The Marathon Man UK is more than 2000 miles into his Fastest Crossing of America attempt – that’s over halfway, ladies and gentlemen! With another 800-odd miles left to cover in around two weeks, Robert Young is closing in on the world record with every step.

Rob Young’s Record Run

The last time we caught up with Rob and the campervan gang two or so weeks ago, the Marathon Man UK was somewhere in the Mojave Desert, about a third of the way into his record run. We don’t want to jump to conclusions or anything, but from where we’re sitting it looks like Rob is well on his way to cross the USA on foot faster than anyone else in history.    

Marathon Man at Home on the Range

If, like us, you’ve kept an eye on the live tracker, you’ll know that Rob’s little red pin hasn’t stopped dancing across America since he left Huntington Beach Pier on Friday 13th May. In the four weeks since, he’s gone from kicking up dust in the desert to trudging through roadside snow in the Rockies, to stacking up miles across the Great Plains in the Midwest. At an average of 60 miles a day. That’s more than two marathons, every single day! On top of that, he’s been chased by dogs, had to sweet-talk his way past concerned cops that threatened to shut his run down, and endure hail stones, thunder storms and showers of ice slush from passing cars in snowy Colorado.

“It’s quite a weird thing running through the desert in thick sand and blazing heat,” Rob says, “then a few hours later you’re up at altitude in the Rockies, running through a carpet of snow thousands of feet higher than you were that morning. It’s amazing how conditions and terrain can change so quickly in just a few hours.”

On one particular hardcore day on the road he covered 82 miles, which is pretty impressive in it’s own right, but even more so considering he also climbed from 6000 to 12000 ft. on the same day!

Taking the Challenge in His Stride

There’s a reason no other ultra runner has been able to break the record since 1980. A record attempt like this was never going to be easy. Chapped lips and sunburn were worries in week one, but as the weeks start rolling into months, the time on the road is starting to take it’s toll.

“Physically, I’m very tired. My legs are sore. My Achilles has a slight twinge, my calf has been a problem since the beginning and both knees are quite sore now too.” But Rob is no ordinary runner, and unlike others before him, his mental strength will get him through the mid-run crisis. His ability to push the limits of endurance running coupled with his heart of gold make for a record-breaking recipe to swear by, if you ask us. And so far he’s nailed it!

But it’s emotionally where Rob is begining to fall short. “Mentally I was perfectly fine until a couple of days ago where I lost focus because a handful of people were posting negative things about me and this run. It’s hard to stay motivated when we’ve offered to pay for these people to fly to America, stay with us in the RV and run with us, but they turn us down and continue to say hurtful things.”

Run With Rob

What we need to remember here is that Rob is not running for fame or glory. There’s no million-dollar cash prize or champion’s trophy at the finish line. He’s put his life on hold to run this distance in record time to spread a positive message and raise funds for kids in need.

Keep clocking those kilometres, Rob, and know we’re behind you, cheering you on, every step of the way. And we’re not only talking about SKINS here. “We” refers to your family and friends, your fellow endurance runners, the people you’ve inspired along the way, and the thousands of kids that are benefitting from the selfless steps you take to make the world a better place for them to live in. For all you’ve achieved so far, Rob, take a bow.

For more info about Rob’s transcontinental crossing, Dustin’s blog has regular posts about life on the road, or catch up on their day-to-day progress on Facebook.

Do it for the Kids

Every step Rob takes is to raise hope for children in need, and he’s created a platform through his running for you to do the same. Make your mark on their lives by joining Rob for a jog to help raise awareness, or you can raise funds for his chosen children’s charities by donating money directly, or by using the donation code RunWithRob with every SKINS order on to donate ten per cent of your purchase to the charities.