Sunday, September 19, 2010

John on the TV News!

See link:

John Radich, 56, is running Route 66 from Santa Monica, California to Chicago, and then hopes to make it to Atlantic City to touch the ocean. The ultra marathoner started his journey on July 4 and has covered 1,700 miles - recording 35 to 40 miles each day.

Radich says he is amazed how preserved Route 66 is in small towns like Carterville, Missouri and was glad to see sites like the 66 Drive in Theater near Carthage. He says the Four States is greener than California and people are extremely nice. Radich says the run gives him an appreciation for America.

"I've run across Europe a few times, Australia, Canada," Radich says. "The United States is the greatest country in the world and following Route 66 has been absolutely incredible - running through the Navajo Reservation in Arizana-New Mexico, running through the panhandle of Texas."

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Flagstaff to Albuquerque

Leaving the forests of Flagstaff I was welcomed to rains and lightening, fortunately the further I ran east the less intense the storm became. Running on RT 66 was always my first choice - I-40 the busy interstate pipeline isn't my favorite to run - the wide shoulder on this section was nice though. You descend quickly from Flagstaff, the Ponderosa pines soon disappear and high desert chaparral was now a common sight.
Continental Divide: After a very treacherous run along 8 miles of road construction and two lane roads -the most narrow section and most awful run on I-40 so far - trucks blast by you too close for comfort, no place to hide - just need to go on through.

A New Mexico HWY Patrol stopped me saying “I got a call about a man running with a baby jogger and baby on board”. He was smiling and knew what I was doing and took interest in the run. "RT 66 exits and the Continental Divide is about 1 mile away, you'll be happy to know that, I think". “You bet” I told him! Now raining and I was quite spent, I crossed the Continental Divide. A Navajo woman stopped and suggested I stay at the Top of the World Motel , which I did. Karen and Jason, the motel hosts, were quite kind with a complimentary room. I met the locals and many of the Native Navajos in the area who give the best directions and mileage and what to expect running along Rt 66 to Grants, NM. They know - it's their incredible land.A local person in a truck stopped me, offered me a 10 mile ride to Grants – I said “no thanks I'm running across America , a ride would compromise my run's integrity”, he said, “ahh, no one would know”! “Yea”, I said, “but you and I would know” “and God” he said, he understood and wished me luck and donated money for water and snacks. I slept in a truck stop TV lounge that night. Not the most comfortable place, but I was dry.On the road I met this joyful man with a white beard, “Billy”, a runner and teacher and strong community leader at Grants High School. Billy took a keen interest in my run and offered me his place to stay. Billy and his wife Marie and family all welcome me warmly, ironically Billy grew up in Altadena, CA, near me. They have a beautiful cabin. Billy talked me into a "side adventure” the following day, a 6 mile run up to 11,300 foot MT Taylor. A spectacular panoramic views of the valley below. We team up with Bob, a teacher also on a local reservation with an impressive running resume, who is training to run the Pike's Peak Marathon. Billy and his family left me with a very happy experience and a friendship for life!

A Native American family stopped me on RT 66, they gave me Oreo cookies, water, energy bars and their blessings. The kindness of the Native Americans is really amazing. Running into Albuquerque was a long hilly section, Javier a young and upcoming tri-athlete, studying to become a doctor at the University of New Mexico crewed me the last 16 miles, not having to run with the baby jogger was quite a change and welcomed relief! Just awesome! Thank you Javier!! Albuquerque is quite a running mecca, even for some Kenyan and European runners training for a major US marathon. The altitude, dry climate and dirt roads all appeal to runners of all levels. I know now why they call New Mexico the Land of enchantment with its beautiful surrounding mountains and high desert appeal.