Beware hitchhiking skunks in Missouri

For all of you who have been following my adventures running marathons I thank you but the time I have dreaded has finally come. The ‘Running for the Ranch Marathon’ in Springfield, Missouri was my 13th marathon total and my 11th state. What I’m trying to say is that I’ve almost run out of local western states to run in and am now having to go further away to find a state in which I still need. My Family is starting to get tired of following me from state to state and so it is getting harder to find someone to go with me and share the driving.

Riley enjoying a stop at Denny's

Thank goodness I was able to get my Step-son Riley to come along since Springfield, Missouri is a 20 hour drive one-way from my house in South Jordan, Utah. Even though it is December the weather cooperated very well and the drive there wasn’t so bad. We were excited to get there and driving 10 hour shifts was something we were both willing to do. Actually I didn’t want to tire myself out so Riley drove the lion’s share and I mostly rested in the back on the sleeping bag and of course there were the stops along the way to eat.
People are always saying to me, ‘You run marathons, you can’t gain any weight!’. Let me dispel this very big myth. You have to ‘carb up’ before a race or you will have no gas to run.

A full carb pre-race meal! Yum, yum

After a race you can’t seem to get enough food in your stomach to satisfy your ravenous hunger! I have to watch everything I eat or like everyone else I will gain weight.
This has got to be the most different marathon I have ever run. The first odd thing was the start time for the race. It started at 1:00pm in the afternoon. All my other marathons were in the early hours of the morning. I can only assume the race promoters decided since it is in the middle of December and freezing cold that they would have it start mid-day to take advantage of the heat from the sun.

Do you see Santa Claus back there?

Whatever the reason it was about 40 degrees at the start of the race so I guess their idea was logical. However there was a problem with this because the sun set at 5:15pm and so we were left to run in the cold darkness at the end of the race. Oh, well. Next was the coarse. We ran 8 times around a 3.2 mile loop on the Missouri State University Campus.

Second biggest bear I've ever seen!

I’m used to going to a city that I’ve never been before and really getting to see it by running 26.2 miles around, through, over, under and in-between the entire city. By the end of the race I feel that I have really had one heck of tour through this area. It’s wonderful seeing different homes and businesses and scenes that most people would never get to view because the car they were in was traveling way to fast to see anything. Not this time but I did get a great view of 3.2 miles around the University however.

The race itself was very well organized with plenty of water stations and real honest to goodness bathrooms with flushing toilets and sinks with running water! I hate the Porta-Potty and I’m sure anyone who has ever used one hates them too.
This was a fairly small marathon with about 170 people finishing but I still saw a few people who in the spirit of fun had dressed up.

She wore 'jingle bells' and tinkled as she ran!

We had a fully outfitted Santa Claus and 3 completely decked out Elves, very fun. There were also a few extremely serious runners who flew past me about 6 or 7 times to finish in under 3 hours. Riley was so nice and ran the first and the last loops with me. He also ran short distances with me on each loop I passed by. I ran with a lady I met named Claire. She had run over 65 marathons total and this marathon would be her 50th state! She was awarded a plaque at the end of the race commemorating her 50th marathon in 50 states. Way to go Claire!

Filling my very empty stomach at the Steak n' Shake

After the race before we headed home Riley and I ate lunch at the ‘Steak n’ Shake’. It was a 50’s theme cafe where they had some of the best steak samiches(spelled wrong on purpose) and shakes!

He may be belly up but he still packs a powerful smell!

On the trip home we stopped and refueled somewhere in Missouri and the smell of skunk almost took us out. We stopped again to gas up in Kansas and was once more assaulted by skunk smell. The same thing happened in Colorado and Wyoming. I was starting to believe the entire western U.S. stunk of skunk! When I got home I parked the Vue in the garage and went in the house. The next morning I was leaving to go to work and when I walked into the garage the smell of skunk almost gave me brain damage. Apparently somewhere in Missouri I ran over a skunk and he got lodged under my car and I carried him across 5 states stinking all the way!

One thought on “Beware hitchhiking skunks in Missouri

  1. I happened to be driving right behind you one day in South Jordan and saw the link to your blog on your car. It sounded inspiring, so I am here to check out your progress! I have enjoyed your story and wish you luck in your journey. Keep up the good work.

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