Every so often an event sponsored by a brand within the running community really catches your eye and a currently ongoing, ambitious effort to run across the United States in record time is one of those.

Starting back on March 1, 2024, Paul Johnson commenced a life-changing challenge to run 3000 miles across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City — specifically, from Santa Monica Pier to Times Square. Not only is this an incredible undertaking, but it is for an extremely worthwhile cause — the run is dedicated to raising $1 million for Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB), a nonprofit organization forging America’s leading health and wellness community for veterans.

Johnson aims to complete his transcontinental journey, presented by Gorewear, in just 40 days, significantly faster than the current 42-day Guinness World Record held by ultrarunner Pete Kostelnick.

“I’m going to try to be the fastest person to ever run across the United States, but the two more important parts are raising awareness for mental health and for trying to fundraise $1 million for Team Red, White & Blue,” says Johnson. “Running helped me deal with sleep issues, nightmares, anxiety, and depression. It gives me a chance to take a break from those feelings — it’s almost like a meditation to me.”

The industry’s involvement began when the folks at Gorewear saw an Instagram post from Johnson about his gloves, a competitor brand, not being waterproof. The brand reached out to provide Johnson with waterproof Gore-Tex gloves to support him on his journey. From there, the partnership blossomed to provide financial support for the TransContinental effort and performance running apparel to help prepare Johnson and his crew for the many conditions he will face along the way. 

So during the run, Johnson is wearing the recently launched Concurve Gore-Tex jacket to get him through the cold, wind and rain, and the Contest 2.0 Singlet to help keep him cool through the deserts of California and Arizona.

Having served and experienced firsthand the stresses and strains of military life, Johnson understands the importance of physical and mental health. His own journey with mental health challenges led him to discover running as a powerful means of coping. Today, he inspires those who follow his journey, especially within the military and veteran community, to recognize the transformative potential of physical activity for improving mental health and overall well-being.

Johnson is also being supported by the Colorado-based Tailwind Nutrition, a sports nutrition company who makes products for everyday athletes. He is using Tailwind’s Endurance Fuel, an electrolyte powder that also contains carbohydrates (calories) in order to fuel feats of endurance like running across the USA. 

To track Jonson’s progress: https://www.pauljohnson.run/track