Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Day 73 - Stopped by the lightning!

Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all sponsored by Mark Dormer today. This was porridge, pasta and steak. A good day for food all round! It was an early start on Highway 106 today and once again it was an absolutely scorching day in Illinois.

The first few miles took me through the city of Pittsville. It struck me as being steeped in history but, in keeping with the rest of the run, I had very little time to check it out. Perhaps, once I get home, I'll be able to look back at all the places that I've run through and do a little research. For now, though, it's a case of head down and run.

The plan was to meet the support team of Steve and Shelli in the Rennal Car every 4 miles. At the second meeting point I told them that I needed to return to the RV for a Tactical Snooze. The heat, once again, had wiped me out. I didn't want a repeat of Sunday so having a few hours off was the only option if I wanted to progress further during the day.

I slept solidly for just over 2 hours. I woke up in exactly the same position as when I went to sleep. I felt much better when the run resumed at 3 pm. The immediate aim was to get to the 20 mile point by 6pm. This would leave a manageable 15 miles for the remainder of the day. I'll never grow tired of saying just how hot it is. When I got out of the air conditioned Rennal Car to start running again Steve and I just looked at each other in disbelief.

Despite the heat, I felt really good in the afternoon session. I ran another 6 miles which took me to the Illinois River and a very impressive looking bridge. There was no safe pedestrian access so Steve drove the Rennal Car behind me to the other side.

At the other side of the bridge I stopped for a drink. At this point we were surrounded by dark clouds. I said to Steve that I probably had another 30 minutes or so before the lightning struck. I was immediately proved wrong when the lightning appeared overhead. We bother got back in the car. Soon after I saw a nearby road sign struck by a bolt of lightning. Had I started running, I would have probably been passing right by it. It started raining and there was very little sign of a break in the weather. I waited 15 minutes before deciding to stop running for the day. I'd only managed 15 miles but with the roads quickly flooding I thought that some further rest would be more beneficial that running in these conditions. 

The Support Team (Katy, Jack, Steve and Shelli) and I went out for a steak to celebrate my 40th birthday which is tomorrow. Although, I was 40 on UK time by the time we got out.