Thursday, July 28, 2011

Getting Off the Rock

Hmmmm..... perhaps an unfortunate title.

When I woke up this morning, I was thinking it would be nice to stay for a few more days. With the thick fog blanketing St. John's right now it may well happen.

Yesterday was spent walking, for about 8 hours in a light rain. I started at St. John's City Hall where there was a ceremony for Terry on April 12, 1980 before he ran down New Gower St. and onwards to the Trans Canada Highway.

The 8 hours I spent walking through St. John's and onto the highway were very illuminating. If I thought the city was tough, the road is like Patrick Swayze in 'Roadhouse' tough.

Punishing hills, a feeling of desolation and a wind that seems to never stop. At least I didn't have snow, unlike Mr. Fox. The nice thing was that a lot of what I saw as I walked would have been pretty much the same 30 years ago. Sure, there are some new buildings, but they are vastly out-numbered.

After spending a day travelling, skipping a night's sleep and then walking all day, I was incredibly tired last night. Thanks to the glory of Google maps, I figure I walked about 15kms.

Which is about 28% of the distance Terry ran on the average day.

As a Canadian who was a child in the summer of 1980 I have always had certain impressions of Terry:

Brave, courageous, determined, generous........but until yesterday I never thought of him as tough.

To do what he did, and to start it all on this remote, unforgiving rock, I now think of him as very, very tough. Mentally and physically.