Aug 27, 2012

Distance today = 51.69 km; Total distance = 10,671.03 km; Location = Loretto – 35 05.471′ N, 87 25.480′ W; Start time = 0811, Finish time = 1623


I had another interesting adventure this morning. Five kilometres after starting, I reached a long bridge over a river between Muscle Shoals and Florence. To my horror, there was not even an inch of shoulder on the road. The only way I could get across was to run in the traffic lane. But it was peak hour on a Monday morning and the traffic was very thick. How was I going to get across a kilometre long bridge in these conditions? For those unaware, the rules do not allow me to get in a car or use any other means – I have to get across on foot, or go the long way around by finding another road.

I found out later that there was a No Pedestrians sign, but I hadn’t seen that. So I waited for a break in the traffic (luckily for me, there was a traffic light just up the road, so there were thirty second breaks in the traffic every few minutes), and sprinted across the bridge, looking back regularly. When the lights changed and the traffic started coming at me again, I’d jump up on the rail of the bridge and make myself scarce. The cars were only missing my knees by about 20 cm. Needless to say, I was relieved to finally make it across.

Later I ran through a beautiful section of forest. The problem all day, however, was that there was no shoulder and no sidewalk. My ankles are a bit sore from jumping into rough grass all day. And I even saw a large dead snake on the road, so there was definitely danger lurking in the grass.

I eventually crossed over into Tennessee again. I’m now in Davey Crockett territory. Soon after, we stopped for lunch outside a petrol station. The staff, Pat and Roger, were very nice and invited us in from the heat to have our lunch.

All in all, it was an enjoyable day of running. The lower temperatures really make a big difference, even if it is still in the low to mid 30s C.

PS My Garmin froze during the day and the only option was to turn it off and on (in effect, a computer that had to be rebooted). After downloading the data, the points where it froze and restarted were identified, and Google Earth was used to measure the missing distance as 1.37 km. This has been added back in to the total distance.