Cross-Country Team Runs Non-Stop Across the Country From Coast to Coast, Breaks World Record, and Publishes Book On the Adventure

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Twenty-one runners from the Rochester Institute of Technology cross-country team carried a baton across America in twelve days, beating the World Record held by the 1979 RIT team. The 2004 team published a book this week on their journey through the self-publishing website, available for sale at

Marathons are for wimps. Even triathlons are chicken-feed to the cross-country team from the Rochester Institute of Technology, whose members ran non-stop across the country, all 2,730 miles, from sea to shining sea.

With foul weather conditions, packs of wild dogs snapping at their heels and overly-suspicious police officers, this wasn’t just a run--it was an adventure.

Author Ryan Pancoast of Stratford, CT kept a diary and sketchbook throughout that run, which the President of RIT suggested he turn into a book.

Running in shifts, and sleeping in the back of two RVs in between, the team carried a baton from the waters of the Pacific through deserts and over mountain tops to the Atlantic coast. Their goal was to better the time set 25 years previously by another RIT cross country team. They succeeded, bettering the 1979 team’s time by over 48 hours.

Starting in San Diego, the team then ran through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, and ended the trek in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

RIT had all the facilities on campus to print and distribute that book, but library staff there recommended Pancoast use Lulu ( print-on-demand self-publishing site with no upfront costs to the author--to bring it to a wider audience.

The 264-page book, entitled "Coast to Coast" (, is more than just a written record of that run across the country. It also includes:

  •     Team rosters
  •     Course maps
  •     Sketches Pancoast made throughout the trip
  •     95 photographs
  •     E-mail addresses for anyone wanting to pose questions to the runners

In the words of the athletes themselves, “Coast to Coast” is the story of how they kept that baton moving, and all the while learning how to band together as a real team, in 12 days, 3 hours, and 48 minutes.

COAST TO COAST (ISBN 978-1-4116-8823-0) is currently available as a paperback for $14.95, or hardcover for $25.42 at

ABOUT LULU.COM: Lulu, the world’s fastest-growing source of print-on-demand books, lets you publish your own books, ebooks, calendars, images, music and videos at no advance cost. It was founded by Bob Young, who previously co-founded the software company Red Hat.


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Lauren Moseley
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