Cole Crosby ran the length of New Jersey, from the High Point Monument to the Cape May Lighthouse, over the weekend.
It just took him a little longer than he planned.
The 32-year-old ultra-marathoner from South Brunswick reached the lighthouse at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, completing a 197-mile journey from the outer reaches of Sussex County.
He was accompanied by fellow runners and a police escort as he approached the finish.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, for sure,” Crosby said afterward when reached by phone.
Crosby set off from the High Point Monument at 2 a.m. Saturday and had sought to make it to the lighthouse by 6 p.m. Sunday.
Instead, it took him 44 1/2 hours.
Crosby grappled with tightness in his legs on Sunday but was bolstered by a steady stream of supporters who joined in along the way. He took some walking breaks, using trekking poles for additional support.
“I’ve had my challenges and stuff,” Crosby told NJ Advance Media by phone with about 25 miles to go.
“The overnight section was real tough. All of the support out there has been amazing,” he added.
He was inspired to run the length of New Jersey by a 2016 documentary, Running the 184, on three runners attempting the same feat. Crosby said his goal was to record the fastest-known time for running the length of New Jersey, though no official record exists.
Connie Gardner, a well-known ultra-marathoner with 12 national titles, was the only one of the three in the documentary to make it all the way to Cape May. It took her two full days, but Gardner — who, in 2019, finished a 100-mile race in 18 hours and 15 minutes – presumably could have finished her 2015 effort in under 40 hours, if that had been her goal.
Crosby has finished more than 30 ultra-marathons — the term applies to any race longer than the marathoner distance of 26.2 miles — and he runs anywhere from 70 to 100 miles per week. However, until this weekend, his longest run was under 90 miles.
His epic adventure had raised, as of Sunday night, $4,300 — more than 4 times his original goal — for Road Runners Club of America, which organizes programs in support of youth running.
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Rob Jennings may be reached at email@example.com.