Apr 14, 2012

Distance today = 54.35 km; Total distance = 5000.25 km; Location = Alcade – 36 06.344′ N, 106 01.947′ W; Start time = 0856, Finish time = 1638


I knew that today I was in reach of the 5,000 km milestone so far for the world run. The weather, however, made me work very hard for it. More on that later.

I began in quite good conditions. My starting point was right next to the place where Billy the Kid was jailed for three months in 1880/81 while awaiting trial. He was found guilty of murder, but escaped when transferred to another jail. Pat Garrett subsequently tracked him down and shot him dead. It's strange to think that Billy ate, breathed, and slept just metres from where I headed off from.

It was also great to run on both the Sante Fe Trail (the precursor of Route 66), and the Camino Real (the Spanish Royal Highway), which was the main highway that linked Sante Fe in the north with Mexico City in the south. Sante Fe was founded in 1607, and this highway must have seen some amazing traffic since then.

About an hour into the run I passed through Tesuque (pronounced Tess-oo-kee). This quaint village is where Murray Gell-Mann lives. I guess most readers won't know who Murray is – he is the guy who discovered quarks, the sub-nuclear particles that make up protons and neutrons. Naturally, he is one of the most famous physicists in the world. Now you know.

Another couple of hours up the road and I passed the turn-off to Los Alamos. This is where, in the early to mid 40s, the atomic bomb was developed. After 1945 the facility moved away from weapons research, and is now one of the greatest hot-beds of peaceful scientific research in the world. All sorts of people have lived in or visited Los Alamos, including Einstein and Oppenheimer.

Just after this, the wind started to increase in intensity, as predicted by the weather bureau. My last 10 km was run in gale-force freezing conditions, and all I had on was a T-shirt and shorts. During this time I rolled an ankle quite badly, while keeping a close eye on a vicious dog that was trying to attack me from behind a wire fence. Luckily, the injury wasn't bad enough to prevent me continuing, although I did need to take a few minutes break to let the pain subside.

I was so pleased to be picked up by the support vehicle. I vetoed any photos on the road, in favour of immediately hopping into the car.

But not before I reached my 5,000 km milestone. I'm pretty happy with that, as the (slightly less than) three and a half months it's taken me is well ahead of my original schedule. Now for 10,000!