on June 14th and followed the road into Oregon's McKenzie River Valley.

Writing on his website, the jogging journo recorded the many adventures that befell him on the way.

"Suddenly, the three sisters appear," he wrote on Day 2.

"What peaks! More beautiful visions have seldom been seen but the ladies seem a little cold.

"I was not able to get any closer to them but I am thoroughly smitten and tomorrow I will mount them," he added.

Lest anyone doubt the veracity of his tale, Suneson was quick to provide an explanation.

"Take it easy, I am talking about the mountain peaks of the Three Sisters, each of which is about 10,000 feet above sea level."

After two weeks of solid running, Suneson finally crossed the state line into Idaho, the second of the ten states listed on his itinerary.

In the searing heat of July, he ran marathon after marathon over the High Plains of Wyoming and into the Great Plains of Nebraska.

Updating his website from motels across the nation, Suneson punctuated each passing day with the upbeat mantra: "Keep on running!"

At the end of that month, he realized to his delight that the west was finally won.

"At the eastern end of Lexington [NE], the trip meter on the stroller hit 2,600 kilometers (1,600 miles), which means that half the distance is now done. [...] Oh my God, I have covered half the US! I can hardly believe it myself," he wrote.

August came and went, a month in which Suneson left the roads of Montana, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio trailing in his wake. August 30th in particular is a day that will live long in his memory.

"Today I made the longest run of my life, two marathons or a total of 84 km (52.5 miles), I can hardly believe it myself." he wrote.

Next up was West Virginia and the dreaded Appalachians. By September 8th he had already conquered a good portion of the winding roads along the range. It was also the day on which he crossed the border over to Virginia, the last of the ten states.

On the Virginia side he quickly found some badly needed replacement tyres for his long-suffering stroller.

Morale was high and with the end in sight Suneson expressed the hope that his remarkable feat would inspire others approaching retirement age not to hang up their running shoes just yet.

"Maybe I’ve managed to spread the message: you’re not finished yet because you’re over 50. And it’s never too late to start training.

"The human body is a fantastic machine, but unlike machines it can repair itself and even become stronger," he wrote.

On Friday morning, the last day of the journey, Suneson dragged himself out of bed at 4am despite having run 80 kilometres the day before. His employer, Svenska Dagbladet, was keen for him to complete the run in time for the weekend editions.

And so, with the Atlantic already in sight, Björn Suneson departed from his Norfolk motel to complete the last leg of the journey.

At 8.30am he finally arrived at the Virginia Beach seashore. There was no fanfare or jubilant crowd, just a supportive reporter from his own newspaper waiting to interview her tireless colleague.

After a quick dip in the warm waters, he switched on his trusty laptop and wrote of his exhilaration at having finally reached the end of the road.

"My first thought is: Oh my God, this is almost impossible to believe. Me, an old old man, and I've made it!"

And, of course: "Keep on running!"

Read all about the trip at Björn Suneson's website.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Stockholm Pride 2014
Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats
Photos: Henrik Montgomery/Fredrik Persson/TT

Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats

While a record number of ministers and party leaders will participate in the Stockholm Pride Parade this year, there are notable exceptions - including SD leader Jimmie Åkesson, who is not only 'uninterested' but banned. READ  

Gender neutral 'hen' enters dictionary
Soon 'hen' will be found on this page. Photo: The Local

Gender neutral 'hen' enters dictionary

The ever-controversial pronoun 'hen' has won its battle and is set to officially become part of the Swedish language. READ  

Pines, polska and magic: Urkult Music Festival
Photo: Danny Chapman/The Local

Pines, polska and magic: Urkult Music Festival

The Urkult music festival in northern Sweden may be less sex, drugs and rock'n'roll and more family fun, chai and polska dancing - but Danny Chapman says it’s one of the most magical Swedish experiences he has had. READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
You want one of these. Photo: Skatteverket

Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm

When it comes to data-driven life, from daycare to healthcare, Sweden is in a league of its own. Above all, your personal number is the key that unlocks life in Stockholm. READ  

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

All aboard! We're off to the island of Gotland for our Property of the Week - a home right in the heart of Medieval Visby. Whether you're looking to buy or dying to look - this is the place for you. READ  

Stockholm Pride 2014
Stockholm Pride glides into seventeenth year
Stockholm Pride. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Stockholm Pride glides into seventeenth year

The largest pride festival in Scandinavia is back for the 17th year in a row. The week promises to be packed with activities - and a glamorous opening gala with Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst. READ  

Preschool teacher arrested for child rape
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Preschool teacher arrested for child rape

A man has been arrested on the suspicion of raping a child at the preschool where he is employed. READ  

Police arrest 17 people after fatal shooting
Police at the scene. Photo: Niklas Luks/TT

Police arrest 17 people after fatal shooting

Seventeen people were arrested during the early hours of Tuesday after a man was shot dead in central Sweden. Several of the suspects were already known to the police for gang crimes. READ  

Cops find 15kg cocaine stash in woman's car

Cops find 15kg cocaine stash in woman's car

A 35-year-old woman faces charges for aggravated narcotic crimes after police found 15 kilogrammes of unusually high-concentrated cocaine in her car. READ  

Opinion
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ

The top six ways the US and Sweden differ

Back home in the US and with a solid Swedish stint under his belt, contributor Steven Schier has listed what he thinks are the six biggest differences between Sweden and the states. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 
 
 
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

732
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se