PRIOR LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — As though doing it once wasn’t enough, a Minnesota man is preparing to run across the United States again.
A few years ago, Steve Knowlton, of Prior Lake, took a run across America. This spring Steve will once again run from coast to coast.
He plans on breaking the world record this time, but he’ll have his work cut out for him. He’ll need to cover 70 miles a day.
Knowlton will start in San Francisco and head east to New York City. His journey will cover 3,100 miles.
Knowlton says it really helps when you have a reason to run.
“If someone paid me to do this, I would run the rest of my life,” he said. “After I got through the initial two weeks, I had to pinch myself, because it wasn’t hard anymore I was seeing the country and enjoying it.”
He said the last time he ran across America, he actually got depressed during the final days because he didn’t want it to end.
Loving it is only one of the two reasons Knowlton is running. The other is to raise awareness of Asperger’s Syndrome and those with the neurological disorder, which includes one of Knowlton’s family members.
That’s why Theresa Gustafson helped start ANSWER. The organization helps teens with Asperger’s and their parents, in addition to spreading awareness.
“It’s time to understand that these are not bad or defective people. They are who they are, they bring new and cognitive skills to the table,” said Gustafson.
So if you see Knowlton trotting down highway 13 near Prior Lake, don’t mind him. The same goes for police officers, some of whom slowed down Knowlton’s journey last time.
“Throughout the journey I’ve been pulled over 30 times, sat in a couple of squad cars while they ran my license and make sure that I’m not some criminal.”
Along the way he’ll try to stop and speak to communities about Asperger’s, but his time will be limited for that. He figures he’ll have to run 14 to 16 hours a day to break the record. He starts the run in May, and he needs to do it in 45 days.
ANSWER’s next fundraiser is Monday, April 23 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Hell’s Kitchen.