header

THE START OF THE ROCKIES.

My friend Chris dropped me off so I could run the two hours to Loveland. It was a lovely morning so just before exiting the city I phoned him to treat him to an early lunch. It just so happened the place I picked was just down the other end of his road.
Back out on the road I began climbing up and up through Thompson’s Canyon at the foothills of the mighty Rockies.
 
 I have waited a long time for this day. Many a dream over the last 20 years was of running over these fierce mountains. Many a day when I lived in Colorado I ran on the trails and wondered what it would be like running through here on my world run. Now here I am just 5 miles from the start of the climb through the Canyon and Roosevelt National Forest.
 
 
The climbing was mostly easy, just short of 2,000 meters. I will have it fairly easy for the first few days.
An hour before today’s finish in Drake a headwind hit and hit. I was having a blast in more ways than one. It was so strong that at one stage I was reduced to a crawl. I was running on the right side of the road. The wind ripped through the canyon blasting gravel and small pebbles from a pull off on the left side. A couple of times I was pelted by this as I struggled on up the mountain. 46.7km / 29 miles for the first mountain day.
For the next couple of days Chris will be commuting me back to his home in Loveland.
 
 It’s great to be able to run without Nirvana but I will have my work cut out soon when I have to push her over these steep slopes.
Chris was my boss in Lake City, Colorado when I worked on a couple of construction projects for him. He has been living in Loveland with his partner, Barbara from New Zealand. They hope to move to New Zealand soon. We joked that it would be nice for me to look them up over there. Right now Barbara is on a weeks vacation with a couple of her friends, skiing in Telluride.
I ran from Drake past some lovely Christmas card vistas to Estes Park. This run and a part of tomorrow is a little bit of extra running I didn’t need to run but found it hard not to return to the area, I loved it so much when I visited it many years ago.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

PAUL, LINDSAY AND MY FORMER COMPETITION ULTRA RUNNING RIVAL, GLEN TURNER.

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.

CHRIS DROPS ME TO THE START OF A NEW DAY IN THE ROCKIES

COOL HAND CHRIS!

EASY RIDER! I THINK IT'S A LOTUS

Post to Twitter

8 Responses to “THE START OF THE ROCKIES.”

  1. Joseph Angel Says:

    Hi Tony I hope you are well. I have been watching your progress for the past two months and I have read a lot about you and I just wanted to say OI WAY TO GO MATE. You are very inspiring; I am really impressed by your bold perseverance. I also think that you should get much more media attention. Yours is the kind of positive story more people need to see. I wish you well a will say a prayer for you to be safe just one question what do you listen to in your iPod specifically? I hope to hear from you also I am going to see if I can spread the word about your marvelous endeavor on facebook T2UL.

  2. theworldjog Says:

    Thanks Joseph. Yes if you could spread the word in Irish media circles I would appreciate it. I take it you are in Ireland.I am willing to do Irish radio interviews in particular. I listen to clasic rock, a large collection but particularly U2, Bon Jovi, Guns n Roses, Lynard Skynard, Doors, Dylan, Clapton etc.
    I love talk radio and over here NPRNational Public radio but it is hard as the signal is not always great when I am running. I listen more when stopped. Tony. PS how could I forget AC DC and Pink Floyd!

  3. stewart cochrane Says:

    another great read tony!!!!
    i see from google earth ( street view) that you are increasing in altitude!!
    does this affect you???…your up around 10,000′ ASL!!!
    Any way i hope all is well with you and we continue to check your progress each and every day

    god speed

    stewart and bernie
    newfoundland
    canada

  4. theworldjog Says:

    Thanks Stewart. Other than the occasional shortness of breath no problems :) I have been in Colo. for 2 and a half weeks now. My approach was very gradual. A month ago in Nebraska I remember seeing elevation signs for 1,000ft. Closer to the Colo line it was around 2,000. Then 2 weeks ago in the Colo praries it was 4,200 and last week in the Estes Park/Boulder it was 5,500ft. I rose gradually and was surprised then to see a sign stating 8,000. I have run over 4 passes so far. 9,346, 9,993, 10,001, and 11, 312.
    Gunnison where I am at the moment if I remember correctly is around 8,800.The wind this last two weeks has been fierce and always in my face!
    As always thanks for your loyal support. Tony. PS I am sorry for the lack of pictures as I am a bit overwhelmed, time-wise as I rarely have internet service and as you can imagine I have a huge amout of other things to do. My computer is very slow downloading pictures. I will have to do something about it! Tony

  5. Ed Says:

    Hi Tony, I’ve been following your blog since November and am inspired by your feat (and your feet). I too was thinking of spreading word of your run through facebook and have linked to your blog many times. But further to that i was thinking of finding running clubs on your route to let them know you’d be passing through as i’m sure likeminded people would be likely to offer accomodation and assistance en route. In the end i decided I shouldn’t interfere because with too much publicity could come more complications, but if you think it would be useful i would be happy to help. I’m attempting my longest trail run to date in two weeks, only 33k with 1800 climb, an easy day for you!! But its my dream to achieve a fraction of what you have. Keep living your dream and stay well!

  6. theworldjog Says:

    Hi Ed! Good luck with your trail run.. Dont hold back..Go for it and dont wait 20 years to live your dream :) Nice and steady is always my best advice.
    Thanks for the offer of help. I have thought of this but as simple as it seems I just haven’t been able to find the time. I have had many offers of help but they never last I am sorry to say. Please feel free to spread the word to clubs and I can deal with any other issues. Please encourage the runners to put a mention on local forums as I have found this to be a great source. Good luck with everything and thanks again, TonyPS I have changed my Colorado route. I will be going from Montrose to Cortez aand not Durango.Today I am making a side trip to my ‘ spiritual home ‘ Lake City from Gunnison. I decided against running into Lake City (very disapointed) because the southern road out of town is over Engineers Pass circa 14,200 ft (must be one of the highest mountain passes in the world?) will be closed till mid-June. From Gunnison I will go to Montrose and then to Cortez and onto Arizona.The rest of my route is unchanged.Tony

  7. Katheryn Cochrane Says:

    Hey Tony!
    Just checking in, looks like your well on your way through Colorado!

    Keep that head up! : )

    Katheryn

  8. Ruth & Chet Says:

    Go Tony Go!

Leave a Reply


4 + = eleven

since Tony began his World Run on 25th October 2010

Please sponsor a world walk hotel night or a meal etc!You do not need a Paypal account, just a bank card! Press Paypal link below. Thank You :)

Donate to Aware

Text WORLDJOG to 50300 to donate €4.

100% of text cost goes to Aware across most network providers. Some providers apply VAT which means a minimum of €3.26 will go to Aware. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 01 4433890.

.

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...

Sponsors

North Pole Marathon Logo
UVU clothing
On Running
Chariot Carriers Logo
Dion Networks Logo
Great
Dry Max Sports
John Buckley

translate

flickr slideshow

view full size

Aware is The World Jog Charity.

AWARE LOGO