Stage 45: Battle Creek to West Point, NE, 45.77 miles

Today we ran 18 miles to the end of the Cowboy Trail and then onto the road again. It seemed like a while since we’d been on the road and I’d forgotten how loud the cars, trucks and motorbikes could be! Also it seemed to be about ten degrees hotter on the shoulder than on the trail – not that the Cowboy Trail had much shade but it was slightly cooler. Also for some sections the shoulder wasn’t very even, which annoyed me, and in places it disappeared so a return to running into oncoming traffic greeted us for a few miles. Once again it’s not clear there’s an enforceable speed limit in the State.

The day went pretty much the same as previous; though my back has been playing up and now seems to start hurting about mile 20 – previously it had just been the last few miles. Today the heat got to me; it was mid 90s and hit the high  by about eleven in the morning. Mike seemed to be coping ok but we both had a slow day – nearly 10 hours – and I flaked out when finished. Feeling a bit better now.

Tonight Steph arrives – my next crew-buddy – and tomorrow Heidi and Zach leave. Heidi has been with us from the start and crewed non-stop for 45 days – she deserves a rest! (And she also deserves a beach holiday with a cabana boy which Mike is signed up to for her support!) Heidi has been my shopper, PA, laundry maid, chef (on the run snacks!), mother-updater, drink-maker, heck she’s even pretended to be me to check into hotels before I get there! She has also been a great support and really good fun to be around – always cheerful (post-coffee) and willing to help in anyway she can. Despite ‘not being an outdoors person’ she has just about survived the flies and bugs; though as a final send off she did find a tick on herself today!! I’m looking forward to seeing her near the finish already – Thank you Heidi; I know Mike couldn’t do this without you but neither could I!

Teddy, Heidi and Abe at Mount Rushmore

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