Trans-American Footrace

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1928 publicity photograph of KGGM (now KNML), a "portable broadcast station" hired by C. C. Pyle, which each evening transmitted reports along the route of the race.[1]

One of the earliest twentieth century multiday races was the inaugural Trans-American Footrace, which took place in 1928 starting at Legion Ascot Speedway in Los Angeles and finishing in New York City in Madison Square Garden for a distance of 3,423.5 miles (5,509.6 km).

Out of the 199 runners who left Los Angeles on March 4, 1928, at 3:30 p.m., only 55 runners finished on May 26, 1928. The race took 84 days to run from coast to coast. It was called the Bunion Derby by newspapers and was also held in 1929. Runners included Paul Hardrock Simpson and Andy Payne, who won the event in 573 hours, 4 minutes, 34 seconds. The race was organized by C. C. Pyle.

Johnny Salo, who finished in 2nd place in 1928 and in 1st place in 1929, became the fastest person to twice run across the continental United States in consecutive years.[2]

Recent races[edit]

A coast-to-coast race has taken place several times since, including four races organized by Jessie Dale Riley and Michael Kenney from 1992 to 1995. Alan Firth organised two events in 2002 and 2004.

In 2011 ultrarunner Serge Girard planned a new edition running from Los Angeles to New York starting June 19 and lasting for 70 days.

On May 20, 2012, ultrarunner John Pyle completed a run from San Francisco to Key West. His run began on February 29, 2012.[3]

On August 18, 2012, ultrarunner Jennifer Bradley[4] became the second British woman to cross America on foot but the first to run across and make it in 80 days during the Run Across America on Trail 2012.[5] Her trip started May 31, 2012, at Twin Harbors State Park in Washington, and she was on the trail 720 hours 26.7 minutes.[6]

Also on August 18, 2012, ultrarunner Mike Samuelson[7] of Tennessee completed the same Run Across America on Trail 2012 of 3,303 miles (5,316 km) at Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware on a journey that had started May 31, 2012, with four runners. He was on trail 719 hours 47.2 minutes.[6]

On June 2, 2015, British ultra runner Robert HP Young[8] won the 2015 Race Across USA footrace with a time of 482 hours 10 minutes.[9] The race started in Huntington Beach, California, and took the southern route on both road and trail to the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland with a total distance of 3,127 miles (5,032 km). Young subsequently attempted a solo run across the U.S. in 2016 to break the crossing record, though stopped part-way. Investigations concluded that his time could not have been a true reflection of his performance, and he was dropped by his sponsors.


  • Williams, Geoff. C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America. July 10, 2007. ISBN 1-59486-319-9
  1. ^ Anaconda (Montana) Standard, April 22, 1928, page 10-B.
  2. ^ "Trans America Footrace, Race results of the 'Bunion Derby'". Retrieved 2019-08-04.
  3. ^ "Patriot Run Across America, Three Men, One Mission". 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  4. ^ "Run Across America on Trail 2012". Running and Baking. 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  5. ^ Anonymous (2012-08-21). "Garver House welcomes Run Across America participant from Britain - New Philadelphia, OH". The Times-Reporter. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  6. ^ a b "Day 81: Dover, DE to Baltimore, MD by car". Running and baking. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  7. ^ Ultra Mike. "Run Across America on Trail". Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  8. ^ "Robert Young - Marathon Man UK". 2015-06-30. Retrieved 2015-06-30.
  9. ^ "2015 Race Across USA". Race Across USA. 2015-06-30. Retrieved 2015-06-30.

External links[edit]