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!
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.
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!
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.
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).