Thursday, 7 July 2011

Day 65 - We're not in Kansas anymore!

I had very few expectations of a good day 65 (otherwise known as the day after my legs were in complete agony. I said that day that in true Forrest Gump style, this run is just like a box of chocolates - "You never know what you're gonna get!". In other words, I didn't know just how I'd react following a very difficult and painful day 64.

Instead of carrying water I took the decision to meet the RV more often and just carry a handheld water bottle. In the past, meeting the RV frequently, has often proved detrimental to the momentum of my running. The strategy this time, though, was to simply have a refill of water and waste no time in the RV. This worked really well with Shelli parking the RV on the opposite side of the road and bringing all the supplies to my side. It was just like a Formula 1 pitstop. No messing about!

The miles flew by at a great pace and I was keen to get to St Joseph, Missouri and out of Kansas as quick as possible. The "Big Guns" were on the way and I wanted to meet them as quick as possible. The prospect of seeing familiar, motivational faces was a very exciting one indeed. The miles continued to fly by in temperatures exceeding 90 degrees and I was a massive high.

The day got even better when I found out that Shelli arranged for me to have a police escort over the Pony Express Bridge out of Kansas and into Missouri. Brilliant! A huge thank you goes to State Trooper Bryan Clark for seeing me safely across the only bridge spanning the Missouri River that was open.  

The same problem currently exists here that I saw on the West side of the Rockies. Flooding from melting snow. It's going to get even worse next week apparently! 

I'm happy to report that my first ever Police Escort was absolutely brilliant. I felt 10 ft tall and pretty invincible actually. State Trooper Clark saw me safely into Missouri and my 7th state so far on this tour. 

I was only 2 minutes in St Joseph, Missouri when a car passed with the occupants shouting "Alreet Skinny!". I turned around to see "The Big Guns"; Dave Fairlamb, Mark Fleming and Steve Harrison. What a surreal moment for me and for them. Steve was driving and dropped Mark and Dave off and they ran the final 4 miles of the day with me. I got to the 1820 mile point having managed to run 35.7 miles in total on day 65. It was also the quickest day so far on this tour. The prospect of meeting the lads in St Joseph, a much better water strategy and some company on the last 4 miles had paid dividends.

The day ended on a high note with Glenn Gibson (pictured below), owner of Beacon RV park in St Joseph donating a free night's stay. It was a very nice park and the whole team (which now consisted of Shelli, Dave, Mark and Steve) was very appreciative of a hot shower and a nice place to stay.

I can't end this blog post without revealing what happened to the Big Guns on their journey in the rented car to meet me. Dave was pulled over by the State Police for "possibly breaking the speed limit". The Officer asked Dave (in a strong American accent which I will attempt to recreate) "Is this a Renall?". "Sorry?" replied Dave. "Is this a Renall?" said the Officer. "No" said Dave. "Yes it is" said Mark. The Officer asked one last time "Is this a Rental?". "No" said Dave "it's a Nissan". Dave had clumsily thought that the Police Officer was asking if he was driving a Renault. Comedy gold!