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: 33723.0 km)
Elapsed time: 03:45:15
Start 09:40am., 11c, clear & light wind, at cross of Rd.693 & Hwy.58. Finish 13:45pm., 13c & same at wooden sign "Chestview Memorial Park" on Hwy.1 in South Hill.
A very nice run and another day in near-perfect spring weather. And its not only the weather wich is changing for the better - also the mentality that I experiense during the daily stages slowly turns in a different direction:
After the sometimes less than positive reactions and dangerous traffic running up through Georgia, South- and North Carolina then I am beginning to get a more positive response when I come running. In a curious way doing this kind of project - running every step of the way straight through different contries and cultures often also bring out very different responses. Varying from cities to the rural areas but certainly also from contry to contry and culture to culture.
For example areas that I from back in Europe and even as a political scienties by education reguarded with some caution, perhaps most of all the long streatch through the Middle-East and Arab Sahara... Turned out to be some of the kind and hospitable memories I have enjoyed in by now nearly two laps of running around our planet. Geting to know our "world" each step of the way is almost always also a journey into the big difference betwen the "tv-reality" we see in the evening news where cultures and areas far away are caracterised often by a tiny fraction of its population and qualities (and mostly its the negative parts that comes in focus), where as those same areas, contries and cultures most of the time strikes me as far more positive places and with a huge room of generosity and interest even for people like me with a background and life extremely different from their daily situation. A positive experience indeed, especially when coming from a western contry where I think we perhaps tend to see the danger in other cultures raugher than first of all see the possibilities and amazing differences.
When I came running on my 40km today, along the highway 58 Eastbound, I didnt see the scenario I have got used to during the last month of cars caring litle to give room of safety for a runner on the side of the road and even on occation swerving out to make it even more unpleasant. No, today and the last few days there has begun to be the usual kind gestures of making sure I have a small safety-space betwen me and the cars on the highway (a thing wich means a lot since its else a huge stress-factor that can take up approximately a tird of the energy and focus I put into running the daily stages). As I turned off the 58' and ran into the town of South Hill - on a hill litterely ;-) - a car stopped. A young fellow jumped out and walked down the road towards me. I wondered "whats the problem ?" and little did I anticipate that it was to give me a bottle of fresh cold water ! Perfect in the sun that was baking on the runningshirt despite the cool temperature :-)
And even beeing a small gesture it meant a lot for the rest of that days run: I suddenly could see the Usa that I remembered ! The many kind people, interesting places, fellow runners when I ran across the contry back in 2005 as part of my run East-West around the world in world run one. I had for the last weeks begone to wonder about the reasons of the more negative experiense that running through the contry was this time - (With Florida a HUGE exception with its outstanding support from the running community !!!). Could it be the economical downturn ? Could it just be that I have a lot of km's in the body, by now nearly 34 000km in wr2, and that the tiredness in many cases makes one percieve the same situation as more negative the more deep-tired the body is. It could also depend on variations in culture from the South to the North and West Coast to East Coast.
And of those explanations I lean towards the last one. I think that we as Europeans often overlook how diverse Usa is ! I imagine that most people tend to look at it as one contry with one uni-culture - again being the one we are used to see in the mainstream tv. But my impression definately is that its just as diverse as Europe is; and as we would hesitate to be caracterised as "the same" no matter where in Europe we live, then my impression is that the variation is much larger than we realise when seeing the contry from the outside. Alone the contrast from Florida to the states North of it is nearly as big as betwen contries on different continents. And certainly the contrast if poverty, infrastructure and attitude is one of the biggest I have seen during the world runs. The same goes, on different parametres, of the changes in nature, attitude and mentality from California to Oregon and Washington state (West Coast) and to Ohio in the Mid. and New Jersey - New York in the East.
In my oppinion that is one of the fascinating things about this huge contry, its diversity; and then one has to take the small streatches of difficulties as part of the overall positive experiense !
But I surely am enjoying that I am getting closer to the Usa I remember as I make my way North, tired runningstep by tired runningstep :-)
NB: SUPPORT-DRIVER JOB !
I need to find a new support-driver for the for the next streatch ahead between New York City and Boston. I have been lucky that one of my support-drivers from South America, Alex who is an american himself, has offered to come and help with the supportdriving from May and onwards. But this still leaves the month of April !
If anyone is intersted to be part of the run for 2 weeks in the beginning of April or the full month that would be a huge help ! The salary isnt big, but I ofcouse pay the gasoline and 500usd/month so atleast your expenses is covered. We use a new Toyota Prius hybrid-car, very kindly offered by Toyota & LesePlan.
If you are interested in hearing more please contact me at jesper @ worldrun.org for the details. Thanks :-)
By the way Alex did a video with impressions of the run on the streatch he crewed, down in Chile:
I think its quite well worth watching, both to get an idea of what the world run 2 is, but also since Alex is educated as professional cameraman wich I think comes through nicely in the amazing footage he has put together of both the run at 4000m. altitude in the Andes Mountains, the streatches through deserts and small local villages...
Copyright of the video is Alexander Hamlin, and as well as the video he also took some of the pictures you can see on the slideshow at the frontpage of worldrun.org. The other photo's on the slideshow at the top of the frontpage is taken by Jamie Fullbrook, Pali Meszaros, Line Urban and Dee Osborne.