Running Route 66 - The American Dream put on asphalt
The sun is particularly unforgiving today, shining a bright light on the road ahead and leaving not an inch of shadow that'd provide some shelter to rest in. Contributing to the almost apocalyptic atmosphere created by this no man's road is the oily sunscreen melting down the already burned skin.
No trees, just endless bushes and hills all the way - you might think you're lost but instead you're here by your choice - the feeling of freedom always prevailing the ones of body aches and pains.
Whether you run 66 miles, 100 miles or 166 miles - running any part of this iconic highway is something you shouldn't go for in one day but instead for a longer time period to get the full experience of its vastness and seeming infinity.
Obviously, this road is made for the strong-willed since it's not taking only a toll on your body but also your mind. Never an end in sight might be daunting for some, for others it opens a completely new path into their consciousness. Not crossing paths with anybody but their own thoughts leaves no space for distraction.
...but so rewarding
Like any unusual choice the rewards this challenge is giving in return are just as extraordinary. You will start to admire the beauty of nothingness and appreciate even the most insignificant sights. It might be an old diner with flashing neon lights taking you back to the 60's or an abandoned gas stop giving you ghost town vibes.
Chances are low you will encounter other people but if you think about it for a moment - it's a far too rare circumstance that you should enjoy once in a while.
No more temptation
Someone might offer you a ride in their car, an offer that you will politely reject. This Challenge is all about you and your will to beat it. You are one with the road already and anything that keeps you from following that path can be postponed to another day.
Running Route 66 is quite the opposite of moving towards something since there is no finish line. It's delving into a goal within yourself and coming back - even though battered by the sun and the hardship - as another person with new perspective to what matters and what it means to achieve something and that you never finish anything without doing so in your mind.
The legendary Route 66 is calling. Start on June 26th (the day in 1985 when Route 66 was stripped of its highway status) and run one of the three distances spread over 30 days and earn your beautiful Route 66 medal.
Picture 1: Jakub Gorajek via unsplash
Picture 2: Heidi Kaden via unsplash
Picture 3: Alejandro Luengo via unsplash