World Run II / Reports
The map shows the position of which the pictures for the day are taken (if any). The start and finish markers are placed at the first and last valid registered position. This is not nessesary the actual start and finish position, if GSM or GPS signals was not available.
Distance today: 40.0 km (Accumulated: 29224.0 km)
Elapsed time: 03:43:31
Start 09:30am., 22c, overcast, humid & no wind, at farm sign "Sitio San Augustin", approx. 1km after km-sign "135" on hwy. E80 to Cuenca. Finish 14:36pm., 26c, same, not humid & med. wind, at km-sign on auto barrier "97" on hwy. E80 to Cuenca.
Change of nature
Todays 40km stage brought a lot of uphill running as I once again am heading up into the Andes Mountains. But it also meant a chage of nature, having the pleasure of seeing the sourroundings change almost for every km as the steamy humid tropical banana plantations gave way to dense rainforrest; which again slowly thinned out as the hills grew higher and opened up to thrilling views over the valleys below. Finally the last 10km an alpine terrain began to appear in the horizon, condors sailing by' on huge black wings and the air getting chilly and cold. How welcome as I've been suffering a bit in this sauna' of a running-setting (see for example yesterdays pictures!).
Still, the 'suffering' is purely physical as I've seldom seen a terrain or a nature like this -and seldom in my 28years as a longdistance runner... Been as motivated as now :-) And this also helps the body to regain strength, I think.
I imagine as runners, no matter what level or distance, our Motivation is hugely dependent on the interaction with nature and the intense impression it makes on us each time we get a little closer to it when we tie our runningshoes and leave modern comfort behind (to the extend we can let go' of ipods, gps-watches, calory-measurers, sunglasses and fancy hats etc. ;-)
Probably nearly all runners can relate to this ecco' which still lives deep within us of the nature we once lived in and was part of for hundred-thousands of years of evolution; and which we have only begun to leave a few hundred years ago - a snap' of the fingers in evolution terms.
I doubt our dependency in reguards of wellbeeing can change that rapid. And I seldom see people appear as happy, calm or balanced in the big cities of our world as I do once heading into the large parts of our planet which still is the reign of nature. And personally I feel the same calmness and satisfaction settle once beeing "out here". And its this close connection with nature, that running is an excellent tool for, which makes me prefer to experience the world in all its richness of nature - by running, and not from a car window. Im daily amazed by how different and de-attached the experience is when sitting in the supportcar after the stages and driving to the nearest accomdation or tent spot.
It doesnt compare. Running brings one down in to another pace; to some extend.. the pace of earth, I guess. Without wanting to sound too 'hippish' :-) But things doesnt wizz' by anymore. There is time to take in the smallest changes of terrain, nature, animals, insects (sometimes bothersome, ofcourse!); the sound and smells, the tiny changes of wind and humidity. The sound of people going about their daily life along the streets of the world.
And it changes oneself, slowly. When I see the fast-lane world of cars, big cities, industry, mining, oil-extraction, express-highways, the web of powerlines and phonecables streatching across the land - it feels natural; when Im at home. But day by day and month by month during the world runs, one begin to gain another perspective. I get more and more stunned by our lack of compassion for a nature which is any inch as much part of our self as our families are. We see it crumble before us and dont notice it at all; and dont notice that we are the cause of it in our daily lives. And I find it very 'natural' and not worth many moment's consideration while at home going about with my modern life - Except maybe for the talk, politics and intellectual debate ofcourse. We seem to Understand the nature and a bit of what we are doing to it. But we are not part of it anymore as it has no place in our selfconsionsness - its a remote and removed item; which makes it as easy to deal as with as the destruction or diseasters in far-away-places in the evening news. Its hard to fathom how de-attached we are from having a connection to nature in our modern lives. And the odd thing is that it doesnt feel that way at all when living the modern life. We care about nature, we concearn ourself with it; we think about supporting good causes. But its as remote a thing as distant stars in the night sky.
Yet we are ofcourse still part of Nature even if a destructive part at the modern era. Part of our nature and our natural strength is the ability to adapt and change which we share with all other species; which we even seem to have in more abundance than any other species. And one can easily imagine that we will also adapt to what is required by us to co-exist with nature, since its as much a part of us as we are a part of it. At each moment in history and evolution the steps ahead seem large and unlikely; afterwards they appear obvious and natural. Today its evident that what we found 'natural' a few centuries ago was wrong and had to change; an example is how easily we lived with slavery for thousands of years, not feeling much attachment with the slaves despite of them beeing the same human beeings as ourselves. Its easy to imagine how we one day will be appauled to hear of how we treated our nature. We are always able to change; and in the very long term for the better.
Untill then its painfull to see, the modern slavery' we have brough upon nature.