This morning we left the Moorcroft motel with a slight nervousness as the smoke from local wildfires was filling the air. Oh no – not again!! Mike and I set a decent pace with Frank running with us for 15 miles. Just after the marathon mark I felt great and picked up the pace a little more – getting a few minutes between Mike and I. Then 28 miles into this 43 mile run when it’s going well, and I’m starting to think about what I might want to eat later, there’s a lot more smoke on the horizon and a big sign on the highway reading ‘Wildfires ahead, proceed with caution, no stopping’!! Mike M in the car went ahead to check it out and managed to speak to the fire service who said it was fine for the crew vehicles to follow nearby; no one can outrun fire – especially not after 33 days of running and a top speed of 9 min miling!!
We made it through unscathed and the smoke seemed to lessen as we neared the finish – so fingers crossed for tomorrow. A very pleasing early finish (with both Mike and I finishing in just over 8 hours) meant we were too early to check in at the motel – a first!!
Tonight we’re staying in Newcastle, WY (which I love as I went to University in Newcastle, England). We said goodbye to Frank after a trip to Pizza Hut (I had pasta) and hope to see him nearer his home in Maryland, or at the finish in Delaware. I managed to get back in time for my quick update slot on the BBC 5live show ‘up all night’ which was lovely as Mum and Dad were in the studio and they chatted too; my Mum even mentioned my running club Serpentine which was great as I keep forgetting to! My Dad’s been following the route better than I have it seems and was even looking at the Wyoming fire department website today – there are loads of fires in the area but it’s a big place and we’re staying safe. With Heidi and Mike M crewing tomorrow we’ll be fine – then we’ve got Mike S’s parents and son arriving in the afternoon so we’ll have 2 vehicles again and more helpers! I’m looking forward to meeting more of the Samuelson family.
This evening we walked over the road to a real 1950s-style drive-in diner, called ‘Howdy Diner’, to have ice-cream for dessert, I had a great butterscotch pecan cone. I think ice-cream has become my favourite recovery food!