Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Day 31 - A most beautiful day

As has been the strategy on some days recently I started this morning without breakfast and managed 5 miles in bitterly cold conditions. After the customary bowl of porridge I was soon on my way down Indian Canyon in warmer weather. 

The hot sunny weather helped make Indian Canyon look unbelievably spectacular. It was a real pleasure to run down it and I lost 3500 ft in elevation on the road to Duchesne. I can't mention enough just how spectacular and peaceful this place is. It is definitely in the top 3 places that I've ran through during the run across the USA so far.

The little traffic that there was on the road was typical of my experience in the USA so far. HGVs giving me plenty of room and the vast majority of drivers waving politely at me.

As the day went on, the weather hotted up even more. It's strange to think that a month ago I was cursing this weather. Now I find it very pleasant and challenging to run in. I suppose that's what losing 2 stone does for you.

Since Katy and Jack were at the Take That concert, I spent most of the day listening to that very band. I also sang a few songs too. Singing loudly and running is very difficult at altitude I can tell you! At one point I was mid song blasting out the chorus when a 4x4 pulled up alongside me and asked if I needed any water. I declined and thanked him in my semi embarrassed state. I guess a runner miles from anywhere with only 1 bottle of water must look strange to locals or passers by.

I reached Duchesne in good time and unfortunately the 8 miles thereafter were done on a busy highway. This will be my running route for the next week or so. 

Overall, I was very pleased with today's 31.75 miles. It would have been 32 if there had been a safe place for the RV to pull over! Due to the short mileage days this week, I am now 75 miles behind schedule. I have scheduled 10 and 23 mile days coming up shortly so I will be using those to make up some of the mileage. That should get the deficit down to around 45 miles. I'm not too concerned at this stage though.

Thank you to those kind folk who made a donation today. There were lots of you. I've had a good read of the messages left on my pages. Here are just a few:

Great going!!! Wonderful work with the blog. Keeping that updated is an immense task on top of the run and it's much appreciated by your followers - Nadia Labib

Never donated money to someone I've haven't met before, but your challenge is so mindblowing I had to. Awesome effort! - Andrew Pennock

Mark, you are undertaking a monumental challenge - a great Inspiration - keep on running, keep on tweeting :-) - Richard Colburn

Those messages together with those on Twitter, Facebook and via email all add up to some quite brilliant support. It's no wonder that I'm able to continue to put one foot in front of the other each day, every day.

Finally, I'll close with a plea for your hard earned money. I would really appreciate it if you would consider making a donation to one of the 2 charities. St Benedict's Hospice cared for my Mam during here final days battling lung cancer. In 1995, the Hospice gave her a pain free and dignified end to her life. It's a debt of gratitude that I will never be able to fully repay. By putting myself through these kinds of events and raising funds, I hope it goes someway to lower the debt that I feel towards the Hospice.

The Children's Foundation have funded award winning projects and research that benefit the health, safety and well being of children in the North East of England. This charity has touched the lives of 10s of thousands of children. They are also helping to "kit out" the new Great North Children's Hospital which will be a flagship institution in the North East for many years to come.

Basically, these are 2 very worthy causes amongst hundreds of other very worthy causes. If you are enjoying following my journey across the USA then please consider sponsoring me by using the following links. Any donation whatsoever, no matter how large or small, would be most sincerely and gratefully appreciated.

(St Benedict's Hospice)

(The Children's Foundation)

Alternatively, a donation can be made via cheque payable to 'The Children's Foundation' or 'St Benedict's Hospice' and sent to the following addresses:

FAO Libby Nolan
The Children's Foundation,
PO Box 2YB,
Sir James Spence Institute,
Victoria Wing,
Royal Victoria Infirmary,
Queen Victoria Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
NE99 2YB.

FAO Sylvia Stoneham
St Benedict's Hospice.
Monkwearmouth Hospital,
Newcastle Road,
SR5 1NB.