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: 63.0 km (Accumulated: 34362.0 km)
Elapsed time: 06:05:38
Start 10:05am., 10c, overcast & light wind, at cross of hwy. 413 & hwy. 130 in Burlington. Finish 17:40pm., 12c and same, at cross of county-road 520 & hwy.9.
Two days to Manhattan; 40 days untill Canada.
Sometimes there are days where you have all the spirit' needed to run around the world, but the legs are just too tired - and then there are days where its the opposite way. Today was one of those rare days:
Physically the 63km run was no problem and the legmuscles even fealt nice and relaxed after the streatch was done and it was time to search for a motel at the roadside.. Actually I have been surprised how well the legs have kept up on this part of the world run two as I could easily imagine that I'd be "running on empty" by now; 34 000km into this lap around.
Yet its not the legs that are empty. Its the spirit or motivation. As I unload my things from the supportcar I try to think once more if there isnt an overall positive thing to say about todays stage - apart from that I survived the traffic, and that the legs were fresh throughout. And I have to say that actually there were more room at the side of the highway 130 that I ran along than there has been in a while. Thats a positive thing. And I nearly had running company on the stage - atleast a runner called on the cellpone.. And there were only 3 times a car was on course to knock me over; thats a positive too.
But I cant help think about the look in the eyes of those drivers - the empty stare when I make eye contact; a security measure, no matter where in the world, to make sure that they realise that its a living person in front of them. In a few cases each day here.. it makes no difference at all. Despite that this should not affect the run much then I cant shake the unpleasant feeling of each encouter where a driver sits and looks while driving straight at you. Its no big danger - its usually when I run across the road on a green (/white light for pedestrians) or a car is waiting on a sideroad to the main road I am passing it on. So they are not up to speed as they start to drive towards one. After a while you quickly learn that you have no rights if you are not in a car yourself.
Its all details, and the daily incidents are very few amongst the many polite drivers and the traffic wich in other ways are more disciplined than most other parts of the world.
But what gets to me, little by little and day by day is the lack of freedom. Freedom to move, freedom to go where you want, and go the way you want. I long for the open streatches, the mountains and valleys I have run across on the other continents; friendly people who has time to stop up and ask who you are, who has a moment for others and an eye for other life than their own.
... As I relax afterwards and try to collect my thourghts for the daily report I listen to some of my favorite music while hanging the handwashed runningclothes to dry; Dire Straights: Brothers In Arms. But the next song rapidly brings back the impressions from a day at the side of the highway, "Telegraph Road". And I have to agree with the lyrics - this once was a contry with fantastic freedom. An open road to possibilities. But it seems that the open land has been posted with "Trespassers will be prosecuted" on the forrests and farmlands; and the open roads... requires a truck if you want to survive them now. Where did the freedom go ??
On the last few miles of the run today I head onto one of the small county-roads. It ends up as a narrow corridor between the metal rails on each side. With no room to escape the heavy sunday traffic (!). This way I get a good albeit fast look at the veichles. Most of them big pick-up trucks and SUV's build for heavy duty off-road driving. But there isnt any off-road to be driven for miles and miles. Most of the time there is only one person in the car. I struggle to find a reason to run here. Far more painfull than my own safety is it to see the planet, on which I have seen such wonders during these two run's around it, beeing treated as if pollution doesnt matter; perhaps it will hurt someone else - or a later generation, so why worry about it ?
It could be easy to end the report on this note. But it wouldnt be fair by a long leap ! It only takes a look at the car wich follows me: a hybrid, fully electrically chargeable. Minimal impact on the enviroment. This is Usa too ! Or the knowledge that this contry has a president who has the courage to mention "the enviroment" and to look ahead for new solutions (as a political scientiest by education Obama happens to be one of my favorite modern time presidents, despite the difficult economical situation he has enherited from the previous president). Or the hundreds of cars each day swerving out of their way to leave me room enough to run on ! The man after todays stage, heavy-set and definately not a runner himself - asking about why I was running and how long; and taking the moment to care about what was going on..
The truth is seldom as simple as our "tv-reality" presents it to us in the few minutes there is left between commercials. Wether its negative or positive; and it often pays to take a closer look and a deeper thought ! That's one of the reasons why I do the world run's :-) And to try to show that cultures who are different than our own can be just as "right" or safe (else I wouldnt have survived running straight across Africa, the Arab world or through South America..). Now my own 'test' is understand that even though this part of Usa doesnt have the same accessibility for all kinds of moving, walking, running, bicycling, than what I grew up with in Scandinavia - then it doesnt make it a bad place ! It just requires some adaptation to survive in :-)
And if some should take offence by a report like this then I have to say that the "old-grumpy-runner syndrome" should be taken into account ;-) I did turn 40' while running through Peru last year...
So reguardless that I'd feel tempted to head to other places to continue the run after a day and a month like this, then the world run ofcourse continues. As it does as long as my legs will carry me and as long as the finish line is in front of me. Certainly there arevthings to look forward to: New York is one of my favorite cities in the world, along with Omsk (Siberia), Sydney (Australia), Khartoum (Sudan) and Malmö (Sweden).
- Some of them because of their exotic setting, others because of their stunning nature or warm people, one because its "home" to me, to the extend it makes sense for a world runner to talk about home. New York City... Because of its Energy, like no other place I have experienced. From the first time I ran through it, 17 years old in 1987 and taking part in New York City Marathon on an exception since usually the lower limit is 18y.o., to 1989 in the elite-field reaching the finish in Central Park in 2:34h. on an epic "off-day". Later visiting as a tourist and world-run lecturer taking full advantage of all the sights and everyday-scenarios the city offers.
So there is pleanty of reasons to cope with the traffic and see it as just another expression of the pulsating energy wich is an integral part of USA and beeing american...
NB: The reports from the previous three days will be uploaded tomorrow on my restday. For those who follow the run via the gps-tracking - As you can see the gps-track from today is split up in two data sets: 21.62km & 41.61km since the endomondo application auto-shutoff after 22km's. I noticed it about 1km later and tried to restart the system through it took a few attempts. The system is for some reason not that stable lately; similar situation w. the endomondo tracking on the 27.March etc. Todays run most likely was 64 or 65km's but there is no reason to write more km's than I can fully document.