Monday, November 15, 2010

The Hoosier State Indiana

Running out of Chicago was enjoyable with the completion of finishing Route 66 still fresh in my mind. I met Mike Tyler who agreed to crew me out of the tricky sections of Chicago and onto Hwy 30, the Lincoln Highway- America's first Trans America Highway.Mike was a lot of fun and a champion wrestler in high school, sharing some fun stories on his odd but effective training methods.

I'm finding Indiana to be a very flat state- rarely did I have a 'hill to climb'! Hwy 30 had a nice wide shoulder to run on, but the trade off was the 'jet blasts of wind' from the trucks- still quite intense and 'hat knock offs' I lost count of! The colder temperatures now made it more challenging.

In the following days ahead John Spencer volunteered to crew me 3 great days through Indiana. John works in the Battle Creek Michigan area and had some extra time to help, which he enjoys (and I appreciate). John and I ran across Europe in 1999, Athens, Greece to Hamburg, Germany so John is no stranger to ultra running and crewing. A real honor to have him along for 3 days.

Tornado! Finishing a 40 mile day, we finished in Warsaw (not Poland!) Indiana - the weather was changing fast - lightening and wind gusts, etc. A „distant siren“ is heard - not having ever heard this, I didn't realize that it signaled a tornado in our vicinity! We 'staked' our stop point (so I could continue on from there, after the break) and headed off to a local eatery to satiate our hungry appetites. The local TV station was on with tornado warnings, so we had stopped just in time - my first encounter with a tornado warning that close by! Fortunately it was soon down graded. But too close for comfort-you could feel the low pressure on your body-at least I did. In California we have earthquakes and forest fires-this tornado was all new for me! Indiana has miles of farm lands, mostly being corn.

John crews me competently and we catch up on each other's lives and share some great times running across Europe. The 3 days John gave me were quite productive with some good press in Warsaw about our run for Youth and The Way to Happiness Foundation.

The Three Rivers Running Store out of Ft Wayne, Ind. - met 'Casey' the store manager , who passed a runner by me -“Ed“'- a snappy and runner savvy marathoner from Van Wert, Ohio, who gave a day of crewing and joined in with me on my run as Ed would leave his truck and 'run up and back' with me to his truck getting his training in at the same time. Ed was a 'folksy' personable guy- family man- father of four. Ed shared his experiences with me, of running the Boston Marathon and a 50km trail race in Indiana. Ed crews me to the Ohio State line on Hwy 30 with a large sign welcoming you to Ohio. With a good day of running in, Ed takes me into Van Wert, his home town where I secure a motel for my first night in the Buckeye State of Ohio. Ed was a big help and an enjoyable personality to run with.

To be continued...

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