Stan Cottrell, the oldest of six children, was born
May 7, 1943 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
He lived a poor and difficult farm life with few amenities and
fewer pleasures. After
winning a 100-yard dash when he was 12 years old, the short and wiry Mr.
Cottrell discovered in running a sport for which he was ideally suited.
Running became his main preoccupation throughout junior high,
high school, and his years at Western Kentucky University, from which he
graduated in 1966. Mr.
Cottrell ran in amateur events while pursuing a career as a teacher and
later, as a salesman and manager in the pharmaceutical business.
He launched his professional running career in 1978 with a 5-day,
405-mile run across Georgia.
In subsequent years, Mr. Cottrell broke a world
record by running 167 miles in 24 hours (1979); tackled his first
cross-country run, covering 3,103.5 miles in 48 days and earning a place
in the Guinness Book of Records (1980); undertook his first foreign run,
the 3,500-mile Friendship Run Across Europe, that took him through 12
countries in 80 days (1982); realized a long-held dream with a
history-making 2,125 mile run across China in 53 days (1984); made two
unprecedented runs through Vietnam (1988, 1990); scaled the South American
Andes by running 1,492 km between Argentina and Chile during the 500th
anniversary of the discovery of the Americas, and has continued to run
overwhelming distances in many countries around the globe.
In 1983, Mr. Cottrell founded Friendship Sports
Association Inc., and has been hailed as one of the nations’ most
innovative goodwill ambassadors. Because
of his apolitical posture, he has been able to foster communication and
friendship across the globe.
When he’s not on the road,
Stan Cottrell continues the more sedentary portion of his work,
conducting motivational workshops and assisting corporations in gaining
entry into selected international markets.
He personifies that “to do great things, you must dream great