RAGBRAI news team
Sat, Jul 27, 2013 | by Emily SchettlerShare
FORT MADISON –
Several people had previously tried to run a complete RAGBRAI, but none had finished the daunting task. Until Saturday, when it happened twice.
Pete Kostelnick and Richard Kresser both stepped into the Mississippi River after running 400-plus miles across Iowa.
“It’s unreal. It still hasn’t even sunk in,” Kostelnick said afterward.
The 25-year-old Boone native, who now lives in Lincoln, Neb., cracked a beer while waiting in line early Saturday afternoon for his turn to dip his foot in the Mighty Mississippi.
Kresser, 27, who is originally from Raymond, ran down the trail about an hour later and straight into the river amid cheers from cyclists and onlookers.
“I had some fantastic support on the downhill coming in here to Fort Madison, there were so many more cheers than I expected,” Kresser said. “Now that I’m done, the body is like, ‘OK, let’s move on to something else, like a couch.’ ”
The two ultra-long distance runners said they had their doubts during the week about whether they could finish.
For Kostelnick, it was after Day 1, when he ran 84 miles, including the Karras loop, which riders tackled the second day. He split the extra mileage over Sunday and Monday.
Kresser tried to complete the full century ride in a single day but was forced to stop due to hot temperatures followed by heavy rain and hail.
“Once 9 a.m. rolled around and the sun came out and we hit a high of 93 (degrees), the 30 miles to Guthrie Center was a death march,” Kresser said.
That section of the route took him 11 hours to complete. He cut the day short and came back Tuesday to make up the distance.
Both have had their sights set on RAGBRAI for a couple years.
“Running across the state by yourself would be boring,” Kostelnick said.
They raised money along the way, Kresser for the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown and Kostelnick for the organization Holiday Heroes, which provides programming for children in hospitals around the holidays.
This year’s combination of a short route and cooler temperatures helped make the dream a reality. It took a lot of motivation, support and sheer willpower, too.
The men averaged about three to four hours of sleep a night and ran between 12 and 20 hours each day.
Kresser switched between four pairs of running shoes and ate breakfast burritos from vendors to help him get through.
Kostelnick had a nurse on his support crew who gave him a massage each night. Others encouraged him to eat even when he wasn’t hungry, a necessity to keep him going.
Support from riders along the way helped, too.
“It’s fun to be at the finish, but I’m kind of sad it’s over because I got so much support from bikers,” Kostelnick said. “When I wake up tomorrow it will be quiet. I won’t have people cheering me on.”
Like many RAGBRAI riders, both have to work Monday morning.
For Kresser, a captain in the U.S. Army, that means completing physical training at the Joint Lewis-McChord Army Base near Tacoma, Wash.
Kostelnick and Kresser both said one RAGBRAI adventure on foot is enough, but both will continue running long distances.
In fact, Kostelnick’s next race is in three weeks — 100 miles through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
“After that I have nothing planned,” he said. “I might take some time off.”
Did you get home from RAGBRAI with less than what you started with? Lost wallets, drivers licenses, and credit cards have already been returned to their owners. We have several ...
Want to return or exchange an item you purchased on RAGBRAI? Here's how.
Riders handed her cash from spandex pockets and small-town American Legions put up tip jars to help along the way. So far, Hameister’s raised more than $1,700 for the campaign, ...
by John Karras, Grampa RAGBRAI A strange, but predictable, thing happened this year to Ann and I on our way to our umpteenth time to ride RAGBRAI–we were physically unable to ...
The children of the RAGBRAI XLII overnight communities were invited to participate in the annual RAGBRAI Kids’ Art Contest. The contest called for students in kindergarten through fifth grade to ...
Well, another RAGBRAI is done and in the books. I hope you enjoyed yourself and I also hope this blogs gave you some advice that helped you prepare adequately for ...
After 42 years, each ride can seem pretty much like the one before -- except when they don't.
How to make the boy understand and simultaneously stay better connected with him throughout the week? Eureka! The universal, ageless antidote for the doldrums: Legos.
RAGBRAI has a reputation for being awash in light beer from corporate breweries. Yet more craft brewers are training palates at the state's biggest rolling party.
This was only my fourth time on the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, and yet I struggle to conjure an appropriate description of this bizarre, beloved pilgrimage that ...
A group of friends from Canada spent the week on RAGBRAI and recount their best moments.
As RAGBRAI XLII comes to an end, friends from California talk about the emotion behind dipping their tires into the Mississippi River at the end of the ride.
Riders react at the Guttenberg dip site.
Riders stopped for photos on a bluff overlooking the mighty Mississippi River at Guttenberg.
Iowan "Bachelorette" competitor Chris Soules greets riders in Strawberry Point
Former Iowa Hawkeye and NFL tight end Dallas Clark talks about his second RAGBRAI and his hope of someday moving his family back to Iowa.
The LeBeaus are known as royalty in Iowa and for their funky socks!
Jason Pardie, of Muscatine, is participating in his sixth RAGBRAI on a unicycle.
The LeBeaus are known as royalty on RAGBRAI and for their funky socks.
A Dutch woman describes the differences of biking in the Netherlands and biking in Iowa.
Find us socially
Sign up for the latest RAGBRAI news and notes (if there is no news in a day, you won’t get an e-mail).