Georgia native breaks 'Cannonball Run' speed record

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 1, 2013 

Ed Bolian likes to go fast. Like, really fast.

Bolian and his friends said they traveled the "Cannonball Run" — a 2,803-mile stretch between the Red Ball Garage on East 31st Street in Manhattan and the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, Calif., which also inspired the 1981 Burt Reynolds film — in 28 hours and 50 minutes, breaking the 2006 record set by Alex Roy and David Maher by more than two hours.

The trio averaged 98 miles per hour in Bolian's Mercedes, which he'd tricked out with two extra 22-gallon gas tanks and "a dashboard full of electronic equipment that rivals a fighter jet," according to the AJC.

Bolian, a 28-year-old John's Creek, Ga. native, told CNN, "The hardest thing, quite honestly, was finding people crazy enough to do it with me."

He and his friends left on Oct. 19 and arrived in California the next day, documenting the trip with photos and measuring their speed with an unnamed onboard tracking device. Bolian said they were moving for all but 46 minutes of the trip, and that he only slept for 40 minutes. But he also told CNN he hopes that his large margin of success discourages imitation "lunatics."

Bolian told CNN he actually interviewed Brock Yates, the man behind the "Cannonball Run," back in high school.

"I told him, 'One day I'd like to beat your record,'" Bolian said.

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