Running Across the USA 7 Times with Bjorn Suneson
7 times across the USA
It’s probably safe to say that most Americans have never driven across the United States. And even fewer have run across the country. So how is it that a 71 year-old Swedish man has run his way coast-to-coast across America, not once, but a staggering 7 times? And maybe more importantly, WHY?
In this episode, we meet Bjorn Suneson, the man who has done just that. I think we can all agree that runners are just a bit ‘crazy’ and perhaps Bjorn is even more Runner-Crazy than most of us. In our conversation, we not only learn why he decided to do this on multiple occasions, but how he manages the logistics involved in such an undertaking.
He shares with us his thoughts and observations about the geography of the United States and the Americans he has encountered along the way. We learn what a typical day in his trek looks like and get a peek into his fueling and recovery techniques, which is probably not what you would think.
Bjorn lives in Stockholm, Sweden and is a former journalist. We have included a link below to his blog so you can relive his adventures and follow along if he decides to go for number 8.
Questions Bjorn is asked:
1:46 First Four:
- How old are you?
- Where were you born?
- Where do you live now?
- What is your favorite running distance?
2:38 What got you started running?
3:15 When was the first Stockholm Marathon you ran?
5:17 What motivated you to start running coast-to-coast across America?
6:22 Why was your first run from Chicago to New Orleans the hardest?
6:49 Was that a solo run?
6:57 What made you want to start doing more cross country runs?
7:31 How did the Chicago to New Orleans run help you figure out what you wanted to do for the 2007 coast-to-coast run?
9:33 What’s the basic make up of your stroller?
11:55 When did you start using GPS?
12:03 Did all 7 coast-to-coast runs take different routes?
13:40 Did the people in Gothenburg know you were coming and greet you?
14:00 Which of the 7 runs is your favorite?
14:39 Why did you decide to do 6 more runs after the first one?
15:53 What impressions do you have of the United States?
16:53 Which states most impressed you and what memories do you have?
17:34 Were you running on roads or trails?
18:01 Did you need to get permission to run on the highways?
18:37 How did you plan your routes?
19:30 How many miles per day were you running?
22:49 Did you encounter any wildlife in the more remote areas?
23:22 Did you have a cell phone or other means of requesting assistance?
23:57 Were these runs ‘fun’?
26:20 What about some of the special people you’ve met on your runs across the US?
29:19 Were you ever afraid of any people?
31:08 How is American infrastructure compared to European infrastructure?
32:42 Could you elaborate on what you called “dead city-centers”?
34:52 What have you noticed about Americans’ health?
37:36 Did you see a lot of other runners in America relative to Europe and Sweden?
39:20 Do you know of anyone else who has run across America more times than you?
39:42 Is 7 a lucky number in Sweden?
40:05 How supportive is your family with these runs?
42:14 Did you run every day on these journeys?
43:00 What would a typical day look like?
46:03 How much does your luggage and stroller weigh?
47:27 How many calories would you consume in a day?
47:46 What other running do you do and is there one that stands out to you?
49:56 Any final thoughts?
54:07 Final Kick Round:
- What is your favorite local training run or outing (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
- Favorite book(s), video or resource?
“If you are kind to people, people are kind to you.”
“When you have done a lot of runs, you don’t get nervous. There are solutions to every problem.”
“What many people don’t understand is that runs like this are not a physical thing; that’s not the hardest thing. It’s a mental thing.”
“What I’ve learned often is that the poorer people are, the more kind they are.”
“If you take one rest day, it will not help you at all. It’s bad for me. But, if you shall rest, you shall rest 2-3 days. But, I don’t have to recover so much because I have proved in some way that it’s not necessary to take rest days because I have not been injured during these runs and I felt well all the days.”
Take a Listen on Your Next Run
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