NEBRASKA CITY – Bjorn Suneson is no stranger to Nebraska City, where he passed Wednesday morning on his sixth run across America.
The 70-year-old competitive runner from Stockholm, Sweden, expects to run 35 miles a day to make his journey from Boston to Newport, Ore., in 100 days.
The old town was not exactly the same when Suneson arrived. “Somewhere down there,” he said, pointing down 11th Street, “there is a motel. And there’s an ice cream place.”
His memory from one of his previous 16,500 miles across the country is good, but the Apple Inn is now Walgreens and the Dairy Queen is Lady Bug Barbecue.
Suneson: “Ah, but there was a bike shop, and there it still is.”
Bike shops, like good motels and friendly police, are important to Suneson, who runs without outside support.
In his 2016 blog, he gave praise for Nebraska.
Suneson: “Nebraska is the best running road in all of the United States; it’s slightly downhill with almost no traffic.”
He pushes a car that many mistake for a baby carriage and says he has been stopped by police in every state except Nebraska, and maybe Wyoming.
Suneson says he runs to meet the people of the United States and experience its beautiful scenery.
Suneson: “It’s a good country to run in.”
He is also looking forward to Nebraska, because he plans to meet Pete Kostelnick, who broke the world’s record for crossing America on foot in 42 days.
Suneson: “I’ll meet the real record holder. It’ll take me 100 days, but he did it in 42. That tells you the difference.”
If he is successful, Suneson will become the first person to run across America six times.