First RAGBRAI runner finished at the Mississippi

FORT MADISON — Pete Kostelnick stood at the bank of the Mississippi River early Saturday afternoon with sun-tanned shoulders and a sweat-stained short from running 423 miles across Iowa.

Kostelnick, 25 of Lincoln, Neb., was on the road at midnight to finish the final 63 miles from Fairfield to Fort Madison.

“It’s unreal. It still hasn’t even sunk in,” Klosternick said after completing the run.

The seven days of running were among the 11 longest he’s done so far and by far the longest he’s done consecutively, the Boone native said.

Along the way, he raised money for Holiday Heroes, an organization that provides programming to children in the hospital around the holidays.

Klosternick’s mom, Claire, came for a hug as he waited at the tire dip along the river. “I’m relieved he’s finished,” she said.

Klosternick said he was nervous after day one about finishing the whole thing, but felt more confident after day two, the longest of the route.

He completed the 100-mile Karras Loop over the first two days.

“It’s fun to be at the finish, but I’m kind of sad it’s over because I got so much suppose from bikers,” he said. “When I wake up tomorrow it will be quiet. I won’t have people cheering me on.”

Klosternick will return to work in Lincoln on Monday. Then it’s time to prepare for the next 100-mile race three weeks from now in Colorado.

“After that I have nothing planned,” he said. “I might take some time off”

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