Personal Accomplishments

DAYS 62-66 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Continuing with my day-to-day diary account of my 1978 Cross America Run for the Jimmy Fund from June 11, 1978, to August 29, 1978, a total distance of 3,452 miles averaging 45 miles a day, done 40-years ago to the day. I’m enjoying reading these cards that I mailed home every day as I haven't read them in 40 years! Below is what I wrote on these cards each day.

  My Dad reviewed the maps and told me I could cut off a few miles if I took a different route. So I did and ended up running on a dirt road having no idea where I was or where I was going!!

My Dad reviewed the maps and told me I could cut off a few miles if I took a different route. So I did and ended up running on a dirt road having no idea where I was or where I was going!!

Day 62 — August 11, 1978
Miles run = 46.4.
Finish location – Boston Heights, OH.

Comments: “We are home! Boston Heights!! Stayed at the Bostonian Motel! The Boston Globe called me at my motel tonight...don’t know how they knew I was there! My knee was TERRIBLE today...very scared! What else can I do but to continue to run on it...oh well. Think of me!”

 Hilly.

Hilly.

Day 63 — August 12, 1978
Miles run = 49.6.
Finish location – Johnston, OH.

Comments: “Our last full day in Ohio!  My knee for some reason felt a little better today...thank goodness. Total for today is 2,810.6. Getting close to the magic 3,000! Physically, I feel good but my legs are a little fatigued. Hope you all are doing well and running in the ol’ local road races.”

 With Jeff.

With Jeff.

Day 64 — August 13, 1978
Miles run = 51.1.
Finish location – Meadville, PA.

Comments: “Finally reached PA! Just NY after that then Massachusetts!! Not long now...the roads are okay but the terrain is brutal...very hilly...even worse than the Rockies. Hope I can make it through this state without too much trouble...wish you were here.”

 

  Hilly. PA was brutal.

Hilly. PA was brutal.

Day 65 — August 14, 1978
Miles run = 50.3.
Finish location – Youngsville, PA.

Comments: “Stayed in the hometown of Mike Shine, silver medal winner in the Montreal Olympics in the 440 hurdles. The town really loves him. They even gave me a real nice welcoming. The people around here are real nice but obviously, you do run into a few #!@&#!! Only 15 days left!!”

 

DAY 66 — August 15, 1978
Miles run = 50.0.
Finish location – Smithport, PA.

Comments: “Gosh, is this country mountainous!!!  It’s going to be tough in PA. I have 475 miles left to go and the total now is 2,962 miles. Tomorrow I hit 3,000 miles!!! And, I haven’t visited the mental institution yet!  Hope to see all of you at Fenway Park or the Eliot Lounge on the 29th.”

DAYS 52-61 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Continuing with my day-to-day diary account of my 1978 Cross America Run for the Jimmy Fund from June 11, 1978, to August 29, 1978, a total distance of 3,452 miles averaging 45 miles a day, done 40-years ago to the day. I’m enjoying reading these cards that I mailed home every day as I haven't read them in 40 years! Below is what I wrote on these cards each day.

Day 52 — August 1, 1978
Miles run = 47.4.
Finish location – Galesburg, IL.

Comments: “Thank goodness we are now into the month of August. Just 28 more days and I’ll be running around the Charles River with you guys. I’m running over 335 miles a week now – nothing like a little running!!” 

 Running with my brother Alan who flew out to meet us.

Running with my brother Alan who flew out to meet us.

Day 53 — August 2, 1978
Miles run = 52.0.
Finish location – Princeton, IL.

Comments: “Cloudy today but the haziness gave me a headache. Tough to run 52 miles with a headache! Only about 100 miles from Chicago. Really moving now. However, if I was Tom McGrath (another xc runner who ran less total miles), I’d be done today! I try not to think about that! Thanks for all the cards and letters, they really inspire me!”

Day 54 — August 3, 1978
Miles run = 54.0.
Finish location – Morris, IL.

Comments: “My longest day so far! Felt good but a little fatigued near the end. Will be at a press conference on Saturday in Chicago and then on to Indiana and Ohio. Hope you guys are still banging out the miles, too!”

Day 55 — August 4, 1978
|Miles run = 50.5.
Finish location – Chicago Heights, IL.

Comments: “Very difficult to run on these roads!! No shoulders so have to run out on the road themselves and it is very dangerous. Glad to get out of these cities soon. Physically, doing pretty well.”

Day 56 — August 5, 1978
Miles run = 45.0.
Finish location – Westville, IN.

Comments: “Today we had a press conference in Chicago. Met a lot of important people and was on many radio and TV shows. The running is going well but I am getting fatigued a lot lately – hope that subsides soon!”

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Day 57 — August 6, 1978
Miles run = 50.5.
Finish location – Nappanee, IN.

Comments: “It won’t be long now. Only 23 more days. I’ll be in Ohio on Tuesday and PA next Sunday! Physically, pretty well but legs are a little tired. If you pray, say a few prayers for me!!”

Day 58 — August 7, 1978
Miles run = 47.0.
Finish location – Kendelville, IN.

Comments: “It rained all day...it was tough to run 47 miles in the pouring rain all day. I have one BAD blister on my left foot – performed an operation on it today. Hurts!!!! Will be in Ohio tomorrow – wish me luck!”

Day 59 — August 8, 1978
Miles run = 47.2.
Finish location – Napolean, OH.

Comments: “Into Ohio now, our 10th state! It is pretty flat thank goodness. Talked to Joe Concannon from the Boston Globe tonight – guess he will be writing an article soon. It’s very humid and HOT!”

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Day 60 — August 9, 1978
Miles run = 48.0.
Finish location – Rollersville, OH.

Comments: “Today I hit what I call my 60-20 day, i.e., it 60 days GONE and 20 days LEFT. Again, it was hot but it rained like crazy and I went out in my BVD’s and took a shower in the rain. People thought I was NUTS – I am!”

 Showering in the rain.

Showering in the rain.

Day 61 — August 10, 1978
Miles run = 57.0.
Finish location – Norwalk, OH.

Comments: “My longest day!!! I was going to hit the magic 60-mile mark but it was getting late. I feel okay but for some reason, my right knee is bothering me...hope it will be better tomorrow. Total distance – 2,714.”

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DAYS 48-51 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Continuing with my day-to-day diary account of my 1978 Cross America Run for the Jimmy Fund from June 11, 1978, to August 29, 1978, a total distance of 3,452 miles averaging 45 miles a day, done 40-years ago to the day. I’m enjoying reading these cards that I mailed home every day as I haven't read them in 40 years! Below is what I wrote on these cards each day.

Day 48 — July 28, 1978
Miles run = 47.2.
Finish location – Creston, IA.

Comments: “Found out that another person, Alan Tardy from Florence, Mass., stayed at this motel about one month ago and he was also running across the US from San Francisco to his home. He is supposed to arrive one week from this Saturday and he is doing it alone? Yes, all by himself. Unreal.”

 Every day I would walk a final two miles with my cassette recorder and record all the highlights of the day.

Every day I would walk a final two miles with my cassette recorder and record all the highlights of the day.

 

Day 49 — July 29, 1978
Miles run = 52.3.
Finish location – Ottumwa, IA.

Comments: “My longest day so far – 52.3 miles! Just two more days and we’re in Illinois and over the Mississippi!! My brother is flying out and meeting us on Monday, July 31st. That’ll really help me – he’ll be here for about one week.”

 Supplements – my team would package up about 30 different dietary supplements that I would take every day. Not sure if they helped but I don’t think they hurt.

Supplements – my team would package up about 30 different dietary supplements that I would take every day. Not sure if they helped but I don’t think they hurt.

Day 50 — July 30, 1978
Miles run = 47.0.
Finish location – Mt. Pleasant, IA.

Comments: “Tomorrow the Mississippi and the EAST!  Glad to get out of Iowa – people beeping at us all across the state and other trying to run us off the road.  Have run 2,167 miles – physically OK – little tired by holding on strong!  Till next time.”

 Bath – when I could, I would take a bath in the motor home – maybe 3-4 times a week.

Bath – when I could, I would take a bath in the motor home – maybe 3-4 times a week.

Day 51 — July 31, 1978
Miles run = 50.0.
Finish location – Monmouth, IL.

Comments: “We crossed the Mississippi River today and entered into Illinois, our 8th state.   Physically, I feel OK but I will be glad when it is over.  It is very dangerous out on these roads.  No breakdown lanes so the cars and trucks really challenge us!”

DAYS 43-47 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Continuing with my day-to-day diary account of my 1978 Cross America Run for the Jimmy Fund from June 11, 1978, to August 29, 1978, a total distance of 3,452 miles averaging 45 miles a day, done 40-years ago to the day. I’m enjoying reading these cards that I mailed home every day as I haven't read them in 40 years! Below is what I wrote on these cards each day.

Day 43 — July 23, 1978
Miles run = 47.1.
Finish location – Exeter, NE.

Comments: “Actually stayed in Friend, Nebraska today. Thought of all you guys as I entered this city. Found out that another kid from Mass is running across the US and stayed at this very motel...unreal!”

 Entering Nebraska – cameras not too good in those days!

Entering Nebraska – cameras not too good in those days!

Day 44 — July 24, 1978
Miles run = 48.5.
Finish location – Lincoln, NE.

Comments: “Got interviewed at press conference today. UPI, radio stations, tv, newspapers. Mayor of Lincoln gave me the key to the city and invited me back next year to run in the annual Lincoln, Neb. Marathon...that’s all I need now!”

 Mayor of Lincoln presenting me with key to the city.

Mayor of Lincoln presenting me with key to the city.

Day 45 — July 25, 1978
Miles run = 45.2.
Finish location – Plattsmouth, NE.

Comments: “Our last city in Nebraska. Will be crossing the Missouri River tomorrow and in our 7th state – Iowa. Got interviewed by local newspaper again. Hope all these newspapers send copies home so I can show all of you!”

Day 46 — July 26, 1978
Miles run = 47.1.
Finish location – Red Oak, IA.

Comments: “Stayed on a farm today. A couple saw me running and invited us to stay with them on their farm. They had 20 cats, 5 dogs, 3 goats, 3 pigs, 1 pony, 1 rooster, 2 kids and 100 acres of corn in the back yard!! It was nice but I think I was too tired to fully appreciate their hospitality. Anyway, nice to get into another state!”

 Making it through Iowa.

Making it through Iowa.

Day 47 — July 27, 1978
Miles run = 47.0.
Finish location – Creston, IA.

Comments: “Iowa is a tough state to run in. The roads are narrow and no shoulders on the roads. People are actually trying to run me over and one truck opened up its door to try to hit me...unreal. Just have to accept it though. It’s not just putting one foot in front of the other, that’s for sure. Miss you all.”

 Even though truck tried to run me over, we still kept a positive attitude and had fun with it.

Even though truck tried to run me over, we still kept a positive attitude and had fun with it.

DAYS 39-42 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Continuing with my day-to-day diary account of my 1978 Cross America Run for the Jimmy Fund from June 11, 1978, to August 29, 1978, a total distance of 3,452 miles averaging 45 miles a day, done 40-years ago to the day. I’m enjoying reading these cards that I mailed home every day as I haven't read them in 40 years! Below is what I wrote on these cards each day.

Day 39 — July 19, 1978
Miles run = 45.0.
Finish location – McCook, NE.

Comments: “The weather is still hot but it has been raining a lot lately. The thunder and lightning is something else. The grasshoppers are unbelievable – I think I’ve stepped on and killed thousands!!!”

 I had to sleep wherever and whenever I could!

I had to sleep wherever and whenever I could!

Day 40 — July 20, 1978
Miles run = 47.0.
Finish location – Arapaho, NE.

Comments: “HALF WAY DONE!!!!! 1,692 miles GONE!! 40 more days and it’s all over but the shouting! I miss all of you.” From Guess Who???

Day 41 — July 21, 1978
Miles run = 43.0.
Finish location – Holdrege, NE.

Comments: “Got interviewed by radio stations... and heard ourselves as we ran along. I’m trying to update these cards and I’m over 1 week behind so forgive me if I don’t have much to say!”

 Fans – signing my witness book – had people sign this book all along the route as evidence that I ran every step of the way!

Fans – signing my witness book – had people sign this book all along the route as evidence that I ran every step of the way!

Day 42 — July 22, 1978
Miles run = 50.8.
Finish location – Hastings, NE.

Comments: “Took a wrong turn and ran over 3 miles out of the way! Spent about half an hour in a lounge and then fell asleep... shows you how much I’ve been partying! I haven’t!! 

 My first 50+ mile day!

My first 50+ mile day!

DAYS 30-33 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Continuing with my day-to-day diary account of my 1978 Cross America Run for the Jimmy Fund from June 11, 1978, to August 29, 1978, a total distance of 3,452 miles averaging 45 miles a day, done 40-years ago to the day. I’m enjoying reading these cards that I mailed home every day as I haven't read them in 40 years! Below is what I wrote on these cards each day.

 Leaving the Rockies with my support crew – arm in arm.

Leaving the Rockies with my support crew – arm in arm.

Day 33 – July 13, 1978.
Miles run = 44.0.
Finish location – Estes Park, CO.
Weather – 77 degrees.

Comments: “Climbed the longest continuous ascending road in the US today – 13,000 feet high! That’s like one Mt. Washington on top of another! But, I survived and got out of it without too much trouble – I surprised myself by running 44 miles today – the altitude wasn’t too bad. Rockies are GONE!!”

 Running out of the Rockies.

Running out of the Rockies.


Day 32 – July 12, 1978.
Miles run = 43.0.
Finish location – Grand Lake, CO.
Weather – 70s.

Comments: “We are at the base of the highest peak I’ll climb across the US. Today was mountainous but not too bad. It’s tiring but I’m hanging on. One woman told me I wouldn’t make it out alive if I run up that mountain! Hope you all can make it to my funeral!”

 Quick drink break in the Rockies.

Quick drink break in the Rockies.


Day 31 – July 11, 1978.
Miles run = 40.4.
Finish location – Kremmling, CO.
Weather – 70s.

 Being silly – Rocky at the Rockies.

Being silly – Rocky at the Rockies.

Comments: “One month on the road and in the middle of the Rockies. Only 2 more days in the mountains, I hope. Having van fixed…need new brakes! Hope all goes well with the van. Can hardly wait till I get home! Going to watch the All-Star game tonight. Go A.L.!!”

 Making it to the top – 13,000 feet!

Making it to the top – 13,000 feet!


Day 30 – July 10, 1978.
Miles run = 41.0.
Finish location – Steamboat, CO.
Weather – sunny but then thunderstorms in the afternoon.

Comments: “Only 50 more days! Today ended up running up a mountain like Mt. Washington – 7 miles straight up without a break or a downhill. It’s getting very tough and I was told I’m in for a beauty on Thursday – about 13,000 feet straight up…should be interesting!”

 Running up the Rockies.

Running up the Rockies.

DAYS 26-29 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Continuing on with my day-to-day diary account of my 1978 Cross America Run for the Jimmy Fund from June 11, 1978, to August 29, 1978, a total distance of 3,452 miles averaging 45 miles a day, done 40-years ago to the day. I’m enjoying reading these cards that I mailed home every day as I haven't read them in 40 years! Below is what I wrote on these cards each day.

Day 29 – July 9, 1978.
Miles run = 43.0.
Finish location – Craig, Colorado.
Weather – 75 degrees.

Comments: “In the thick of the state of Colorado now. The roads are terrible….have to keep jumping on and off the road…just miss being hit by cars and trucks all the time. Went to a drive-in with the van…movie was lovely! Headed for the tough mountains in the next 5 days…wish me luck.”

 After the 100+ degrees in the desert, seeing some snow was a welcome sight!

After the 100+ degrees in the desert, seeing some snow was a welcome sight!

Day 28 – July 8, 1978.
Miles run = 42.0.
Finish location – Maybell, Colorado.
Weather – 70 degrees.

Comments: “Four complete weeks…GONE!  Interesting tidbits – finding lots of coins on side of roads (amount $5-$6 now). A lot of broken cassettes and 8-tracks on the road, also. One of the guys with me sleep walks so that makes for interesting nights!  Total mileage: 1,161 miles and heading for the halfway mark. Hi to all the guys – Hal, Tom, Greg, Lee, etc.”

 

Day 27 – July 7, 1978.
Miles run = 46.1.
Finish location – Dinosaur, Colorado
Weather – 70 degrees.

Comments: “Finally hit Colorado!  It’s going to be tough running up these Rockies but there’s some sort of excitement in attempting to tackle those mountains.… I’m ready if they are!! We are in the foothills now and they are preparing me for the biggies! The altitude is also tough.” 

 Entering the Rockies!  Nice view but tough climbs.

Entering the Rockies!  Nice view but tough climbs.

Day 26 – July 6, 1978.
Miles run = 46.0.
Finish location – Vernal, Utah.
Weather – 75 degrees.

Comments: “Tomorrow Colorado… I’m getting stronger. I was going to run 50 miles but the guys pulled me into the van and told me to wait till I’m over the Rockies. Guess they are right. If I had trained, I almost think I might have had a chance to break the “official” record – I know I can run 50-60 miles a day now but I don’t want to!”

DAYS 22-25 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Day 25 – July 5, 1978.
Miles run = 42.6.
Finish location – Roosevelt, Utah.
Weather – 80 degrees.

Comments: “No major problems…we hit our 1,000 miles today!!! Now I have to work on 2,000!! I feel pretty well. However, problems with the van…needs new brakes!! Hope it doesn’t hold me up. I’m psyched – Boston here I come!”

 End of the day treat – my beloved ice cream!!! No “power foods” back then!

End of the day treat – my beloved ice cream!!! No “power foods” back then!

Day 24 – July 4, 1978.
Miles run = 45.0.
Finish location – Fruitville, Utah.
Weather – 85 degrees.

Comments: “What a place to spend the Fourth. We are now 8 miles off the road into the woods next to some reservoir and next to a glowing campfire (wish I was at the Esplanade though – did it rain?). Today I felt super but had to climb an 8,000-foot mountain – worst than Mt. Washington. I can hardly wait till the Rocky’s! God, that is going to make or break me. Tomorrow at the 10.5-mile mark, I hit the all-important 1,000 miles!”

 Goofing off a bit – needed to lighten it up every now and then.

Goofing off a bit – needed to lighten it up every now and then.

Day 23 – July 3, 1978.
Miles run = 40.1.
Finish location – Heber City, Utah.
Weather – 65 to 85 degrees.

Comments: “Was interviewed today by Provo and Salt Lake City tv and newspapers. There was a possibility of meeting with the Osmond Family but they were out of town. Met with the Mayor of Provo and the city officials. They wanted us to be in their parade tomorrow (over 110,000 people) but we had to move on. Physically, all systems still go – little nagging pains but just have to accept them (when I am actually running they’re not that little!).”

 Jeff doing advance PR work at the nearest phone booth.

Jeff doing advance PR work at the nearest phone booth.

Day 22 – July 2, 1978.
Miles run = 42.0.
Finish location – Provo, Utah.
Weather – 85 degrees.

Comments: “Have completed over 900 miles as of today. Will be interviewed by local TV, newspapers and radio stations. I think we are finally out of the desert! Now we are heading for the Rockies! I feel super for 900 miles…have pain in both muscles over my knees (vastus medialis muscles). Hopefully, will be able to work it out. Saw rattlesnakes today!!”

 Running through the real rocky mountains of Utah!

Running through the real rocky mountains of Utah!

DAYS 19-21 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Day 21 – July 1, 1978.
Miles run = 42.0.
Weather - 95 degrees.
Finish location – Nephi, Utah.

    Cattle making a “run” for it across the highway and then actually chasing me!

 

Cattle making a “run” for it across the highway and then actually chasing me!

Comments: “My knees still bother me…they tighten up so bad I can’t bend them at all. As a result, the going was a little rough. If I can accept the pain for a few more days, I’m sure it will work itself out.”

    Feet – surprisingly, seem to be in good shape!

 

Feet – surprisingly, seem to be in good shape!

Day 20 – June 30, 1978.
Miles run = 41.9.
Weather - 90 degrees.
Finish location – Delta, Utah

 Great to finally have Kent here to bike with me and run with me and basically take care of me!

Great to finally have Kent here to bike with me and run with me and basically take care of me!

Comments: “My other companion, Kent Hawley met up with us on his bicycle! He peddled from Reno, NV to Delta, Utah, about 400 miles! It’s good to have him with us. Stayed in motel for a change. Hope you guys are still running at lunch.”

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Day 19 – June 29, 1978.
Miles run = 42.0.
Finish location – In the desert.
Weather – 95 degrees.

Comments: “We are 50-miles from the nearest town so have to stay in the desert for the evening.  This means no bath and as a result aching muscles the next day. Today I felt a little like Superman. I wanted to run 50+ miles but I decided to wait till after the Rockies.”

DAYS 17 & 18 - MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Continuing on with my day-to-day diary account of my 1978 Cross America Run for the Jimmy Fund from June 11, 1978 to August 29, 1978, a total distance of 3,452 miles averaging 45 miles a day, done 40-years ago to the day.

 Danny cooking dinner for us. Current Note: Sadly, Danny passed away a few years ago. He was a great friend and crew member.

Danny cooking dinner for us. Current Note: Sadly, Danny passed away a few years ago. He was a great friend and crew member.

Day 18 – June 28, 1978.
Miles run = 42.0.
Finish location – Baker, NV.
Weather – 100 degrees.

Comments: “Actually crossed the Utah / Nevada border today. Also entered into a new time zone so that made us feel good! However, still in the middle of the desert and it's about 90 to 100 degrees but no humidity. The terrain is tough to handle – hope it gets better soon.”

 Newsclips – it was fun to pick up newspapers along the way and see the run mentioned. Really picked up our spirits, especially in the lonely desert.

Newsclips – it was fun to pick up newspapers along the way and see the run mentioned. Really picked up our spirits, especially in the lonely desert.

Day 17 – June 27, 1978.
Miles run = 41.7.
Finish location – Major’s Place, NV.
Weather – 90’s.

Comments: “I’ll tell you what a typical day is like – wake at 5:30am, have tea with honey, donut or toast, stretch, vaseline, Ben Gay, etc., etc. Out on road by 6:30am, run 10-miles, rest 15-20 minutes, run 10 more miles, rest 15-20 minutes, and run other 5-10 miles all before lunch. For lunch, pint of ice cream!! Out on road at 2pm. Run 5 miles, rest a bit, run another 5 miles, rest a bit then walk an extra 2-miles (to put extra miles in the bank) with my cassette player recording everything that happened that day. Then find a place to stay for the night, eat (spaghetti, etc.) take all my pills (supplements), write postcards and in bed at 10pm.”

 Trying to be positive – I always tried to say to myself no matter how hard this was that I was fortunate just to have the health and strength to even attempt it.

Trying to be positive – I always tried to say to myself no matter how hard this was that I was fortunate just to have the health and strength to even attempt it.

HOPE YOU ALL (OR SOME OF YOU) ARE LIKING THESE POSTS!! I know I am having fun reading these cards that I wrote 40 years ago to the day! Makes me want to do this cross country run again...well...

Will be making an EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT on my next MEDFORD TO MEDFORD post!!

DAY 16 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

WORST DAY OF THE TRIP!

 More running in the desert.

More running in the desert.

Day 16 – June 26, 1978.
Miles run = 32.
Finish location – Ely, NV.
Weather – ?

 My face – taken more of a beating than my legs and feet. Burnt.

My face – taken more of a beating than my legs and feet. Burnt.

Comments: ”Ended up in the hospital cause knee hurt so much. Only ran 15.5 miles in the morning but was determined to get more done even if my knee was killing me! So, I ran another 17 miles but it hurt like hell. The knee hurt because of the terrain I was running on. No room, no shoulders on the road, 40 degrees banked, it is tough to run on that stuff. Can only hope knee will heal.”

 Motorhome in the desert – our home for 3 months.

Motorhome in the desert – our home for 3 months.

My editorial comments today: I do remember this day the most. I will never forget Ely, NV. In the desert with a bum knee – the vastus medialis muscle. I never felt so “alone” in my life. My dream of running across America was about to end at about 1,000 miles. I was questioning whether I could do this or not. The doctor in the ER asked me how I thought my knee became sore. I just couldn’t tell him that perhaps running 40+ miles a day had something to do with it! I eventually realized that the pitch of the road was what was causing it. I was running all my miles on one side of the road. I alternated each side from then on and my pain eventually subsided. If I didn’t figure it out, I would never have made it and I wouldn’t be posting this daily report right now!

 Sitting quietly wondering if I can really do this now…and praying.

Sitting quietly wondering if I can really do this now…and praying.

DAYS 12-15 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Continuing on with my day-to-day diary account of my 1978 Cross America Run for The Jimmy Fund from June 11, 1978, to August 29, 1978, a total distance of 3,452 miles averaging 45 miles a day, done 40-years ago to the day. I’m even enjoying reading these cards that I mailed home every day as I have never read them in 40 years!

Day 15 – June 25, 1978.
Miles run = 42.6.
Finish location – Eureka, NV.
Weather – sunny, 75 degrees.

Comments: “Bad day! Left knee started bothering me. It was the muscle surrounding the patella. It became very stiff and it was very difficult to bend my leg, never mind running 40+ miles a day! Was interviewed in the middle of the desert by a person from the National Broadcasting Company in New York. Hope my knee gets better!”

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Day 14 – June 24, 1978.
Miles run = 43.2.
Finish location – Eureka, NV.
Weather – sunny, 60 to 85 degrees.

Comments: “Should be in Utah on Wednesday! This completes the second full week! Total mileage is 578.3. Not bad for 2 weeks. I feel like I can break the “world’s record” but it is too late to try and do that now – I’ll stick to my 40+ miles per day.”

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Day 13 – June 23, 1978.
Miles run = 42.3.
Finish location – Austin, NV.
Weather – sunny, 60 to 85 degrees.

Comments: “Mountainous, about 7,500 feet! Very difficult to breathe. My body is adjusting very well…however, the minor pain in right hip still persists. Other than that, everything is going well. It is a LONG way!”

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Day 12 – June 22, 1978.
Finish location – Austin, NV.
Weather – sunny, 75 to 85 degrees.

Comments: “Ran 30 miles before noon! Staying at same motel that Bill Emmerton stayed at a few weeks ago. He ran from Missouri to CA on the old Pony Express Road. Meeting lots of interesting people. There is absolutely nothing out here in the desert! Lonely!! Hope to be in Provo, Utah, by July 1 or 2. If you want to mail anything to me you can send it to General Delivery, Provo, Utah c/o Dave McGillivray.”

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DAYS 10 & 11 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Continuing on with my day-to-day diary account of my 1978 Cross America Run for The Jimmy Fund from June 11, 1978, to August 29, 1978, a total distance of 3,452 miles averaging 45 miles a day, done 40-years ago to the day…

Day 11 – June 21, 1978.
Miles run = 40.4.
Finish location – Frenchman, NV.
Weather – sunny, 85 to 100 degrees.

 Desert photo – HOT – 100 degrees!

Desert photo – HOT – 100 degrees!

Comments: “Very hot today. I called Hal Goldstein on the phone but his secretary said he wasn’t in this week. Pulled the van over the side of the road and spent the night in the middle of the desert – literally! I feel great for having run this far. Say hi to all my running friends.”

 Motorhome Banner – what is wrong with this banner???? Yikes!

Motorhome Banner – what is wrong with this banner???? Yikes!

Day 10 – June 20, 1978.
Miles run = 41.2.
Finish location – Fallon, NV.
Weather – sunny, 95 to 100 degrees!

Comments: “Today I entered the desert, officially. It climbed near 100 degrees today. Physically, my body is amazingly adjusting to the distance. I can’t believe I am running 1 ½ marathons a day for 80 consecutive days but if you spread it out over an entire day it is a little easier. Right now we are in a pizza parlor and the people have recognized me on TV and heard about it over the radio – they are giving us FREE pizza and beer! Nice to get a reception like this everywhere!”

 Jimmy Fund Flyer – handed this out along the way. No such thing as “on-line” donations!!

Jimmy Fund Flyer – handed this out along the way. No such thing as “on-line” donations!!

DAYS 5-9 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Day 9 – June 19, 1978.
Miles run = 40.5.
Finish location – Reno, NV.
Weather – sunny, 80 degrees.

Comments: “Today was one of my toughest days – my hip has really started to act up – maybe bursitis!! Hopeful with the proper pills and cold packs it will clear up. Other than this minor injury, I’m in super, super condition. Got interviewed by TV today – CBS and NBC. Wishing you guys were here!”

 Getting to the 400-mile mark.

Getting to the 400-mile mark.

Day 8 – June 18, 1978.
Miles run = 43.
Finish location – Reno, NV.
Weather – sunny, 75 to 80 degrees.

Comments: “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! Heading for the desert! Will stay in Reno tonight and tomorrow night. I have run 330 miles in 8 days and feel super. Hope nothing goes wrong in the desert. Headed to the casinos tonight but unfortunately, I won’t be able to wine and dine! I have to wake up at 6:00am and run another 40+ miles tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day….!”

 Entering Nevada and the desert – the point of NO RETURN.

Entering Nevada and the desert – the point of NO RETURN.

Day 7 – June 17, 1978.
Miles run = 42.
Finish location – Milford, CA.
Weather – ?

Comments: “Quads feel super – body really becoming adjusted to all the running. However, bad pain in right hip. Ran mostly in desert looking terrain. Running with moped beside me with radio on really helps! We adopted a tiny dog in Litchfield, Ca. We needed him Specs! Will be in Reno tomorrow. After one complete week I have covered approximately 287 miles thus far. Face is really burnt!”

Day 6 – June 16, 1978.
Miles run = 42.
Finish location – Susanville, CA.
Weather – overcast, rainy then sunny afternoon, 50 to 75 degrees.

Comments: “Today was the first day my quads did not hurt me…hopefully, I’m getting use to the beating. Got interviewed again by area newspaper and it was on local radio. Have a minor hip strain but hopefully it will get better. I’m really enjoying myself but as you know it’s no party running 40+ per day!! Should be in Reno on Monday and shortly I’ll be in the ol’ desert. Say hi to all my running friends around the Charles. I think of all of you around noontime.”

 Training at home in a sauna to get acclimated to the 100+ temperatures in the desert.

Training at home in a sauna to get acclimated to the 100+ temperatures in the desert.

Day 5 – June 15, 1978.
Miles run = 41.3.
Finish location – Likely, CA.
Weather – ?.

Comments: “Ran with an Olympic biathlon champion for 10 miles. He was extremely interested in the run. Now the terrain is getting like the desert – hot and you can see for miles. I’m beginning to see mirages!! My companions are really doing a super job. Another day, another 40 miles! I’m still a LONG way from home…but, I’ll get there!”

DAY 4 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Continuing on with my day-to-day account (mailed one of these cards home every day) of my 1978 Cross America Run from June 11, 1978, to August 29, 1978, a total distance of 3,452 miles averaging 45 miles a day…

Day 4 – June 14, 1978.
Miles run = 45.
Finish location – Canby, CA.
Weather – 70 to 80 degrees.

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Comments:  “Stayed the night in a small campsite…we were the only ones there. Lonely but pretty country. I’ve been averaging 7-minute miles and doing about 25 miles in 4 hours in the morning and the last 15 or so real easy in the afternoon. My quads are tight but what do you expect after running 40-miles a day! We are in no-wheres-ville!!

 Phone booth – only way to communicate back home then.  Ran from phone booth to phone booth.

Phone booth – only way to communicate back home then.  Ran from phone booth to phone booth.

 American flag – wore this on my shorts the entire way along with four religious medals my mother gave me, one even blessed by the Pope!

American flag – wore this on my shorts the entire way along with four religious medals my mother gave me, one even blessed by the Pope!

 Pro Specs – my sponsor so I had to wear their shoes, which I had never worn until I took my first step on this run!! They were so stiff that my dad used a saw to cut grooves in the bottom of the shoes so they would bend for me!

Pro Specs – my sponsor so I had to wear their shoes, which I had never worn until I took my first step on this run!! They were so stiff that my dad used a saw to cut grooves in the bottom of the shoes so they would bend for me!

DAY 3 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

Continuing on with my day-to-day account (mailed one of these cards home every day) of my 1978 Cross America Run from June 11, 1978, to August 29, 1978, a total distance of 3,452 miles averaging 45 miles a day…

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Day 3 – June 13, 1978.
Miles run = 44.
Finish location – Newell, CA.
Weather – 70 degrees.

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Comments:  “Finally, the flat terrain is here! The 1st two days were all mountainous. I ran with a newspaper reporter for 10 miles and he did an article on me in the largest newspaper in southern Oregon – nice picture, too. Called WHDH and other radio stations that asked us to call. Stayed the night at the base of a mountain – was afraid the bears were going to attack us! Feel pretty good!! Dave"

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DAY 2 — MEDFORD, OR, TO MEDFORD, MA

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Yesterday I posted that it was the 40th anniversary of the start of my 1978 run across America.  Many wrote back suggesting I continue posting the summary of each day of that trip including some pictures so I will do so every now and then…here is day 2…

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Day 2 – June 12, 1978.
Miles run = 42.
Finish location – Klamath Falls, OR.
Weather – 75-80 and sunny.

Comments:  “Very mountainous!  Elevation over 5,000 to 6,000 feet!  No blisters, no problems – quadriceps very fatigued!  The guys with me are great – riding the moped beside me and driving the RV.  It’s a long way home!  Tomorrow we will be in California!   Hope you all are doing well.  I’m sure things will be getting very rough soon – keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Dave"

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40TH ANNIVERSARY

Forty years ago today, June 11, 1978, I started off on my 80-day, 3,452-mile run from Medford, OR to Medford, MA. For the first month, I averaged about 43 miles a day and then upped it to over 50 miles a day as I miscalculated the distance using AAA maps and a ruler! Geez, now I am lucky if I can do just one of those days! Every breath seems like a cliffhanger! Guess I should just be happy I’m still waking up every morning. I always thought it would have been more exciting for all of us to be born, go to age 50, then turn around and go back to age zero again – then you get to do every year of your life over again…a second chance at every age instead of just getting older and older!! So cool. Ha.

Looking at a few of these pictures – I started ceremonially in the Kingdome in Seattle during a Red Sox / Seattle Mariners game and then flew down to Medford, OR to begin the run. In the group photo below, I am with the Mayor of Medford, OR, and a few members of the Oregon Sizzlers track club. My crew of Danny Carey, Jeff Donahue, Tom Kinder, and Kent Hawley were lifesavers. At the end of every day, I wrote a postcard and mailed it back to some friends at the Boston YMCA. Each card had the date, day on the road, weather and temperature, miles I ran and location I finished for the day, along with a brief message. No computers, no cell phones, no emails, no texting, no GPS, no nothing. Ran from phone booth to phone booth!

The one below says: “Started about 1:10pm from Medford, Oregon. The Mayor and a few guys from the area track club ran with me for a while. Was interviewed by area TV and newspapers. Only expected to do 20 miles today – very, very hilly and mountainous! Over 5,000 ft. in elevation. Stayed at a campsite for the night. 80 degrees and sunny. Dave"

Ran 30-miles that day and finished in Tub Springs, Rt. 66, Oregon, my shortest day because I started in the afternoon. I only had 3,422 more miles to go! What was I thinking??

I was 23-years-old and very naïve. That’s what probably got me through all this. 

BIG DREAMS CAN COME TRUE

When I was growing up, I was mesmerized by watching the Olympic Games and dreamed of someday of “making the team”. Well, that of course never happened! I so vividly remember swimmer Mark Spitz and how he dominated and won so many Olympic medals. Some people even said we looked a little alike (me doing a triathlon in Vermont) When I saw this picture back then of him wearing all these medals, I recall saying to myself “someday I’m going to be wearing a bunch of medals like that, too.” I even hung this poster in my room – yikes! Someone recently handed me this Andover Magazine and all I could think about was that moment about 50 years ago when I dreamed of wearing so many medals myself. Sometimes “big dreams” can come true if you are patient and you try hard enough. Although I gave all these medals to little Jack Middlemiss because he deserved them more than me, I still have the photo!

NEXT GOAL, TO EARN MY OWN MEDAL

Every time I give a speaking appearance, I asked who has not run in a race before but would like to someday. I then pick one person from the audience and give them a medal (donated by Ashworth Awards). The medal says “my next goal is to earn my own medal”. I then tell them when they run a race and get their own medal they have to mail this one back to me so I can someday give it to someone else. I have received hundreds of these medals back in the mail. The idea is that when they raise their hand and I give them the medal, it is a reminder of their “commitment” to pursue this goal and the medal actually encourages them and incentivizes them to actually do it. Of all the medals I have given away over the years, I probably have received 90% of them back, meaning that they actually did make the commitment and eventually participated in a race and received their own medal. Pretty cool. Just received another one in the mail yesterday!

DMSE medal