I divided the entire route in 88 segments. That does not mean they are to be done in 88 days. The final goal is to make it in 100 days and I will be adding days off between these segments as necessary to recover from fatigue and injuries. Also, the length of these segments is based on estimates and presumptions that are not verifiable until reality hits so if necessary I will take my time and slow down.
However, the first time around I did it all in 117 days plus days off. This time I will be starting in much better shape and with plenty of experience, so I believe that a 100 day goal is realistic. Time will tell, of course, but I am very confident a 100 day schedule is possible.
Segment 1: Venice Beach Pier to Hsi Lai Temple (31.2 miles)
The day will start at 9am from Venice Beach Pier, with an easy (possibly hungover) jog through Skid Row in Los Angeles and continue all the way to El Monte Metrolink Station where we will call it the day.
Segment 2: Hsi Lai Temple to Ontario Amtrak Station (21.5 miles)
Need hosting in Los Angeles area.
Segment 3: Ontario Amtrak Station to Leonard Bailey Park, Loma Linda (26.1 miles)
Need transportation and hosting in Los Angeles area.
Segment 4: Loma Linda to Cabazon (29.6 miles)
Will end the run at the MacDonalds near the Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon. That is the end of the urban part of the start of this run and from that point on camping is a real option. If I don’t find someone to host me I will be camping in an area nearby that I used during the first run in 2011. It would be a lot better to sleep indoors, however.
Need transportation and hosting in the area.
Segment 5: Cabazon to Morongo Valley (22.4 miles)
After 4 days of pushing hard through flat terrain and suffering from the shock of the new routine, this will probably be a very challenging day. This route includes some noticeable elevation gains in the morning, running through the wind farms, and ending the day with a brutal uphill to get to Morongo Valley. So I don’t think I will be able to do more than some 22 miles or so.
Need hosting in Morongo Valley.
Segment 6: Morongo Valley to Twentynine Palms (32 miles)
This segment has some modest changes in elevation and it is for the most part easy. Opportunity to add some miles to the average. It will be the last urban segment before starting the brutal desert crossing around the north side of Joshua Tree.
Need hosting in Twentynine Palms.
Segment 7: Twentynine Palms to some point in the desert, North of Joshua Three (33.2 miles)
First day in pure desert running. After the first 6 miles or so that area is nearly empty, not even gas stations along the way. I will be depending on help for water and it would be amazing if I get someone from Twentynine Palms to pick me up and host me and bring me back. If not, I will be camping.
Need support to bring food and water, or transport and hosting. Either way is good.
Segment 8: California desert (33 miles)
This is one of the most miserable, uneventful and arduous part of the entire running across the USA. This part of the run doesn’t have any services, not even gas stations, and no residential areas. I will be really on my own at this point. Camping in the desert again. The camping conditions are not very bad however.
Not much hope for anyone to go that far to offer support, so I will count on getting water from the contractor trucks and should have enough food for that crossing.
Segment 9: California desert to Vidal Junction (29.5 miles)
Segment 10: Parker, Arizona (31.4 miles)
Will go through Parker, crossing into the state of Arizona. Parker has good markets and it will be a good point to resupply and have a support package waiting for me. Either I will be staying in the city at a motel, or I will keep running until I clear the indian reservation to camp.
Need transportation to and hosting the the city of Parker.
Segment 11: Bouse and Hope (32.1 miles)
Segment 12: Salome and Arizona desert (30.9 miles)
Definitely one of the most boring parts of this journey. This part of the way is nearly a straight line through the desert with very little to use as reference points other than mountains in the horizon. Will re-supply in Salome and run all the way to near the water canal to camp the night.
Segment 13: Tonopah Valley High School (25.5 miles)
This part of the desert is flat but very dusty, and with plenty of heavy trucks passing by to keep the dust in the air. Support will be very important in this segment as there will be few opportunities to get water.
Need support along the way, specially to bring water.
Segment 14: Tonopah to Avondale (32.3 miles)
Now reaching urban areas again, supply should not be a problem. I will also be within reach of friends and support from Phoenix and may even have people running with me. The terrain is very flat and should be beginning to feel it easy as I will be on the road for two weeks already.
Need transportation, hosting, support along the way and runners.
Segment 15: Avondale to South Mountain Park, Phoenix (24.9 miles)
What a great way to finish the run in Phoenix! Conquering one of its mountains. It will be a 2000ft ascent with great views. Hopefully I will have many runners and friends there with me. I have many friends in the hashing community and they have been showing amazing support.
Will take a day off to recover, check all the gear and reorganize support packages, attend social functions, and enjoy the company of my friends from Phoenix area.
Segment 16: South Mountain Park to Apache Junction (32.3 miles)
Need transportation, hosting, support along the way and runners.
Segment 17: Apache Junction to Superior (32.2 miles)
Hosting would be great, but if not I can just get a motel room in Superior.
Segment 18: Superior to Apache reservation (31.7 miles)
This will be a very challenging day. From Superior the road winds through a gorgeous canyon with very significant elevation gain. Running at 4500 ft elevation one feels the altitude very much. Will end the day at the casino of the Apache reservation. I don’t like the idea of camping inside an indian reservation, and I also remember that the road there is very well fenced all along the way and it would be though to find good camping spot.
It would be nice to have some support so to not need to carry the backpack full on this part, and be able to resupply often, especially with water.
Segment 19: Apache reservation to San Carlos reservoir (31.3 miles)
Segment 20: San Carlos Reservoir to Pima (35.4 miles)
Segment 21: Pima to Colorado Trail (40 miles)
More flat, uneventful desert and a night camping. It’s time to be adding more miles every day so I should try to keep it above 32 miles on days when the run is flat for the most part. In this segment between here and Las Cruces I will attempt to keep the average at 40 miles.
Segment 22: Colorado Trail to US-180 (40 miles)
Segment 23: US-180 to Silver City (40 miles)
Segment 24: Silver City to Sawyers Peak (40 miles)
A segment that will truly test if I am prepared well enough. It will probably be the highest altitude that I will be camping during this run! After Silver City there is no appropriate resupplying along the way as there are no cities and I am not very familiar with it. The good side is that there are plenty of outdoors people visiting that area and I may be able to connect to some of them too. At least finding water should be fine. Also, on this segment the elevation will make it beautiful, but at the same time it will be brutal. It is a gorgeous, winding, high road from here on. Even in the valley, which was pretty flat all across AZ and into NM, the elevations were around 4500ft. Now I will be running around 6500ft. Running this high feels like you have a sock stuck in your mouth.
Segment 25: Sawyers Peak to the Rio Grande (40 miles)
I will probably have a chance to resupply when I reach the Rio Grande and turn South towards Las Cruces. From that point on the area is flat and not difficult so this is the chance to break the 40 mile mark, if I haven’t done it yet. Will camp in the desert.
Segment 26: Rio Grande to Las Cruces (40 miles)
This area is flat, boring, and easy. Time to just add as many miles as possible and finish the day by camping again. At this point I will be probably quite tired from crossing the mountains and hopefully by the end of the day someone from Las Cruces will be able to pick me up from the road. Las Cruces will be one of the major cities along this trip and I expect to find lots of friends and support from runners.
Segment 27: Las Cruces to El Paso (41.2 miles)
At this point I put myself under the care of the El Paso hashers. As they have done before they will pick me up, throw parties, make me drink absurd amounts of beer and have too much fun. They will be running with me and I know for sure that the next 3 or 4 days will be surreal.
Segment 28: Around El Paso (26.2 miles)
It will be a marathon distance across the Transmountain Rd where I will need some support also with a vehicle because it seems a section of that road is not open for pedestrian traffic. Then around Fort Bliss and along Montana Ave just enough to complete the 26.2 miles. Some will join in on this run near the end or during the Transmountain part of it, and some diehards may even do the entire thing with me.
Need a day off to recover and just have fun with my friends in El Paso! Will check all the gear and reorganize support packages, attend social functions, and enjoy the company of my friends.
Segment 29: El Paso to Texas desert (30 miles)
Physically recovered but probably very hungover, I will make some 30 miles, through canyons and passing the Porder Patrol checkpoint and going uphill for a while until I reach the plateau ahead where the view is gorgeous and the road monotonous again. It will be a straight line for a while.
It would be great to have a visit from someone from El Paso bringing food and water.
Segment 30: Texas desert to Salt Flat (40 miles)
This place is very special. A lake of salt, dry as a bone, and a totally straight road, slightly downhill all the way. Perfect conditions to add some significant miles and be at reaching distance of Guadalupe Pass. There is one old restaurant on the way where I can resupply.
Segment 31: Salt Flat to Guadalupe Pass (30.1 miles)
The elevation around Salt Flat is about 4000 ft, and it goes uphill to 5500 ft across Guadalupe Pass. It is very challenging especially considering that it will be late in the afternoon, when I will be the most tired. Will camp somewhere between the pass and the service station there is going downhill on the other side.
Segment 32: Guadalupe Pass to Texas desert (34.6 miles)
This segment is again very boring and uneventful. These part of the country is just desert and oil rigs and not much to see. Will try to add as many miles as possible as this part is again relatively flat.
Segment 33: Texas desert to K&K Store (38.9 miles)
In the middle of this day I will cross a tiny town called Orla where there is a market and where I can resupply. Hopefully I will end the day at Ben’s K&K Store, which is just 22 miles North of Pecos.
Segment 34: K&K Store to Pecos (22 miles)
This city is relatively important in my plans because it is praticaly the last place with stores (Wal-Mart, supermarkets) and good hotels between El Paso and Austin! So I know there will be a long stretch of uncomfortable desert ahead of it. So my plan is to stay in Pecos for the night, resupply well, and start running early in the morning.
Segment 35: Pecos to Texas desert (38.8 miles)
Segment 36: Texas desert to near McCamey (39.1 miles)
Still the same flat desert, trying to add as many miles as possible. Depending on the combined performance of this day and the day before I will be able to reach McCamey and spend the night there. Otherwise I will camp in the desert and resupply in that town in the morning.
Segment 37: McCamey to Iraan (40.5 miles)
The views in this part of Texas are quite amazing. Valley and high plains with roads the go along the edges allowing great views. Ideally I would like to make it all the way to Iraan or I will camp in the desert before it. Stopping either before or in Iraan is important as after the city it will be a though part of the desert with a long uphill.
Segment 38: Iraan to Texas desert (30 miles)
As the day starts with a very long uphill, I em setting the goal for this segment to just 30 miles. That will probably be all I can do. In Iraan I will be able to resupply but that also means I will be going uphill with full gear and heavy, which makes it more difficult.
Segment 39: Texas desert to Eldorado (36.1 miles)
Segment 40: Around Eldorado (35 miles)
Although monotonous, this part of the desert will probably be relatively easy as I will be already in great shape, the performance will be excellent, the gear will be well tested and adjusted. The only challenge here is logistical and I should be getting that right.
Segment 41: Eldorado to Menard (30 miles)
There is one funny river crossing that caught me by surprise the first time, and then a wonderful place to take a bath on the river when approaching Menard. It will be excellent to stop in the city to resupply at the end of the day, then camp outside of the city.
Segment 42: Menard to Mason (34.8 miles)
Segment 43: Mason to Llano (38.1 miles)
Segment 44: Llano to Marble Falls (35 miles)
This area is the beginning of the hills, with some smooth uphills and downhills that should add a little bit of a challenge to it. No longer in the desert, not the vegetation must be green everywhere.
Hopefully someone from Austin will come up to meet me and bring supplies.
Segment 45: Marble Falls to Austin (37.7 miles)
The hills will be killing me, but I want to make it all the way yo Stevie Ray Vaugham Statue by the river in Austin. I am hoping a lot of people will be joining in, running and celebrating. Austin is the half-way point in this journey and that adds major importance to it!
I am expecting to have runners coming along as I approach Austin.
Need a day off to recover and enjoy the city and hospitality of my friends! Will check all the gear and reorganize support packages, attend social functions, and visit some nice places.
Segment 46: Austin to Bastrop (34.4 miles)
Resupplying should not be a challenge anymore from here because there are stores and markets and cities along the way every day.
Segment 47: Bastrop to La Grange (35 miles)
Segment 48: La Grange to Cat Spring (34.3 miles)
Segment 49: Cat Spring to Katy (37 miles)
I hope there will be runners from Katy, and perhaps even from Houston, joining me in at some points. I have a lot of friends in the Houston area so that should be a lot of fun!
Segment 50: Katy to Houston (25.9 miles)
I hope my friends from Houston find a trail to go through George Bush park, if any exists. It would be nice to run through that in something that is not a straight line. The plan is to then finish at Memorial Park, where I have been to several times with friends.
During these part between Katy and all the way to Dayton, it will be best to stay at friends places in the area.
Although I won’t be needing it yet for recovery purposes, I need to take a day off in Houston because the social agenda will be intense. I want to enjoy the city and hospitality of my friends! Will check all the gear and reorganize support packages, attend social functions, and visit some nice places.
Segment 51: Houston to Dayton (40.7 miles)
At the end of the day will probably still have some support from the friends in Houston. It will be nice to be able to do it without carrying all the gear.
Segment 52: Dayton to Saratoga (31.6 miles)
From this point on the choices or routes and trails has to be very careful because often there are swamps and marshes that are impassable (for the purpose of this run). So will try to stick to the roads and well marked paths and trails from here on.
Segment 53: Saratoga to Evadale (30.7 miles)
Segment 54: Evadale to Starks, Louisiana (28.5 miles)
Segment 55: Starks to Lake Charles (29.7 miles)
I will have to arrange a sensible way to pass that pesky bridge over I-10. The first time around I nearly got arrested when the cops showed up. This time I will either a) Get a police escort across, or b) Have a friend drive me across the half a mile long bridge, or c) Hitchhike. What I don’t want to do is have to go all the way around to avoid this bridge.
Segment 56: Lake Charles to Jennings (34.4 miles)
Segment 57: Jennings to Lafayette (40.9 miles)
There is not way to know, at the time of the planning of this route, if I will be able to sustain 35+ miles runs one day after another. I have some reasons to believe I will be able to, and lots of doubts as well. At this point, more than half-way through the run across the USA, I will probably have already figured out what my limit is. Right now I am believing that a 40 mile day will be right there on the edge, as long as nutrition is good and I can get plenty of sleep.
Segment 58: Lafayette to Jenerette (31.4 miles)
Segment 59: Jeanerette to Patterson (29.7 miles)
Segment 60: Patterson to Houma (34 miles)
Segment 61: Houma to Boutte (31.8 miles)
Hopefully I will be meeting with some friends from New Orleans by the end of the day!
Segment 62: Boutte to New Orleans (24.2 miles)
This day will be epic! I hope to have several friends running with me. There will also be a very unusual thing: I will have to take the ferry boat to cross the Mississippi river. Then continue running to Jackson Square.
That should be pretty obvious! I will need to take a day off in New Orleans because the it is New Orleans! I want to enjoy the city and hospitality of my friends! Will check all the gear and reorganize support packages, attend social functions, and visit some nice places.
Segment 63: New Orleans to East (29.4 miles)
Segment 64: New Orleans East to Bay St Louis, Mississippi (27.7 miles)
Segment 65: Bay St Louis to Biloxi (29.6 miles)
This segment is entirely along the ocean, and entirely beautiful. A gorgeous, flat, and pleasurable run that promises to be easy. If I feel like spending I will stay at one of the two casinos right before the bridge. Otherwise I will cross the bridge and camp in Ocean Springs.
Segment 66: Biloxi to Grand Bay (31.1 miles)
Segment 67: Grand Bay to Dauphin Island (31.5 miles)
I know I will miss going through Mobile again, but this part going through Dauphin Island is just too beautiful to miss. There is a ferry to cross the bay and it’s timing is limited, depending on the weather, so I may have to take a motel in the island and wait, or have to cross the bay and then camp in the park on the other side, which is also gorgeous.
Segment 68: Fort Morgan to Perdido Key (32.3 miles)
One of the most beautiful segments in this entire trip. This one can be taken using mostly trails. In this case bike trails along the woods. First the Fort Morgan Rd Trail, then Gulf Oak Ridge Trail, and Twin Bridges Trail, to end right at the border with Florida!
Segment 69: Perdido Key to Pensacola Beach (31.8 miles)
During the first run I stayed in Pensacola a couple of nights and then ran west passing along the north side of the Navy base. This time I want to run along the south side, and then finish in Pensacola Beach, where I can stay at a hotel if I haven’t found a friend to host me in town. Pensacola has a large community of runners, hashers, and couchsurfers, so it is likely I will have plenty of support and lots of people to meet.
Segment 70: From Pensacola Beach to Fort Walton Beach (34 miles)
(Part 1, Part 2) In this part I will also be following a new path. Along the beach and sometimes even having to get out of the road and along the sand to reach the road again. The goal is to stay out of the main roads as much as possible and enjoy the beautiful views of this area.
Segment 71: Fort Walton Beach to Laguna Beach (38.4 miles)
Segment 72: Laguna Beach to Panama City (30.8 miles)
Panama City is one of the most important points in the entire journey. For a small town, it is impressive how many friends I have there and how much support they have been giving me all along. I fully expect them to be running and partying with me, and supporting in many ways.
I will have a day off in Panama City. I want to enjoy the city and hospitality of my friends! Will check all the gear and reorganize support packages, attend social functions, and visit some nice places.
Segment 73: Panama City to Blountstown (37.5 miles)
Segment 74: Blountstown to Tallahassee (34.9 miles)
Same as the previous segment, opportunity to push a harder pace and make more miles a day. It will be amazing if I can bring up the average daily mileage to 40 miles a day, so the segments from here on will all be around 40 miles each, hoping for that.
Segment 75: Around Tallahassee (36 miles)
Segment 76: Tallahassee to Perry (40 miles)
Segment 77: Perry to Branford (34.9 miles)
Segment 78: Branford to Gainesville (40.7 miles)
Segment 79: Gainesville to Ocala (41.3 miles)
Segment 80: Ocala to Leesburg (33.6 miles)
Segment 81: Leesburg to Four Corners (40 miles)
Segment 82: Four Corners to Frostproof (37.4 miles)
Segment 83: Frostproof to Sebring (37 miles)
Segment 84: Sebring to Okeechobee (31 miles)
Okeechobee is a major milestone. It is the end of the “Central Florida” saga, and now approaching the Florida Coast again. Emotions will be intense, performance is expected to be excellent, and the distances now are not very long from Palm Beach County and even from Broward. After this segment things are expected to become very intense.
Segment 85: Okechobee to Palm Beach Gardens (39.9 miles)
Segment 86: Palm Beach Gardens to Delray Beach (38 miles)
Segment 87: Delray Beach to North Miami (38 miles)
Segment 88: North Miami to South Beach (15 miles)
I believe the last day is not a day to run a lot of miles. It is a day to celebrate a lot! So it will be just around 15 miles as we will tread carefully along US-1 to Venetian Causeway into Miami Beach to the exact same point where I started my first run in 2010. Major celebration there with many of my friends, and lots of runners along the way. It will be a day to remember forever.
I’ll see you there!