The Support Team welcomed Shelli Mayfield (aka Cushy Butterfield) back on board today. PR and logistics girl Shelli will be part of the team until the very end in New York. Shelli has a knack of making things run smoothly and will "captain" the team for a while when Comedy Jon leaves on Sunday. Her PR duties will continue of course.
It was a funny old start to the day in Utah today. Running through a series of long built up valleys, I couldn't tell if I was running up or down hill. After I looked at the elevation on my GPS watch it was quite evident that I'd being going uphill! An 1800 ft gain to just short of 8000 ft is definitely uphill in my book. Especially where I almost reach snow capped tops.
Comedy Jon had a similar experience driving the RV. We both noted that we thought we were going downhill, yet the adjacent river appeared to be defying gravity and looked to be flowing uphill. I soon discovered that by looking behind me once in a while it was obvious that I was running uphill (as per the image below).
Tiredness was a major factor throughout today and I had small "tactical snoozes" during both the first and second break. As I was snoozing during the second break I heard Shelli, Comedy Jon and Wee Kirsty talking about why they chose to apply to be part of the Support Team. For example, without the help of an organisation in the US similar to The Children's Foundation, Shelli's son Levi would not have survived as a result of being born 12 weeks premature. Comedy Jon's father survived 2 major operations to treat cancer last year and is now in remission. Wee Kirsty's Grandad died from Cancer and her brother was born prematurely. It was obvious that these 3 members of the support of them were here partly because of past family experiences. I lay there half asleep with tears in my eyes having been inspired by the team. Soon after, I resumed running with a nice warm feeling inside. To be fair that may have been something to do with Chef Steve's latest pasta dish!
I left the freeway after 24 miles and ran along a minor road for the final 8 miles with numerous HGVs driving past. All of which gave me plenty of room when it was safe to do so. Wee Kirsty joined me for a few miles but I didn't think it was safe enough for here to continue with me given the volume of heavy traffic on the road. Comedy Jon, on the other hand, is not indispensable and managed to run the last 2 miles with me.
So another day over and another 32 miles in the bag. Things are going very well at the moment and I'm very proud and pleased that all of the Support Team have continued the good work started by Driver Richard almost 4 weeks ago. They are a great bunch if a little mad at times!
Finally, I'll close once again thanking those kind folk who made a donation today. The charity fund is building nicely for St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation and is on the way to hit £34,000 very soon. If you would like add to the total then the following links can be used to donate direct to the 2 charities.
(St Benedict's Hospice)
(The Children's Foundation)
Alternatively, a donation can be made via cheque payable to 'The Children's Foundation' or 'St Benedict's Hospice' and sent to the following:
FAO Libby Nolan
The Children's Foundation,
PO Box 2YB,
Sir James Spence Institute,
Royal Victoria Infirmary,
Queen Victoria Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
FAO Sylvia Stoneham
St Benedict's Hospice.