Day 75 , Memphis day off- Sun Studios & Graceland tours

Day 75 , Memphis day off- Sun Studios & Graceland tours


On the road again! We said goodbye to Graceland Tuesday morning and Pat hit the road running. He was feeling great after his rest day and the sun was out. I wondered whether he would want to cover more mileage, and my suspicions were right. We closed the day off at 50+ miles. It was a lovely stretch but a long crewing experience and a little rough on the animals, especially since Ginger had the runs from eating rib bones.

Tim and his daughters joined us for a few miles and it was lovely to have some fresh faces. The girls were awesome and they got some touring in at the Pink Palace as well. Tim ran 3 miles and the girls got a taste too, running for about 2 miles. Many thanks to Tim for his awesome hospitality and putting us up for a couple of nights. He also bought us dinner and avocados and tortillas, which we can never have too much of.

In the evening we did a podcast interview with Scott Kummer. It’s a new podcast he’s starting up—stay tuned for the link!

We had some rain last night but the skies look clear this morning and we’ve got many miles go to. The route we’re taking today was recommended by Lazarus (RD for Barkley’s). It’s an old Stagecoach route and I’m looking forward to seeing it. Not a huge shoulder but pretty hilly (a good thing!) and way more scenic than what we’ve been on.

Jup is enjoying the day in Memphis. Check out his update below.


Originally posted on Jup's Blog:

Great sleep after a couple of beers with Vincent. He had to drive all the way to San Antonio in Texas so we got a quick breakfast and he had to leave. Can’t say thank you enough to him and Trail Toes for everything you have and continue to do for me. Thankyou so much. Hope you got home ok.

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Then I went down to Sun Studio, The place where it all begun. I had no real idea about lots of history to some of our most famous music and over this last week I have learnt so much and really enjoyed finding out who did what where. SO much was done here when none else would. The tour I went on was awesome.

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I took so many photos today inside but here are a few.

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Those were upstairs and then we headed down to the studio where even…

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Day 74- Thankyou Mississippi and Hello Memphis Tennessee

Day 74- Thankyou Mississippi and Hello Memphis Tennessee


We’ve got a new mailing address! If you’d like to send a care package, shoot me a Facebook message or an email at It must arrive by April 7th for us to receive it.

Need ideas for what to send? In the past we have most used:

• Walmart or Visa gift cards for food and supplies (Pat’s staple is avocados)
• Vegan baked goods or snacks
• Notes of love and encouragement, especially from kids

As always, we are so thankful for your support!

Pat hit the 2,000 mile mark at the Tennessee border. We drove him to Roy Crossman’s home to spend the night. Thanks to Jeff Genova for hooking us up with Roy. The guys stayed up late enjoying Jeff’s Core Brewery donation and it was off again early in the morning.

Jeff, Roy and Gene all joined Pat on his run through Memphis. They took him through the best parts of the city: Sun Records, Beale Street, Shelby Farms, etc. We called it quits a little early (50K) to catch a show at BB King’s.

The music at BB King’s was awesome and Shacky said it was some of the best ribs he had ever tasted (dry rub). The food service was also the worst we had ever experienced.

We took a walk down Beale Street and took advantage of all the photo ops. We took our photo with the King and peeked though the windows of the Gibson guitar factory.

The next day (Monday) was a rest day. Pat slept in while I took a much-needed trip to Planned Parenthood. It was the most expensive PP visit I had ever made ($80 for a depo shot) and I was stuck there for a grueling 2.5 hours with the cheesiest ever safe-sex film blaring in my ear. It was so loud I couldn’t even read and it was on repeat so by the time I got out of there I had it memorized.

Maybe it’s just me, but if you’re going to keep people in there for more than two hours, maybe don’t put a ten-minute film on repeat. I finally got out of there pretty annoyed and feeling a little crazier. On a positive note, nobody tried to talk me into having kids like they did in Pennsylvania. California has THE best Planned Parenthoods and surprisingly, Utah was really good to me too. This was the worst.

We took the dog to the park immediately after that since she had been cooped up in the RV that entire time. After wearing her out, we went out to the breakfast we had planned, except it was now afternoon. Shacky and I enjoyed an awesome breakfast. Again, terrible service but great food.

Then it was off to the zoo which was the best way I could think of to spend the day. We skipped Graceland to go to the zoo instead because animals. Elvis was way before my time and I have a strong aversion to tourist traps.

The zoo was only $15 and surprisingly cool. We spent 2.5 hours there and could have easily spent an extra hour at least. We rushed a bit since we wanted to hit up the planetarium as well. Some of those monkeys I could sit and watch all day and the polar bears were amazing. The nocturnal monkeys in the night house kept coming up to me and following my finger on the glass. Extremely curious little buggers. Made my day. The aquarium was another highlight for me and I saw my first ever armadillo! Still hoping to catch one in the wild though (aka side of the road).

After the zoo we took Ginger to the park again. Poor thing is starting to struggle with crewing. We take her out as much as we can, but it’s nowhere near the life on the trail she is accustomed to with miles of open space to roam. I’ve noticed a shift in her willingness to put up with crew life—when we left her with a friend a couple nights ago she ran away and she has NEVER done that. When we do let her out, she doesn’t listen to us like she used to. She rushes off and refuses to come back into the RV. She also gets annoyed with people crowding her space on the bed. We have a lot more stuff in the RV that we usually do and she has limited space to move around. I feel so bad for her sometimes.

Shacky and I decided that after this trip is over, we are having The Summer of Ginger. We’re taking her to Colorado and getting her all the trail therapy she can handle. I’m trying to spend a lot more time with her instead of hanging out in hotels that don’t allow dogs. Extra hugs for her too. Only a couple more months, Ginger!

Kitty, as usual, don’t give a shit.

After the zoo Shacky and I took a trip to the planetarium but it was still under renovations. We watched an Imax movie there instead about whales. I love me some whales.

After that it was off to meet up with Juppy who managed to catch up to us! He has been on his feet around 10 hours each day pushing his buggy like a rockstar. We managed to transfer the files I needed off his GoPro and have a quick hello.

Then it was dinner with Pat and Tim and his girls. Tim is joining us for the next couple of days and will be keeping Pat company. They all did the Graceland thing, then hung out in the guitar-shaped pool at our hotel.

Today we’re back on the road. Pat is out there running as I type this. He plans to cover 40-45 miles today. The rest day did him good and he’s feeling amazing. The weather is great today too—back to the sunshine he loves.

I’m on a high because my book is doing so well. The Kindle version is out and the hard copy will be out next week. Thank you so much to everyone who has bought, shared or commented. I can’t keep up with everything posted but I’m feeling the love.

As always, keep track of our team member Jup on his blog below. He’s having some amazing experiences of his own.


Originally posted on Jup's Blog:

Got up early and headed off at 7am as I had 38 miles to do and wanted to get to Memphis and be able to chill and enjoy it more as I have a day off tomorrow. Magic sunrise and warm so a great start.

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Pretty straight road again but some nice views and things to look at. I ran ok for the first couple of hours once my ankle warmed up but then just couldn’t really be bothered running so walked fast. I have noticed that it also gives my legs a rest and I tend to start running again later in the day and feel a lot better.

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In the middle of nowhere I found this museum so dropped in for a look.  awesome old building.

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Today was a special day as I would be finishing up Mississippi state which only lasted 5 days and arriving in to…

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Daughters of Distance Kindle Book Release!

Hola friends! The book I have been working on for most of the year has just been released on Kindle. I am so proud of it! The hard copy will be follow in about a week and autographed copies will be available as well.

You can buy the Kindle version here.

Follow Daughters of Distance of Facebook!


About the book:

What does it mean to be a female in endurance sport? Hundreds of women open up about their realities as athletes, wives, girlfriends and mothers. From the intimacy of the bedroom to the community of competition, some of these stories will encourage and uplift. Others will surprise and infuriate. Welcome to the beautiful and complicated world of strong women.


“Read Daughters of Distance if you’d like to learn about women’s running history, how women’s bodies and minds are made to excel in endurance sports, the still-present gender inequalities in distance running, how women juggle running and motherhood, the intertwinement of our passion for running and our relationships, and much more. With this book, Vanessa opens our eyes and hearts to women’s distance running, and starts a conversation that will evolve our sport.” – Meghan M. Hicks, Senior Editor,

“Vanessa Runs threads stories of courage, determination, endurance and strength. Her writing empowers women to rise above life’s obstacles and encourages the realization that beauty remains within. May her words inspire our lives with a passionate purpose of joyful celebration.” – Maria Walton, President/Chair of Norawas de Raramuri, Co-Race Director of Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco

Daughters of Distance had me alternating between nodding my head and dropping my jaw. It’s a must-read for male and female athletes alike.” – Michael Kurup, Certified Personal Trainer

This book is about YOU. Thank you for sharing your stories.

If you like Daughters of Distance, check out my first book as well: The Summit Seeker.


Day 71- Greenville to Leland to Cleveland up Highway 61 Mississippi Blues trail

Day 71- Greenville to Leland to Cleveland up Highway 61 Mississippi Blues trail


Goodbye Mississippi! We ran through this fine state in only four days. See you later today, Memphis!

We had a late night rocking out with musician Preston Shannon and the mayor of Clarksdale (part owner of Ground Zero) in Clarksdale. We got Pat’s photo with both of them and the mayor promised to make a donation to The 100 Mile Club.

The crew logistics for us have shifted significantly now that our Juppy is missing. For one, it’s easy to throw Pat into the RV overnight if we don’t have lodging lined up. We are already a day ahead of schedule with Pat’s 35-40 mile days and I’ve made a new schedule through Tennessee.

I’m behind on my videos because we’re waiting to retrieve some footage from Jup’s GoPro. Sad to see that GoPro go and we miss Jup as well. If anyone has a GoPro they’re not using and can lend us for a couple more months, I’d love to use it to continue to document this journey.

Pat hit a rough patch yesterday when he ran into a hailstorm (no hail where we were at the aid station). His phone was charging in the RV so we had no idea until he got to us. He was cold, but not badly damaged.

Our brother Jup is getting along well! Be sure to check out his blog below if you haven’t already.

At the moment, Pat is needed lodging in:

1-Apr Linden, TN
2-Apr Wrigley, TN
3-Apr Nashville, TN
4-Apr Nashville, TN
8-Apr Wartburg, TN
9-Apr Knoxville, TN
10-Apr Knoxville, TN
11-Apr Morristown, TN
12-Apr Surgoinsville, TN
13-Apr Bristol, TN

Can you join us for a few miles?

Originally posted on Jup's Blog:

Well I got it all packed up and ready to go by 7.30am and off I went back into the buggy pushing world. I was sure it would take it out of me today after not pushing for ages and being looked after so well by Shacky and Vanessa. The sun was out and I was happy to be back out there moving forward.

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I was heading towards Cleveland today which I wasn’t sure if I would make it and came up just a few miles short after getting 32 miles in for the day. I spent so much time chilling and enjoying the Museum in Leland.

As I came into Leland I noticed a girl getting out of a car in front of me and smiling and I thought straight away that it might have been someone Pat had chatted too. Not to be it was Tawana Andrew and…

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Day 69/70, Went back to Dallas to get some gear

Day 69/70,  Went back to Dallas to get some gear


We’re not sure if Pat is getting more attention because he’s alone, because he’s running with no shoes and shirtless, or because of Southern hospitality, but several people stopped their cars to speak to him and offer him food or clothes. It was funny but also very comforting and sweet. It was a beautiful day and I got some bike miles in, but it got rainy and cold near the end.

After the run we went out for coffee and wifi and then we hit up Po’ Monkey’s, a shack-turned-blues-joint. Here’s is Shacky’s Shacktoid about it:

Shacktoid – Merigold, MS
Willie “Po’ Monkey” Seaberry opened a juke joint at his home in this location in 1963. Seaberry (b. 1941) worked as a farmer and operated the club, where he continued to live, at night. By the 1990s Po’ Monkey’s was attracting a mixed crowd of locals as well as college students from Delta State University and blues aficionados in search of “authentic” juke joints.

The rural juke joint played an integral role in the development of the blues, offering a distinctly secular space for people to socialize, dance, and forget their everyday troubles. While many such jukes once dotted the cotton fields of the Delta countryside, Po’ Monkey’s was one of the relatively few to survive into the 21st century.

We plotted our course through Tennessee as well. It’s the same course, but Pat will be running roughly 35-40 miles each day. Yesterday he ran 34 (stopped a little early due to rain and cold).

Here is our schedule. We hope you can join us! We are still looking for lodging for Pat, schools to speak at, media, and one mail drop hopefully around Nashville. As always, we want people to join us for a few miles.

1-Apr Henderson, TN
2-Apr Linden, TN
3-Apr Wrigley, TN
4-Apr Nashville, TN
5-Apr Nashville, TN
6-Apr Lebanon, TN
7-Apr Cookeville, TN
8-Apr Clarkrange, TN
9-Apr Wartburg, TN
10-Apr Knoxville, TN
11-Apr Knoxville, TN
12-Apr Morristown, TN
13-Apr Surgoinsville, TN
14-Apr Bristol, TN

We’ve got a lot going on and excited to forge ahead! Jup is back on the road today too, a couple days behind us. Be sure to check out his blog below as well.


Originally posted on Jup's Blog:

Well after a lot of thinking I decided I would go alone from now on, I have been struggling a bit with how slow I’m going and how much I have been making Pat wait. He has never said he wants to go faster and is always sweet with my pace but just knowing what he can do and in my eyes should go do made me come to this decision. The man can run and run fast.  I so want to keep going with him, Shacky and Vanessa as we had so much fun everyday but I feel that this will be better. We still have a long ways to go and I think this run is a little more than just running for me, I think I’m here this time to just get it done and in a slower cruiser way. So thats why I had to let…

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Day 67- Sunshine, beautiful farms,lots of thinking and camping.

Day 67- Sunshine, beautiful farms,lots of thinking and camping.


Big changes this morning to the Team.

We were sad to say goodbye to our Juppy as he went back to Dallas to retrieve his buggy and will pick up on his own from here on out. We left on wonderful terms and are still very much a Team, but he needed to listen to his body and slow down his speed and daily mileage. Pat’s “easy” pace is slightly faster and Pat’s body is happier in the 35-40 mile daily range.

There are no rules in a Transcon and I’m a firm believer of making your journey your own and doing it exactly the way that feels right to you. Both the guys are doing that now and although we will miss Jup very much, we are going to continue with Pat on the route we established, just moving a little quicker. Jup will be primarily self-supported with is buggy. You can still follow them both on the Run With Us America pages and we are in touch every day. I’ll be re-doing the schedule for Pat and Jup will be posting his own progress.

Yesterday Pat covered 42 miles on his own and we finished in Boyle, MS. The wonderful staff at Boyle Town Hall put us in touch with the Sherriff and he put Pat up in the local tornado storm shelter (just off its intended foundation since the crane got stuck in the mud).

I told Pat he could sleep there on the condition that if there was a tornado overnight, he would have the sole responsibility of repopulating the entire town of Boyle. He was welcome to the use of my kitty’s eggs (she would surely survive) to form a new race: The Pitty’s. They would be super hairy.

He agreed.

This morning we had coffee with the Sherriff and his buddies and we’re heading to Clarksdale tonight. On the way we’ll stop at Po’ Monkey’s on the Mississippi Blues Trail. Shacky is geeking out on all the history here.

Po’ Monkey’s is an old black dude’s shack of a house in the middle of nowhere with tons of history, beer and live music. The people here have been beyond kind. We are constantly approached and offered home-cooked meals. My kind of place.

A few days ago we were warned about this area. We were told it was full of riff-raffs and trouble. Apparently we fit right in with the riff-raff community because they have embraced us as one of their own. It’s a no-handshake-just-hugs type of place and everyone speaks in what I can best describe as happy-yelling. Huge black community, all of them expressive and curious and warm. Everyone sits outside on their porches and asks us how far we’ve traveled. I’ve gotten nothing but good vibes.

I saw a sign yesterday that said NO LOUD MUSIC. I think I like places where they have to make special rules for that.


Originally posted on Jup's Blog:

Check out the sun beaming down on us this morning, Pat’s top came straight off. Great to have it back.We passed through lots of small towns today and the rest of the time was passing farms and water.

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Shacky was on the camera again and got these sweet shots. A lot of wildlife out this way.

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More rolling hills and straight roads but today we could see past the trees and there was heaps more farming or growing of Corn, Wheat and other veges. We got our 32 miles done in normal time even though I went slower.

I was thinking lots today about many different things and ran alone listening to music, then listening to the nothingness of the beauty around me on the road. You might think you would get sick of thinking with so much time everyday but most of the time I’m not thinking at all…

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Day 65-Day off, Day 66 – Crossett

Day 65-Day off, Day 66 – Crossett


I can’t believe we’re almost done with another state! I spent last night doing a massive restructuring of the website:

It had been a bit of an eyesore and none of us were entirely happy with it. It’s MUCH better now, and more good stuff coming. I will soon be posting maps and routes and tracking. For now, we have the donation and sponsor pages along with photos and video.

I’ve been swamped with book work for the past several months, but I just gave the final approvals yesterday for the final formatting. My baby is going to be 342 pages–woohoo! And I should be much more available for biking and running.

Even though I’m not a fan of the rain, it warms my heart to see the rivers swelling and flowing so strongly after seeing the effects of drought on the west coast for so long. I’m coming for you, Mississippi River!

We are currently looking for lodging in:

25-Mar Cleveland, MS
26-Mar Clarksdale, MS
27-Mar Helena-West Helena, AR
28-Mar Walls, MS

29-Mar Memphis, TN
30-Mar Memphis, TN
31-Mar Memphis, TN

Can you join us?

Originally posted on Jup's Blog:

Day off-   We woke to rain but all I wanted to do today was chill and lie around, I have been a bit sore in a few different spots and just wanted to relax today. The Wall family who we are staying with love to hunt and they showed me how to use a Bow and Arrow. I made a little mistake and gripped to hard and the string hit my forearm twice, shit it was sore and instantly bruised which I thought was bloody funny although sore but poor dad was so sorry for it happening. Not his fault at all aye. Oh yeah i did hit the target more than I missed.

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We went over to Nana Wall’s for dinner each night and all sat around the he table they have, The hand prints from a group of kids who cycled across the US and had stayed…

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Day 63- Magnolia Arkansas. More rain but More Friends Yahoo

Day 63- Magnolia Arkansas. More rain but More Friends Yahoo



More wet stuff today and I’ve been working on the Texas video. We also did the gas tally since we’re almost at the halfway point and so far we have spent $700 on the RV since leaving Huntingon Beach, CA. The rental plus gas for our second vehicle cost $800 (we got rid of it at the NM/TX border).

Food and lodging are other expenses, but we have received many donations. We have spent about $500 out of pocket on food and lodging.

That’s about it in crew-land! We’re doing our best to get the dog out in this rain–she’s not a fan.

Originally posted on Jup's Blog:

We are feeling the love big time with everyone who is helping us, supporting us and coming to join us on the road. Today we had David Valenzuela with us for the whole 32 miles we did. David is a Dirtbag runner who is from North Carolina, he stopped in on his way to CA. So awesome to share the rain with him haha.

We had a day of rain, no rain rain but still warm all day which was good, We found some cool animals today with this farm having Buffalo and Zebras in the same Paddock, don’t get that in NZ.

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The boys all wrapped up as the rain came down. Pat finding things as always.

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The road was pretty nice and heaps of shoulder to run on , We even went past Lake Columbia where we had a aid stop.

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A few boys out on the lake…

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Day 61- Texakana end of Texas, Thankyou so much

Day 61- Texakana end of Texas, Thankyou so much


Just a mish-mash of thoughts today as we say goodbye to Texas and start our first day in Arkansas. Texas was a beast. We had brutal weather but very warm hospitality. My mood went south in the snow and rain and I had a cold for a couple of days. It’s supposed to keep raining for a few days, but beyond that I’m looking forward to some sunny weather and I’m dying to get back to camping.

I got the first PDF draft of my final book and I’ve been going through formatting checks the last couple of days. When that’s done, I’m looking forward to having a lot more time for running and biking. I’m starting to get stir-crazy in the RV between working and bad weather.

Crew spirits are still good. Shacky and I managed to go out for breakfast a few days ago: something we’d do a lot more often on our own. It was lovely. I love breakfast foods as much as Ron Swanson. Shacky took really good care of me AND the guys while I was sick – I definitely picked a good one.

A few random crew thoughts:

I always used to say that crewing was harder than running, and I still stand by that. Especially for me because I get all mother hen and worry about the guys when they’re gone, especially in bad weather. I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO BE SAFE AND WARM. I also have a serious urge to constantly feed people (it may be clinical) and I’m working on toning that down. WHY U NO EAT??!!

Crewing for a Transcon is very much a mental exhaustion, and those are always harder than physical fatigue for me. Often I’ll wake up in the middle of the night in a near panic about something I forgot or need to do in the morning. A lot of juggling balls. (Haha… balls.)

BUT I love hard things and this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I’ve never seen a lot of these parts of the country and would probably never see them otherwise. I’m loving all these tiny towns with their tiny little attractions. I also love the challenge of finding lodging, schools, media… it takes me way out of my comfort zone. Cold calling and knocking on a stranger’s door are not often part of my normal activities.

So! Onward! Hello Arkansas! The states after Texas should go by much quicker and before you know it we’ll be knocking on Michelle Obama’s door!


We are still looking for lodging on the following dates INCLUDING TONIGHT! If you know anyone who can help, please email me at

18-Mar Magnolia, AR
19-Mar Magnolia, AR
22-Mar Crossett, AR
23-Mar Lake Village, AR

24-Mar Greenville, MS
25-Mar Cleveland, MS
26-Mar Clarksdale, MS
27-Mar Helena-West Helena, AR
28-Mar Walls, MS

29-Mar Memphis, TN
30-Mar Memphis, TN
31-Mar Memphis, TN

Originally posted on Jup's Blog:

Sun up and beautiful views from early on, We were excited as today was the last day of Texas and also the sun was out. It was hot as well, got up to 85 today which I think is around 20-25 in NZ, but the humidity was up too, we had missed the sun but it got us today.

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Some more magic shots from today. We did 32.7 miles today in around 8 hrs. just cruised along.

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St Patricks day and we had our green on, Pat was singing me Irish songs all day. But sadly no kisses from lovely ladies.

st patties day

We found this run down water slide today and had to go check it out, Looks like it would have been fun.

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Our beautiful crew getting shots while we were running, an amazing couple!!!  Yes that is Vanessa still ding my pouch up challenge that even…

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Day 57- Sulphur springs, Rain, Friends

Day 57- Sulphur springs, Rain, Friends


Yesterday we swung by the public library in Sulphur Springs, Texas and chatted with the librarian there about our journey across the country and The 100 Mile Club. It struck me how easily the explanations roll off my tongue now. I have inadvertently defaulted to a script about what we are doing and why.

Yes, The 100 Mile Club is a charity. Yes, we are fighting childhood obesity. Yes, we encourage kids to run 100 miles in a school year.

But if I am honest with myself, The 100 Mile Club—to me—isn’t about those things at all.

A few days ago right after a really bad spell of freezing rain we huddled into the Lazy T Lodge in Throckmorton, Texas. Pat had started a conversation with another guy who was staying there and mentioned my book. He also mentioned that running had changed my life.

This dude looked at me in disbelief. “RUNNING changed your life? Really?” He couldn’t imagine how. Yes, it sounds cheesy but very true.

I explained to him how it wasn’t the running but the realization that I could do so much more than I had believed. I never thought I could finish a marathon, or 50 miles, or 100 miles… but I did all those things multiple times. The follow-up question: “What ELSE can I do that I don’t believe I can?” changes your life because pretty soon you’re doing every awesome thing you ever wanted to.

That’s what The 100 Mile Club means to me. It’s an opportunity for kids to learn years before I did that they CAN do more, one step at a time. If I had known that at age six or ten or twelve, my life would have been even more different. And the lives of these kids will change forever.

It’s bigger than running. It’s bigger than sports. Yes, it’s great to stay active and fit but more important to me is that moment when a kid realizes that his or her secret dreams can become reality, even outside the track.


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Originally posted on Jup's Blog:

My hamstring felt better this morning as me and Pat set off towards Sulphur Springs and knowing we had a holiday tomorrow was a good feeling. The weather wasn’t looking good and was raining a little pretty much from the start. About half way through the day it started to piss down and we got wet to the skin but it only lasted a hour or so but the temperature was still warm.

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When we got to first aid stop our special guest all the way from Australia Lincoln Budge was ready to come run with us. Lincoln was over in Colorado and just last week up in Alaska for a trip and came down to get a few miles in with us. I was so happy and stoked to have him come join us. I meet Lincoln in Japan 2 yrs ago when he was competing in a Chair…

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