Photo: Kimble/Fleet Feet Chicago
On Monday, local ultrarunner Adam Kimble will take off on a cross-country trek that he hopes will put his name in the books: specifically, the Guinness Book of World Records.
Kimble, 29, leaves Huntington Beach, California on Monday and aims to reach New York City in less than 46 days. In so doing, he would break the current world record for the fastest run across the United States, set by Frank Giannino Jr. on Oct. 17, 1980.
“[I’ve done] nothing like this,” Kimble says. “The longest race I did was a 155-mile stage race, and several ultras from 50K to 100 milers, but nothing quite on this scale.”
While Kimble’s aim to run 3,030 miles is impressive, the distance pales in comparison to his original idea.
“Last year, I was traveling with my wife in South America driving down the Pan-American Highway, and I made a comment about running the entire Pan-American Highway,” Kimble says. The Pan-American Highway, which spans from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to several cities in southern Chile, stretches across about 19,000 miles and 17 different countries.
“With the logistics and all the international borders, I realized I should wait on something like that,” Kimble says. “I shelved the idea, and a month later was talking to a friend who was telling me about his experience biking across America. I morphed the two thoughts, his experience and my idea, and came to the conclusion that we should attempt to run across America.”
Kimble will head out with five crew members, including his wife Karen and four other friends, and expects to spend about 14 to 15 hours per day running. Due to the time of year, Kimble chose to run across the southern portion of the country, and will pass through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York on his run.
“I’m not in race mode,” Kimble says. “This is more of a conservation of energy and running at a pace which I can allow myself to [maintain] and extrapolate that over 40-plus days and not burn out. If I was going out like running a marathon every day, it wouldn’t take long before my body gives in.”
Recovery will certainly play an important role in allowing Kimble to accomplish his goal, and he expects to keep his legs fresh through a combination of massage techniques he and his crew have learned along with NormaTec pulse boots and massage rollers to help stimulate blood flow.
Kimble also plans to use the run to fundraise for impossible2Possible, which works to inspire young people to aim to reach goals beyond what they believed they could accomplish.
“We love their mission,” Kimble says. “They exist to empower and educate youth and help them to understand that they can reach outside of their perceived limits and achieve some really cool things—instilling in younger people the idea that you can go for it and make awesome things happen.”
Fleet Feet Sports Chicago has helped sponsor Kimble on his run, providing him with 10 pairs of shoes, running singlets, long sleeve shirts and runCHI apparel.
“I couldn’t be more grateful to be supported by such an awesome organization, a local store showing support for a Chicago runner like myself,” Kimble says. “It’s really cool to continue partnering with them and doing awesome things as we make our way across the country.”