Today is the last day of not-running across America. I can’t wait for it to start. We’ve just had our pre-race dinner in a classic American restaurant in Elma; The Rusty Tractor. I had a Yak Burger and it was pretty good.
I finally met the other 3 runners and some of their crew… introducing:
Mike Samuelson – recently retired Naval Commander from Tennessee, RD and organiser extraordinaire. His wife Heidi is helping crew for a good half of the trip and friend Karen is with us for the next 12 days.
Justin Faul – from Flagstaff, Arizona, with wife Katie who’s here for a week, before his brother arrives. Justin we found out tonight is a podiatrist/chiropodist and may have the most useful line of work for this trip! He may be the one person who knows what to do with all my first aid kit. They drove me from Seattle to Elma, via Safeway to pick up a cool box and some water,drinks and snacks, they are a super couple.
Marty Sprengelmeyer- who ran LA-NY in 1992, so has experience of this before. He’s supported by Corky Feeney.
And me, supported by all of the above plus a few super people who are popping in for a few weeks.
Mike gave us an overview of the first 9 days – and has given all runners and crew a folder with maps, directions and info for each day. Really good organisation and I think we all feel in safe hands. We’re starting at 9am tomorrow and then 8am and 7am after that. We all agreed to be flexible on timings (ideally to get breakfast in the hotel before we set off) but not start after 7am, that’s the kind of flexibility I like! I asked how flexible we were going to be on the overall run – and Mike confirmed that if one runner, through injury or whatever reason, can’t carry on one day then the whole run will continue and not wait. I feel reassured with this certainty. Mike also gave us polar bottles – ideal for keeping water cool – and ‘ice caps’ which I have now found out are normal running caps with a zip section you put ice into when it is really hot, they also have a cape so will be good for staying cool in the hot States (i.e. all the route after Montana). We also talked about the chances of some cold weather too – and possibly snow on days 4/5 as we run on the edge of the Rockies.
It feels great to finally meet everyone and I’m less nervous – just excited now! We leave the hotel at 7:30am to get to the coast and take some pictures etc before starting at 9am on this big adventure….!!