AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin resident Peter McConville has always dreamed of visiting all 50 states. Now, he and his two friends have accomplished that goal — and broken a world record in the process.
McConville, Pavel (Pasha) Krechetov and Abdullahi Salah now hold the record for the fastest visit to all 50 states in the United States, completing the journey in five days, 13 hours and 10 minutes. The record was previously held by Thomas Cannon and Justin Morris, who had finished the trip in five days, 16 hours and 20 minutes.
Beginning in Vermont, the trio made their way through the continental U.S. before ditching their rental vehicle and flying from Washington to Alaska, concluding their trip in Hawaii. In total, they traveled more than 7,200 miles, spending roughly $12,000 on airfare, gas, food and other resources and 120 hours in a car.
“It was a bunch of relief,” McConville said on pulling off the trip. “But at the same time, it was like, we’ve been planning this for so long. We actually pulled this off. And like, everybody’s really excited.”
Their five-day trip began on May 13, and McConville said it was a race against the clock to make sure the three were moving as quickly and safely as possible throughout their journey. That doesn’t mean they didn’t get to take in some national landmarks, though.
Along the way, the three stopped in Times Square, visited Mount Rushmore and the Bonneville Salt Flats and watched the sunrise at the Grand Canyon. For him, McConville said their visit to the Grand Canyon was the most memorable.
“I can’t even describe what that experience was, not only because we were so tired, but we were seeing so much at once,” he said. “But being able to pull it off? Honestly, like, the best sunrise I’ve seen. It was amazing.”
The Guinness World Record discontinued listing speed records in its books in 1996, to try to deter prospective record breakers from reckless or dangerous driving. Instead, the group’s record is now listed by the All Fifty States Club as the fastest trip anyone has successfully completed to date.
McConville said he understood the reasoning behind Guinness’ removal of the category. The trip is physically demanding and exhausting, he said — and don’t get him started on only taking one shower in five days’ time.
“At the very end, we were on the plane, and everyone was so invested in what we were doing. And regardless of how badly we probably smelled, it was awesome to see not only the people on the plane, but the crew [invested],” he joked.
Once they landed in Hawaii, he said he and his friends spent nearly two days soaking up the island life before beginning their journey home.
As for what’s next, McConville said he hasn’t set his sights on any specific records he’s looking to tackle next. He said he’s always been driven by passion and new experiences, and if nothing else, he hopes this journey can inspire others to get out and explore.
“Do whatever you want to do,” he said. “If it’s out of your comfort zone, if it’s alone, whatever. Just try it. And I think it’ll be, way more times than not, a really good experience.”