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: 30.0 km (Accumulated: 33424.0 km)
Elapsed time: 02:45:39
Start 10:20am., 19c, overcast & no wind, at cross of McGregor Rd. & Hwy.15. Finish 13:32pm., 26c, allmost clear & same, at brown sign "Sand Hill Hunt Club" on hwy.15.
North Carolina !
One mile into todays run I entered the next state on my run up North through USA: North Carolina.
Its now been nearly 2 months since the start of this last continent of world run 2 and the impressions are beginning to settle a bit:
Its been a Huge contrast from the sunny and wealthy Florida and into the states North of it, where I especially have been stunned by the degree of poverty. Infrastructure wich seems to have been left unmaintained and houses that at first appears to be abandoned but at a second look is still in use. I had not imagined that the economic problems was of this scale or had hid that hard !
Also my impression is that its very closely connected to what demographic structure the areas have: the most striking poverty is without exception in the coloured communities, and as soon as the standard of living is back to normal (for a western contry), then it is at the same time neraly always the borderline to the non-coloured areas.
This is though not forgetting the Amazing help and friendliness I experiensed from the running communities down in Florida :-) Yet at the same time, up here further North, there appears to be much less surplus for things as sports and recreation - not surprisingly when seeing the state of things. During the last five weeks of running I have seen three other runners, one of them beeing a runner joing the world run 2 in his area. Bicyclists; I have seen less than ten, all of them in the coloured areas. The mentality also is a bit less positive towards someone running along the road as I during the last few hundred miles have begun to experience drivers swerving to the side of the road where I am running - a thing that is obviously dangerous and a behavior I have not seen in any of the around 32 contries I have run straight throuhg by now. What makes them do this when I am running peacefully along the road is a puzzle to me and an odd kind of agressivity towards others. In the overall picture, though, I think this is just a tiny part of the contry and certainly not my main impression; perhaps its a result of the difficult conditions or suspect towards something unusual ?
A positive side is that almost immideately after I ran across the state-line the deep powerty areas seemed to end. I think the pictures from todays stage reflects that too; a standard in living etc. that I nearly havent seen the last months of running. And if I remember correctly from world run one, where I ran West - East across North America (as the last part of running East - West around the world, www1.worldrun.org), then there is more of these prosperous areas ahead as I run further North :-)
I certainly feel for the poor areas, and cant help sensing an irony when at the same time trying to follow the caucas debates (in the process of selecting the republican candidate for presidential election in November). I wonder if any of the candidates would give up a million of their campaign funds to help those areas that I have seen struggeling on a daily basis. Its intersting and curious as an political scientist by education, to follow the gap between the debate and the actual problems atleast in this part of the Usa. However, enough politics :-)
Actually part of North Carolinas stronger economy most likely is based on the transition its made from beeing mostly dependent on tobacco- and furniture manufacturing, where its now focused on biotechnology, engineering and finance sectors. The last two states, Georgia and South Carolina appears to be struggeling more to attract modern techonogy.
Yet, also on a larger scale I have noticed a change compared with the first time I ran around the world back in 2004 - 2005. Back then there wasnt any other areas than the West where the development was at the forefront, or atleast not along my route, except from the 8days running across Japan. Likewise from an economic viewpoint, the West was the main financial engine'. However I was surprised when I during last year ran through South America, from South to North, that the development and level of infrastructure, industry, education etc. - was not that far from the West. And many areas definately faring better than what I have experiensed in the last month here in South East Usa !
Ofcouse, this is all seen from a person-to-person level and doesnt really have any statistical evidence, and still... When looking at the big figures the same tendency actually comes across: One example beeing Brazil overtaking the U.K. as the world's six largest economy during 2011.