Jul 2, 2021
Another 74 sec 400 metres this morning. Maybe I’ve hit my limit, but I’m not going to stop trying to it get down under 72 secs (3 minute per km pace). It doesn’t seem that long ago I was running 400 m in under 60 seconds, but that will never happen again.
If you want to see what it’s like to run alongside the Mississippi River, have a watch of the first video below. And there are several photos of interest after the old blog posts.
Jun 29, 2012
Distance today = 50.51 km; Total distance = 8524.80 km; Location = Kellogg (4 km south of) – 44 16.526′ N, 91 59.300′ W; Start time = 0908 Finish time = 1727
I won’t keep going on about the heat and humidity, but suffice to say that over 1200 “heat records” have already been set in the US this summer alone. Today half the country was over 40C.
Instead, I’ll focus on the fact that I got to run right alongside the Mississippi River for about 25 km. I’ll get to do more of this over the coming days – one of the great pleasures of the world run.
There are several names for the road along the river that I’m running on. Besides Highway 61 and the Great River Road, I found out today that it’s also called the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Highway. For those who remember the 1970s series Little House on the Prairie, you may recall that Laura was a real person who recounted her childhood in a series of books, from which the TV series was made. I didn’t realise she was prominent in these parts.
I had lunch in the town of Wabasha, and learned that it was the location for the movie Grumpy Old Men. The Mississippi must freeze in parts during winter, as those guys did a lot of ice fishing (through a hole cut in the ice). Or maybe they fished on one of the many adjacent small lakes.
I’m really looking forward to the start of the Tour de France tomorrow. And that’s followed by the Olympics, so there’s lots of great sport coming up to take my mind off the run for a while.
Jun 30, 2012
Distance today = 50.21 km; Total distance = 8575.01 km; Location = Homer – 44 01.160′ N, 91 32.438′ W; Start time = 0830 Finish time = 1640
If every hot and humid day was as good as today, I certainly wouldn’t be complaining. I felt pretty good, even though I was sweating like the “proverbial” (Watto, help me here!) all day long.
I did have the Mississippi to keep me company, and that makes the day easier. I was also joined by Tesla from the local Winona newspaper (and Joe the photographer), who ran a few kilometres while she interviewed me. Things like this help break up the day. Similarly, Mike from the Wabasha newspaper helped break yesterday up nicely.
So I’ve now completed half a year of my trip as of today. If I manage a similar second half to 2012, I’ll cover around 17,000 km for the calendar year; way more than my previous annual best.
I finished in the village of Homer – and celebrated with donuts and Duff beer!!!!!
Jul 1, 2012
Distance today = 50.80 km; Total distance = 8625.81 km; Location = Stoddard – 43 42.101′ N, 91 12.853′ W; Start time = 0858 Finish time = 1738
I’ve often said the mental side of this run is the harder part, but some days are just as hard physically. I am now carrying a thermometer, which I keep in the shade in my belt pouch, allowing me to know the real temperature where I’m running. Today it reached 98F (37C) and stayed there most of the afternoon. And I’m running in the direct sunshine, so you can see what I mean about the physical side being demanding. And the heat makes the roadkill smell even worse.
However, that said, I did have lots of positives today – more running along the Mississippi (the Great River Road was recently named the most scenically beautiful road in the US), including crossing the river to enter the state of Wisconsin. This happened at the town of La Crosse, where I noticed there had recently been a concert by the Steve Miller Band and Foreigner – two memorable bands of the 70s. I also spent part of the morning getting text updates from Dave in Australia about the first stage of the Tour de France.
And I was also joined by local TV station WKBT Channel 8, for some filming and an interview.
And then we met Diane and George for the first time. You may recall that Jenny, who was travelling with us from San Francisco to Phoenix, left us in mid May and visited the Grand Canyon on her way home. She met Diane there, who made her promise to get us to drop in on her in Stoddard, a beautiful town on the banks of the Mississippi. And that’s what we’re doing now. Diane and George met us in La Crosse with placards welcoming us to town, which was a real treat. We are staying at their fantastic home, right on the river, so I’d better be a good guest and not stay too long on this blog.
Jul 2, 2012
Distance today = 27.31 km; Total distance = 8653.12 km; Location = Chaseburg – 43 39.603′ N, 91 05.866′ W; Start time = 0924 Finish time = 1405
A planned short day, and wasn’t I glad about that. The humidity was almost as bad as the time I ran at Manaus in the middle of the Amazon. And that was only 5 km, so today’s 27 km probably qualifies as the most difficult conditions I’ve ever run in. I don’t think I could have made 50 km today, even if I had planned to.
I ran 10 km along the Mississippi, before heading inland amongst beautiful green valleys and wooded farmland. I really hope the extreme weather cools down so that I can enjoy the countryside more. There are even little communities of Amish farmers sprinkled throughout these valleys.
We are staying again tonight with Diane and George. Diane made a delicious dinner last night of traditional Wisconsin food, complete with a local version of a hotdog, called “a brat with all the fixin’s” – it’s food to eat while watching Green Bay Packers’ games – great stuff. Once again, we’re tremendously appreciative of their hospitality.