header

OUT OF GUNNISON AND INTO THE WEST.

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.

Post to Twitter

2 Responses to “OUT OF GUNNISON AND INTO THE WEST.”

  1. stewart cochrane Says:

    hi tony…another great read…bernie and i are headin to the caribean this wknd…no internet access …but will check in with you mid may when we get home….the scence from arizona are amazing ….four corners is on my bucket list after i read about it in national geographic…

    take care and enjoy

    stewart and bernie
    newfoundland
    canada

  2. theworldjog Says:

    Thank you Stewart. Enjoy your vacation. I could do with a cruise myself, this is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life Ha Ha :)
    Yes the four corners is an amazing place and the amount of ‘ routine sceenery ‘ here is staggering, much of it untagged and just in the wild without historic formation information. Other countries would be clambering to have such spectacular scenery put a ’7 wonders of the world’ list. Back in Ireland we have a bridge ( Giants Causway )and the Cliffs of Moher that many people think is a big deal!!
    Best wishes to Bernie and Katheryn. I hope her marathon training is going well.
    Tony.

Leave a Reply


nine − 6 =

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