Mar 16, 2021
Today’s videos include one where I acted as a messenger to motorists after encountering a bad car accident on the road into Phoenix. The other is a world run classic, as I run along a dirt road rimmed by cacti in Arizona.
Mar 14, 2012
Distance today = 49.23 km; Total distance = 3465.17 km; Location = Phoenix (Peoria) – 33 38.272′ N, 112 14.485′ W; Start time = 0853, Finish time = 1607
I am writing this blog after returning from a stunning dinner at Walter’s. A very big thank you to he and wife Nancy, along with his daughter, her husband and the kids, for a great evening – both for the company and the food.
Today I ran into the outskirts of Phoenix along the road from Wickenburg. Around the 15 km mark I noticed how there were no cars approaching me on my side of the highway. I even started running down the middle of the north bound side of the divided road. A few kms later I realised why. There was a serious road accident ahead and the police had blocked all traffic in that direction. I noticed helicopters departing just before I reached the accident.
I passed the accident – a car and an RV had collided and the RV had rolled. I ran on ahead for about 100 metres to the point where the police had stopped the traffic. The Highway Patrol guys said the injured had been airlifted to hospital and the investigation was underway. They expected to re-open one lane “soon”.
I then ran on, past all the stopped cars and trucks. People were milling around, standing, sitting, even lying down. It reminded me of REM’s video clip for Everybody Hurts. And suddenly I had become “the messenger”. I spent the next while stopping and filling people in on what had occurred up ahead of them. Many of them were too far back to know anything about it. The queue was about 3 km long. I took some video of me running through the procession of stationary cars, but refrained from filming individuals. This video should be up soon, but sorry about the apparent “poor filming” when I was talking to the motorists. I felt it would have been poor form to be pointing a camera in people’s faces at a time like that.
I made it into town with 49 km under my belt, feeling very thirsty. The dehydration creeps up on you in such a dry climate. I am going to have to drink more fluids during the day.
Mar 15, 2012
Distance today = 29.52 km; Total distance = 3494.69 km; Location = Phoenix (West Cactus) – 33 36.175′ N, 112 07.126′ W; Start time = 0940, Finish time = 1426
I completed my run into Phoenix today, before starting the long journey out of the city toward the Grand Canyon. It’s a very big city, with a population almost as big as Sydney, and an area that is probably larger. As it turned out, I took a route into the city that wasn’t the most picturesque, but that’s OK – part of the reason for the world run is to experience the reality of the places I visit, not just the sanitized “touristy” places.
During the run I was met by a journalist from radio station KTAR, who interviewed me on the road. This afternoon I did a TV interview in the studios of Channel 12 in Phoenix.
Tonight we had a farewell dinner for Jenny, who will be leaving the support crew tomorrow. We hope to have her back later in the year.
Mar 16, 2012
Distance today = 54.05 km; Total distance = 3548.74 km; Location = 7 km north of New River – 33 58.107′ N, 112 07.575′ W; Start time = 0855, Finish time = 1708
Lots of minor dramas today! After a steady but uneventful first 26 km, I was met by the support crew for a drinks replenishment stop. However, silly me put my phone on a post and forgot it when I headed off. I realized after 2 km, meaning I had to go back and do an extra 4 km in total which doesn’t count toward my world run.
I pushed on, following my planned course according to my maps. However, I reached a road which had a gate on it – my route went right through a walled/fenced town. I was not allowed to use that road. To cut a long story short, I eventually found a way to avoid going back (and doing an extra 8 km or so), but I ended up at a dead-end, with an 8 foot wall barring my way. My only option was to scale the wall. I stood on a few big stones, and heaved myself up with all my strength. There was a brief moment when I could have gone either way, but managed to get myself on to the top of the wall. I then had to jump. I wouldn’t recommend landing from 8 feet up on to ankles that have already run 40 km that day.
To cap off the day, the road I planned to end on became progressively worse, until it was just rocks and sand. At least there were some great cactuses (cacti) to look at.
It was a good day in the end, but I am annoyed at myself for the phone incident. Without it, my 54 km would have been 58.
We bid farewell to Jenny this morning. It’s now back to Carmel and Libby as the support crew. It was great to have her, and we hope to see her again before the end of the run.