May 7, 2021
Today’s world run offering is from the countryside between Denver and Cheyenne (Wyoming). You can see from the photos why this region is referred to as Big Sky country.
As for my present day running, it’s going well. I even threw in a couple of faster sections this morning, including 400 metres in 75 secs and 200 metres in 35 secs – not fast by my younger standards, but I’m happy enough with those times as a 60 year old.
May 4, 2012
Distance today = 46.36 km; Total distance = 6006.74 km; Location = Wellington (10 km south of) – 40 38.365′ N, 105 02.316′ W; Start time = 0849, Finish time = 1544
Once again, I took the scenic route today; this time so I could view historic old Fort Collins, as well as do some country running. I’m glad the rules are flexible and don’t require the most direct route between any two points, otherwise I’d miss too many things that are off to the side.
I started by running up into the first range of foothills of the Rockies, where I was told I’d have a great view of the town. It reminded me of the panorama from the lookout over Springfield in The Simpsons. There was no nuclear reactor in sight, however.
I then ran past the town’s huge stadium. It seemed out of proportion for the size of the town. I later saw a placard in a front yard, urging citizens to “Save Hughes Stadium”. I suspect the up-keep of such an enormous stadium is beyond the finances of the town.
From there I headed into the old part of town. As the name suggests, Fort Collins was established as a US Army fort to protect settlers. It was part of a system of fort towns that stretched along the eastern base of the Rockies in the 1800s. It doesn’t look like a fortified town anymore, but I’m sure its big university student population has it under siege a few times each year.
I finally hit a few trails that led me out of the town and on my way to Wellington to finish the day – back to some nice country running.
I passed 6,000 km in total for the world run just before finishing for the day. That means I’ve run 1,006 km in the past 20 days – right on track.
May 5, 2012
Distance today = 44.15 km; Total distance = 6050.89 km; Location = Norfolk (7 km south of) – 40 50.487′ N, 104 58.038′ W; Start time = 1019, Finish time = 1644
I was going to run a bit further today, but the girls called during the afternoon to say that the TV and radio channels were being interrupted by announcements of a severe weather warning. There were thunderstorms in the area and the prediction was for large hailstones and lightning. They were rightfully concerned for me being out on the road, so we agreed they’d come and pick me up early.
At least I still got a decent day of running in, and am now located just south of the Colorado/Wyoming border. I again got to run through nice farming country, with lots of cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs to be seen along the way.
It was hot again, with temps around 30C. Yesterday was 31C. These are far above average for this time of year. In fact, yesterday’s 31 was the hottest temperature ever recorded in Denver for early May. However, I haven’t been uncomfortable at all. The humidity is very low, thankfully.
Last night we went for dinner in Fort Collins, on a very balmy Friday evening. We found a very “buzzy” little bar that had 100 beers on tap, and a predominantly university crowd. As we sat outside, facing the street, we witnessed an amazing scene. A freight train, about a mile long and carrying molten sulphur, came up the middle of the leafy suburban street. I had thought the tracks were for a tram, but it was a full-blown train, not five metres from us. I’m not talking about train tracks crossing the road – these tracks were right up the middle of one of the main streets of this large town. The train had to blow its horn incessantly each time it passed a cross street, which was every hundred metres or so. Quite a sight – and sound!
May 6, 2012
Distance today = 51.24 km; Total distance = 6102.13 km; Location = Cheyenne – 41 07.444′ N, 104 50.635′ W; Start time = 0926, Finish time = 1704
I started the day with two options – run on the shoulder of the interstate freeway, or run on a dirt road that paralleled the freeway. I chose the latter, and it seemed to be the right choice.
However, after nearly 20 km on an uneven corrugated surface with lots of large loose stones and gravel, my ankles and feet really started to suffer. The rest of the day was a little painful because of it, but nothing that some rest won’t cure.
I crossed from Colorado into Wyoming this morning. That’s the sixth US state I’ve run through so far. I finished in Cheyenne, the state’s capital, where I struggled to find a way across the freeway to the hotel. The surrounding landscape is a little sparse, with no trees anywhere other than in the towns, where they’ve been planted by humans.
However, I did see some things of interest. At my lunch stop – a bison ranch – I saw a new born Shetland foal. It was only about as high as my knees – the smallest horse I’ve ever see, by far.
I also ran past the Warren Air Force Base. This was the first place that ICBMs were housed (for those who don’t know, that stands for Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile). In effect, it’s where the first US nuclear missiles were stored, ready to be fired – thankfully they never were. And a little trivia I learned from the information board – they were capable of travelling at 16,000 miles per hour.
A big thanks to the Candlewood Suites Motel in Cheyenne for a great deal on the accommodation. This place is fantastic value – one of the best facilities we’ve encountered so far, and superb staff.
May 7, 2012
Distance today = 38.38 km; Total distance = 6140.51 km; Location = Cheyenne (25 km east of) – 41 09.555′ N, 104 37.497′ W; Start time = 0852 Finish time = 1413
Before I begin, happy birthday to my daughter, Hannah, and also to our friend Marcelle. Hope you both had good days.
I decided to see a bit of Cheyenne during the run today, so I traversed from west to east, taking in the city and some of the suburbs. With a population of around 60,000, it’s a very nice size, and I enjoyed seeing much of it.
However, after several days of record high temperatures, the weather decided to snow on me this morning. I can’t say I was prepared, as I had no gloves and just a jacket over my T-shirt. I was cold for a while, but I’ve experienced worse.
Cheyenne has a lot of information boards extolling its history. I didn’t realise that it was the richest city in the US per capita around the 1880s. This was off the back of the first transcontinental train line, with all the cattle barons shipping their beef back east via Cheyenne. The first transcontinental paved road, started in 1913, also passed through Cheyenne. I ran on this road today; the US-30. Many layers of repaving can be evidenced by the height of the road above the neighbouring gravel. I reckon an archaeologist will have a field day in the future, taking a nice transect through this road. The road has since been superseded by the I-80 in Cheyenne.
I ended with a relatively short day, then we headed back to Denver by car. This is part of a planned logistics and rest break. We have several things to get organized, so I am not planning on being back on the road for a few days yet. I am not injured, tired, or burned out – in fact, my legs felt fantastic today and I would like to have run 20 km more. However, I am going to stick to the plan, as in past years I’ve pushed myself till something breaks – I can’t afford to do that on this run. So I’ll play it conservatively, especially as I’m so far ahead of schedule. I’m sure I’ll come up fresher than ever.
Stay tuned, and I’ll try to give an update on plans in the next few days. I will be doing short maintenance runs in the interim, although these will not count toward my run around the world. And I will be recommencing the world run from exactly the spot I finished at today in Wyoming.