Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Knowlton's run: This time, he's going for the record

Some of my readers may remember a blog post I did awhile back about Steve Knowlton, the Prior Lake man who ran across the United States, from Seattle to Florida, over the span of 99 days in 2010 to raise money for Crohn's disease, an ailment he himself was diagnosed with as a child.

Shot of Knowlton near the end of his
previous cross-country trek. Yes, he
did in fact tow that cart with him for
the duration of the trip.
I remember being amazed by his achievement for reasons that went beyond his ability to endure the almost-certain physical hell he put his body through. Here was a guy who was afflicted with a potentially debilitating disease, yet he refused to let the disease keep him from living life the way he wanted to live it. A lot of people make excuses out of their misfortunes; he made himself stronger because of his.

I also admired the adventurous -- some would say insane -- mindset he had to come up with such a bold journey. Many fitness-oriented people long to go on a cross country adventure like his, whether it be running, cycling, kayaking, canoeing or rollerblading. However, there aren't a lot of people who have the initiative to take the next step and actually do it.

Most of all, the thing I admired about Knowlton was his mental strength.  It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and expose your body to ebbs and flows of Mother Nature and the traffic of an interstate road. It also takes a lot of will power to keep your wits amid the day-to-day grind his mind was undoubtedly going through. Most people -- myself included -- can barely even stomach the notion of running a full marathon, much less doing 1 1/2 marathons...every day...for more than three months.

Needless to say, it was a fun blog entry to write. I didn't really make much of it at the time. I had a relatively small, Mankato-centric audience and wanted to keep my blog focused on my own personal experiences of trying to live an active lifestyle. I enjoyed writing about Steve, but I figured my commentary about him would be relatively forgettable.

However, a few months back I found out that Knowlton had begun following my blog and he messaged me to say that he was planning another cross-country run., this time in an effort to both raise money for Aspergers research and break the world record for fastest time across the U.S., a record currently held by Frank Giannino (46 days, eight hours and 36 minutes, in case you're wondering). In order to do so, Knowlton will have to average close to 70 miles a day, almost doubling the average of his previous run.

I plan on writing more about Knowlton in the near future, as I did an interview/run with him last month (unequivocally the coolest thing that's ever happened to me through my blog) and it took a considerable amount of time to sift through 3+ hours of interview recordings. For the time being though, here's a video about his run by Dan Stewart as part of planned documentary:

******Note: The start date of Steve's run has been pushed back from June 1 to Sept. 1 in order to allow more time to raise money/publicity for the run.


  1. Thank you very much Alex, I appreciate the confidence and your quite the athelete yourself. Very nice to meet you and run, hangout

  2. Sorry, I have to be the buzz kill.

    No way that seems possible for such a unaccomplished runner like Steve. 70 miles a day is a lot and beyond world class on a run on open roads.