Bjorn Suneson
Bjorn Suneson
DELPHOS – Seventy-one-year-old Bjorn Suneson enjoyed a stop at McDonald’s in Delphos on May 1 on his trek across the United States.

Suneson is making his seventh run across the country. He overnighted in Van Wert on April 30, ran to Delphos on May 1 and after a short break, headed to Lima to spend the night. He’s covering about 35 miles a day in his 3,200-mile journey that began in Los Angeles in February and will end in New York City on May 25.

“I don’t run in the sense of those who do 5Ks,” Suneson said. “I go at my own pace for my own pleasure.”

Suneson has noticed many differences between his hometown of Stockholm, Sweden, and the cities and villages he has been running through.

“I have maybe been stopped twice in Sweden while running,” he said. “Here, I’ve been stopped 150 times. Mostly it is out of concern.”

“The way the U.S. presents news is very different,” Suneson said. “You focus on one thing and are very narrow. We just have the news. I do see why some people like Trump. He seems like he would protect the country.”

Suneson said political opinions are also voiced more openly in America.

“Who you vote for and why is more private in Europe,” he said. “I would never know how my neighbor voted and he would never tell me.”

One thing Suneson said he is missing in the U.S. is fellow runners.

“I don’t see nearly as many runners as I expected. I am used to seeing more runners,” he said. “I did pick up a sheep dog in Iowa once and it followed me for five or six miles. I had to get someone to hold on to it so it would stop following me. Cows and horses also run with me.”

However, he enjoys the solitude of running and the freedom it brings.

“You do it yourself and don’t have to take care of anyone else,” he said. “No one else says you have to do this or that.”

Suneson was in his mid-30s when he learned of his love for running.

“I got called back into the service when I was 35 and there was nothing to do on my down time so I started running on the track,” he recalled. “After that, I was hooked.”

For the last five years, he has run every day.

“I believe I’m unique in how many miles I have run in my lifetime and have almost never been injured,” Suneson said.

Suneson’s wife remains in Stockholm. They have five children and two grandchildren. He is a retired journalist, having worked at the second-;largest newspaper in Stockholm, covering the business and economy beat.