Tuesday 31 May 2011

Day 31 - Photo(s) of the day

Just a small stretch of the beautifully fantastic Indian Canyon.

Day 30 - Photo of the day

Snow! In May!

Day 30 - Up and over

Today's running started in Helper, Utah in a neighbourhood where lots of dogs went out of their way to bark at me. All of them were fenced in fortunately. I am now packing some "dog repellent" when I run so the next one to chase me had better watch out.

I had agreed to meet the Support Team at the 10 mile point for new water supplies. I got as far as the 11 mile point and there was still no sign of them. By 12 miles I was beginning to worry. All sorts of bad thoughts were going through my mind. I managed to get a signal once out of a series of high walled valleys and found out that Driver Stephen was waiting for me on the wrong road, many miles away. I was absolutely furious!

Once the Support Team caught up to me at the 15 mile point I went ballistic with Driver Stephen. That's probably all I should say on the matter. Although, the slate is now clean and things need to improve if I'm to get through the rest of Utah and the Rockies in Colorado. Everyone on the team now knows that.

After a "Tactical Snooze" I was on my way again. I spoke to my son Jack at the base of a steep climb and this spurred me on to give it all I had. He may be only 8 years old but he's a very good motivator. This particular climb was the steepest, longest and highest of this run to date and I went through 7000 ft, 8000 ft before summiting at 9114ft. I thought to myself "If you don't enjoy running up something as challenging as that then you shouldn't be running". It was a beast of a climb with twists, turns and snow!

There was a noticeable change in the oxygen levels on the approach to 9000 ft. A few big gasps of air soon sorted that out. By the time I met up with the RV at the summit, I was absolutely famished! A rice dish, some cheesy poofs and some peanut butter M&Ms soon put paid to my hunger and I was off again.

I didn't enjoy running down the other side of the mountain half as much as going up it. Despite being late afternoon it got really cold when the sun disappeared behind the mountains. I finished at the 25.4 mile point, perfectly poised to complete the remainder of the downhill off the mountain tomorrow.

I'm just about to turn in for the night now as I've just pre-recorded a piece with Gary and Lisa for the Real Radio Breakfast show. You'll be able to hear that after 0700 BST. I love speaking to them and I hope you enjoy listening to it on 100 - 102 FM or at www.realradionortheast.co.uk.

The charity fund has now passed the £36,000 barrier for St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation. Thanks to everyone who has made a donation. If you would like add to the total then the following links can be used to donate direct to the 2 charities. Every penny that is donated is so important 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,
Victoria Wing,
Royal Victoria Infirmary,
Queen Victoria Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
NE99 2YB.

FAO Sylvia Stoneham
St Benedict's Hospice.
Monkwearmouth Hospital,
Newcastle Road,
SR5 1NB.

Monday 30 May 2011

Day 29 - Photo of the day

Running in Carbon County, Utah

Day 29 - Setting up day 30 and 31

There was a change to the configuration of the Support Team today as Comedy Jon's time was up and he left to return to the UK. Thanks go to him for his driving, organisational skills and, of course, all of the comedy stories and moments.

Today was all about getting to Helper in Carbon County, Utah. This is the last point before the tricky journey to Duchesne through a huge series of steep valleys over the next few days. This meant running only 24.5 miles, which was as straightforward as it gets these days. Energy levels were back to normal after a good carb loading session yesterday. In fact, I had to take my foot off the pedal at times to keep the pace at a sensible level. I think I've lost about 2 stone in weight now and the temptation to go flying off is too much at times. Now is not the time for speed. 

The roads were mostly very long and straight today and the views were as magnificent as ever in Utah.

The day started out quite hot and ended cool. After 29 days of running, I'm not too bothered what the temperature is anymore. I just add and subtract layers as the conditions dictate. I also think I'm getting quite used to being at altitude. Today's "tactical snooze" was only for 30 minutes! That's a good sign.

There was a noticeable absence of HGVs today. It was nice to see those guys take Sunday off. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow I'm sure.

I ended the day with a massage from Wee Kirsty while eating Peanut Butter M&Ms. What a way to end the day. The focus was on my right hamstring which needed more attention than usual. My calf muscles were also a little tight. Kirsty really is a first class sports therapist. Quite how I get out there day after day feeling as good as I do is a credit to her talents. She will be a huge miss to the team when she leaves in 2 weeks time.

I'm not too sure what the mobile reception will be like over the next few days so you may not see an update on the blog until Tuesday. It could, in fact, be Wednesday by the time I do an update as I must set aside a few hours to shave off my beard!

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 £36,000 very soon. If you would like add to the total then the following links can be used to donate direct to the 2 charities. Every penny that is donated is so important 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,
Victoria Wing,
Royal Victoria Infirmary,
Queen Victoria Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
NE99 2YB.

FAO Sylvia Stoneham
St Benedict's Hospice.
Monkwearmouth Hospital,
Newcastle Road,
SR5 1NB.

Day 29 - Progress so far

Sunday 29 May 2011

Day 29 - Underway

Having seriously fuelled up yesterday I'm now ready for a good day on the road here in Utah. Today's miles are in memory of William "Bill" Saavedra. The dedication from his son Joey is as follows:

"A great soldier, a great man, and a great Father. He was taken from this earth after a long struggle with Lymphoma and is survived by two sons, two brothers, five sisters, his father and mother and many other friends and relatives for whom miss him more than words can say.

My father served his country in the U.S Army for more than 22 years. By the time of his passing, he had served overseas during the Iraq War of 2003 (Operation Iraqi Freedom), and also the first Iraqi conflict of 1990/91 (Operation Desert Storm). He was decorated with many awards and medals, including the Bronze Star.".

Day 28 - Photo(s) of the day

This is a bit of a picture special as the Support Team and I were invited by a couple of really nice people we met today, Scott and Martha, to shoot some guns. I was very apprehensive at first but soon got into it. There were a lot of safety controls in place and it was all good fun. Thanks go to Jody and Dwayne for their hospitality and expert guidance too.

The campest cowboy in the west!

Our rootin tootin shootin hosts Martha, Scott, Jody, (me) and Dwayne


Mad Dog Reid, Stinky Allison, Sure Shot Shelli, Butch Chastity

Geordie's Angels

Day 28 - An early finish

I set off from Huntington, Utah this morning just before 9 am. I had very little energy in the tank. This was due to me refusing to eat another morsel of pasta yesterday. As good as Chef Stephen's past is, I've had 27 days of pasta now and I'm a little bit sick of it. Or at least I was! I've learned my lesson now.

I only managed 10.5 miles before deciding to call it a day. In energy terms, I felt that I was past the point of no return. The plan was to spend the rest of the day carbing up. Confidence and morale was as high as ever though and I was quite happy to have a reduced mileage day after so many days of running the big distances.

At the finish point for the day, in a strange twist of fate, the Support Team and I were invited to a bonfire with some local residents. I believe there is also a chance to shoot some guns too. Yeehaawww!

Saturday 28 May 2011

Day 27 - Another 32 miles done

Over the previous 2 days I have bisected the Wassatch Plateau in Utah. It was a stretch of the run like no other encountered so far.  I am now running northwards up the east side of that particular mountain range. It is a thing of immense beauty and has to be seen to be believed.

Nutrition today was spot on and Chef Stephen cooked 3 superb dishes. The final one being a salad which the Support Team and myself thoroughly enjoyed. The meals were carefully prepared following a debate between me and the Support Team. Basically, I have had enough of pasta (for now) and feel very bloated after eating bread. That has now been put right.

Today was the quickest 32 miles I've ran so far. It took me 07:26:23. It's a far cry from day 1 when it took me 09:18:10 to run the same distance. That was with fresh legs too. Although I was 2 stone heavier!

It was an absolute pleasure to run in yet more amazing scenery today. Utah is definitely my favourite state so far in the USA.

Friday 27 May 2011

Good luck from Mark Beaumont

Just before I set off for the next session of the day, I received the following message from one of my heroes, Mark Beaumont. Brilliant, thanks Mark. This means a lot.

Day 27 - Lunch break

After 14 miles of running in the heat of Emery County, Utah, it's time for some of Chef Stephen's special chicken and rice. Which is superb by the way.

I've just ran through the town of Emery which according to Wikipedia "sits at the base of the mountains that contain the North Horn Formation. Named after North Horn Mountain, near Castle Dale, Utah this formation in Emery County contain numerous Cretaceous-Tertiary Era fossil invertebrates, microfossils and palynomorphs. Flagstaff Peak, north of Emery, has abundant dinosaur bone material and pre-historic mammal remains and petrified dinosaur footprints.". As soon as I see a Dinosaur you'll be the first to know!

As I type this, I'm only 2 miles away from the 800 mile point. The last 9 miles have been very fast so I'm able to do a bit more blogging and catch up on the mountain of emails that I have sitting in my inbox.

I'll close this break by saying a massive thank you for all of the donations made overnight. My overnight that is! The generosity of people really never ceases to amaze me. Thank you all.

Day 27 - Underway

Day 27 is underway in boiling hot conditions and up at 6277 ft. If all goes well, I will break through the 800 mile barrier today. 

Today's miles are dedicated by Fred and Ursula Darlington to the memory of Angelika Darlington - "In memory of a very special Mother who never gave up and whose strength of character is an inspiration to me".

Day 27 - Photo of the day

Passed by at least 100 of these in the last hour

Day 26 - Photo of the day

Wee Kirsty and me on the final few miles of the day avoiding HGVs

Day 26 - Just an illusion

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,
Victoria Wing,
Royal Victoria Infirmary,
Queen Victoria Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
NE99 2YB.

FAO Sylvia Stoneham
St Benedict's Hospice.
Monkwearmouth Hospital,
Newcastle Road,
SR5 1NB.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Day 25 - Over the 700 mile mark

I started running this morning from Richfield, Utah having had no breakfast. The deal with the Support Team was that for 3 miles they would buy me a McGriddle. 4 miles was 2 McGriddles and 5 miles was 2 McGriddles, a hash brown and a coffee. Needless to say that I ran a bit quicker and got 5.5 miles in. The fatty breakfast banquet that followed was delicious. The Support Team and I were once again in tears of laughter with some breakfast table banter. Afterwards, I managed to talk to Katy (Mrs Run Geordie Run) and Jack (Run Geordie Run Jr) over Skype. What a great start to the day. 

The 2nd session of the day was on dirt track (above) through huge plains of farmland. I passed some beautiful looking ranches and the majority of the residents waved as I ran through their neighbourhood. I met up with the RV and after a bowl of pasta I was on my way again.

The final session of the day was on Freeway into a very strong headwind. The Freeway was very quiet which is just as well as I'll be running a further 26 miles on it tomorrow.

Despite the headwind and the 1000ft climb, I finished strongly today and the 32 miles that I ran were the quickest to date on this tour. Also, I seem to have managed to shake the sleepy feeling today. Perhaps something to do with having a small lie in! Take note Support Team!

So that's 716 miles ran so far on this tour. It was at this stage of my run from John O'Groats to Lands End in 2007 that I started to become noticeably stronger. With sports therapist Wee Kirsty still performing miracles and keeping me injury free I hope to see a similar improvement. I've got just over a week left in Utah then it's into Colorado and some serious altitude. It's all coming together nicely in the first third of the run across the USA.

Finally, please, please, please consider sponsoring me using the following justgiving links. Every donation made, no matter how large or small, would be greatly appreciated by me and, moreover, St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation.

(St Benedict's Hospice)

(The Children's Foundation)

Day 25 - Photo of the day

Ironically, I didn't get lost here.

Day 25 - Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated

Coverage of the build up and the actual run across the USA from the Journal newspaper has been absolutely first class over the last few years. And boy how I have appreciated their support and publicity. The Journal is a voice of the North East in print and is read by many of my friends, colleagues and supporters.

While it was great to receive further publicity in an article yesterday, it's unfortunate that the lack of clarity led many people to worry that I was on the verge of giving up my run across the USA. As regular readers will have seen on this blog, I had a bad afternoon sheltering from lightning showers and fighting an overwhelming sleepiness (probably due to running at a consistent high altitude).

I needed inspiration to get me through the day and remembered that I had motivational letters from my mentors; Dave Fairlamb and Mark Fleming. The letter I chose to read, together with the encouragement and support of my Team here in the USA transformed the day into a good one. But, let me make one thing absolutely clear. There was never the slightest possibility of me giving up my incredibly tough 3100 mile run across the USA. We all have bad days. I will have further bad days during this tour. But I am here to finish this run and raise desperately needed funds for 2 charities that are very close to my heart. 

I am sure journalists have bad days too but I'm confident that doesn't lead them to abandon their profession.

I regret the concern that was caused to many followers in the North East by the article. I am very grateful for the many messages of support.

The show must and will go on.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Day 24 - Soaked!

I decided to try something different this morning and as soon as I got out of bed I ran 2 miles. The thinking behind this was to try and get a more productive start to the day. Comedy Jon reckons I spend the first hour of each day moaning, groaning, scratching and complaining. So with that in mind I did all of the above during the first 2 cold, wet, miserable and dark miles.

At the 2 mile point normal morning service was resumed as I had my porridge and Wee Kirsty warmed my legs up with a vigerous massage. I was soon on my way into the pouring icy cold rain. I was just glad that there was no evidence of yesterday’s quick finish in my legs.

I made my way down a winding valley and met the team at the 9 mile point. It was time for a change of clothes and the now traditional triple decker bacon and egg sandwich as cooked by Chef Stephen.

I continued on my way and went through valley after valley after valley. I got another soaking in the 3rd valley section. It wasn't all bad news though as the sun decided to show it's face for the first time in a while.

Out of the valleys, I headed towards Joseph then Richfield. I was now in the middle of a huge expanse of land surrounded by snow capped mountains. 

There was a lot of agriculture in the area and parts reminded me of the Lake District back in the UK (if I squinted!).

I finished the day in Richfield having ran 30.5 miles. This was the first real commercialised civilisation I'd seen in over a week. Which meant only 1 thing; A McDonald's McGriddle for breakfast on the team's preset condition that I ran at least 5 miles the following morning.

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Day 24 - Photo of the day


Day 24 - Thank you!

Thank you for all of the donations made so far to St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation.

Day 23 - Photo of the day

Just before Dorothy and Toto appeared at the front door

Day 23 - The mental battle begins

Today's weather was pretty bad. After 10 miles of running (into Circleville, Utah), I tried to outrun a storm that was chasing me. I managed 3 further miles before having to take cover in the RV. The following picture was my view of looking back at the storm.

I had a tactical snooze in the RV at the 15 mile point and then I resumed running into the cold rain. It was really tough going. That sleepy tiredness just wouldn't go away.

I was a defeated man at the 18 mile point today. A day interrupted by thunder and lightning and extreme sleepiness left me feeling frustrated and dejected. Comedy Jon thinks the altitude has played a part in the sleepiness. Given my lack of experience of running consistently over 6000 ft I wouldn't like to say. 

On the 3rd break of the day, I was sipping a cup of tea with the team while they tried their best to motivate me. Comedy Jon read a profound poem which did not do the trick. I said that I needed that one by Rudyard Kipling. Chef Steve piped up "Speaking of Kipling, I could murder a Bakewell Tart!". He does come out with some crackers that lad. He usually starts a conversation with "Well, erm you know that thing, erm, what's it called?'. Or a similar statement based on a person or a place. You spend the next 10 minutes asking questions in order to establish what point he's trying to make. It makes the breaks go quicker if nothing else!

Anyway, back to 18 miles and me wondering how I was possibly going to be able to manage to go on. I suddenly remembered that my mentors, Dave Fairlamb and Mark Fleming, had written me letters only to be opened if I needed a "pick me up". This afternoon I definitely needed one of those. I chose to open Dave's letter and read it. It said the following, which I'm sure Dave (pictured below) won't mind me sharing with the readers of my blog.


I asked you to open this at a time when you needed a pick me up. It's 20th April 2011 at 9.07 pm and this is from the heart.

Don't give up. Don't ever give up! Smile at what you are achieving and start running.

Look back to where you started. Look how far you have come. Now look to where you are going to be. You are about to reach a goal that very few people could ever dream about never mind achieve. Your Mam, Dad and Brother would be so, so proud.

Just to let you know that I have a lump in my throat and my eyes are watering as I am writing this!

Think of the money you are raising and the lives you could be saving. This short time in your life is tough but you can go home at the end. Others may only have this time left before they die. So don't give up. Don't ever give up! Smile at what you are achieving and start running.

One hundred days out of your life. That's all it is and yes, physically the task is mind blowing. You're probably hurting so much today but remember this run isn't going to touch your mind, heart or soul. They can't be touched. You are doing this run from the heart. Therefore, you will keep going and you will finish.

I just wan't you to know the dedication and inspiration you have shown me since I met you has been unmatched by anyone I have ever met. You are a true inspiration who I turn to and think about when I am low because I think about how strong you are within. Your mental strength and determination will see you to the end!

So get up and start running because by doing this you are giving hope to others and are making a positive difference.

Don't give up. Don't ever give up. Keep that dream alive and it will become reality!!


After reading that, I was back in the game. I took off my 5 layers of clothing and put on a base layer t-shirt and my Run Geordie Run technical t-shirt. I put on my hat and my gloves. I stepped outside the RV and started at a gentle pace. Chef Stephen had offered to run with me for a bit and he pushed on ahead. I soon overtook him (which was nice!) and the gentle pace turned into a more serious pace. Mile 19 was done in 00:12:40. Wee Kirsty then joined me. She had to ask Comedy Jon to drive up the road to catch me such was my increase in pace and mile 20 was done in 00:10:19. 

For the first time in a few days my mind was in the right place. It's probably what you call "being in the zone". Wee Kirsty is a great running partner who matches my exact pace. Unlike previous runs we both had our iPods plugged in and since I was listening to the Rocky soundtrack I pictured her as Apollo Creed to my Rock Balboa training on the beach. The reality was a cold afternoon running in the mountains.

Mile 21 was the quickest mile I've managed to date here in the USA. For the first time on this tour I was running with the technique and style I always strive for. Breathing was good. Stride was good. Rhythm was good. Knee lift was good. Posture was good. Mile 21 was done in 00:08:57. Wee Kirsty and I were eating up the miles like I've not really managed to do in the 645 miles to date in the USA.

Miles 22, 23, 24 and 25 were all 10 minute something or other. It got hilly! Mile 26 was a warm down mile at 00:13:48 with me drinking my Cherry Active. 

Given the weather related interruptions, I had hoped to do 25 miles today. At 18 miles and utter dejection I would have settled for 20. To do 26 miles was just amazing. The whole support team was lifted as well as me.

We set off looking for propane gas for the RV and called in at Lizzie and Charlie's RV park in Marysvale. Once the manager, Mylo (pictured below), heard about the run across the USA and the 2 charities he refused to accept payment for the Propane and offered us a place on his park for the night. I told him how grateful I was and shook him by the hand. Yet another amazing gesture by an American towards the Run Geordie Run team. You can check out the RV website here.

The generosity didn't end there either. Mylo asked the onsite pizzeria to serve us a large pizza "on the house". This little place was called The Garage and the pizza as well as the rest of the food we ordered was the best I've tasted so far in the US. Chef Steve ordered an ice cream for dessert, the like of which I have never seen before. It was huge! He finished the lot too!

In summary, today was a bad day that turned good. The thunder and lightning is likely to disrupt progress tomorrow. After that, the forecast gets better. Other plusses are that I'm losing weight all of the time. I'm spending a month running at altitude (good for fitness) and I have no injuries to speak of (thanks mostly to Wee Kirsty).

Today made me realise that I'm winning the physical battle and, as I predicted some time ago, the mental battle is now there to be confronted and overcome. This run will get physically easier over time. It will, however, require every ounce of mental strength that I possess to complete. This is something I have prepared for over the last 3 years. I'm ready to meet this battle head on over the remaining 77 days and 2446 miles.

Finally, please, please, please consider sponsoring me using the following justgiving links. Every donation made, no matter how large or small, would be greatly appreciated by me and, moreover, St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation.

(St Benedict's Hospice)

(The Children's Foundation)

Monday 23 May 2011

Poor signal

As soon as I get a better signal I'll update the blog. All going well. 32.4 miles ran yesterday.

Sunday 22 May 2011

Day 22 - Photo of the day

"Runner on a lonely road"

Well done Team Run Geordie Run

Well done to Team Run Geordie Run for their superb efforts in the Edinburgh half and full marathon. Pictured below from left to right are Louise Cooke (01:52:00 for half marathon), Mark Fleming (03:30:00 for full marathon), Jane Henderson (01:43:19 for half marathon), Mick Butler (01:46:00 for half marathon) and Alison Hudson (01:42:20 for half marathon).

Not only did the team all post personal bests, they managed to raise £1100 for St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation too. Well done to all of the team for such a superb collective performance and for raising such a huge amount.

Day 21 - Up the Long Valley

In an attempt to get my legs awake earlier than usual Wee Kirsty slapped and chopped my legs around a bit before I started running this morning. It worked a treat as I left the Bauers Canyon Ranch RV Park who, incidentally, had let us stay there for free. Thanks to them for that.

My legs were working better than usual but the rest of me was very very sleepy. Probably, because I’d stayed up a little later to reply to some emails, Tweets and to update my blog. I have a backlog of emails to get through so if you're waiting for a reply for anything please be patient, I will get back to you when I can. I've had a lot of encouraging emails from various people. That, together with the support on Twitter and Facebook, is really helping me as I run all of these miles across the USA.

Meanwhile, back to today. It was a beautiful sunny morning as I made my way up the valley. There were pastures with horses grazing, fast flowing streams and the odd waterfall. It was an amazing setting to run in. What was equally as amazing was the climb up and away from Glendale. It went on for 7 miles and the first peak was 6828 ft.

At the first RV meeting point (7 miles) Chef Steve cooked me a Double Decker Bacon and Egg sandwich. That went down a treat and I continued on my way in the glorious sunny setting of Long Valley. At this point I was still very very sleepy.

I had to work incredibly hard on the way up to the day's summit at 7479 ft. For the first time in a while I found myself having to take bigger breaths of air as I climbed and climbed. At the next meeting point (14 miles and 7479 ft) I had to have a now almost traditional "tactical snooze". These early morning wake up calls are a killer!

Post TS (Tactical Snooze) I hit the road again. I found I was running so much quicker. The next 10 miles flew by and I would have continued had it not been for an empty stomach!

I had a bowl of pasta at the 3rd meeting point of the day and the final 6.2 miles were very slow indeed. If only I could have missed the 3rd meeting point out.

I stopped the run at 30.2 miles as a bit of broken skin on my left foot became very sore. My feet have been pain free for almost a week now so I guess I was due for something to happen. On the subject of my feet, they were massively swollen during the first 2 weeks. That swelling has completely gone now fortunately.

I've finished my blog early tonight. Time for a shower then massage then sleep. Then it's all to do again tomorrow. I'm in a good groove now. The scenery is getting better. The miles are ticking by quicker. Most importantly, the fund for St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation now stands at £33,079.53. If you would like to add to that total, I would very much appreciate it. The following links can be used.

(St Benedict's Hospice)

(The Children's Foundation)