Phil, running Lincoln Highway, into Pennsylvania

runphilAs reported on October 10, Phil Rosenstein is running across the U.S. to raise awareness and funds for the charity of The Mario Lemieux Foundation, which does great work in cancer research and supporting families affected by cancer. From California west, Phil followed Route 66 but since Illinois he’s been on the Lincoln Highway. After 2,950 miles, he’s just reached Pittsburgh, with about 350 more to go. Below are his notes from the past few days, as he crossed Ohio and West Virginia:

I arrived in Pittsburgh this afternoon. Actually, just outside it in Bridgeville at the Mario Lemieux Foundation offices. With plenty of time to spare for Thursday’s Pittsburgh Penguins game. The next two days look to be busy for “rest days”. Interviews, tour of the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh, hockey game, etc… And, of course, the usual stuff: laundry, shower, charge phone, eating.

Oct 30 = I got stopped by the police today less than 10 minutes into my running. That’s a new record. My first words to the officer were “Well, THAT didn’t take long today!” The Ohio fields were actually kind of pretty as I finally got to see them in the sunlight. The temperature got up to 55 degrees but it never felt that warm because of the strong, cold wind blowing into my face. I think the wind and the recent heavy mileage lead to me feeling slow and tired for the afternoon’s journey from Bucyrus to Galion. The short 12 miles actually took forever to run. I laid down on the side of the highway for a bit to rest and eat peanut butter. Then, I put on the MP3 player. I’ve very rarely put it on during the day, but I think it helped pick up my mood and then my pace as I made decent time into Mansfield. A total of 43 miles today to get to the Rest Area. But I slept outside this time, since the caretaker was there later than I wanted to wait to claim the unisex bathroom as mine for the night. At least it was a beautiful night outside.

Oct 31 = There were lots of hills today. Nothing too steep, just long and steady. I was once again feeling tired and struggled for a while. The MP3 player picked me up once again. After a cool morning, it warmed up nicely. By noon, I was running in just a t-shirt and shorts for the first time since central Illinois. I ran 28 miles into Wooster where I ate dinner and then a few more miles to East Union where I slept behind a church for the night.

Nov 1 = I only ran a quick 30 miles today into Canton, Ohio. I met Nancy from the Mario Lemieux Foundation there and she took me to her parent’s house in Wadsworth for the night. Before that, we loaded the stroller into her SUV and I had the chance to run 3 miles without it. It felt so nice. I can’t wait to run in a race again without having to push this thing around anymore. It was nice to wash my clothes with actual detergent and a washing machine for the first time since Chicago. The clothes smell much nicer than just rinsing them out in a sink and letting them air dry.

Nov 2 = Downtown Canton and the neighboring community were quite depressed. It was a good thing it was so cold out and early on a Sunday morning – I think the junkies were too cold or too tired to bother with me. 5 miles later and then the weather and the locations were wonderful. I am real glad I decided to take 172 East here. The hills were tough, but the beauty of the region was something else. Plus, almost no traffic to deal with. It was just a pleasure to run today and it made me realize once again just how lucky I am to be able to spend my day running through the countryside. I stopped for a bit and finished off the pancakes leftover from breakfast and the pasta we cooked the night before. I took this picture of a horse I was talking with for a bit near Guilford Lake. He didn’t say much but we enjoyed each others’ company. 35 miles today to get to Lisbon. I ate a huge dinner at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet before sleeping at the county fairgrounds. I slept up on the main stage.

Nov 3 = Today I found a bunch of money on the side of the road. Even for a state beginning with a vowel. I had been having a hard time distinguishing the real coins from all the fake ones I had been seeing in Ohio. The fake ones are the same size, shape and color of real coins but are completely smooth. I have no idea what they are used for or where they come from, but they have been all over the place in Ohio. Beautiful weather once again today. I took a picture of a couple of signs on the bridge from Ohio into West Virginia. The signs confused me and I hope you as well. I think they only make sense to bureaucrats. Anyway, I then did the best crossing-the-state-line dance I can do while on a bridge with virtually no shoulder. A few miles later I stopped at a ’50s diner for a hot fudge sundae. They had seen me earlier and asked what I was doing. They liked it so much the sundae was free. Nice! Up and down one more hill and I had the chance to do the proper crossing-the-state-line dance as I crossed into Pennsylvania! I slept in a nice couple’s yard for the night looking up at the stars.

Nov 4 = Just a quick 20 miles today and I took it real easy. Most of the morning I had no shoulder, so I was on the grass, but aside from that it wasn’t too tough and I certainly wasn’t going fast despite being a downhill day. Here’s an oddity – I found enough money on the side of the road today to get a free milkshake. In a state that starts with a consonant! Now, to get ready for a couple days of activities and fun before finishing this crazy adventure off.

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