here to read some quick facts about Paul!
1986, at 21 years of age, Paul Staso (pronounced 'stay-so') was a long-distance runner challenging the world record for the 46-day run across America
from San Francisco, California to New York, NY. The planned run would
require him to average 68 miles per day for 1½ months. He trained in Juneau, Alaska and
Missoula, Montana for "Trans-America '86" and was supported by such
companies as Timex; Gatorade; New Balance; Duracell; Spenco; and,
let's roll back the calendar to six years earlier. At the age of 15 (in
1980) Paul was inspired by the determined efforts of cancer patient
Terry Fox to attempt a run across Canada on an artificial leg to raise
money for cancer research. Five years later he would find himself
planning and training for a U.S. crossing aimed at a new world record
and for raising awareness of the hunger and poverty relief work of World
Vision International. Unfortunately, his 3,200-mile record attempt was stopped a mere 36 miles into the trek
by a ligament injury while coming off of a sidewalk drainage curb (after
3,000 injury-free training miles). The temporary injury hindered his
ability to sustain the record pace, and therefore the difficult decision
was made to abandon the attempt.
The heartbreaking injury
of 1986 was repaired through rigorous physical
therapy and Paul resumed his running lifestyle. However, as the years ticked by other obligations took priority
– such as college,
marriage, children, careers, and more. However, on September 7, 2005
Paul started running right
along with the 4th and 5th grade students at
Russell Elementary School
in Missoula, Montana.
Their goal: to virtually run/walk 3,200 miles across the United States during
the 2005-2006 school year. His goal: to
actually run the students'
during the summer of 2006... solo and unsupported. Paul achieved his goal on October 20,
2006, and fulfilled a lifetime dream.
Paul's running career began in the 5th grade
when his teacher, Mr. Cummings, encouraged him in his running. Mr.
Cummings spotted Paul's ability and told him "You're a runner!"
It was the first title that Paul had ever been given by a teacher, and
Paul ran with the encouragement – literally. He
continued to run on school track and cross country teams in Alaska each year from 5th grade into college, setting regional
records along the way. He transferred to the University of Montana in
where he began to explore his endurance limits away from running teams and
races. Take a moment to
see some pictures of Paul
between 13 and 28 years of age.
His lifetime personal bests in both sprints and distance running include:
100 meters (10.9 seconds); 200 meters
(22.9 seconds); 400 meters
(53.6 seconds); 110 meter high hurdles (15.4
seconds); 300 meter hurdles (41.8 seconds); 1
mile (4:50); 3 miles
(15:52); 10K [6.2 miles] (36:10);
7.6 miles (52:05); 1/2 Marathon [13
miles] (1:28:00); Marathon [26.2 miles]
(3:35:00); 40 miles
(7:44:00); 70 miles (15:18:00).
In years past, Paul has run to
promote various charitable organizations, such as:
The American Cancer Society; World Vision International; and, the National
Marrow Donor Program (with which he is a member). He has coached state
high school track and field distance running and hurdling champions in Montana,
was nominated for Montana High School Track Coach of the Year, and selected as an
for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Paul considers the solo run
across America as his most special and meaningful running achievement.
does Paul do when he's not running along highways to promote youth fitness?
Paul works as a professional web developer and search engine
Get To Know Paul Better
Full Name: Paul James Staso
Born: April 4, 1965 in Syracuse, New York.
Age During 2006 Run Across America: 41
Height: 5' 10"
Shoe Size: 10
Resting Heart Rate: 50 bpm
Began Running: Age 10 (5th Grade)
Grew Up In:
Primarily Anchorage and Juneau, Alaska.
Current Residence: Missoula, Montana
Siblings: 2 Brothers, 4 Sisters.
High School: Graduated in
College: 2 B.A. Degrees From The
University of Montana
Founder and President of The P.A.C.E. Fitness Foundation, Inc.
5th Grade Teacher; Paralegal.
Children: Jenna; Ashlin; Kyler; and,
Past Sponsors: Timex; Gatorade;
New Balance; Duracell; Oakley; Spenco; BOB Trailers; Spirit Wireless.
Favorite Non-Competitive Running Experience:
Being an Olympic Torchbearer
for the 2002 Olympics.
Favorite Road Race Experience:
Bloomsday 1991 with high school athletes I coached, and 60,000 entrants!
Favorite 1-mile Fun Run:
2006 Riverbank Run in Missoula, MT with two sons (Kyler, age 8, and Brian, age 6).
Favorite Track Experience:
Winning the 1983 Alaska Region
5 Finals of the 110M High Hurdles in record time.
Favorite Road Relay Experience:
Ski-to-Sea Relay in Juneau, Alaska.
Most Demanding Mountain Relay: Hatcher
Pass Relay, Alaska.
Most Fun Team Relay:
Relay For Life 1996, Missoula, Montana.
Most Memorable Junior High Race: 220
Yard Dash at the 1979 ARCO/ Jess Owens Games in Anchorage,
Owens watched the race from the sidelines. Mr. Owens passed away one year
Greatest Running Achievement:
3,260-Mile Solo Run Across America (June 23 - October 20, 2006).
Best Coaching Experience: Coaching
long-distance runners at a private high school in
Favorite Junk Food: M&Ms (both
regular and peanut!)
Preferred Sports Drink: Gatorade.
Favorite Running Movies: The Terry
Fox Story; The Jesse Owens Story; Without Limits; A Shining Season;
Running Brave; Chariots of Fire;
and, Finish Line.
Most Inspirational Runners: Eric Liddell;
Terry Fox; Andy Payne; Jesse Owens; Billy Mills; Bill Rodgers;
Benoit Samuelson; Steve Prefontaine; Roger Bannister; and Paul Reese.
Most Drastic Weather Change While Training: 22-mile
run that began with sunshine and ended in a blizzard.
Coldest Temperature Run In: 25 below zero in Montana (without wind chill) and 40 below with wind.
Hottest Temperature Run In: 112 degrees in Arizona.
Lifelong Running Goal: Enjoy it...
Improve it... Share it... Balance it... Remember it.