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Charitable Man fails as BK’s Bar in Snyderburg saves the day.

Running out of Smethport towards Kane there were some snow flurries but nothing sticking. In fact it was a beautiful day, the nicest in a long time. I was told that a local runner called Gregg had driven to St Julien’s about 13 miles up the road and over a mountain. His aim was to run back and meet me. I asked him why he just didn’t run out from Smethport and return to town after running with me.

” Well Tony then you would have to push Nirvana over the mountain at Mt. Jewett. ”

 Thanks Greg who even got a day off work to run with me.

THANKS GREGG!

So then I arrived in Kane. My host for the night Lisa drove out to greet me on the outskirts. I was in a great mood singing my head off to Glen Millers Pennsylvania 6500!

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP PETE

” I will be there in half an hour Lisa, Stick the kettle on for a cup of tea! ” I shouted across the road.

I arrived 15 minutes later. Lisa and her husband Tom had an Irish flag in the window to greet me.

LISA WELCOMES ME TO HER HOME IN KANE

 They had been tipped off that I was in the area by their ultra running son Yassin Diboun who lives in Portland, Oregon. Their great friends Dave and Melody came over for a while. Dave was a runner himself with a marathon best of around 2’22. He told me that Irish marathoner Mark Carroll’s wife Amy is from Kane.

Lisa has done some wonderful voluntary work as an English teacher in such places as Afghanistan and India.

As Dave and Melody live close to tomorrows finish in Marrionville they took me under their wings that night. It was another great day on the road as Lisa and Tom said they would come over for dinner so they transported Nirvana. After a couple of hours I stopped in a roadside convenience store.  Just as I was going in 3  hunters were going out.

” You out running in this weather? ” said one.

” Yeah,I’m actually running around the world! ”

The store owner was also standing at the door.

” My name is Ted I’m a reporter with our local paper. I was looking for you but you never called me from Lisa’s house last night to do the interview!”

” Ah! But I just stopped for coffee and see you got none! ”

” Do they sell coffee anywhere else in town? ” I teased.

So he heated up some water in the microwave in a  cup. A box of tea bags were taken off a shelf and an impromptu interview was done.

Later I wondered what the convenience storekeeper/ Kane Republican reporter would have done had a meteorite fallen a couple of miles away..Gone get someone to mind his store!

It continued to snow and it was hard going running in the hard shoulder with the slush. They were not ploughed today. My  feet were cold running on it. Traffic was heavy.

One man pulled up in a pickup.

” You ok? ”

” Sure am.. I am running around the world! ”

Eyes to Heaven he steps on the gas and says..

” Well have a good run! ”

So I made it to Dave and Melody’s incredible house. Dave built it himself overlooking a lake on a hillside. It was a house that a millionaire would be proud to own. It took him 15 years to build.

TOM AND LISA WITH MELODY AND DAVE

Melody had a passion for stained glass and used to make it as a hobby 20 years ago. Dave sometimes helped her and eventually by accident they turned it into a nice business in which they had so much work they started turning down work offers.

I was asked at dinner if anything funny happened to me on the road today. It seems there is hardly a day when something hilarious doesn’t happen.

Well there I was looking for my way out of Kane to Marrionville. I took a wrong turn.

Stopped to ask a truck driver for directions.

” Which way is it to ROUTE 66….I was about to ask and then loosing my bottle and not wanting to be thought of as an eejit instead asked…

” Is it Route 62 or 66 to Marionville? ”

” Marrionville is straight ahead about 25 miles on route 66. ” says the truck driver.

So there I was photographing the famous iconic ROUTE 66 sign and even stopped to ask a puzzled local to take my photo.

So Dave says.. ” My God you are right! ” I have been living in this area for 30 years and never realised it! ”

We talked about it for about 10 minutes and then someone said.. ” But doesn’t Route 66 start in Chicago? ” I feel dumb again. What we got here is Pennsylvania State route 66!

I GOT MY KICKS OUT OF ROUTE 66

Next day, Saturday and its really cold. Still snowing and the road is busy again as I push on and on through the slush in the hard shoulder.

I stop after about 2 hours for some warmth in a bar. Its about noon and a man looking the worst for wear is sitting on a bar stool at the counter next to me. He keep repeating himself. laughing and repeating the same old silly question. ” So how did you get across the ocean? ”

Everyone asks this as thought they had thought of it first.

He asks me my route and says he knows someone in Rimmersburg.

” You know Rimmersburg? ”

” never heard of it! ”

” But you must know Rimmersburg… Everyone knows Rimmersburg! ‘

Bartender says. ” He is from Ireland, he never heard of Rimmersburg! ”

Drunk pulls out his phone and says… Hold on let me phone my friend… You will be alright tomorrow night for a place.. He is a Charitable Man! ”

Drunk spends 10 minutes trying to convince Charitable Man I am legit and he had it on good authority I was seen running in the snow today.

” Of course he didn’t swim across the ocean! ” He says as he puts down the phone. And then adds..

” He don’t trust you! ”

I run on for another couple of hours.. Its warmer now. Then I see a few snow mobiles outside BK’s Bar in Snyderburg. I go in and order a burger and chips for lunch. there are about 8 locals drinking bottles of beer. They pay for my lunch. one of them Greg donates $5 to Aware. 

BK'S BAR TO MY RESCUE!

They are a good bunch of lads and we have a laugh. they are checking out my website on their mobiles as I eat lunch. One of them a man called John said I could stay with him and his wife that night.

” How long will it take you to run 6 miles Tony? ”

” In these conditions between an hour 15 and 30 minutes. ”

” Ok you get running and I will follow you in an hour but make sure you turn left at Brenner Road. ”

True to his word John meets me down the road. I go into his house and his labrador licks me to death. Everyone seems to have a labrador. I been told it’s Americas favourite dog.

John takes me out to a steak house for dinner. I insist on paying but he is very forceful and won’t have it.

We pick his wife Debbie up from her job in JC Penny’s. I understand she is a Jehova Witness. Later I find a ‘ good living ‘ book that was put into my computer bag. I am not inpressed.

Sunday morning we are sitting at the table drinking coffee.  John has been wracking his brains and phoning his contacts for a place for me to stay near East Brady. He cant think of anything.

Then he calls a friend called Burr an antique car restorer. So John tells Burr  he needs help but its best if we meet for breakfast in a diner in nearby Clarion.

JOHN AND BURR PUT THEIR HEADS TOGETHER AND COME UP WITH A COUPLE OF HIPPIES WILLING TO HOST ME THAT NIGHT.

Burr knows the very man. He knows everyone

” A couple of hippies.. The last of the hippies and I am sorry but they are smokers!

” They live in a place called Wildcat. Don’t ask me why it’s called that its just a house between Rimmersburg and East Brady.

” Its easy to find. After you go through Clarion just run another 20 miles on route 68 and about half a mile after the scenic overlook turn left… Easy! ”

On the way I stopped in a town called Sligo. A touch of Ireland in Pennsylvania the town named after it’s Irish namesake.

SLIGO... A LITTLE PIECE OF IRELAND IN PENNSYLVANIA

Moses the attendant in the local store told me I could stay with local people had I wished. he was a friendly man and was quiet excited at the thoughts of me running into his store during the world run. I got treated to as much homemade soup as I wanted but only had time for on delicious cup.

Earlier John said he would drop Nirvana off. Just as I draw level at the sign that says Scenic Overlook 1/2 mile, right on the line John pulls up in his pickup. What’s the chances of that. I think he should buy a lottery ticket on the way home. So I unload my faithful buggy and roll her down the hill to Bookie and Kathy’s house. They greet me with..

” I hope you like meat pie as we got it for dinner? ”

 ” Sure do!

” When they told me you are a couple of hippies I said,

” Darn hippies I got to eat nuts and leaves for dinner! ”

We have a laugh and they take good care of me.

Next day their son Patrick is going to Chicora to see a friend in an auto dealership, as its about 20km/12 miles along my route and over a couple of steep hills I am delighted. I made good progress and stopped in a BP station for coffee and pastry. The staff greeted me enthusiastically and the manager gave me them for free!

I had gotten off to a very late start so pushed my way into Butler just before dark. I have now run out of contacts and tried my luck at the Catholic church. I just wanted a roof over my head in some hall but was refused. However Tom in the Methodist Church saved the day. He is a very good natured man. I stayed that night in an office building of sorts and was told to help myself to whatever food I wanted from the food bank which they had ready for distribution.

Pastor Tom stopped by later telling me he has a day job and does his pastoral duties in the evening and weekends. We chatted about my trip and his time in Ireland 7 years ago.

He got a Donegal tweed hat he is so proud of. He pulled it off for my inspection. Good quality Donegal tweed, made in Howth, co. Dublin. He warned me that there is a storm coming through that very night.

I awoke to find no more snow on the ground but much ice. It turns out it was an ice storm.

I got another late start as I waited for the cold rain drizzle to blow over.It was around 11am. I was just wheeling  Nirvana to my starting point, last nights finishing point when a black man said ” Good Morning. How Are you?”

I just said I was fine and walked on. He called me back and said..

” I don’t mean to offend but you look like you could do with a couple of bucks? ”

I was so taken by surprise when he pushed $4 into my hand. That donation will go to the charity.

I think as the old timer said last week that only someone who is down on his luck would be pushing a cart around in this weather!

I am clean shaved and showered every day but today it was to happen on two more occasions. I stopped in Evans City for a coffee and pasteries and sat on some sacks in a convenience store. Just as I was about to go the manageress gave me a quaterpounder burger and said.

” Sir this is compliments of the store. ”

” Thanks very much but do you think everyone thinks I am a tramp? ” I asked.

” Yes! ” She replied. I reckon my theory is correct.

I ran on through even more slush and heavy traffic arriving at the junction town of Deer Lake Extension just before dark. I phoned my contact Tim who is Barbie’s son from Caudersport from last week. While waiting for Tim to arrive I had even more coffee in a gas station. The lady there was not very friendly. When Tim cam in he confirmed the bad vibe.

Her head was spinning off its sockets when I was answering Tims questions about it being cold with my usual reply.

” Well it’s a great day when you are living your dream of over 20 years!

” I can’t believe I am here doing this trip, what I’ve always wanted to do! ”

On the way to his house he was telling me about his job as a consultant for the Ohio nuclear power plant.

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4 Responses to “Charitable Man fails as BK’s Bar in Snyderburg saves the day.”

  1. Thomas Says:

    I’ve been following your progress since Ireland, Tony. On the one hand I’m immensely jealous of your trip, on the other hand I can’t help worrying about you.

    I hope the recent snow blizzard over there has passed you by.

    Good Luck!

  2. stewart cochrane Says:

    great read tony….
    hope all is well with you??
    keep it up

    stewart and bernie

  3. Brendan McEvoy Says:

    Hi Tony,
    Great read. Cheers me up on a daily basis reading about small acts of kindness which you are experiencing. Restores my faith in human nature when everyone’s a bit down here in Ireland.
    I’m telling loads of people about your trip and your charity….saying we both started the Dublin Marathon at the same time, but that you are still going!!
    Best of luck

  4. EJ Says:

    Hippies is nice people. Don’t ask me how I know this. :)

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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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