Day 27 - Claytown to A red barn in the middle of nowhere - 49 miles

4.30 AM felt like a lie in this morning. After a few days of getting up even earlier I was welcoming the lack of rushing in the morning. Relatively speaking anyway. I got my stuff together, had 2 slices of cold pizza and was ready for an “easier” day of 49 miles, still 4 over the average but now the miles are kicking up to make up for all the 30 mile fun runs we had over the last few weeks.

Today at 12 miles we were to cross into Oklahoma, our 4th state. It was quite exciting. As we approached the “leaving New Mexico” sign my bowels just made a big noise, as if to say “oh, go on. One last time in New Mexico?” And so I did, behind the biggest bush I could find which was about as big as a hedgehog. Bye Bye New Mexico, sorry I had to defecate on you so much.

Hello Oklahoma and Hello Russell and Claire. These guys know a lot of the runners already (Rainer, Jenni, Anneke) from the Trans  Europe race last year and have been in contact with myself and Gemma over the past few days. I liked their presence immediately and am really looking forward to them being around for the next 3 days. I asked Russell why he didn’t do this race. “Well I was on the list but I just thought it would be too hot”. Doh.

The weather forecast for Oklahoma is easy to remember, 100F for all the time we are there. There is a breeze though which sometimes helps, sometimes not. I have yet to experience this “humidity” they talk about.

I worried about the lack of trees in Oklahoma and the boredom but the first few miles looked ok. They no longer have the mile signs (perhaps they look too much like trees?) so it’s hard to know how far you have gone, however the miles seemed to roll off again nicely and I got to half way (described in the turn sheet as a place with some houses) in what felt like no time.

I reckon if you look closely you can see Missouri from the beginning of Oklahoma, the roads are as straight as I have seen. There is lots of farmland around which I find quite interesting to look at and the noises of machines feels like running through where stuff is happening. This is the place that feeds America.

The long roads can screw with your mind though (I will probably think about them when trying to sleep tonight unless I can think of something else like counting trees). I saw a farm with some large silos ahead which I knew to be 35 miles and thought I was close, then an hour later I still was not there and the silos did not seem to get any bigger. It’s torture. I’d like to just put my head down and ignore it but you can’t as there is no shoulder and the road has big trucks on. You always have to be looking ahead at the long long road.

It got hot again but there was some cloud cover. I watched for the shadows of clouds in the road as they cruised over me like a low flying plane. I’d sometimes look back to see how much of this shadow I have to cool me down and then watch them speed off up the road. Some of them would just disappear.

It is unusually dry here, churches have slogans outside saying “pray for rain”. I think the governor of Oklahoma has issued a request that everyone pray for rain. Can’t see any floors in that plan…

Today was a sad day as it is the last time Bertrand and David will be crewing us. They have jobs back in France and have to return but I was delighted to hear that they will be returning to watch us enter New York. David and Bertrand, thank-you so much for all the support and laughs over these 4 weeks. I will really miss the two of you.

Today was a little longer than planned and we ran (or rather I walked) past the motel we were staying in and did another 5 miles up the road to a barn in the middle of nowhere.  I felt a bit giddy towards the end and walked the last few miles, I was still in good time so was in no rush except that tonight we lose another hour with the clocks going forward. And tomorrow is about 56 miles, the longest yet.

But tomorrow I will see Gemma somewhere out there, something to look forward to. It will be great the first time I see here, even though I’ll be an hours run away from her.