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First Days In The USA.

My first day in Maine last Monday was pretty routine. I ran over 45km/28miles to a town called Clifford. The wind was whipping up a cold snap. I guess I could have finished earlier but was pushing for the distance after so many delays during the day.

Around 4.30 I spotted a half closed garage and thinking there was someone inside went over to ask for shelter there. No reply so I just knocked on the door of the house. A tiny lady of about 75 years answered and told me I could lay my sleeping bag out at the back of the garage. the reason the garage door was half open was because it was broken. I tried unsuscessfully fixing it for her. So I had to pull some boards up to the door to keep the cold wind out. I settled in to an area of less than a meter between the back wall and her SUV. 

Her name was Mary Ellen. She came out with a thermos of tea and some chocolate chip cookies.

A couple of hours later a man called Courtney called over in a pickup 

” Hey Bud!’ You are coming over to stay in my place in Love Lake. ”

It took me a while to get packed up. Courtney told me that Mary Ellen had casually mentioned my arrival on the phone to her son  who lives in the south of the state. It seemed the son freaked out as Mary Ellen had be a victim of 2 robberies. The woman was so good natured coming out with the thermos of tea and not in the least bit scared. In fact she was sorry she told her son who was making such a fuss, as she saw it.   

I spent a really pleasant evening over at Courtney’s newly constructed log house. He lives there with his wife Christine.

Courtney is a ship engineer normally spending 2 months at sea between Seattle and Alaska then getting 6 weeks time off.

They set up a place for me to stay in Beddington for the following night. A friend of his called Frank that runs a service station, diner and motel.

There was some rain. Very cold and hilly. I still managed 52km/ 32.4 mls.

I ran for about an hour in the dark and figured I had only got a couple of km to go. Then a cop pulls me over and says Franks place is closed for the winter and the next town is 14 miles away. At that time of day I figured on at least another 3 hours running with Nirvana. I was prepared to do it. I suppose I had to as the area was pretty desolate.

So I started asking the cop if he was sure and asked had he got minute till I got out my road notes out to check.

He told me he hadn’t got a minute that he was in a hurry. It was wickedly cold but I was so well wrapped up and comfortable. It was a night for dying if one didn’t respect the elements. I took the cops reaction as a compliment to my survival skills.

I ran on for a few more minutes and saw a light to my left. On closer inspection it seemed to be a day house/ office for a DOT contractor. The door was surprisingly open. I went in and carried Nirvana up the steps as it seemed the place was winterised with no water or electrics. There was a bed with bed clothing and a wood burning stove. I lit it up managing to dry my wet clothes. I cooked some food and tea over the stove, listened to some music on my netbook and settled down to sleep.

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About Tony

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...

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