Green River Star -

By Lillian Palmer
Staff Writer 

Record-holding cross country runner passes through GR

Makes fifth run across U.S.

 

"Wyoming is the wild west," Bjorn Suneson said Saturday evening.

Suneson, a 68-year-old Swedish runner, was taking refuge from the heavy rains in the Dusty Trails Café at Point of Rocks, passing through Green River just a day or two before. He was enjoying a long awaited sip of a cold Pepsi; something he doesn't get the chance to drink on a whim while running an average of 33 miles a day.

Suneson holds the world record for most solo coast-to-coast runs across the United States, and is currently on his fifth coast-to-coast run. He started this year's run in San Francisco, Calif. April 19, and will finish in Boston July 22 where his children plan to meet him. His run is about 35 percent completed, a total trek planned to last 93 days.

Suneson may look like a typical marathon runner wearing neon colors, yet something atypical may catch ones attention if he is spotted running along the highway. He runs, pushing a three-wheeled baby stroller called the Baby Jogger; a stroller for athletes. Only Suneson isn't pushing a baby, the jogger carries all of his supplies he needs while trekking cross country, including his experimental quart of chocolate milk. He tries a little something different every run; this time it's chocolate milk sustenance to keep him going.

People, he said, ask him what his cause is. They ask him why he does what he does.

"I don't have any cause, I just do it for myself," he said.

"A fun adventure," he states in his blog. "To me, it means freedom and happiness and a fantastic way to meet ordinary Americans and see the things tourists never experience; the small towns and the American countryside."

Suneson writes in his blog, suneson.se, about his daily adventures running through the American countryside. Highlights from Wyoming have populated the blog in recent days. Next on his agenda is Nebraska.

"When I come into Nebraska, it feels like I'm coming into civilization," he said.

Wyoming's ever-changing weather is a strange thing to Suneson, but the people, he said have also made an impression, so helpful.

"The weather here is so dramatic," he said. "We don't have that weather type at home; that can stop me, the weather."

He reminisced about a time from his previous coast-to-coast run in 2012, when he was stopped by a tornado in South Dakota. That was his third run, he said.

"I was almost naked. It was almost impossible to stand up," Suneson said.

He'd been struggling to keep himself dry, holding his hands above his head in an effort to protect his head, when a car stopped to give him a ride.

"Tornado chasers picked me up," he said.

They stopped to give him shelter from the storm, but not before photographing him struggling in the winds, he said.

"That's the only thing I'm afraid of is the weather here," Suneson said.

The seasoned runner of 30 years has run numerous times throughout his home country of Sweden as well as the United States, but this year will most likely be his last one in the U.S., he said. He is among the oldest of marathon runners.

"It's more a question of routine and experience," Suneson said in his blog. "Elderly, well trained people can have just as much stamina as younger."

Although this year may be his last in the United States, he plans to continue running back home. As he ends every entry of his blog, "keep on running."

 

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