After a 3 day break it took me a while to get going. The legs were nice and refreshed, just some minor stiffness after the mountains of the past couple of weeks.
It was a glorious day. I was running around Blue Mesa Lake in a bit of a dream just looking at the deep blueness of the lake had me mesmerized.
Just then a voice from behind startled me. It was a cyclist called David. Though he had been travelling around the world on his bike for the last 25 years on and off, he still calls Telluride home.
It was around 5pm. David said he was eager to hear more of my world run and as I previously cycled around the world we had a lot in common, except for the running So David suggested we stop in Sappinero for a six pack of beer, sorry we don’t have that in common either!
I really wanted to run on for another hour.
” Well I got some great Brazilian coffee! ”
That did it!
Expert camper, or master camper as I called him after all these years on the road had already picked out a secluded site out of view of the road and down by the lake.
David says that most summers he goes back to Telluride for the summer. he has an art studio but lives in the outdoors, preferring to live out of his tent, a real Grizzly Adams with the beard and pipe to prove it!
He already had his bike down the hill by the lake and had to return to help me with Nirvana over a couple of broken down barbed -wire fences. This is one disadvantage of pushing a jogging stroller in that it limits my camping opportunities as a bike is more moveable and flexible over obstacles etc.
We had a good old natter about my run and his routes over the years over the fire that master bushman whipped up while I was pulling my tent out of Nirvana. I couldn’t believe he had selected his tinder, set the fireplace and had a roaring fire with the water on for the coffee in just a couple of minutes. No sign of smoke either.
David told me that a Brazilian woman in Telluride made a documentary titled ‘ Woodsy ‘ about him living out of his tent. He could easily sleep in his studio or with friends but as he says life is much better in the outdoors and a joy to be woken up by the birds rather than an alarm clock.
Well I got woken up by a coyote at 4.30am, so much for nature!
I was planning to head west over Uncompagne mountain but many people had told me it was very desolate, much snow, washboard roads. Because of the desolation I would have to stock up on food for about a 4 day trip. That would be good news to the bears in the area! It is so difficult obeying all the rules in bear country. Hang your food out of a tree half a mile away from your tent. Don’t cook near your tent. Don’t sleep in the clothes you cook in. Don’t have any food or even toothpaste in your tent..etc, etc.
Bears are normally scared of human presence but as Sheriff Fred Wegener told me a couple of weeks ago.
” The are afraid of humans and their noise but the problem for the camper is when they are sleeping.
” I heard of a story of a bear who swiped a hole through a campers tent and took a lump out of his backside because he left a bar of candy in his back pocket! ”
Well the next day after parting with David I asked another couple of people about the pass. I was told there was snow on the way and the pass doesn’t get ploughed in the winter, nuff said!
So instead I headed for Montrose where I have a friend from my days when I used to race the Shavano Valley half-marathon. The race director, John Unger was a good friend of mine and I stayed in his home many times when in his area. We had somehow lost contact over the years but the new race director of the San Juan Mountain Runners forwarded my email.
John met me out on the road and we ran together for about an hour to where he had his car parked.
Steaks for dinner, and treated like a king. Then later over to his office to check out my body structure. Montrose’s number one chiropractor said that after almost 7,000kms I had normal wear and tear and was in good shape for the rest of the world run I couldn’t help wondering about the template for normal wear and tear for 7,000km!
So next morning, Sunday John drove me out to last nights finish location mile 100 just about 8 from town. We ran together. John later hitched a ride back for his car.
I ran onto US 550 south having a good day with 52.3km / 32.5 miles before John picked me up again. Like many other people I have met he has been very generous with commuting me to my start/finish locations and literally going the extra mile to give me another night in his home. Thanks John!
Almost forgot to mention I met an old buddy of mine from Gunnison on the road. Floyd Pais has had some family crisis and besides he is not really into computers,emails or even mobile phones so we never got together for a gossip but it was wonderful meeting him as he was on his way to (Grand) Junction for his granddaughters birthday party.
Floyd also ran John’s half marathon with me a couple of times. We also ran the Crested Butte mountain race series. We were bitter rivals and fairly well matched. Though I think Floyd just shaded our encounters it wouldn’t matter how many were in the race, we had our own battle and a lot of fun talking about it later. Now he has an ankle injury. Super Floyd 007 he likes to call himself. I do have the strangest of friends!
John brought me back to my finish in Ridgeway and just as I was about to get going an ultra running friend of his picked up Nirvana so I could run alone today.
Ricky Denesik has won the toughest mountain race in the world, the Hardrock 100mile in a then record time in the mid 90′s. He also held the record for scaling all fifty-four 14,000 peaks in Colorado. He was so modest he wouldn’t tell me the amount of days it took!
It would have been nice to have heard all about this but as things worked out he was very busy looking after his child who was spending a few days with him. As it turned out David had noticed my route change on my Spot tracker and I was heading for Telluride. He told me the Brazilian documentary maker called Alisa who was interested in talking to me about a film. I was invited to stay at her place in Telluride.
I ran over Dallas Divide circa 10,000 feet of which 10 miles were uphill and about 13 downhill.
Deputy Sheriff, Chris White stopped me for a ‘ welfare check ‘ said he had been excited by my arrival since hearing about my run from the Colorado State Patrol a couple of weeks ago. He is an avid runner and gave me his number if I needed a place to stay. He seemed disappointed when I told him I was sorted.
An hour later another deputy, a female with very long hair stopped me.
” Where did you lose your bike? ” she asked.
” I running around the world! I normally run with Nirvana but a friend is bringing her over to me when he finishes from work. ”
Head scratch. ” very interesting! ”
I gave her my card, she asked me for my date of birth and middle initial. Very strange.
Back at Alisa’s house David came and cooked dinner while Alisa shot some introduction footage.
Same the next morning Alisa drove out and shot some road footage. I had another big climb ahead of me, Lizards Head Pass circa 11,000 feet. Before I even got near the climb there was another 6 mile climb. I call it a Colorado apertiff!
As I neared the summit I enjoyed the wonderful, most beautiful scenery I have seen anywhere. Colorado is certainly special.
I thought I had known the state from 8 years here but I am really getting to know it first hand now. Of all the areas of Colorado the San Juan’s is my favorite part. The San Juan National Forest also includes Lake City and Telluride.
Near the top I got lashed with hail and a strong wind and rain. This is my sixth and last mountain pass here in Colorado. As much as I love the mountains I have had enough. Just like a Tour de France rider who longs for the Champs Elise after grueling days in the mountains.
Alisa and David met me 4 miles down the pass and after photographing my finish mile marker they took me over to Rico hot springs I wish every day could end like this!
The next day was my birthday. Yesterday I finished at mile marker 53 and tomorrow I will run from there towards mile 54. Strange coincidence.
David showed me around Telluride. As we rode into town he told me about the sheriff that once lived here
. He was a real hippy hater. In those days there were just a few but then they came for the skiing and ended up staying. Soon the hippies were in the majority and voted the sheriff out of office.
I did a radio interview for KOTO radio an affiliate of NPR. It was fun.
Archive for April, 2011
After a 3 day break it took me a while to get going. The legs were nice and refreshed, just some minor stiffness after the mountains of the past couple of weeks.
No sooner had I arrived in Lake City when I met one of my old friends Jodi. She was working for the city and fixing a broken pump when I bumped into her in the town park. Jodi immediately offered me a place to stay in her house with her husband Bruce. Irish readers will know what I mean when I describe Lake City as ‘ Glenrow in the Rockies. ‘
Though its called a city it’s really a very small town with a winter population of about 250. In the summer this swells to a couple of thousand. Many of the summer residents are well-off Texans. The town really depends on their income.
There is a very strong community spirit where everyone looks out for each other. I lived there for 2 years on and off from 1997-1999.
I remember once a man had an accident and was briefly confined to a wheelchair. Word spread out, immediately the Lake City lumber yard donated materials and all the towns carpenters had a wheelchair ramp built up to his house in a couple of hours.
Everyone will have a different story as to how they ended up here. It’s said people leave their attitudes at the town limits sign. Most stumbled into town by accident. Many years before I had read the classic America travel books by Peter Jenkins, Walk Across America and The Walk West.
Jenkins had walked across America in five years. When in Colorado he had spent a whole winter on the Vickers ranch in Lake City. I had spent a lot of 1997 travelling around the states in my Winnebago motor home. I remember it well that Friday evening. I was at a crossroads and the sign pointed to Lake City. A subliminal message from Peter Jenkins’s book took me to Lake City. It’s 8,800 feet high up in the San Juan mountain range.
I made my way to Mammy’s (Whisky Bar And Diner) which seemed to be the focal point in town.
Though I was a drifter the locals welcomed me with much enthusiasm. Soon I learned there was an Irish Man called Aidan living in town. In fact he worked in Mammy’s as a chef but had already gone home as the kitchen had closed for the night. Word got out and Aidan was dragged back to Mammy’s. Over the years we became close friends. Aidan has left town now. Many of my old friends have also departed for other places.
Back then I really enjoyed drifting around in the motor home. I used to go to Las Vegas, Death Valley, The Grand Canyon, Montana, Texas, New Mexico and many other places. I loved it. Every few weeks I would return to Lake City for a few weeks and just sofa surf in a friends place paying them about $50 a week rent when in town.
Drinking sessions between me and Aidan were legendary. Last week I was reminded of my 1997 Halloween party piece. Someone filled my cowboy boot up with beer and I drank it all in one go with a smile on my face. At the 1998 Halloween party I wore my flip flops.
There were a lot of smirks going around… ” So Tony, you not wearing your cowboy boots this year? ”
I didn’t disappoint, but lets put it this way I didn’t get as drunk that year and had more than egg on my face.
In fact in 1998 I was all set to walk around the world. I had bought all my equipment. That’s where the World Jog logo was conceived. Big black letters signifying a road with the white stripes signifying two lanes. World Walk had 2 hiking boots for the letter ‘L’s ‘
That was a time before websites. The editor of the Lake City Silver World, Grant Houston had given me a small sponsorship and the deal was I would email back some on the road reports of my world walk. I described to a local computer design artist what way the logo should look like. He eventually got it up on his screen to my delight. I got the world walk tee-shirts printed. I still got them in Ireland. the world jog logo is a modification of that world walk logo.
I got a letter of introduction from the Lake City mayor, Phil Mason to take on my world walk. I had the maddest of going away parties. Aidan drove me to Denver. We had another going away party in LODO and I took a flight to Ireland. With 4 days to go I changed my mind. (personal reasons) I decided to wait one more year. One more year turned into 13 more years before I decided my real dream was to run around the world and not walk.
I almost never returned to Lake City fearing a humiliation, a laughing stock. As someone said then… Tony it will just be a one week wonder and your real friends will understand, others wont matter. That’s the way it turned out. In fact nobody remembers the hiking boots. They only remember the cowboy boot now! Upon returning I gave Grant his sponsorship money back. He had printed a big article in the paper about my world walk departure! You can imagine the surprise people got when they saw me walking around town.
So then there was the Lake City 50 mile mountain race. A brute of a race. It’s now called the San Juan Solstice 50 mile mountain race.
In 1997 many of the locals wanted me to run it but I refused as I had heard about how tough it was. I didn’t want to wreck my feet for my world walk was my reasoning. In 1998 I ran it and finished 8th. I was hooked on ultra running from that day. In 1999 I trained very hard. It was a more stable year for me. I got my own appartment and worked all year. In that race, at the last aid station with 3 and a half miles to go I was in second place about 8 minutes behind the leader. There was a very steep descent down the mountain into the town with about a one mile run in to the finish line in the town park. Descending kamikaze fashion was my strength at the time and I really went for it. I had made up 7 of the 8 minutes on the two and a half mile descent. On the town outskirts I had the leader in my sights and was closing fast. I believe he had thought he had the race won and was just cantering to the finish. My momentum and taking him by surprise would have probably beaten him. Suddenly all my friends saw what was happening and encouraged me by shouting.. ” Come on Tony, You got him! ”
Just then a terrified leader looked around. We both ditched our bottle bags and went for it both running a sub 6 minute mile in the last mile of a very tough 50 mile mountain race. Fair play to him. He held on to win by exactly one minute. I looked to my right. The local cinema was showing the movie, ‘ Gone in 60 seconds. ‘ I was heartbroken.
I have been told house prices here have been maintained. The reason is because the banks were careful not to loan to people that couldn’t afford, so there was not same property crash as in the rest of the country.
I stayed for another half day seeing some of my friends. Cookie the owner of Mammy’s is no longer the owner as the Arts Council bought her lifework and passion against her will, she is naturally upset. Her husband Michael an old boss of mine. Local character Booey. Jen the runner. I gave Grant an interview. Yes it’s happening this time Grant. I have returned and my tail is not between my legs, this time.
Thanks to Eamonn and Lynda for a complimentary room in The Rico Hotel Mountain Lodge. And for a half hour commute also. Thanks so much
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My hosts from the night before Warren and his son Mike drove Nirvana up the beast of Monarch pass.. Well almost about 15 miles up as far as the Monarch Mountain Lodge. The Lodge is 4 miles from the summit. So I ran all the way up route 285 and then switched onto route 50. Half way up the pass I met my old friends Anne and Kent Lewis from Colorado Springs. I raced with Anne many times and sometimes she even crewed for me. I stayed in their home many times when travelling through the Springs.
Anne and Kent were taking advantage of discounted rates for the last weekend of ski season.
I went into the reception of the Lodge and there was Nirvana waiting for me to push her the rest of the way up the mountain. Sorry pal I just got a great idea. Think I will take my first half day of the run on road day 144.
I flashed the Magic Letter to the lad on reception after we got talking about how hotel business needs ‘ good word of mouth ‘ from guests.
I told him I would put a posting on my blog. So I waited an hour making the best use of wifi in the lobby while waiting for the manager.
Till I got the keys to room 321… Take off!
Later in the restaurant I got to 2 businessmen Andrew who works for some type of a pharmaceutical firm and Michael who has a business leads business. Both of these lads are serious outdoors enthusiasts. Andrew mentioned he is just about to complete climbing the highest mountain on each continent challenge. The lads gave me $180 between them for new running shoes, paid for my dinner and breakfast. Thanks lads.
Next morning I had only 4 miles to run to the summit. There was a bit of light snow and as usual a head wind. After about half an hour running I came to the ski lift area. For last day of skiing there was a big cook out party. Many of the skiers had cooked up dishes for a competition while a very hungry judge was followed around by Mangan labrador nose sampled all the lovely nosh The skiers were invited to walk around and stuff their faces with lamb,beef,pork, kebabs, stews and kebabs
A little bit further up the pass a woman with shoulder long blonde hair stopped her car to talk to me. She looked like an ex of mine, a woman called Lisa.
I asked her if she knew of anyone in the next town, a place called Seargents.
She spoke in a child-like way and said she only knew the people in a restaurant. They were a nice couple she said.
” Please phone them and tell them you met a man running around the world looking for a place to stay! ” I said as bold as brass.
She asked me to hold a cardboard cut-out of an angel. And then in that child-like voice again said.
” I want to photograph you holding the angel. I will be your angel and protect you on this journey. ”
” What’s your name? ” I asked.
” Lisa. ”
I nearly passed out. Only last week I heard my ex had taken her own life last year. May God rest her troubled soul. And she was obsessed by angels too.
I ran on reaching the summit at 3,447 m / 11,312. Then amazingly my camera would not work when I tried to take the summit photo. A couple of skiers took one for me and emailed them to me. Thanks!
So over the top of the pass, avoiding the snow plows that had to dig out the summit elevation sign!
On the way down I was stopped by a friendly state trooper who took my picture and said he would follow the run on the blog. Nice guy.
On into Seargents I went to the cafe Lisa spoke about. I was met at the door by the owner. I think she saw I was disappointed it was only 15 miles for me so far for the day and I wanted to go further. She didn’t offer a place but mentioned Lisa had phoned.
I went inside to the cafe for a coffee. Nobody was drinking any coffee so she obliging put on a fresh pot. Many places just say they don’t have any on. The cafe was being refurbished as I sat there I listened to a compressor cranking up as nail guns pounded nails into the walls making me jump in my seat.
Two locals sat there drinking Busch beer.
” So what’s the population of Seargents? “ I asked.
” 40. ” Said an elderly man named Kip. He was wearing a Seargents Volunteer Fireman’s shirt.
” So what happens if the town goes on fire? I asked.
Kip lifts up his can and says… ” I am off duty! ”
I turned to the owner. I think her name was Meg.
” You know anyone that lives in any of the farms around here? ”
” Well there is so and so about 3 miles away. ”
” No that’s not far enough! ” I said.
” Anyone else? ”
Another name about 5 miles away.
” And the next? ” I persisted.
” That will be Dino, he is Italian you will like him and he is about 8 miles away. ”
” How will I know Dino’s place? ”
” His place is on the right. You will see two big hearts on the gate. ”
” Will you do me a favor please? ”
” What? ”
” Can you phone Dino and tell him I am a nice guy and am on my way? ”
” Suuuuureee. ”
I never made it to Dino’s. An hour down the road towards Gunnison a black pickup pulls up. A guy called Sean shouts over.
” Hey dude where you headed? ”
” Gunny. ”
” You want a ride there and need a place to stay? ”
” Can you take me back in the morning please? ”
” Sure. ”
I can see mile marker 184 about 300 meters away so I run down to it and log my finish there. So they don’t follow me and even though I wave them towards me they wait for me to run back!
There is a cab on the back of the pickup and we have a bit of bother pushing Nirvana in between ski poles and boots. As we are doing this Sean tells me they also picked up two hitchhikers who are stoned and acting a bit strange, as he called it.
I didn’t know what he was talking about till I got in and between kissing the face off each other the two girls asked me why I was running around the world and where I was from.
We drove into Gunnison. The place was still the same as when I lived here many years ago, except The Cattleman’s Inn and A&W were burnt down. I never went into Timbers Bar. I am sure the same people are sitting on the same barstools.
We drove to the west end of town. It turns out Sean was staying in his mates house, a guy called Brian. It seemed to be an open house. I don’t think Sean even asked Brian if I could stay but they were all cool ski and outdoors people. The two girls disappeared. There was a lad called Jay from Crested Butte. Jay is an ultra runner and had done well in the Leadville 100 race. We had a good old talk about mountain races.
Then Sean says his engine burning indicator is flashing on his pickup dashboard.
” So will you be able to bring me back to my marker in the morning Sean? ”
” Sure will, don’t worry dude I will get you back. ”
Next morning Sean drives me the 27 miles to my finishing spot from last night. It doesn’t seem to bother him.
” Don’t worry I will have it checked on the way back. ”
Sean is from Reno, Nevada, he is here for a months vacation with his friends. Back in Reno he is a surveyor.
It turns out the lads know my friend Eric who lives up on 14th Street. I leave Nirvana with them and they say they will drop her over to Eric later.
Its a nice Monday morning and I start running towards Gunnison. I stop at Parlin village and see the general store has not yet opened for the season. I went into the post office to ask. The assistant, a woman called Shirley makes me a pot.
She tells me there is now huge unemployment in the area. The wages construction workers earn has been beaten down from the time I lived in Gunnison County over 12 years ago. She tells me there are moves to try to close the post office now. There is an important meeting on Wednesday. I wish her luck and make a move out of my chair. I had been sitting in a chair in the lobby beside the villages 48 mail post boxes.
The last two days I am got mental snap-shots of two villages I used to drive through without batting an eyelid when I lived in the area. I am seeing America like very few people, even Americans have seen.
I run into Gunny and stop in McDonalds just to reminisce. I remembered sitting here looking at maps of the world many years ago.
I don’t recognize the interior anymore, it’s changed but the outside is as I remember,
Then I run down Tomichi Ave,the main road which is also US 50 as it winds through town.
It is obvious the town has made a huge effort with its image, a good first impression. I have run through hundreds of towns and villages in this country. Many have been unkempt and grubby. When I ran into Gunnison I felt an ‘ aura of cleanliness ‘ Whatever about other roads in the town the main road is well kept. I was proud of it. On my right as I ran on was Western State College with its great sport and leisure facilities and right beside another park which had a floodlit basketball court, picnic areas with ample children’s play facilities. Literally across the road was another large park, Jorgensen Park.
I made my way over to Eric’s place. I used to work with Eric in Lake City. In fact I also worked with Eric’s housemate, Josh Gray.
Josh’s father, Jerry is the race director of the San Juan Solstice 50 mile mountain race. This race was formerly known as the Lake City 50, it was my very first ultra race in 1998.
Colorado is home to 54 peaks over 14,000 feet high / 4,267m. The state is unique as there are very few states that have mountains this high. There are probably hundreds more peaks between 10,000 and 14,000 feet. Here tree line is as high as 14,000 feet. It’s unique around the world for this. Josh and his father want to capitalize on this. They have a passion with yurts. They want to build a network of yurts all over the area for hunters and ultra runners to stay in. Jerry even has a yurt in his front garden and when Josh goes to Lake City he sleeps in it.
Initially I had planned to run from Gunnison to Lake City but because Engineer Pass is closed till mid-June. I would not be able to continue south without a major detour. I understand the paramedics found a dead man that had been missing for six months last spring. He tried to make a crossing when the pass was closed and ran into difficulties.
So I have decided to just make a side trip there for a rest day. I will return to Gunnison, running to Montrose, and then south to Arizona.
Tomorrow Josh will be going to Lake City, 55 miles away. I will go with him.
I will be in Arizona in a few days time. After that there is only California left before I can claim to be the first Irish runner to have run across North America ( Cape Spear, Newfoundland to San Diego, California )
I expect this to be run in about 5 weeks. As mentioned before I will then take a short time out / rest in Ireland before resuming my world run.
This is my route for the remainder of the USA. Click >> HERE
I got checked out by a chiropractor friend yesterday and the feet are in good shape
In almost 6 months on the road and almost 7,000 km run not one single blister thanks to DRYMAX excellent socks Check out their site >> HERE
Everything moving nice and smoothly on the run. I couldn’t be happier
Next day I ran up Trout Creek Pass, elevation 2,848 m / 9,346 ft. It had been a lovely day running down Red Hill along US 285/20.
What I remembered and loved so much from living in Colorado were the beautiful blue skies I woke up to every morning. It did not matter if it snowed all night or it was in the middle of winter, by 8 am the sky was always clear blue. None of that dreary grey sky we get all the time in Ireland.
I also remembered working in construction here. I was working on a log house decking. It was December and the fields were full of snow. By noon I would be working in a tee-shirt, so intense was the sunlight due to the altitude here being closer to the sun. But the down side was that once that sun dropped behind a mountain just after 3.30pm there was a sharp decrease in the temperature in just a few minutes. I camped in San Isobel National Park at the top of Trout Creek Pass.
Back on the road just outside Johnsons Village I met a cyclist from Galviston, Texas who was on his way north for some good weather.
On his two pannier racks he had small blue crates into which he put his baggage. He had them secured to the frame with a couple of locks and chains. He also had an aerodynamic windshield with flashlights taped behind the shield as a make shift head light.
His name was Richard and he loved the fact that he could tell his grand kids.. ‘ This month it will be Montana. ‘
Though he was on the road for only a month he stopped to work for a week in Buena Vista pawn shop for $10 an hour. I think he had to pay $20 a night towards his motel.
” The man in the pawn shop is always hiring but for me a week is enough and its time to make tracks again. ”
Later I was stopped by Warren a retired prison officer, his wife Jenny and their son Mike. They had seen me a few times on the road in the last few days. Now that I was on their home turf of Naththrop they decided to see what I was up to. They gave me an invite back to their house for the night but first they had to go to Poncha Springs on business. No problem to me I loaded Nirvana into the back of their pickup and said I would see them in a couple of hours. Total strangers and I am loading my trip away into their truck!
I ran very hard for those two hours ending the day at 49km when my hosts came along.
TOTAL FOR 154 ROAD DAYS = 6,847 KM = 4,281.5 MILES
April 23rd 2011. From mile 34 on US160 west to Four Corners. 54.7km = 34 miles.
April 22nd 2011. From Mile marker 18 on US 145 south to Mile marker 34 on US 160 west. 38.6km = 24 miles.
Tonight I am the guest of Chuck and Rose. Commuted to near Cortez. Thank you for helping me live my dream
April 21st 2011. From Mile marker 53 to Mile marker 18 on US 145 South
56.3km = 35 miles.
Tonight I am the guest of Eamonn and Lynda of the Rico Hotel. Thanks also to Eamonn for commuting me back and forth to the Rico Hotel from mile marker 18.
Thanks guys. I had a great evening
April 20th I am going to take a rest day in Telluride with friends.April 19th 2011. From Sawpit, mile marker 80 on US 145 to mile marker 53.
43.4km = 27 miles. Commute to Telluride.
April 18th from Ridgeway, Mile marker 104 on US550 to Sawpit at Mile 80 on US 145.
44.4km = 27.6 miles.
Staying with Alica, Thanks so much and also special thanks to Ricky for helping with my commute to Telluride
12 APRIL, VISIT TO LAKE CITY. STAYING WITH JODI AND BRUCE.
LOVELY TO BE BACK. THANKS EVERYONE FOR YOUR HELP AND FRIENDSHIP
13 AND 14 APRIL VISIT TO GUNNISON AND CRESTED BUTTE. STAYED WITH ERIC IN GUNNISON. THANKS FOR BEING A GREAT FRIEND ERIC, SKI ON
15TH APRIL GUNNISON, MILE MARKER 157 TO BLUE MESA, MARKER 132. = 40.2KM = 25 MILES. CAMPED AT BLUE MESA LAKE
16TH APRIL.BLUE MESA LAKE MARKER 132 TO MILE 100. 51.5KM = 32 MILES.
(COMMUTE TO MONTROSE) STAYING WITH MY FRIEND JOHN UNGER TONIGHT AND TOMORROW. THANKS JOHN
17th April 2011. Mile marker 100 on US50 to Ridgeway, Mile marker 104 on US550 south. 52.3km = 32.5 miles. (commute back to John’s in Montrose)SUNDAYS ROUTE: FROM MILE 100 ON US50 TO (CIRCA) RIDGEWAY ON ROUTE 555. MONDAY ( CIRCA) TELLURIDE.
I RAN MY 4,000th MILE JUST BEFORE GUNNISON LAST MONDAY :)
MY COLORADO ROUTE: PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR MAP AND ROUTE.
SORRY FOR THE LACK OF UPDATES THIS WEEK AS I HAD NO INTERNET ACCESS DUE TO RUNNING IN THE MOUNTAINS. BELOW IS MY UPDATED PROGRESS AS I CONTINUE TO RUN THROUGH THE COLORADO ROCKY MOUNTAINS. I HAVE RUN OVER 3 MAJOR PASSES AND TONIGHT I AM LOCATED NEAR THE TOP OF ‘ THE DADDY OF THEM ALL , ‘ MONARCH PASS.
April 9th Total for 144 road days = 6,388.6km = 3,969.6miles
IF ANYONE KNOWS ANYONE ALONG OR NEAR MY ROUTE (I CAN TAKE A COMMUTE FROM/TO MY START FINISH LOCATIONS) WHO CAN PUT ME UP FOR A NIGHT PLEASE TEXT ME 978 875 4154
23rd Mar 2011 Mile marker 59 on US34 Nebraska to Mile marker 21 = 61.1km = 38 miles
24th Mar 2011 Mile marker 21, Ne. to Wray, Colorado = 50km = 31.1 miles
25th Mar 2011. Wray to Yuma = 45.7km = 28.4 miles
26th Mar 2011 Yuma to Akron = 41.2km = 25.6 miles.
27th Mar 2011 Akron to Brush will update fully later = 37km = 23 miles
Tonight I am a guest of my friend Gilbert Herrera.
28th Mar. TAKING A REST DAY IN BRUSH, CO WITH OLD FRIENDS. I USED TO LIVE HERE.
Tonight I am a guest of my friend John Savoy.
Mar 29th Brush, mile marker 173 to mile marker 141.5 (west of Wiggins on route 34) 50.7km = 31.5 miles
Mar 30th Mile marker 141.5 to mile 105 (15 miles east of Loveland) = 58.7km = 36.5 miles.
Tonight I am the guest of my friend, and former boss! Chris Brown (Commute to Loveland)
Thanks Chris.. A great friend as always. Great catching up on old times
Mar 31st 2011. Mile marker 105 on US34 west. to Drake, mile marker 76. = 46.7km = 29 miles
Commute back to Chris’s house in Loveland.
Apr. 1st. 2011. Mile marker 76 on US34 to Mile Marker 13 on US36, 11km/7miles west of Lyons. 41.9km = 26 miles.
Commute back to Chris’s house in Loveland.
Apr. 2nd 2011. Mile 13 on US36east to Araphoe Ave, Boulder. 38km = 23.6 miles.
Tonight I am the guest of Mike. Thanks so much, especially for loading up my ipod with some great road songs
Apr. 3rd 2011. Araphoe Ave, Boulder to Golden, Jct 93/6, 33.8km = 21 miles
Tonight (and tomorrow night) I am the guest of Paul and Lindsay. Thanks so much
April 4th 2011 Golden, Jct 93/6, to Mile 237, 1 mile north of Conifer. 33.8km = 21 miles.
April 5th 2011. From Mile marker 237 on US285 to Mile 212. Near Santa Maria. 40.3km = 25 miles
Thanks to Sheriff Fred Weigner for his hospitality
April 6th 2011. From Mile marker 212 to mile 186 on route 285.
41.9km = 26 miles
April 7th 2011. From Mile marker 186 to Trout Creek Pass 41.2km = 25.5 miles
April 8th 2011 From Trout Creek Pass to Mile 130 on US 20/285. 49km = 30.5 miles
Tonight I am the guest of Warren, Jenny and Mike. Thanks for a wonderful night
April 9th 2011 From Mile marker 130 on US285 to Monarch Mountain Lodge on US 50 west. 24.4km = 15.2 miles. Thanks to the Monarch Mountain Lodge for their kind offer of a complimentary room
April 10th 2011. Monarch Mountain Lodge to Mile marker 184 33.5km = 20.8 miles
Tonight I am a guest of Brian with a commute to Gunnison. Thanks very much
April 11th Mile marker 184 to Gunnison (mile 157) 43.5 km = 27 miles.
This was an old post I posted before the start of my world run. I thought it was appropriate to give it a repeat as I am now in the area. Set in the mid 1990′s within my first couple of years living in Colorado.
Click >> HERE to read the article
Today is April 1st. I went into a Safeway fora lunch of coffee and pastries. I joked with the pleasant cashier, a man called Dave that it was not really an April fools joke that I am indeed running around the world! I sat outside in the glorious sunshine and noticed that the batteries of my Spot tracker had gone dead.
As Dave was not busy he came out for a chat and told me where to buy them as sometimes it’s difficult to obtain lithium batteries.
He gave me $20 and said. ” Go get yourself a proper lunch tomorrow! ”
He also told me he would pray for me every day. I thanked him as I need all the help I can get!
Another decent day when Chris picked me up I had run just a shade under a marathon. I sat on the barrier at mile marker 13. I couldn’t be bothered running the few extra yards, I just found a handy stopping place for Chris.
It was a very hot day, probably the hottest of the journey so far with the temperature probably somewhere in the mid 20′s C.
We drove into Boulder to see Mike who is a friend of Chris. It was Mike’s birthday so we went out for a meal and a couple of drinks.
I am gradually climbing in altitude. I have been all the way from Nebraska 2 weeks ago. I am around 1,700 m / 5,600 ft. Nothing much really.
After a record late start of 1pm and a lunch in Lyons I still made it to Boulder with 38km under my feet. I stayed with Mike who bumped my ipod up from 3 days of music to 9 days.
Then on the way out of Boulder it started snowing. I was cursing myself for not properly protecting the bumped up ipod which got wet and went blank for luckily only a day.
It continued to snow. Amazing it was 26 C / 80 F yesterday. I ran on till the visibility became bad. It got down to about 30 meters just as I spotted a bar called Rocky’s about halfway to Golden. I went in for something to eat. My ultra running friend from a couple of races, Glen Turner tracked me down. He was just back from a horse riding trip around Guatemala and a months camping trip in Mexico.
Glen set up his own radio station, Inspired, Blog Radio. We sat in his car while I did the interview over his iPhone answering the presenters intelligent questions.
Suddenly the mist cleared up and I ran on for another couple of hours. Glen was keeping an eye on me and even stopped to get me coffee and candy.
I ate an old cream bar I had stashed away for over 10 days. After puking and feeling rotten I called it a day at the Golden junction. Glen brought me over to his workmate Paul’s house in Ken Caryl. Paul and his wife, Lindsay would look after me so well for the next 2 nights
At one of my coffee stops at a gas station I noticed a young lad get out of a State Patrol car.
He seemed to be having a problem with his credit card after he filled up a gas can. He had run out of gas and the trooper gave him a ride over. I pitied the lad and gave him 10 bucks. He said he had just moved to Colorado and the problem was with his new bank.
Next day I stopped at Crossroads Grill in Pine Junction for lunch. The waitress whose name is Colise was so interested in my trip that it took me 10 minutes before I could even look at the menu.
One of her questions was.. ” So do you have family at home? I mean do you have a wife or husband? ”
” What! ” I screamed.
She treated me to my lunch, gave me some fruit for the road while the cook also gave me a delicious crunchy salad sandwich.
Just as I was packing up to go Stephanie from Ohio arrived. I had run with her back there and she had mentioned she had to move to Denver for a few months of art studies. She had tracked me down on the Spot tracker, so we ran for an hour and stopped for some ice creams.
I ran over Kenosha Pass altitude just over 3,000m / 10,000 ft. The views were wonderful. I stopped many times taking pictures and to just look around as cars just sped over the summit as though they were in the Indianapolis 500! As always it was a windy day and in my face.
Later in Bailey I passed Platte Canyon High School, scene of a 2006 hostage taking. DETAILS HERE
A demented man held a class of schoolgirls and an honors English teacher in a schoolroom at gunpoint.
He lined the girls up against a chalk board and sexually molested all of them. The SWAT and other elite forces were called in.
Park county sheriff, Fred Wegener decided to save the hostages by force after the gunman called off negotiations. Unfortunately one girl, Emily Keyes was killed by a gun wound to the head while the other hostages escaped. The gunman shot himself. No doubt sheriff Wegener’s brave decision saved the situation from becoming of Columbine proportions.
Just before Emily Keyes was shot she texted her father, ” I love you guys. “ I had passed that school earlier and knew nothing about the tragedy. A young student had just called out and asked me if I was a hobo! That’s all I would have remembered of the school had I not believed in emersing myself in the local communities; even if only briefly I am getting a snapshot of every 10 or 20 kms all the way from the start in Dublin’s Merrion Square North last October all the way to where I stand this very minute. I am glad I travel this way. It is a run but also a journey. If I had a big sponsor which provided a motor home and a backup crew all I would probably see are the steps of the motor home as I step up and down for my breaks and naps. I am probably seeing the world in the most unique of ways. Nice and slow.
I ran on. It was time for me to find a place to stay or camp for the night. I passed by a house. A man was at the door. He waved at me. I waved back and asked if I could set up camp on his land. He called me over and pointed towards an old shed. I was just about to make a makeshift shelter by placing some plywood on the grass and using two saw horses as walls for holding up another piece of plywood.
In the end the man told me not to bother that the house next door was up for sale as the previous owner had died He was keeping an eye on it. He brought me into the garage and I set my sleeping bag out on a camp bed.
The man brought me into his house for dinner. In the doorway he had a shotgun.
His wife June served me a tomato pasta meal. I introduced myself. He handed me a card. It read. Fred Wegener, Park County Sheriff.
Fred told me about his involvement in the Platte Canyon shooting. He also told me that in the 12 years he has been sheriff there have been 12 homicides, mostly jealous lovers fuelled by drugs and alcohol.
I retired to the garage lining up all my electronic devices along the wall to be recharged. I pulled my bags apart and had the place in a mess in no time.
At 7am I heard voices as the garage light was turned on.
A shocked man and woman asked me how I got inside!
” The sheriff let me in. ” I said.
The woman told me she was the realtor and she was viewing the house to the man!
They talked about the finer details, him saying he would be interested but would not take on a new septic tank.Then he turned to me as I was hastily packing my bags and said..
” Does he come with the house? ”
” Yes if you continue running around the world with me! ” I should have said.
since Tony began his World Run on 25th October 2010
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I have always considered myself to be an average runner. In school, I was even bullied for I was a sports wimp. Through hard work, dedication, perseverance, self-belief and a strong mind I succeeded in not only running around the world but breaking four ultra running world records during my competitive career. Having previously cycled around the world I didn't start running until I was almost 30. Then I had a dream of running around the world. For many reasons, I waited for over 20 years. One reason was to establish my pedigree as an endurance athlete. I started and finished my world run as the current World Record-Holder for 48 Hours Indoor Track 426 kilometres (265 miles), a record I have held since 2007. I also broke and still hold the World Record for 48 hours on a Treadmill 405 kilometres (251 miles) in 2008. When I retired from competition, more pleasing than any of my world, European or Irish records I had the respect of my fellow athletes from all over the world - in my opinion, sports greatest reward - an achievement I am most proud of. Then I finally put myself out to pasture, to live my ultimate dream to run around the world! This blog was written on the road while I struggled to find places to sleep and to recover from running an average of 43.3 kilometres or 27 miles per day for 1,165 road days. There were many nights I typed this blog on a smart phone, so fatigued my eyes closed. Many journalists and endurance athletes have referred to my world run as the most difficult endurance challenge ever attempted. During my expedition I rarely had any support vehicles, running mostly with a backpack. In the more desolate areas I pushed my gear, food and water in a cart which I called Nirvana, then I sent her on ahead to run with my backpack once again over altitudes of almost 5,000 metres in the Andes. I stayed in remote villages where many people had never seen a white person before. I literally met the most wonderful people of this world in their own backyard and share many of those amazing experiences in this blog. My run around the world took 4 years. There were no short cuts, I ran every single metre on the road while seeking out the most comprehensive route across 41 countries, 5 continents, I used 50 pair of running shoes and my final footstep of the run was exactly 50,000 kilometres, (almost 31,000 miles) I eventually finished this tongue in cheek named world jog where I started, at the finish line of my city marathon. I started my global run with the Dublin Marathon on October 25th 2010 and finished with the Dublin Marathon on October 27th 2014 at 3 05pm! Thank you for your support, I hope you can share my unique way of seeing the world, the ultimate endurance challenge! Read more...