I met Stan Cottrell in 2009 after he became romantically involved with my mother-in-law, Peggy Smith. He had pledged his love for her and told her he was separated from his wife, Carol. He said the divorce papers were with the lawyers and he had agreed to his wife’s demands to give her all his assets.
Mr. Cottrell has written two books and is the subject of two feature length films, which depict him running across entire countries. He was planning another run, and he invited my mother-in-law to accompany him on a trip around the world that he said would begin in November 2009, in which he would run 66 miles in 66 national capitals in 66 weeks. She decided to accept his invitation.
She spent hundreds of dollars on inoculations to protect against diseases that are prevalent in many of the cities where the runs were to take place. She made preparations to spend a year away from her home. Other family members arranged to move into her home and put their own home up for sale.
She discovered the run had been expanded from 66 counties in one year to 256 countries in 5 years. Mr. Cottrell never informed her of any of these changes. She investigated further and discovered more contradictory information, more misrepresentations, and other people who have been deceived. She learned that Mr. Cottrell has not accomplished what he claims to have done.
Her investigation uncovered a trail of broken promises, broken hearts, and empty bank accounts. It revealed a history of silence about his activities that has allowed him to continue to deceive and take advantage of people for decades.