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: 0.0 km (Accumulated: 31900.0 km)
Elapsed time: 00:00:00
[waiting-day 4, Bogota, Colombia]. (10km, 51:36min, not counting in the world run 2 total).
10 Year Visa :-))
My element may not be the water, actually its safe to say that it isnt even though my first sport, barely before I could walk was swimming. But I have to say that I have fealt like a "beached whale" similar to the one on the picture. Made of concrete and beached up in the mountains thousands of kilometeres from open water...
The last 5 days, beeing denied entry first into Cuba and after that, into USA, has left me stranded in Bogota, Colombia. Money slowly disappearing as my creditcards are locked untill I exit the contry due to security reasons - Bogota apparently having a credit card fraud reputation with international banks, bad enough to invoke an automatic "no access" while in the city.
As whales are said to collapse under their own weight when on land, so I find myself in the situation that the Determination wich is a driving force both during my first and now second run around the world - has become a force wich drags me further down for each day. It is not my element to be 'locked' without oppotunities. Even though Bogota isnt the worst place to be stranded:
It has a magnificent view to the mountains just East of it, 8 million inhabitants and a history of beeing settled by the Chibcha indians back before the spanish conquistadores arrived in 1538. Besides a strong cultural life it also offers me an oppotunity to do some altitude traning - since its located at 2700m. altitude.
Ofcourse, that is only usefull if I actually have something to use that training for. And that I have:
- Five days of frantic work to try to obtain a long-term visa into first Cuba and when that failed then USA, finally today gave a positive result after nearly, or actually de-facto, loosing hope of continuing the run.
As a curious coincidense the hotel wich I am staying at turned out to be located exactly in front of the American Embassy. Convenient, as I have tried to gain access and get to explain my case for the last 4 days. The first 3 days it was not even possible to be let inside and ofcourse much less so to be able to present the situation. Its one of the largest american embassies in South America, with a look a'la a classic fortress, only this made of tall sand-coloured marble and concrete squares. Just looking at it gave the impression "Dont Even Try".
But TRY we did; my family, my financial sponsor Ecco and a little bit myself too... ;-) Emails, phone-calls, fax'es. Nothing seemed to help. Then, yesterday, after a long string of automatic: "thank you for your interest, at this moment we cant help you.." emails I suddenly got the reply "Wait by the phone" ! What ?? :-) I stayed glued to the phone at my hotelroom, only 200meters from the embassy that seemed so far away in diplomatic terms. An hour later I was inside the gates of the embassy. Wisked' in front of long waiting lines in the huge open courtyard - definately the same "fortress" impression. 25 rows to wait in. But the wait; was no wait. Within 20min.'s fingerprints was taken, money paid and an interview conducted with many detailed questions as to what this strange "running around the world" was ! I explained to my best ability. The case beeing that when you enter the USA, you have to present an "onward flightticket" - to ensure that you will exit the contry again, within the standard 3 month visa period. I didnt have such a ticked, and had no plans of getting one; as the goal in North America is Canada - but Running, not by flying. So... I explained that I would be running to the next contry. Same gazing look as when I arrived at LAX international airport in Los Angeles in 2005 waiting to run across USA and Canada. What ? Running ?!? More explanations, luckily the website as well as Ecco could back-up that this was not an outragous and illconcieved story to obtain a long-term visa. Since I also would have to need a longer time than 3 months inside the USA. "Aha". I was asked to come back the next day.
- What happened during the mean time between yesterday and today I cant say. But the result wasnt a 3months or a 6months visa. But instead that I now have a 10year visa valid for entry and exits into the USA untill 2022; two years after my passport has expired :-) WHAT A RELIEF !!!!!
AS OPPOTUNITIES OF ALL SORTS FOR CONTINUING THE RUN WAS TRIED AND FAILED DURING THE LAST HECTIC DAYS (while the money dripping away) - A FANTASTIC FEELING TO ONCE AGAIN HAVE AN OPEN ROAD AHEAD OF ME. 5600KM OF IT :-)
.... I am a beached running-whale' four days more. Then my airplane to Miami departs and if all goes well I can begin the run along the East Coast of North America from Key West at its most Soutthern point to New Foundland at its most North-Eastern point. Because - as whales, also I long for water. I come from a contry sourrounded by water and ocean. Never more than a short drive or maximum an hours running away. The smell, sounds, texture in the air of "water nearby" is always there. And I long for it, on my runs across continents: Russia-Siberia/Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, South America. For us who grow up near the water and ocean, it is always in our soul and each time we are for a long time away from it, it becomes apparent how strong a loss it is.
I THANK all who helped in this. By pushing' onto the visa-process, as well as those who encouraged me. It was a short period in time. But the longest time in my life.
Below is the scedule for the North American part of the run:
OVERALL PLAN, NORTH AMERICA 2012:
1) KEY WEST to RICHMOND, 10. January - 4. March. 2171km.
2) RICHMOND to NEW YORK, 4. March - 19. March. 500km.
3) NEW YORK to BOSTON, 19. March - 30. March. 400km.
4) BOSTON to HOULTON/BORDER, 30. March - 15. April. 700km.
5) HOULTON/BORDER CANADA to NOVA SCOTIA, 1. May - 1. June. 900km.
6) NOVA SCOTIA/PT. AUX BASQUES to ST. JOHNS, NEW FOUNDLAND, 1. June - 1. July. 900km.
Total for NORTH AMERICA: 5600KM.
8/1, Arrival Miami International Airport, American Airlines 2170, 12:35 noon.
10/1, Start Key West - Miami, 300km.
18/1, Miami - Palm Beach, 100km.
21/1, Palm Beach - Palm Bay, 150km.
25/1, Palm Bay - Daytona, 150km.
29/1, Daytona - Jacksonville, 150km.
(1 restday in Daytona or J.ville.).
3/2, Jacksonville - Savannah, 200km.
9/2, Savannah - Manning, 200km.
16/2, Manning - Southern Pines, 200km.
23/2, Southern Pines - Durham/Raleigh, 100km.
26/2, Durham/Raleigh - Henderson, 80km.
28/2, Henderson - Richmond, 200km.
4/3, Richmond - Washington, 200km.
(1 restday in Washington)
10/3, Washington - Baltimore. 60km.
11/3, Baltimore - Philadelphia. 150km.
15/3, Philadelphia - Newark/New York City. 150km.
19/3, Newark/NYC - Mystic. 200km.
25/3, Mystic - Boston. 180km.
30/3, Boston - Portland. 180km.
4/4, Portland - Augusta. 100km.
7/4, Augusta - Bangor. 120km.
10/4, Bangor - Canadian border/Houlton. 180km.
15/4, arrival at Canadian border.