Hi folks this is Kester member of the support crew, aka ‘subway’ due to my propensity to require more sandwiches than the runners. I am the driver of the rear vehicle, a Land Rover Discovery. My role is to transport and protect the runners. This involves spending 10-12 hours driving behind them at 5 mph every day and a need for absolute precision, accuracy, intense concentration and massive amounts of endurance.
As one of the few civvies on the team I bring a much needed level common sense and superior driving skills that are otherwise lacking amongst the Marines!
Day 11 started with a much needed lie-in to 5.30am and morale amongst the team seemed high. The route started at approximately 7.15am with assistance from a West Virginia State Trooper. The first police escort since New Jersey was gratefully accepted. The absence of Paul ‘Toady’ Shearsby and Charles ‘Chunks’ Padilla from the convoy today was a blessing as it meant that there was no one to constantly tell me what to do.
The route was approximately a 63 mile trip from Marlington through Monongahelda National Park to Summersville, climbing to almost 4000 feet in the Appalachian mountains. It meant another incredibly difficult day for the runners which was slightly compensated for by a third day of views, beautful scenery, nice weather and friendly locals. Highlights of my day were seeing miniature horses, Jamie getting chased by dangerous dogs and once again thousands of bikers.
Without Captain Slow aka Chunks it was a pretty smooth day. Damian started off the route not surprisingly it was very flat and his chain came off at the first sign of a hill … Joking aside he had a tough gradient to cope with on both of his runs … For a change. Seriously these hills have teeth as well as eyes. Jamie ‘Colgate’ Jobson smashed out two mountains as well as stinking out the vehicle as usual. Lloyd ‘Brokeback’ Fenner didn’t actually flash during his two stints which made a refreshing change. His video diaries are always entertaining to listen to as well. MD as usual spent most of the day sleeping in the passenger seat but did make everyone’s day with a sterling effort in preparing the sandwiches.
An all round great day only slightly spoiled by an hours trip from the end point to find the campsite which was only 2 miles away!
Bye for now
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