2014 Virtual Run Across the United States

Week 38: Byhalia, MS

Weekly Miles: 60.3

Total Miles: 1873.6

Miles to Go: 741.4

Goal: 10.6 Miles behind schedule

Week 37: East of Forrest City, AR

Weekly Miles: 74.3

Total Miles: 1813.3

Miles to Go: 801.7

Goal: 20.8 Miles behind schedule

Week 36: Carlisle, AR

Weekly Miles: 51.3

Total Miles: 1739.0

Miles to Go: 876.0

Goal: 44.9 Miles behind schedule

Week 35: South of Conway, AR

Weekly Miles: 80.4

Total Miles: 1687.7

Miles to Go: 974.3

Goal: 46.1 Miles behind schedule

Week 34: East of Clarksville, AR

Weekly Miles: 43.0

Total Miles: 1607.3

Miles to Go: 1007.7

Goal: 76.3 Miles behind schedule


Week 33: Van Buren, AR

Weekly Miles: 52.4

Total Miles: 1564.3

Miles to Go: 1050.7

Goal: 69.2 Miles behind schedule

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Week 32: 10 Miles East of Warner, OK

Weekly Miles: 60.3

Total Miles: 1511.9

Miles to Go: 1103.1

Goal: 71.4 Miles behind schedule

Week 32 is in the books.  I have added another 60.3 miles to my bottom line this week and now find myself 10 miles east of Warner, OK.  I am getting fairly close to Arkansas at this point.  Warner, OK is a small town that has a population of 1,430.  Not really too much else to say.  Real lift had me finish the week with a run over Badger Mountain and it is nice to be able to start chipping away my deficit.  Hopefully by the end of fall marathon training I will be fully back on track.

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Week 31: Outside of Okemah, OK

Weekly Miles: 60.3

Total Miles: 1451.6

Miles to Go: 1163.4

Goal: 81.6 Miles behind schedule

After 31 weeks of virtually running across the country I am just outside of Okemah, OK.  Okemah is a small town east of Oklahoma City with a population of just over 3,000 of who are Native American.  Okemah was named after a Kickapoo Indian chief named Chief Okema and is home to former Miami Hurricanes coach Larry Coker as well as famed folk singer Woody Guthrie.  Many of Woody Guthrie’s songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression when Guthrie traveled with displaced farmers from Oklahoma to California and learned their traditional folk and blues songs.  The most famous of his songs is “This Land is Your Land”.  We will see how next week goes, I have got to make up some ground if I want to get to the North Carolina beaches by the end of the year.

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Week 30: Outside of Oklahoma City, OK

Weekly Miles: 40.2

Total Miles: 1391.1

Miles to Go: 1223.7

Goal: 91.7 Miles behind schedule


Week 29: Near El Reno, OK

Weekly Miles: 38.7

Total Miles:1351.1

Miles to Go: 1263.9

Goal: 81.8 Miles behind schedule


Week 28: Near Weatherford, OK

Weekly Miles: 24.7

Total Miles: 1312.4

Miles to Go: 1302.6

Goal: 70.3 Miles behind schedule


Week 27: Near Clinton, OK

Weekly Miles: 38.4

Total Miles: 1287.7

Miles to Go: 1327.3

Goal: 44.9 Miles behind schedule


Week 26: Near Sayre, OK

Weekly Miles: 54.0

Total Miles: 1249.3

Miles to Go: 1365.7

Goal: 33.1 Miles behind schedule


Week 25: Near McLean, TX

Weekly Miles: 53.1

Total Miles: 1195.3

Miles to Go: 1419.7

Goal: 37.0 Miles behind schedule


Week 24: Outside of Amarillo, TX

Weekly Miles: 50.7

Total Miles: 1142.2

Miles to Go: 1472.8

Goal: 39.9 Miles behind schedule


Week 23: Near Vega, TX

Weekly Miles: 44.3

Total Miles: 1091.5

Miles to Go: 1523.5

Goal: 40.5 Miles behind schedule


Week 22: Near Glenrio, NM

Weekly Miles: 48.8

Total Miles: 1047.2

Miles to Go: 1567.8

Goal: 34.6 Miles behind schedule


Week 21: 10 Miles West of Tucumcari, NM

Weekly Miles: 48.5

Total Miles: 998.7

Miles to Go: 1616.3

Goal: 33.0 Miles behind schedule


Week 20: Near Santa Rosa, NM

Weekly Miles: 40.5

Total Miles: 949.9

Miles to Go: 1665.1

Goal: 31.6 Miles behind schedule


Week 19: Near Encino, NM

Weekly Miles: 44.6

Total Miles: 909.4

Miles to Go: 1705.6

Goal: 22.0 Miles behind schedule


Week 18: Near Edgewood, NM

Weekly Miles: 25.4

Total Miles: 864.8

Miles to Go: 1750.2

Goal: 16.4 Miles behind schedule


Week 17: Albuquerque, NM

Weekly Miles: 32.3

Total Miles: 839.4

Miles to Go: 1775.6

Goal: 8.3 Miles ahead of schedule


Week 16: 12 Miles East of Mesita, NM

Weekly Miles: 30.1

Total Miles: 807.1

Miles to Go: 1807.9

Goal: 26.2 Miles ahead of schedule


Week 15: Near North Acomita Village, NM

Weekly Miles: 43.3

Total Miles: 777.0

Miles to Go: 1838.0

Goal: 46.2 Miles ahead of schedule


Week 14: Near Thoreau, NM

Weekly Miles: 50.0

Total Miles: 733.7

Miles to Go: 1881.3

Goal: 53.1 Miles ahead of schedule


Week 13: East of Gallup, NM

I have made it out of Arizona and into New Mexico.  Check another state off of the list!  I added another 43.3 miles to by 2014 total and am now virtually located just past Manuelito, NM.  Manuelito is near Gallup, NM which is actually the largest city in my path between Flagstaff, AZ and Albuquerque, NM.  Manuelito is nothing more than a few houses along the path of the railroad.  Gallup on the other hand is a railroad/mining city of around 21,000 and was named as the winner in the Best of the Road Contest as the Most Patriotic Small Town in America for 2013–2014.  Gallup is a Route 66 town and parts of the movie Natural Born Killers with Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis was shot in the city.  Gallup is the birth place of famed astronomer Carolyn Shoemaker who is commonly known as the co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9. Shomaker also holds the record for most comments discovered by an individual.  In real life, my week ended with my first completed race of the season, a 15K trail race at nearby Badger Mountain in Richland, WA.  I did ok but discovered there are a lot of technique things that I will need to fix if I ever want to be called a trail runner.  At this point I have 1931.3 miles to go to get to Carolina Beach, NC.

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Week 12: West of Chambers, AZ

12 Weeks into my virtual run across the United States and I am still in Arizona but am getting a lot closer to the New Mexico border.  I had a pretty big week with week with 80 miles added to my annual total bringing me up to 640.4 miles for 2014.  It is fairly desolate in this area of the country.  The road that I am virtually running is right along the Colorado River and the next nearest city is Chambers, AZ about 10 miles to the east.  Chambers is very small and is actually an unincorporated community as opposed to a city per se.  Close to where I am at is an old abandoned ranch house from the 1920s that has a bit of the ghost town feel to it.  Next week should bring me into New Mexico and at this point I am 1974.6 miles from my destination on the shores of the Atlantic.

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Week 11: Holbrook, AZ

I made it an additional 40 miles into Arizona and I am now in Holbrook, AZ.  Holbrook is a small city of just over 5000 that was founded in the 1880s when the railroad came through.  There is not a whole lot to say about Holbrook but the Petrified Forest is only 28 miles away.  Like Flagstaff I have had some personal experience with the city having spent the night there in a KOA campground during that ill-fated cross-country trip I have referred to in previous updates.  It was late December when we stayed there and one thing I vividly recall was how cold it got at night in Holbrook.  There is some very pretty desert in the area and Holbrook is one step closer to Carolina Beach, NC.  So far I am 560.4 miles from Huntington Beach, CA with 2054.6 miles until my destination.  Given that the first quarter of the year is nearly over, I am on pace, but not by much, to reach the Atlantic Ocean in 2014!

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Week 10: West of Winslow, AZ

Week 10 of my virtual run across the United States is complete and I am still trucking along in Arizona.  It was a good week this week as I ran 70.1 miles, passed through Flagstaff, AZ and almost made it all the way to Winslow, AZ.  I have a fondness for Flagstaff since in real life my wife and I spent the day there while getting our vehicle repaired on a cross country trip.  Flagstaff is not what you typically think of when you think of Arizona as there are lots of pine trees and snow in the winter.  Flagstaff has a population of close to 70,000 and is home to Northern Arizona University – Go Lumberjacks!  Winslow, AZ on the other hand is quite a bit smaller with a population of less than 10,000 and is an example of a Route 66 city that was adversely affected by the opening of Interstate 40 back in the in 1970s.  I am officially 520.4 miles into my cross-country virtual run with 2094.6 miles to go to get to Carolina Beach, NC!  One week at a time….

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Week 9: Williams, AZ

I made it another 40 or so miles into the heart of Arizona.  It is turning from desert to actually becoming fairly green.  I am getting closer to Flagstaff and should pass it next week.  I am just past the city of Williams, AZ.  Williams is a city of about 3000 people and is the home town of former Houston Astros player Billy Hatcher.  Williams has a place in my heart since back in 1999, my wife and I managed to break down near Williams while driving across country.  We spent the night in Williams before having our vehicle towed by to Flagstaff to get repaired.  Oh the memories.  This part of Arizona is beautiful!  2164.7 miles to go until I get to Carolina Beach!  On a down note, 2164.7 miles is practically the exact total that I ran for all of 2013 so I have got a long way to go before reaching my goal to run across country.

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Week 8: East of Seligman, AZ

Week 8 is in the books and I made it an additional 60 miles into Arizona.  It is still pretty desolate at this point and the next real major city I am going to come to will be Flagstaff, AZ in another 60 miles.  The only real point of interest is that I past Seligman, AZ about 10+ miles ago.  Seligman, AZ is a small city of 456 people located on Route 66.  If you look at some pictures of the city it cannot help but remind you of Radiator Springs from Disney Pixsar’s Cars.  That is because John Lasseter (director of Cars) based the town of Radiator Springs on Seligman.  The story goes that while Lasseter was researching about Route 66 for the movie he met a Seligman resident who told the story of how traffic through the town virtually disappeared the day that nearby Interstate 40 opened.  On a separate but related not, I love the movie Cars!  So far I have made it exactly 410 miles from Huntington Beach State Park in California with another 2205 miles to go until I get to Carolina Beach, NC.  That makes me a little less than 16% of the way there while we are only a little more than 14% of the way through the year.  So far I am still on track but I do not have a ton of margin

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Week 7: East of Kingman, AZ

Another week and another 50 miles to add to my trip across country!   At this point I am about 20 miles east of Kingman, AZ which is a decent sized city in Mojave County.  In terms of claim to fame, Timothy McVeigh and his co-conspirator Michael Fortier lived in Kingman immediately prior to the Oklahoma City bombing.  Heck of a thing to be associated with!  On a better note there is a professional bull rider named Cody Custer and former Major League baseball player Doug Mirabelli were born in Kingman.  2265.0 miles to go to Carolina Beach!





Week 6: Yucca, AZ

Week 6 is completed and I have made it out of California and into Arizona.  I am just outside of a small community called Yucca.  Yucca has a population of 282.  The town has its hay day back in the 50s and 60s before Interstate 40 came in.  The most remarkable thing about Yucca is probably the fact that they have a building shaped like a golf ball.  So far I am 299.4 miles from Huntington Beach, CA so I am starting to make some real progress but it is also now February.  2315.6 miles to go!  



Week 5: Needles, CA

Another week in the bag!  I made it to just outside of Needles, CA located on the western banks of the Colorado River right on the California-Nevada-Arizona border.  As a claim-to-fame, Needles was mentioned in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath as a place where the Joad family stopped as they entered California on Route 66.  Did anyone else have to read that one back in high school?  In more contemporary references Needles was where Snoopy’s brother Spike lived in the Peanuts (creator Charles Schultz lived in Needles as a boy) and comedian Sam Kinison (who by the way was born in Yakima, WA) died in a traffic accident near Needles in 1992.  Next week I will bid California farewell as I head into Arizona.  2355.6 miles to go until Carolina Beach, NC!

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Week 4: Mojave Desert, CA

Week 4 of my VIRTUAL run across the US is complete (had some people think I had ditched my family, quit my job and was actually taking the year to run across the country).  Not a whole lot to say this week as I am in the middle of absolute nowhere!  There is not a whole lot in this part of the Mojave Desert – no cities or real landmarks nearby.  I am actually right next to a sign that says that the nearest city is Kelso, CA which is a ghost town with a defunct railroad depot.  Next “service” is in Baker, CA which is a small town of 750 people due north of my current path.  The next city I come to in my path is Needles, CA which is 66 miles away and right on the Nevada border.  With any luck I will be there in the next week plus. REALITY had me finishing the week with my first 20 mile training run since September and it was cold, dreary, slick, and dare I say just a little miserable. Looking forward to spring!  2415.7 miles to go until Carolina Beach, NC!


Week 3: Newberry Springs, CA

Third week of virtual running is in the books and I have made it past Barstow, CA (home of NFL favorites Nick Barnett and T.J. Houshmandzadeh) to just outside of a small town named Newberry Springs.  Turns out that Newberry Springs was the filming location for a German movie called Bagdad Café and, according to IMDB, is about a lonely German woman who ends up in the most desolate motel on Earth.  Gets decent reviews.  There is not a whole lot in this part of the Mojave Desert….  Reality though had me running Badger Mountain this morning in the pitch black and freezing fog.  Ended up scaring the crud out of a hiker who I guess was not expecting to bump into a running on Badger at 6am.  2476.0 miles to go!


Week 2: Victorville, CA

First full week of virtually running across the United States in the books and I have made it to just outside of Victorville, CA. Turns out Victorville is a popular filming location with such timeless classics as Contact, Lethal Weapon, It Came from Outer Space, and several other well known flicks. Of course reality had me finishing the week with a 16 mile run on a treadmill watching the Seahawks game yesterday….fun. Just 2530.7 miles to go!


Week 1: Huntington Beach to Corona, CA

The new year is off and running – no pun intended. I have a goal to virtually run from Huntington Beach, CA (Huntington Beach State Park) to Carolina Beach, NC.  After the first week I have made it out of all that down town traffic in LA and am in Corona, CA!  For you sports fans out there Corona is home to Troy Glaus, Taylor Martinez, and D.J. Strawberry.  For you non sports fans, the guitarist for Slayer apparently lives here.  I can’t say I have any of their music on my iPOD but interesting nonetheless.  Just 2581.2 miles to go!


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