Stage 80: Dover to Cape Henlopen State Park (THE FINISH), DE, 39.43 miles

The last day of the Run Across America on Trail 2012 started like most others – with starting photos – but also with more crew than ever! Carla (Mike’s sister) and Heidi (Mike’s wife and best crew member ever: Days 1-45) had come to join us for the day so it was a cacophony of Samuelsons and Bradleys!

Start of day 80, nearly awake…

The route was mainly down Route 1 heading south through Delaware to the Atlantic. Not sure if I’ve mentioned before but we were only a couple of miles from the coast when we entered Delaware, and Dover’s not very far from water either but the Atlantic doesn’t start until further south so to do the job properly we were running to Cape Henlopen which is definitely the Atlantic coast. If you’re going to do something you may as well do it properly!

The weather was hot and we had a strong head wind but we plodded on, excited and a little anxious at the thought of finishing the run. Mike and I spoke little during the day as the traffic noise was pretty loud and we were both lost in our own thoughts. I was thinking about everything that had got me to this point, the friends back home cheering me on and the parents who seemed to be determined to park the Jeep as far away from the road as possible at crew stops… extra metres on the last day; they were making me work for that finish!

Eventually we turned off the busy route 1 highway and into the State Park, aptly running the last mile on bike trail which also marks the end of the American Discovery Trail. We had a big welcoming party with hooters and banners – a finish line to cross as well and Heidi presented us with super medals and finishers t-shirts.

The finish, before we went to step into the Atlantic

We put our feet into the Atlantic (I had hoped to swim but it was quite rough and really cold!) – I need to get the photos downloaded and post. Then we had showers in the beach bath house and headed  an Italian in nearby Lewes. John Price joined us for the finish and dinner – it was great to see him again! We all ate well, I had a good Calzone, and the celebratory ice-cream cake was a lovely treat!

At dinner with a memento of the trip – framed photos and a plaque brilliantly put together by Heidi.

It really has been an amazing summer and one I’ll never forget. There was a whole team of people who made it possible for me to run across the US and become the first British woman to do so; and one of only two people to run across America using trails (as much as is possible to). I’ll write up a credits post shortly.

Behind every great man is an even greater woman – Mike and Heidi at the Atlantic Ocean

I’ll not be finishing the blog for a while as there’s lots I haven’t managed to post that I’d like to – including my thoughts on the US from this trip and a summary of roadkill and other roadside oddities, amongst other things. It’s been good to write up the run everyday but I do fear it’s suffered a bit from my tiredness by the time I write, so a few better-written, well thought-about posts will follow (hopefully).

21 responses to “Stage 80: Dover to Cape Henlopen State Park (THE FINISH), DE, 39.43 miles

  1. Well done! What an amazing feat, and you made it look easy=) Can’t wait to read more in the future!

  2. Congratulations Jen and Mike for a great run!

  3. Superb! Supremely inspirational

  4. Wow massive massive congratulations to you and Mike and the support crews!

    I thought that what you did at HOTH was amazing this has been astounding.
    I have loved reading your daily reports so thank you for some how keeping on top of this and running.

  5. Congratulations!
    And thank you: I came across your blog when you were 10 days in and it has become a very pleasant part of my morning routine to read your daily posts. I’m going to miss them!

  6. Congratulations!!! A fantastic achievement for you both. You made it look easy with all the perfectly executed days and mileage, only shifting 6 miles from one day to the next!

    I think a Tim Vine quote is appropriate here: “I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again.”

    But we all know runners, their’ll be booking the next one on the way home…


  7. C o N g R a T u L a T i O n S ! ! !
    Wow wee, you only bloomin done it! A completely awesome (in the traditional sense of the word) achievement. I’ve been checking in regularly on the blog and am grateful to you for improving my knowledge on US geography and state abbreviations. For balance, I think your next challenge should be baking your way through 80 pages of the hummingbird bakery book.
    Well done!!

  8. Made it!! Very, very well done Jennifer – it’s a massive achievement and I’m so proud of you. 

    I don’t know what I’ll read in the mornings now that you’ve finished though – your blog has made me smile, laugh and, at times, want to get on a plane and fly to an obscure small American town give you a big hug and tell you it’ll all be ok in the end – and it has been!

    After 80 days of tales of pee, rashes, road kill, shouting at school kids whilst in your underwear, crappy motels and endless fast food you can finally put your feet up – but knowing you that’ll only be for a few days!

    It will be great to see you again – and prepare yourself for an embarrassing hug in front of everyone. 


  9. Jennifer,

    Huge congratulations to you and Mike! I’m so proud to say someone in MY team is the first woman to run across America. Beat that, Toby if you want join CAD!!

    Toby has made me realise I have missed some posts – I don’t remember the shouting at school kids in underwear bit… but I have really enjoyed reading about your progress and have managed it most days – it has been so fascinating and really brightened up all our summers….

    See you next week! We just about survived without you. Will tell you all…


  10. Congratulations to you and mike on your fantastic achievement – absolutely brilliant run! Well done! Carol

  11. Joanna littlechild

    Hooray and congratulations! Have a good trip back and see you next week.

  12. You stars!!! Congratulations. Amazing! Truly amazing! Well done. Xx

  13. Congratulations on a great achievement! I enjoyed reading your posts; and it got me excited about helping my my Scot friend, Don Lennox, who will take a shot at the men’s record for X-USA run in 2013. I’m looking forwards to crewing & running with him again on his attempt. Way to go, Jennifer!

  14. Congratulations! I am so proud to know you!
    Can we have a tea-party to celebrate your running with some baking?

  15. Hi

    Congratulations & well done. I’ve been following your blog every day since around day 35! It HAS really inspired me to up the exercise. I listened to your interview with Dotem just now. Amazing achievement. Well done again & look forward to hearing about your next challenge. X-Europe? 🙂

  16. Brilliant – really well done! You deserve more than returning back to work! Have you thought about running back instead?
    See you soon.

  17. Jennifer you did it! How wonderful what an accomplishment. We are proud of you and are privileged that you were able to stay at The Garver House and share your story with us. We wish you the best and if you come back to the USA stop in, or should I say run in! Natalie and Al.

  18. CONGRATULATIONS to you both. Utterly amazing.

  19. Well, of course already I’ve sent due congratulations via private email, but just now (in the midst of writing “The Story” for “A Magazine”) I’m reminded of something that happened to me. It was during the 2009 Vol-State run across Tennessee (ask Mike about that one 😉 that the race director drove up to me (yes, it was all on roads) late in the race and said, “Ya know, Rich, the winner has won, gone home, and put in a whole week’s worth of work already by the time you got HERE.” It was pretty funny (ya hadda be there, I guess) but he spoke the truth. And now???
    Well, I am *not* going to suggest even the possibility that you’ll be home and have worked a week before I get your story written. But…
    …whudda ya wanna bet over 80 more days will have passed…
    …before it’s published?
    Take care, Jen. Thanks for everything and, for heaving’s sake, spend a damn shilling for me somewhere, will ya? OK??? 😉

  20. Congratulations Jennifer! You are now mentioned in Wikipedia as a modern Bunion Derby finisher. Maybe if you now run for office we can get you a whole article devoted to you!
    Thankyou for the inspiration and don’t forget there is a seat in the House of Commons with your name now! hehehe

  21. Jennifer, if you have news articles links about your run that are online and not going to disappear soon (like the radio shows of 5 days) they would be great as sources for the Wikipedia entry. I searched with Google and after your blog, the bed and breakfast in Garver ( and your justgiving entry it’s onto Jennifer Lopez and Aniston entries. Google has somehow gotten worse as as search engine for history and news.

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