Day 91 (Wyalusing, PA – Fleetville, PA)

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Today may have very well been the hilliest day overall so far on this run. The first run of the day wasn’t too bad. I felt pretty solid and went at a decent pace. The second run is where things started to get pretty rough.

We decided to take some back roads since it would be about 4 miles shorter. We knew it would be pretty hilly, but weren’t prepared for what was ahead. The entire second and third runs were nothing but steep hills. It was impossible to get any kind of rhythm going and some of the hills were so steep that I would’ve gone up them just as fast if I’d walked.

I was not looking forward to my last run of the day at all. It was only 5.8 miles, but there were still some pretty significant hills ahead and I was just so exhausted. Pretty much right when I started though I felt so much better. I’m not sure exactly why, but it ended up being my best run of the day. It could’ve been because it had started to cool down. I was glad that I could finish a tough day on a good run.

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Day 90 (Canton, PA – Wyalusing, PA)

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My first run of the day leaving from downtown Canton was pretty cool. It felt good to run on a road that I’d run thousands of times before. I made my way through Leroy, and ended the first run in my friend Mark Cordeiro’s driveway. We hung out and talked while I rested, and then he joined me for the next run.

We were teammates in high school and ran together all the time, so it was nice to get to run together again. We went 11 miles and ended up in Monroeton. After mark left and I took a break, I set out for my third run. This didn’t go quite as well as the previous two. I was a little exhausted and the traffic was really bad, with no good place to really run on the side of the road. I went through Towanda and Wysox, and ended up 8 miles outside of Wyalusing.

For my third run I was joined by Mike Murphy, the cross country coach for Northeast Bradford High School. It was a really good run and was very nice to get to run with someone on that last leg of the day. Especially since I wasn’t feeling quite as good on the previous one. The run went by very quick, and before I knew it we were in downtown Wyalusing.

After I was done for the day, my dad and I went to Steve Williams place on the river and we hung out there for the night. I really had a good time and hopefully we can go back sometime when I don’t have to finish a run across America the next day.

Day 89 (Day Off)

I didn’t do too much today. After the excitement of yesterday I was pretty worn out, so I spent most of the day just resting. In the early afternoon I went to Williamsport with a few of my friends and we got some lunch and I bought some comic books and movies.

It was cool getting to hang out at home for a while, but now I have to turn my focus back to the task at hand and finish this run strong. It’s nice to know that I’ll be back home again in a week, but it’s also a little bittersweet, as this journey is coming to an end. I keep checking the distance on the map from here to NYC, just because I still can’t believe how close I am to the finish.

I’ll be finishing my run in Central Park on Wednesday, August 13th. We’re still trying to figure out what time will be best to finish, so I’ll keep you all informed these next few days.

Day 88 (Wellsboro, PA – Canton, PA)

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Today was amazing. My first run took me into Mansfield, where I was greeted by the kids from the Tioga County YMCA, as well as the employees of the First Citizens Bank of Mansfield, my aunt Carol and uncle Jim, and many others. It felt really nice having people come out and show their support.

My next run ended at a rest stop on the top of Sylvania Mountain, between Mansfield and Troy. Tom Fitzpatrick, who was my support crew for part of Kansas, met us there and hung out while I took my break. After that, I headed to Troy. Ryan Van Noy joined me for the last mile or so of the run. It was nice getting to chat with him briefly and it’s just nice to have someone to run with.

Once I got to Troy I was greeted by another group of people including Bonnie Millard who put on a bake sale and donated all of the money from it to my run. I took a pretty long break before heading out for the last leg of the day.

Some runners from Troy joined me for the run to Alba, which is the halfway point between Troy and Canton. Then once we got to Alba, there was a huge group of runners waiting to run with me from Alba to Canton, including some of my old teammates (Luke Johnson and Brady Finogle), some of the current runners for Canton, my coach Steve Williams, and the Canton coach Barry Morgan.

We took the back way into Canton due to road construction, and my dad followed us in the RV. All along the way there were people standing alongside the road cheering us on and signs all over the place that people made for the run. Once we finally got into Canton, we were stopped and had to wait for a few minutes. Then they had us follow the firetrucks and ambulances onto Troy Street and down to Main Street.

When we were running down Troy Street I was amazed how many people were out lined up along the sidewalk cheering us on. Then when we turned the corner onto Main Street, I was absolutely blown away. The entire block was packed full of people cheering and wearing shirts for my run. It’s the most amount of people I think I’ve ever seen in Canton. Shane Wilber from the local radio station Wiggle 100 was there with a microphone and sound system pumping up the crowd. Once we stopped running, a bunch of news stations and papers started to come up and interview me. The whole thing was so surreal. I felt bad because I didn’t have time to talk to everyone since there were so many people, it was so crazy.

I can’t thank everyone enough for coming out and showing their support. When I was out west running by myself, I had no idea how many people were following my run or paying attention, so to have this kind of reception was just incredible, and it means so much to me. This last week of my trip will be so much easier now that I know I’ve got so many amazing people back home cheering me on.

Day 87 (Galeton, PA – Wellsboro, PA)

Today started out kind of miserable but by the end it turned out to be a pretty great day. My first run wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t feeling great, but still made out alright. I came across a bear walking across the street, so that was pretty cool. I definitely prefer bears to dogs.

My second run is where things started to get crappy. For one, I didn’t come across any more bears. To make things worse, we decided to cut a couple of miles off the run by going over the mountain from Pine Creek to Wellsboro instead of staying on Route 6. Not a great idea in hindsight. It was the worst hill I’ve gone up this entire trip, including the hellacious mountain in Arizona and the infamous Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado.

Once I finally got to the top, I began my descent into Wellsboro on my third run. Things started to turn around a bit at this point, but I still wasn’t feeling great. This changed once I arrived at the First Citizens Bank in Wellsboro. I was greeted by all of the wonderful employees who stood in the parking lot cheering and holding signs as I finished. They had a platter of snacks inside for us and were so gracious and kind. I really appreciated it.

My friend and old high school teammate, Adam Butters, came and met us at the bank to join me for the last run of the day. Before that though, we drove over to Pizza Hut for some lunch. It was nice getting to catch up with Adam since I don’t see him too often anymore.

After lunch we set off for the last run of the day, an easy 5 miler. It was a little hilly, but after what I went through earlier in the day, this felt like nothing. Adam took off after we finished and an hour later my mom drove into town and we went to the theater to see Guardians of the Galaxy again. Just as amazing on a second viewing.

Tomorrow night I’ll be in Canton, so I’m excited to see everyone once I get there. One last day off before my last push for the finish!