List of people who have ran or walked across the United States

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This is a list of people who have walked across the United States from the east coast to the west coast or vice versa. Walking or running across the United States has long been pursued as a way to bring publicity to social causes.

Philip Cihiwsky[edit]

Phil Cihiwsky, 59, from Loveland, Colorado walked from San Diego, California to York Harbor, Maine starting his walk on March 4 and completing it on October 4, 2013. He walked 3300 miles, crossing 15 states in 7 months while raising awareness about food insecurity issues among older adults for Meals On Wheels and encouraging the people he met along the way to support home delivered meal programs in their own communities.[1][2]

Helga and Clara Estby[edit]

Helga Estby, a 36-year-old from Spokane, Washington, and her 18-year-old daughter Clara walked from Spokane to New York City in 1896, setting off on May 5, 1896, passing through 14 states along the way, and arriving at the latter on Christmas Eve. She did so in response to a $10,000 challenge from a sponsor given to any woman who would walk across the United States. She brought with her a compass, red-pepper spray, a revolver, and a curling iron. She wanted the money in order to save her family's 160-acre (65 ha) farm. She did not receive it.[3][4][5]

Louis Michael Figueroa[edit]

In 1982, Louis Michael Figueroa, age 16, became the fastest and youngest person (according to some sources)[6] to run across the United States, covering the route from New Brunswick, NJ to San Francisco in 60 days to fulfill a promise to a friend who was dying of bone cancer.[7]

In 1996–1997 he walked from Bangor, ME to San Diego, CA for local AIDS networks in memory of his brother Jimmy, who died of the disease. The walk was plagued by delays due to Figueroa's battle with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.[7]

In 2005, he began a walk around the United States for victims of child abuse. Figueroa walked for six months and covered 6,437 miles (10,359 km) of the 12,070 miles (19,420 km).[8]

On June 4, 2010 Figueroa left from where he previously stopped, 6.43 miles (10.35 km) west of Somerset, PA and arrived in Tucson on January 15, 2011.[6][7][9][needs update]

Aaron Huey[edit]

Aaron Huey, age 25, left Encinitas, California on January 22, 2002 and arrived in New York City 3,349 miles and 154 days later. His only travel companion was his dog Cosmo. He did not carry a cell phone and had no support team.[10] Huey covered the why and how in his 2010 Annenberg Foundation lecture,[11] and Huey also wrote journals of his travels along the way.[12]

Pete Kostelnick[edit]

In October of 2016, Pete Kostelnick, age 29, set the world record for fastest run across America; he ran the 3,067 miles from San Francisco’s City Hall to New York’s City Hall in 42 days, 6 hours, 30 minutes.[13]

Polly Letofsky[edit]

Polly Letofsky, 37, walked around the world, including the United States. She started in Vail, Colorado in 1999, and headed west through Arizona, California, then walked around the world entering US shores again in NY. NJ, PA, Upstate NY, Ontario, CA, MI, WI, MN, IA, MO, KS, CO. Her walk around the world was the culmination of a childhood dream, but moreover was an advocacy campaign for breast cancer around the world. In each country the funds raised stayed in that country. She returned home on July 30, 2004.

Barbara Moore[edit]

Barbara Moore (1903–1977),[14] a Russian-born health enthusiast, walked 3,387 miles from San Francisco to New York City in 85 days in 1960, departing on April 13 and arriving on July 6.[15][16]

Richard H. Noble[edit]

From March 12, 2011 through June 9, 2012, Richard Noble, a gay rights activist, walked with a rainbow flag from San Francisco to Jacksonville Beach, Florida.[17][18][19]

James Harry Pierce[edit]

James Harry Pierce, a 46-year-old writer, costumer, and street performer,[20] began his walk across the United States on May 30, 2011 just south of Seattle, Washington, passed through Crestview, Florida on December 24, 2011,[21] and continued on to Key West, Florida, where he settled on February 7, 2012 and now performs nightly on Duval Street dressed as Darth Vader playing the banjo.[22]

Peace Pilgrim[edit]

Peace Pilgrim (born Mildred Lisette Norman) was an American pacifist, vegetarian, and peace activist. Starting on January 1, 1953, she walked across the United States for 28 years until her death in 1981.[23] She had no organizational backing, carried no money, and would not even ask for food or shelter. When she began her pilgrimage she had taken a vow to "remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food." At the time of her death, she was crossing the United States for the seventh time.

Chad Sigmon[edit]

Chad Sigmon was 38 years old when he ran across America starting April 1, 2013 from Jacksonville, FL and ending August 1 in San Diego, California. He ran to help end mental health stigma. He averaged around 22 miles a day for a total of 2,650 miles.[24][25]

Katie Visco[edit]

From March 29 through December 29, 2009, Pave Your Lane's founder, Katie Visco, ran across America, from Boston to San Diego to publicize this campaign. At age 24, Visco became the second youngest and 13th woman overall to run from coast to coast.[26][27]

Bob Wieland[edit]

Bob Wieland is a Vietnam War veteran who lost his legs to a mortar mine in 1969. He "ran" across America on his hands, taking three years, eight months, and six days to travel from coast to coast and raise money for Vietnam war veterans.[28]

Zachary Bonner[edit]

Zachary Bonner is a homeless youth advocate. He started a non profit when he was 6 years old called the Little Red Wagon Foundation. At age 8 after seeing a documentary on a woman named Peace Pilgrim he decided to walk from his home in Tampa, Florida to the state Capitol Tallahassee. The following year at age 9 he continued his walk to Atlanta, Georgia and that summer at age 11 he walked from Atlanta to Washington DC.[29] He vowed to become the youngest to walk Coast to Coast and at age 12 completed that mission by walking from Jacksonville Beach to the Santa Monica Pier. During his walks he used media attention to raise awareness to homeless youth and highlighted many programs working to help these kids.[30] The journey took Zach 7 months to complete.

Joe "Tiger" Patrick II[edit]

Joe "Tiger" Patrick II is a Peace Dale, Rhode Island Army veteran. After volunteering at Ground Zero for 3 weeks he decided he wanted to do something to bring awareness to the men and women who died as a result of the events during the 9/11 attacks, and those who have died while serving in the military for the United States of America.[31][32] He committed to walking for the cause. He completed a memorial walk in 2011 and on his second walk in 2013 he walked approximately 3,000 miles across the United States beginning in April 2013 in the City of Coronado, California and ending in Washington D.C. in October 2013.[33][34] During this walk he carried a memorial panel that he created on canvas, which displayed the faces of over 6600 color images of U.S. service members, and weighed over 50 pounds. He also carried an American flag and a bat used by Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Walter O. McGill III[edit]

Walter McGill, also known as Pastor "Chick" McGill,[35] the "Freedom Walker"[36] and the "Cross Country Flagman,"[37] a 69-year-old pastor of the Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church and Vietnam War era veteran, began to walk across the United States on April 23, 2014 at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.[38][39] He completed his journey on April 29, 2015 at the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California after traveling a route of over 3,200 miles,[40][41] and carrying the United States flag by hand the entire way, the first such documented case.[36][42] On July 12, 2015 he was honored at Dodger Stadium for the completion of the walk prior to a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers.[43][44]

McGill's websites promoting the walk, and, indicate an extensive list of causes for which he made the journey, including: civil liberties, human rights, national integrity, the restoration of individual and corporate self-respect, support for traditional family values, liberty of conscience for all citizens, the defense of constitutional principles, the review and appreciation of American heritage, care for the poor and homeless, the promotion of natural health practices, employment of the Golden Rule in daily living, and a spiritual awakening for the healing of the country.[45] Along the way he saluted passing motorists and pedestrians,[36][46] received certificates of appreciation at the Inland Empire and San Gabriel Valley, and left non-sectarian 40-day prayer guides for city and county officials.[42][47] He was provided with a police escort part of the way along his walk in Tennessee and Georgia,[47] and was awarded a "Day of Recognition" in his home state of Tennessee by Governor Bill Haslam.[48]

During the portion of the journey through Prescott, Arizona he dedicated ten miles of his walk to Kayla Mueller, who was captured by ISIS and killed earlier in 2015.[49]

In his closing statements, McGill said, "To be the first veteran to carry Old Glory from sea to shining sea has been a great aspiration of mine, and I'm praying this flag will be enshrined at the Smithsonian Institute [sic]."[50]

Arthur Hitchcock[edit]

Arthur Hitchcock is a documentary/editorial photographer who, at age 19, walked from Long Beach, California to Augusta, Maine between May 11 and November 2, 2011. He walked approximately 4,100 miles (6,598 km), crossing through 17 states in 175 days. Hitchcock walked to raise funds for breast cancer research and aid to assist families dealing with the cost of hospital bills and treatments. He walked to honor his deceased parents, Janet and Mike Hitchcock. His mother died from ductal carcinoma a few months before the trip. The majority of his route included major highways (it's illegal to walk on most major highways). He was led by a support vehicle.[51]

John Ball[edit]

Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel John Ball, aka “The Walking Aggie,” walked coast-to-coast across America from March 1, 2015[52] to August 17, 2015.[53] Beginning at Scripps Park in La Jolla, California and ending at Daytona Beach, Florida, Ball, age 58, walked 2,686 miles, crossing 8 states in 170 days. His unassisted, uninterrupted walk raised over $27,000 to help establish an Endowed Aggie Ring Scholarship at his alma mater, Texas A&M University.[54]

Anthony Roddy[edit]

Anthony "Silverback" Roddy is a retired USDA Forest Service worker who, at age 56, walked from Wells Beach, Maine, to Imperial Beach, California, between April 19 and December 15, 2015. A US Army veteran of the war in Iraq, he crossed 13 states in 244 days, walking approximately 3,073 miles. His Walkabout-America 2015 was the culmination of a life-long dream, but moreover was an advocacy campaign to help grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. He raised more than $5,000 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.[55]

Jeffrey Grabosky[edit]

From January 20 to May 20, 2011, Jeff Grabosky ran solo and unsupported for over 3,700 miles from Oceanside, California to Smith Point, New York. He took prayer intentions from people all around the world and prayed a decade of the rosary for each of the approximate 3,500 intentions he received. His book, Running With God Across America was published in 2012.[56]

Bjorn Suneson[edit]

In 2016, Bjorn Suneson finished a run across the United States.[57]

Mike Maczuzak[edit]

Mike Maczuzak, president of SmartShape Design, walked solo and unsupported from Coney Island to Santa Monica Pier, covering more than 3,600 miles in 125 days, and traveling through 15 states, March to July 2016. [58]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Susan Morse (2013-10-05). "Man walks across country for Meals on Wheels". Seacoastonline. 
  2. ^ Dwane Brown (2013-03-04). "Volunteer Will Walk And Wheel 3,200 Miles To Support Meals On Wheels". KPBS News. 
  3. ^ Christy Karras (2003-06-01). "Book Honors Pair's Courageous, Forgotten Walk Across America". The Salt Lake Tribune. pp. D6. 
  4. ^ Margo Hammond (2006-06-23). "Get on the road with a good book". St. Petersburg Times. 
  5. ^ Chris Rodkey (2003-07-13). "The Nation: Women Get No Mileage From Cross-Country Trek". Los Angeles Times. pp. A.27. 
  6. ^ a b "Long-distance walker on journey to protect children". Contra Costa Times. 2010-11-23. 
  7. ^ a b c "Man to walk across U.S. for children's rights". Arizona Daily Wildcat. 2004-11-30. 
  8. ^ "Figueroa Video Interview on WTOC-TV of Savannah, Georgia". 
  9. ^ "The real 'Forrest Gump' stopped by police in Elm Grove". BrookfieldNow. 2010-07-06. 
  10. ^ "Walking Across America". The Seattle Times Sunday Magazine. 2005-04-24. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Aaron Huey: Photographer, Argonaut, Rock Star
  13. ^ Fox, Kit (2016-10-24). "Ultrarunner Pete Kostelnick Smashes Record for Run Across U.S". Runner's World. Retrieved 2016-10-25. 
  14. ^ "Dr. Barbara Moore, Who Walked Across U.S., Is Dead at 73". New York Times. 1977-05-15. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  15. ^ Bill Clark (July 1, 2010). "This week in local history". Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Interview without a halt". Chicago Tribune. April 14, 1960. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Crosscountry hiker promotes gay rights amendments". Mountain Democrat. 
  18. ^ Advocate Contributors. "OpEd Sleeping Praying and Walking Across America for Equality". 
  19. ^ "Richard Noble, a Man You Should Know". The Huffington Post. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Walking across America" (PDF). CrestView News Bulletin page A5. 2011-12-24. 
  22. ^ "Duval performers need a license to thrill". 2015-05-31. 
  23. ^ "Peace Pilgrim's 28-Year Walk For 'A Meaningful Way Of Life'". NPR. 2013-01-01. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  24. ^ Local Chad Sigmon travels coast to coast raising mental health awareness - The Exponent Telegram : News
  25. ^ Increasing mental health awareness - Arizona Range News: News
  26. ^ Mario Fraioli (2009-12-29). "Katie Visco Completes Run Across America". Running Competitor. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ Rote, Kyle; Pettigrew, Joe (2009). Living Life in the Zone: A 40-Day Spiritual Gameplan for Men (2009 ed.). Thomas Nelson Inc. p. 289. ISBN 978-0-8499-4652-3. 
  29. ^ "Fla. boy walking to D.C. for homeless kids". Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  30. ^ Marshall, Joyce (21 May 2010). "12-year-old Florida boy takes Six Flags break during 2,500-mile walk | Today's Buzz". Star Telegram. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  31. ^ Prater, Erin (19 June 2013). "A war veteran, a flag and a mission". The Gazette. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  32. ^ Miller, Roxann (22 Aug 2011). "Rhode Island man treks through Chambersburg on way to ground zero". The Herald. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  33. ^ "Faces of Our Fallen" (PDF). The City of Coronado California. City of Coronado, California. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  34. ^ Rangel, Alexis (7 May 2013). "One man's extraordinary walk across America". Imperial Valley Press News. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  35. ^ "Man walking across America comes through Inland Empire, San Gabriel Valley". Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  36. ^ a b c ""Freedom-Walker" Carries Nation's Flag Cross-country". Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  37. ^ "Going for a long walk: National prayer trek brings pastor through Bullhead City". Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  38. ^ Roanoke Beacon, April 23, 2014. "Pastor's trek across America is God's idea"
  39. ^ The Coastland Times, April 20, 2014. "Cross country walk to start in Kill Devil Hills"
  40. ^ "69-Year-Old Veteran Finishes Cross Country Walk Carrying American Flag". Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  41. ^ "News Update!! Santa Monica, CA: Man walking coast to coast reached his final destination at Santa Monica Pier". Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  42. ^ a b "Veteran To Complete Coast-To-Coast Walk At Santa Monica Pier Wednesday". Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  43. ^ "Veteran honored at Dodgers Stadium". Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  44. ^ "McGill completes walk across America". Retrieved 12 September 2015. 
  45. ^ "". 
  46. ^ "Saluting America". Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  47. ^ a b "Tenn. Pastor To End Cross-Country 'Prayer Walk' At Santa Monica Pier". Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  48. ^ "Day of Recognition Certificate". Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  49. ^ "Tennessee pastor honors Kayla Mueller". Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  51. ^ Hitchcock Walks.
  52. ^ Walker, Texas Aggie: Man to walk coast to coast, starting in La Jolla. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  53. ^ 'The Walking Aggie' completes cross-country walk in Daytona. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  54. ^ 'The Walking Aggie' passes through Houston area. Retrieved 4 October 2015. 
  55. ^ "Man walks across country to raise money for Make-a-Wish". KOB4 Eyewitness News. December 24, 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  56. ^ "Catholic Man Finished Run Across America With Deepened Faith". Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  57. ^ "Swedish Radio article on Bjorn Suneson". Retrieved September 23, 2016. 
  58. ^ SmartShape Design (2016-08-08). work= SmartShape Design Media Room "SmartShape Design President Completes Walk Across America" Check |url= value (help). 

Further reading[edit]