Heather Ulrich wrote these and many other reflections while she and Marshall retraced the transcontinental route by car, in the spring of 2009. She recorded her memories of the places they’d passed through just months earlier while her husband was on foot for the entire 3,063.2 miles.
Excerpt 1. “Liar”
Day 9 ... Marshall stayed at the RV from 6:59 until 11:04 p.m., and got some (maybe 3 hours?) of restless sleep. This was a horrible stop for him and for me. I knew he had been struggling physically. His Achilles, his knees, his back—but this was the first time that he broke down emotionally.
He told me that all he can think about is how much his joints hurt. That he’s frustrated that he continues to be so slow ... Read more >>
Excerpt 2. “85th Birthday”
Day 21 ... I took [Marshall’s daughter] Elaine’s rental car to Fort Collins to run a bunch of errands and do shopping. At the end of the Poudre Canyon I was able to get some cell reception and did a SpinVox update and returned several phone calls. I found a grocery store, a Wal-Mart, I believe, and did a bunch of shopping for groceries and supplies.
I also found a Runners’ Roost store and got some additional Pearl Izumi shoes for Marshall, as well as some Nike running pants (he loved these, and wore them a lot during the rest of the run!), some more lighting (we didn’t have much for red flashers, which worried me, especially getting down onto the plains and heading east into more populated areas, meaning more traffic), and some shirts for Marshall. The guy at Runners’ Roost just gave me (for free!) at least one nice long-sleeved white with red shirt from the store. It was a good stop!
While in town I also called Marshall’s mother, Clara ... Read more>>
Excerpt 3. “Marshall's A**hole”
Day 23 ... I was very concerned that Marshall had decided to stop and rest and ice his foot, especially for such a long time, so early in the morning. I just knew something was not right. Our friend Debbie wanted to talk. To really know how I was feeling, how I was doing. [Marshall's sister] Lonna also asked me how I was at one time during this break, when I went outside of the RV for a break from being by Marshall, as I couldn't stand to see him suffering but didn't want him to know how worried I was.
I started to cry, and had to just walk away. It wasn't that I didn't appreciate them asking. It was very kind of them to be concerned and want to help. I just couldn't let it out. If I did, I might not ever stop ... Read more >>