Veteran distance runner Stan Cottrell plans to celebrate his 78th birthday Friday by embarking from Los Angeles for 100 days of back-to-back marathons to raise funds for charity before arriving in Washington, D.C.

Cottrell entered the Guinness Book of World Records in 1980 by completing a cross-country run in 48 days. He has run across Europe in 80 days and ran 2,152 miles in 53 days across China. He says he has run through 40 different countries and accumulated more than 266,000 miles in his 63-year career.

His latest Amazing Friendship Run is set to begin at Pan Pacific Park. The trek across America is a fundraiser for a number of charities including Feed the Children and the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

“If I can get up and move at 78, everyone in America can too,” said Cottrell, who lives in Atlanta. “We are creating a movement of spreading positivity, kindness and unity. Everyone, young and old is welcome to join in and run with me for as long as they wish, be it a block, a mile, or more!”

Cottrell says the Friendship Run aims to accentuate the goals of goodwill, health and wellness, mutual trust, respect and provide an opportunity to advance friendships between individuals and nations. Individuals and groups are encouraged to join Cottrell along the way and join him during his third trans-American run in person or online.

Free COVID-19 testing will be provided to everyone who registers to run with Stan through 360AZDoc. A livestream will show Cottrell’s location during his 3,000-plus-mile journey, making stops in 15 cities from coast to coast, including Phoenix; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Topeka, Kansas; Columbia, Missouri; Indianapolis; and Clarksburg, West Virginia before arriving in Washington, D.C.

A team of medical professionals will closely monitor Cottrell’s movement and live with him for the duration of his run. Cottrell’s vitals, steps and other personal data will be collected by sensors he will be wearing and be shared publicly via a remote patient monitoring platform.

For more information about the Friendship Run to participate or donate, go to friendshipsportsassociation.org or see `Cottrell Stan” on Facebook.

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