Podcast: Episode 215: Jenny Hoffman: The Physics Professor Who Set an FKT Running Across the U.S.


Jenny Hoffman has dreamed about crossing the United States since she was a child. The goal loomed over her life as she earned a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Harvard University in 1999, a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 2003, and back in Boston as a professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard, where the mom of three and three-time 24-hour national champion still works. 

Jenny finally acted on that dream in 2019, when she set off from San Francisco with aspirations of running all the way to New York City. At mile 2,560, 42 days into her journey and six days under record pace, a debilitating knee injury devastatingly cut her trip short in Cleveland, Ohio. Despite surgery, rehab, a global pandemic, and the pandemonium of work and family life, Jenny dreamed of finishing what she had started every single day.

That day finally came on November 2, 2023, when Jenny reached the Atlantic Ocean lapping against Manhattan. She completed the 3,000+ mile trek in just 47 days, 12 hours, and 35 minutes—besting Sandra Villines record of 54:16:24 by over a week.

Go behind the scenes with Jenny on her astonishing run this week on the FKT Podcast. Discover why she ended up retracing her footsteps from 2019 instead of taking a different trans-continental route as she originally intended. Learn about life in a day while running 60-plus miles a day across the U.S. during corn harvest season. Jenny talks about the food that fueled her record, how she managed to journal every night, the critical roles her crew played, as well as the logistics of running point-to-point across mostly very rural stretches of the country. And discover Jenny’s takeaways about America after experiencing all facets of life across the vast, diverse country on the open road.

Get all the data and daily write-ups from Jenny’s FKT on fastestknowntime.com. And follow her adventures (and academic work!) on her blog, Facebook  and Strava

Mp3 Download

Subscribe to the Fastest Known Podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, or Spotify.

Subscribe in iTunes Listen on SoundCloud Listen on Stitcher Listen on Spotify