78-year-old Kentucky man running across country, tributes hometown as inspiration

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 5:04 PM CDT
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Ky. (WBKO) - A 78-year-old Kentucky man is running across the country and it’s not his first time completing this accolade. WBKO News caught up with the Hart County native as he’s halfway through his journey of 3,000 miles in 100 days.

”This is just another way of acknowledging my roots,” said Stan Cottrell about one of the reasons for the run. “And I’m just so doggone proud of where I’m from and the state.”

He calls himself a proud Kentuckian. Cottrell began his run from LA to DC on May 7, naming this the Amazing Friendship Run of 2021.

Stan Cottrell's running map
Stan Cottrell's running map(Stan Cottrell)

“I’ll finish in Washington, DC on August 14,” said Cottrell.

Cottrell has run across the United States three times in his life. His first run in 1980 broke the world record by five days.

“41 years later, Mother Nature and Father time has entered the picture. So doing 30 miles a day, which I guess by some people’s standards for a 78-year-old man, that’s pretty good.”

A Nobel Peace Prize nominee, published author, runner across 40 countries, but perhaps his greatest honor is coming from rural Hart County.

“There was an imprint, a powerful imprint-- that set the tone, the pace on the stage, even with my running. Daddy would get me up and I’d have to chase after all cows in the morning,” said Cottrell. “Those early foundational principles of life and living and, and just integrity, kindness and gentleness and, and was forged in me up and down those hollers.”

One of the charities he’s raising money for on this run is WLOC’s Clothes for Kids out of Mundfordville.

“When you have 40% of the kids in the county that didn’t even have a coat for the winter. $100,000 will make just a mind-boggling difference in the lives of their children. ”

In less than a month, on July 12, the Hart County native will run through his hometown on his venture across the nation.

“This run embodies the spirit of a homecoming, no matter where you are. There are people getting together.”

In each town he runs through, whether big or small, Cottrell aims to foster friendship. On the way to the finish line, he’s bringing his mission back home where it started on the way.

“This run is making a difference. Every little town that I go through, this celebration just gets bigger and bigger and bigger, and want to bring it home,” said Cottrell.

Cottrell will be running through Kentucky on July 12 from Bonneville to Munfordville and is encouraging members of the community to join him. There will be a celebration event following the five-mile run.

He will have logged 270,000 miles of running after this trip.

To donate to his causes go to FriendshipSportsAssociation.Org.

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