Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Day 72 - Hottest and most humid day so far

Just when you thought the conditions could not possibly get any more hot and humid, guess what! As per usual, the temperature at the start of the day was used as a reliable indicator as to how hot it would get during the day! Today's breakfast was sponsored by Jo Crimmens. It was porridge, just as it has been for the previous 71 days. Still tasty though and, more importantly, an essential part of my day.

Today's running got underway on the outskirts of Hannibal, Missouri just after 8 am. At the end of the previous day, the support team always tie a coloured ribbon to mark the next day's start point. I usually make a few marks myself just in case. This one was easy to find and my contingency marks were also present. 

It took a matter of minutes to cross the state line from Missouri and into Illinois. I paused for a while on the bridge over the Mississippi to take some photos. It was as an impressive a river as I've seen on this tour. It was probably the widest too.

At the 13 mile point after lunch (which was sponsored by Jo Crimmens) Steve and I were stopped by a State Trooper. He told me in no uncertain terms to leave Route 36, also known as Interstate 72 unfortunately. I've ran on Interstate roads before on this run where there was no alternative route. Unfortunately, he pointed out that State Road 106 was the alternative route here. It's not as direct as 36 but I wasn't really in a position to argue with the very stern mannered State Trooper. That said, he did want to drop us off 2 miles back. I explained to him what I was doing and that I had to run in 1 continuous line across the USA. He then pointed out a nearby flyover and told us to go that way to 106. 

Steve and I climbed through a load of prickly bushes and up onto the flyover. I was very pleased at being able to lift my body weight up onto the bridge. I wouldn't have been able to do that at the start of this run! 

The following 3 miles due south to route 106 were on a dirt road. I was very relieved to reach 106 and start running due east again. It was a nice change to be running on a road other than Highway 36. The downside was that the hard shoulders were very narrow or even none existent. I had been spoiled, for the most part, running on 36 for the last 700 miles since Denver!

Shelli swapped "keeping me company" duties with Steve for a few miles. Steve then ran with me from mile 24 right through to 35.1. That's another good haul of miles for Steve whose company and banter is starting to prove invaluable on this run. I ran the last 4 miles topless! A first for me in my 18 years of running. It's a good job it was dark and the roads were quiet! The sweat was dripping off me such was the humidity. It was still 88 degrees Fahrenheit when we finished running and a strong pacy finish meant that we finished just before 10pm! Given the heat of the day I predicted earlier that it would be nearer to 11 pm. What a tough day and what a good haul of miles too.

Dinner and today's dump of the RV waste were sponsored by Naz Durani. There were no "seeping" incidents to report with the waste dump. This must just happen when Steve doesn't wear protective gloves!