Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

'His 5 hour energy drink timed out. If only he had taken it 3 seconds later.'

THE RACE IS OVER for Richard Westbrook. Finishing 38th of 59 in his division and 44th overall of 88 initial, total runners. 15 quit the race all at different times and locations. At this point, well after Westbrook’s finish, there are 15 runners remaining on the road (10 of them in his screwed division).

Westbrook completed the deathly hot, very hilly, 314 miles in 8d 00:44:24 – 8 days 44 minutes and 24 seconds. He started the race with hamstring pain and hoping it would at least diminish if not disappear all together, he struggled with it the whole way through to the finish. In compensating for that pain, he planted differently than normal and now has some foot pain on the opposite side. We have also discovered a rash here and there, which is to be expected, and many bites (chiggers?) all over, eww!

All in all he finished and with everything going on, that is saying A LOT! The old man rarely ever gives up, just when his body absolutely makes him. Now it is time to deal with the post race issues…fun stuff!

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Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 1.01.32 PMRichard Westbrook is at it again, the Last Annual Vol State Road Race. He has entered as an unsupported runner, as always. He begins the daunting 314 miles from Missouri/Kentucky, through Tennessee, finishing in Georgia with nothing but a small pack on his back. The race course is mapped out above.

He tested his pack prior to leaving on his 3 year old granddaughter, Braylee (Rainbow). I guess he deemed it light enough since upon wearing it she didn’t fall over. I did not get the weight of his pack this year but it is usually around 8 lbs or so.

Stay with us to learn more updates of how he doing throughout. Keep him in your prayers and wish him luck!

JANUARY 14, 2016 (THURSDAY)

It was 11.91 miles on a great looking day in the county in Clayton of the state of Georgia.  My running is getting better after the slight injury in last few miles of the Nashville Ultra 50 Mile Race on November 7.  I thought I would never get over the sore right ankle that I managed to place into a hole in last three miles of the race.  But, I did recover…only to have a sore, tight left Achilles tendon.  It took a month to the day to recover with the right ankle and left me doing the mile-per-day recovery runs.  Then, it took me about three weeks to get over the left side being messed up.

After a gradual build-up of mileage (which is still progressing), I am feeling a lot better getting some higher mileage under my belt.  Today’s run in my Altra Paradigm 1.5’s was a good one.  My fatigue level in the runs is less.  I’m able to change the pace within the runs without crashing.  I can walk into the house when finished instead of crawling.  Progress!

Now, I’m ready to watch the GOP front runners in their debate tonight.

MAY 19, 2015 (TUESDAY)

I’m in Dahlonega, Georgia the night before the Peach State 300 starts on its way to Tybee Island, Georgia.  I’ve ran one mile the last two days as tapering.  I’m always astonished (and slightly perplexed) about why I feel so uncoordinated and unconditioned in the last few days of tapering down the mileage.  Anyway…so it goes.  The race starts Wednesday morning at 7:00.  If you never hear from me again, I have been eradicated from the human population on planet Earth…died somewhere on a Georgia backroad.

April 4, 2015 (Friday)

On a beautiful spring day in the U.S.A., I had a good 20.30 mile run from home to the northern outskirts of Griffin, GA which would be, I guess, just south of Sunny Side, GA.  The day was bright with a skimmer of clouds.  The temperature was comfortable without the summer’s humidity.

I ran through Lovejoy, Hampton, Sunny Side, and Pomona.  An interesting note was the historical marker in Sunny Side with information on John McIntosh Kell.  He lived and died at his home there and is buried in Griffin.  It noted that his friend, Sidney Lanier, visited there and wrote his poem, Corn.

I thought about that in the last few miles of the run.  I tried to imagine how the area was during that post Civil War era.  My mind brought up Lanier’s poem, The Song Of The Chattahoochee.  I chanted the line from the poem – “Out of the hills of Habersham, Down the valleys of Hall.”  I’ve always thought that was pure Georgia in great poetry since I first heard and read it in school back in the ’50’s in Trion.

Well, that filled my head as I finished my run.  It made the last few miles the best of the run as I ran them at a faster pace.  All-in-all, it was a good day.

Some scenes from the roadster…

New park in Lovejoy, GA

New park in Lovejoy, GA

A roadster in Hampton

A roadster in Hampton

Mural in downtown Hampton

Mural in downtown Hampton

Historical marker in Sunny       Side

Historical marker in Sunny Side

Farmland in Sunny Side

Farmland in Sunny Side

I remember in elementary school seeing maps of our country as it was being discovered and settled. Of course, it looked a lot different than it does now. What surprised me then and made me think was that the map related some eastern states or colonies as they do now, but with one dramatic difference, that being they extended to the Pacific Ocean. There it was, Georgia, stretching all the way west. What was now Alabama, Mississippi, Northern Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or Southern California was then Georgia. Well, the map changed greatly with exploration, settlements, and people identifying with their regions. The result is that we have Georgia as it is today.

I’m glad that happened. That’s because I have a quest to run across each county in Georgia before I die. Right now there are 159 counties. That’s a lot. Just think if we reached to the Pacific. I run across a county when my schedule, training, and availability of some help allow me to do so. Right now, I have completed fifty-two counties. That leaves one hundred and seven to go. Whew!

Another thing is the Run and See Georgia Grand Prix road races. I love to drive to various regions of the state to run a race there. The race is the obvious purpose, but the drive to get there is another purpose for going. Even better is the drive home after the race. I don’t have to arrive for a race start at a certain time, so I take a scenic drive home on back roads. It may take me longer to get home, but the scenery is usually worth the extra miles. I only wish my schedule would allow me to do more of this.

Geographically, our state is one of great variety. Locked away in my memory are scenes I’ve envisioned on a run. They are special visions and experiences that add to my running. I’m enthralled when I experience the visions and the feeling associated with them during the run. Afterwards, I have it forever in my mind and can bring back that memory anytime.

From Trion, my hometown, running hours before sunrise through Summerville and Menlo, then up the mountain to Mentone, Alabama, gave me visions of a clear, moonlit sky. As the run progressed, the morning sun cast shadows on the valley below as I ran up the mountain toward Alabama. I could see a valley of green with patches of farms, towns, and ribbons of asphalt winding about the valley floor. The morning mist was being burned away by the sun, and the shadows disappearing. By the time I reached the top, the valley was panoramically displayed below. It was a beautiful sight.

...like an old, sweet song

…like an old, sweet song

Ocean breezes in my face on Cumberland Island made those runs special. There is a limit of people they let on the island at one time. This makes running there seem like I am the only one there, especially early in the morning. I seldom see other people as I greet the sun on the beach and then head inland to the trails. I have seen the horses running and I have seen them feeding. Huge gators float in some of the ponds, just hoping for an easy meal…and I keep moving. The running is softer than that of north or middle Georgia, being on sandy soil surfaces, and many miles can be run with less stress on the legs than my normal running.

The long corridor of the Silver Comet Trail is a favorite running site for me. It is a multi-use trail, meaning it is paved. So, it is not a trail in the truest sense. But, for me, it will do. Running there is convenient. I don’t have to worry about traffic. I don’t have to keep constant watch for rocks, roots, or bears. The narrow corridor offers a good running site, and is long enough to lay down some miles. It extends east to west or visa-versa.  It follows an old railroad bed, and this provides good scenery for the run.

The roads from my house to the square in Newnan provide me with one of my favorite runs. I pass through Union City, Fairburn, and Palmetto on the way. The road provides me with a long, straight route through some sparsely populated areas. I run by fields, forests, residential areas, a small airport that looks abandoned, and a railroad on which I always hope to see the train roll by me. The openness and variety of the route make this part of Georgia one through which I always look forward to run. It makes my long run a lot more enjoyable.

These are just four pieces of our state that are among my favorites to run. There are many more out there for me to discover and enjoy. My running like this is a celebration of the beauty of our state and country. The landscape and the people make it what it is. America the beautiful. Georgia…like an old sweet song.

 

“We do not own land. But, we become part of the land when we cross it. A piece of the world becomes part of me when I run across it. And, I become a part of that piece of the world.”                                                                                                                                                                       Louis Tewanima

 

By: Richard Westbrook

 

Vol State 2013 Day 6 Nightly Check-in (map)

Vol State 2013 Day 6 Nightly Check-in (map)

Vol State 2013 Day 6 Nightly Check-in

Vol State 2013 Day 6 Nightly Check-in

Richard was approximately 40 miles from the finish when he last called his wife and said he would spend all night on Monteagle, all up hill. He said he will be VERY disappointed if it’s more than 40 miles. He was around 275 miles into the race. 39 miles to go!

He is 12th overall, 9th invidual runner, and 6th individual/unsupported runner. He hasn’t seen anyone on the course when Jan told him his place. He couldn’t believe it and said he thought he was around 28th place. Haha!

He will probably run through the night and finish some time in the morning. That is good to hear since today the heat was horrendous for all the runners.

Look for the new, and hopefully, final report in the am.

By DIANNE BEARD, Sports Writer

Richard Westbrook was traveling down Georgia’s U.S. Highway 441 and made a wrong turn. For most people that’s no problem. They just stop, turn their car around and get back and it’s no big deal.

But what if you’re not in a car?

Westbrook was on a journey across Georgia on foot when he strayed off of Highway 441 and jogged an additional 10 miles.

“It’s different when you’re in a car, but when I got off track, I decided to keep jogging until I hit 441 again rather than go back,” Westbrook explained.

The physical education teacher at Riverdale High School, started the 372 mile trek July 9 and finished on the 15th. Westbrook said that he had calculated how much he could run each day and figured he could finish in six days rather then seven, but the heat was too much.

On the second and third days, the heat took its toll and Westbrook was unable to keep his food down and was forced to limit his jogging those days.

“I jogged more the first day than I did on the second two combined,” Westbrook said.

The heat reached 96 degrees several times during his trip so Westbrook changed his schedule around to include night running.

“I started running harder in the early mornings so I could take longer afternoon breaks when it was hottest. Some nights, I would run until 1 or 1:30 in the morning and then get up the next day at 5 a.m.,” Westbrook said. “I got less sleep than the previous days, but I felt better than I had when I ran during the middle of the days.”

He also said that many of the people who saw him running were concerned about his running in the heat. “They gave me food, drinks, fruit, shade and shelter,” he said.

Westbrook’s dream is to run through all of Georgia’s counties and if he continues the way he’s been going, then he will.

This was Westbrook’s second trip across the state. He took U.S. Route 27 the first time and said that “it was a lot harder because the hills lasted longer and continued down past Columbus.”

Westbrook said that he chose Highway 441 because it is a continuous route and flatter near the end of the journey. Although it was flatter, this trip was made difficult by the extreme heat.

“I will never run in July again,” he said.

Westbrook’s trip, which ran from the northeast to southeast sections of Georgia, began two miles north of Dillard, went through 15 counties, and ended nine miles below Fargo.

Westbrook said that his next trip across Georgia will be Highway 41 which starts in the northwest tip of Georgia and runs south and he feels will be the easiest.

What is it that makes this exhausting trip worthwhile?

“Not only is it a challenge, but it’s like a mini-adventure. I cover geography and see people and places that I have never seen before,” Westbrook said. “It’s easy to travel by car or bike, but it’s unique to travel across the state on foot.”

One might say that carrying only one small bag weighing only 8 pounds is traveling light, but Westbrook said that he wanted the bag containing emergency items and a one-man tent to weigh only six pounds.

Westbrook camped when he could find a safe place and spent the other nights in a motel to “get away from the heat.”

THE WESTBROOK FAMILY HITS THE TRACK L-R Father Richard, Daughter Season, And Son Casey

THE WESTBROOK FAMILY HITS THE TRACK L-R Father Richard, Daughter Season, And Son Casey

“I didn’t eat very much at all. I forced myself to eat at night because I knew that I had to, but I wasn’t hungry, just thirsty,” Westbrook said.

The farthest that Westbrook traveled in one day was 68 miles on his fourth day. He said that “when you’re out there, you have got to go somewhere and you don’t want to go back.”

“Reaching Fargo was the highlight because right before that there were long stretches of land without towns and stores so I couldn’t get any fluids,” Westbrook explained. “I doubted whether or not I could make it, but when I knew Fargo was only nine miles away, I knew I would make it.”

When he arrived in Fargo, he relaxed, ate a good meal and then started back home – this time he drove with his wife.

Westbrook has run the length of each colored county

Westbrook has run the length of each colored county

 By Season Westbrook

    For as long as I can remember my dad has been running across the world it seems, or, at the very least, Georgia. I would be visiting my grandparents in North Georgia with my brothers and sisters while he would be gone for days running. I became used to the fact that Dad would travel to my grandparents’ with us all and then we might not see him again for half, whole, or even several days. That was our life…Dad’s on a run again. I like it though. I was convinced (still am actually) that he could run forever. I think when his time comes, he will simply run off into the distance and never return, nothing tragic, nothing dramatic, just disappear….

            I don’t really like to think about that, so on a more uplifting note. I have included a map of Georgia with the counties colored in which he has run across. No cheating! There is a county or a few that are not colored in that he has run across but it was just the short length. According to Dad, if it’s not the full length of the county then it has not been included.

            Georgia has 159 counties. He has run through 70 of then and has 89 left to go. Who wants to wake up at 3am and take him to the beginning of the next county he plans to run?

Below is an article Richard wrote about his quest to run the counties of GA…

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