Sunday, 1 May 2011

Get set, Go!

It was an emotional start to the run across the USA this morning and I was very surprised and delighted to see a merry band of supporters at the start at Ruby's Diner. This was stark contrast to the start of the John O'Groats to Lands End run back in 2007 where Katy and Jack were the only people to cheer me on. I remember the weather that day too. It was lashing down and the wind was howling. Fast forward 4 years to this morning and a warm sunny backdrop of Huntington Beach.

The run got off to a good start and exiled Geordie Nick Davison kept me company for the first 4 miles. Kind of like a tug boat pulling a huge ship out of port and then out to sea. Nick, his wife Kathy and his children (pictured) were there to see me off. His friend Kevin and his family were also there. It was also great to see another exiled Geordie, Mark Richardson. 

I was very surprised to see one half of The Exiles, Alan Millen and his wife. He'd made quite a journey to be at the start line as he lives in Switzerland! Regular readers may remember that Alan together with Tim Readman wrote and recorded 2 charity songs. They are available on iTunes, of course.

I had set off into a head wind but once that left me noon came around it became like running in a furnace. Thanks to my time spent in the chamber at Northumbria it wasn't too much of a problem. What was a slight issue, however, was the time spent waiting to cross the intersections. I was waiting up to 3 minutes at certain ones!

I'm now at the half way point of day 1 and will be back out on the road in about 10 minutes. PR lady Shelli is the support driver in her car for the day and driver Richard will be meeting us at the end point in the RV later on.

What I'm very mindful of today and have taken great strength from already are the people that I'm running in memory of. Those people today are John Cowan and John Avis. Their relations Chris Cowan and Joanne Avis are getting married this weekend so I think it is a fitting tribute that the first day is dedicated to their lost loved ones.