: Ocean Rescue Run

Crossed the Canadian Border

The Canadian Border was crossed on the evening of Wednesday, June 14th. A record distance of 82 km or 50.95 miles was covered that day!!!  Plans are to celebrate the completion of the Ocean Rescue Run at Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver; on Saturday, June 17th!  An event was created on the Friendly Drifter Facebook page, so check there for details & updates.

All funds raised by the Ocean Rescue Run go towards creating sustainable waste management systems for Raja Ampat, Indonesia – the most marine bio-diverse region on the planet!  A huge THANK YOU to everyone who made donations through the GoFundMe website, and those who gave off the site. It is wonderful having support for this cause.

Often asked – why the run? What drives me to get up every day and run 50-60 km, is my love for the Ocean. The Oceans are being bombarded with discarded plastic waste, all over the globe. The non-profit I co-founded, Friendly Drifter, is creating a waste management system in the most marine bio-diverse region on the planet. Raja Ampat, Indonesia currently has no recycling facilities in the area. With this Ocean Rescue Run, from Mexico to Canada, my hope is to spread awareness on the harmful affects of plastic in our oceans and to help fund a recycling facility in Raja Ampat.

Copies of the children’s book, Ocean Warriors Plastic in Paradise, will be made available for purchase on Saturday at Kitsilano Beach, cash sales only – sorry, no credit cards.  All profits from the sale of Ocean Warriors Plastic in Paradise book, will be used to fund further education initiatives for the children of Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Online purchases of the book, with credit card payment options can be made at Ocean Warriors Plastic in Paradise.

Jun 11th, (Day 47)
total distance 61.3 km / 38.09 miles

start: Parkland, WA
stop: Safeco Field
total distance achieved to date: 2093.1 km / 1300.59 miles

Got up early, and drove from the Walmart Parking lot in Spanaway where we spent the night, to the end point on the previous day. Suited up as Poseidon and headed through Parkland and past the Tacoma Dome on to a rendezvous spot for a road crew switch in north Tacoma. Continued through Des Moines and past the airport, ending near Safeco Field. Received a donation on the street for the Ocean Rescue Run – thank you Seattle!

Jun 12th, (Day 48)
total distance 61.2 km / 38.03 miles

start: Safeco Field
stop: Marysville, WA
total distance achieved to date: 2154.3 km / 1338.62 miles

The weather has cooperated perfectly and the people have been awesome!  It was perfect having the support of more family to share a few days while on this journey. Time for a new pair of running shoes!  Thanks to my generous friends and employers, Dan & Dorothy Baker, I was able to get some in Seattle. Was also interviewed by KOMO TV while running through the city – appreciate the interest very much! Was stopped by Everett’s finest for a photo op…thank you to the Everett police for the opportunity!

Jun 13th, (Day 49)
total distance  47 km / 29.2 miles

start: Marysville, WA
stop: Mt. Vernon, WA
total distance achieved to date: 2201.30 km / 1367.82 miles

Cloudy weather, nice temperatures for running. Went to bed very early, as the plan is to reach the Canadian border tomorrow, some 80 km from where we are now – it will be a record day if all goes as planned!

Jun 14th, (Day 50)
total distance  82 km / 50.95 miles

start: Mt. Vernon, WA
stop: Canadian Border!
total distance achieved to date: 2283.3 km / 1418.77 miles

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Weather Like Home

The last four days have consisted of a series of ups & downs – long hills and cooler weather.  Portland was a terrific stop and due to a the TV interview and trip to Adidas headquarters, the distance covered was lower that normal yesterday. We entered Washington State – feels terrific!  Also have a special visitor coming to join the run for a few days.  Wonderful to have Aunt Carla & Kyle along!!

Jun 7th, (Day 44)
total distance 37.4 km / 23.24 miles

start: Heritage Tree Park, Portland, OR
stop: NE 249th St, N. Vancouver, WA
total distance achieved to date: 2031.8 km / 1262.5 miles

Went through Portland in early morning traffic dressed as Poseidon. Jackie Labrecque from KATU TV did an interview at the south end of Steel Bridge. Thank You Jackie and the folks at KATU. Had some fun chats with people along the boardwalk who recognized the costume right away. Portland is a perfect city for running and cycling, plenty of cycle / running only lanes. Took a side trip to Adidas Headquarters to thank them for developing a shoe out of recycled ocean plastics. Thank you Portland for the warm welcome and interest in the Ocean Rescue Run cause!

Later, ran through Vancouver, WA, stopping at NE 249th St. Took a vehicle trip from there to Big Fir Campground where we could shower, clean the van, do dishes.

Click for KATU Interview

Jun 8th, (Day 45)
total distance 70 km / 43.5 miles

start: NE 249th St, N. Vancouver, WA
stop: Castle Rock, WA
total distance achieved to date: 2101.8 km / 1306 miles

Record distance today at 70 km / 43.5 miles to celebrate World Oceans Day!  It rained through the night cooling off temperatures significantly for this morning’s start. Headed out in light rain, several long hills, both up and down, along the Pacific Coast Hwy. Road crew picked up a vegan peach pie in La Center, WA to celebrate World Oceans Day. Ran through Kalama and Kelso on to Castle Rock.  The folks along these roads and highways have been very supportive – thanks for the honks, waves and the little extra room given as you drive by!

Jun 9th, (Day 46)
total distance 64.8 km / 40.26 miles

start: Castle Rock, WA
stop: South of Bucoda, WA
total distance achieved to date: 2166.6 km / 1346.26 miles

Was wonderful seeing Carla and husband Kyle this morning. They arrived after sleep time, so after a short visit, we planned the day’s route.  Traveled through farmland mostly for the first 1/2 of the day, past Napavine and on through Chehalis and Centralia.  Mostly rainy day, some lightening and hail. Found a beautiful park for dinner, dry out & sleep, despite being beside train tracks – with a busy, all night schedule.

Jun 10th, (Day 47)
total distance 66.1 km / 41.07 miles

start: South of Bucoda, WA
stop: Parkland, WA
total distance achieved to date: 2232.7 km / 1387.33 miles

Beautiful misty morning to start the day, began at 7 am. Ran through Rainier & Yelm on to Parkland, WA. Great trail run from Tenino to Yelm. The run is now just 10km south of Tacoma, and should be through Seattle by end of day!!

To raise awareness on the effects of plastic waste in our oceans and funds for waste management solutions in Raja Ampat, Friendly Drifter Co-Founder David Pennington continued the Ocean Rescue Run on June 2nd, 2017 in Reedsport, Oregon and plans to finish in Vancouver, Canada. The route was chosen to connect ocean coasts, remove international boundaries and bring attention to this global issue.  “Some of our western technologies, plastic culture and production have had serious negative impacts on the environment, all over the world.  I feel we have a responsibility to create solutions for areas ill-equipped to deal with the waste issues.” states David. Last year David ran from the US/Mexican border to Reedsport, Oregon – where the run was suspended due to an infection in his foot. Beginning where he left off, the Ocean Rescue Run will comprise of approximately 2700 km / 1740 miles. If you have the means and wish to participate please visit the Go Fund Me website.  Additional details and more information on our program can be located on our Home and Participate pages.  News and articles can be found on the Media link. Thank you!

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Oregon Gone

Things have continued to go well, despite the onslaught of allergies that have affected rest & sleep. Picked up some allergy medication on a vehicle side trip in to Independence OR and also had to fix a burnt out headlight bulb. David kept running while DJ from AutoZone fixed the headlight! Also the friendly folks at Ace Hardware in Independence, great help & advice on much needed supplies!

Jun 5th, 2017 (Day 42)
total distance 55.9 km / 34.73 miles

start: north of Adair Village, OR
stop: south west of Dayton, OR
total distance achieved to date: 1936.4 km or 1203.22 miles

Traveled through Monmouth, and Amity on the way to Dayton. Headwinds prevail on mostly flat terrain, great wide shoulders to run on and warm sunny weather. Beautiful endless vineyards, that would be great to stop and sample next time!

Jun 6th, 2017 (Day 43)
total distance 58 km / 36.04 miles

start: south west of Dayton, OR
stop: Heritage Tree Park, Portland, OR
total distance achieved to date: 1994.4 km or 1239.26 miles

Nice and cool, early start on the way through Dayton…got hotter as the day went on; up to 28C or 84F. The heat drains the strength, but had a much better sleep last night, so fine to forge on. Traveled through Newburg, OR and decided to “suit up” in the Poseidon costume when arrived in Tigard. Lots of traffic, smiles and waves once the suit came on…even had the first cash donation – on the street!

Plans are to run through Portland tomorrow, wearing the Poseidon costume – all you Portlanders out there – would love a honk or a wave!

To raise awareness on the effects of plastic waste in our oceans and funds for waste management solutions in Raja Ampat, Friendly Drifter Co-Founder David Pennington continued the Ocean Rescue Run on June 2nd, 2017 in Reedsport, Oregon and plans to finish in Vancouver, Canada. The route was chosen to connect ocean coasts, remove international boundaries and bring attention to this global issue.  “Some of our western technologies, plastic culture and production have had serious negative impacts on the environment, all over the world.  I feel we have a responsibility to create solutions for areas ill-equipped to deal with the waste issues.” states David. Last year David ran from the US/Mexican border to Reedsport, Oregon – where the run was suspended due to an infection in his foot. Beginning where he left off, the Ocean Rescue Run will comprise of approximately 2700 km / 1740 miles. If you have the means and wish to participate please visit the Go Fund Me website.  Additional details and more information on our program can be located on our Home and Participate pages.  News and articles can be found on the Media link. Thank you!

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Over the Ridge

First three days of the run have gone very well.  The route over the ridge and through a national forest provided little if no access to cell service. The run began just east of Reedsport, OR where the trip was postponed last year.  In two days, David has run from Reedsport Oregon, traveling just west of Cheshire, Oregon, through Corvallis and ended north of Adair Village.

Jun 2nd, 2017 (Day 39)
total distance completed: 55 km / 34.18 miles

start: Reedsport, OR
stop: for breaks in Siuslaw National Forest
total distance achieved to date: 1755.50 km / 1090.82 miles

Traveled through the Siuslaw National Forest, past several camp grounds that were perfect for snack breaks.  Very little to no traffic and perfect  shade for the first day of the run.  We had assistance with the route as our WIFI was not operating throughout the park…several gentleman in a little store, in fact the only store all day, just east west of the park campgrounds.

Jun 3rd, 2017 (Day 40)
total distance completed: 64.3 km / 39.95 miles

start: the ridge in Siuslaw National Forest
stop: west of Cheshire on Hwy 36
ran by: Walton
total distance achieved to date: 1819.8 km / 1130.77 miles

The ridge was quite steep in some areas, but again a great run and covered plenty of distance today.  Thanks again to the forestry maps and Al & Dave at Walton’s Half Way Cafe. Came off hwy 126 which was busy with traffic headed to the coast, but mostly flat.  Stopped just west of Cheshire, then drove in to Junction for supplies and to find a place to sleep.  Will head back to the stopping point in the morning and take Territory hwy north.

Jun 4th, 2017 (Day 41)
total distance completed: 60.7 km / 37.72 miles

start: HWY 36 and Territorial N.
stop: north of Adair Village
ran by: Corvallis
total distance achieved to date: 1880.5 km / 1168.49 miles

The weather was hotter, running on straight flat pavement in a head-wind took more effort today. Running through miles of farm land including blueberry, and Christmas tree farms, along with  vineyards, kicked up the allergies a great deal as well.

Thank you to Jane Stebbins of the Curry Coastal Pilot in Brookings OR and Jeremy C. Ruark of The News Guard of Lincoln County, for touching base.  We appreciate your interest in our story and cause!

To raise awareness on the effects of plastic waste in our oceans and funds for waste management solutions in Raja Ampat, Friendly Drifter Co-Founder David Pennington continued the Ocean Rescue Run on June 2nd, 2017 in Reedsport, Oregon and plans to finish in Vancouver, Canada. The route was chosen to connect ocean coasts, remove international boundaries and bring attention to this global issue.  “Some of our western technologies, plastic culture and production have had serious negative impacts on the environment, all over the world.  I feel we have a responsibility to create solutions for areas ill-equipped to deal with the waste issues.” states David. Last year David ran from the US/Mexican border to Reedsport, Oregon – where the run was suspended due to an infection in his foot. Beginning where he left off, the Ocean Rescue Run will comprise of approximately 2700 km / 1740 miles. If you have the means and wish to participate please visit the Go Fund Me website.  Additional details and more information on our program can be located on our Home and Participate pages.  News and articles can be found on the Media link. Thank you!

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Preparation Round Two

It has been exactly one year since we pulled the plug on the Ocean Rescue Run. It was a hard decision to make even though it was the only choice that made any sense. Here we are, exactly one year later and preparing to finish it. My mom and I drive down to Reedsport Oregon Thursday night. I remember the exact place we stopped last year. We spent two nights to see if I could heal up from a staph infection in my foot. I am going back refreshed, healthy, and ready to tackle the final third of this run.

The first week last year was by far the hardest. Expecting the same this year, although I’ve done some longer runs over the past 2 weeks to prepare my body for the onslaught. Some things we’ll do differently this round. I’ll be dressed as Poseidon when running through towns and city centers to gather more attention. I thought the costume was suitable since Poseidon is the protector of the Ocean in Greek mythology. A lady named Deb helped put professional touches on my costume by sewing the man skirt, thank you Deb! The Duncan Fabricland store was a huge help and gave us a discount on all material – without us even asking! We also have signage on the van this year to get more attention. The signage was done by Mark’s Instant Sign Shop, also in Duncan – thank you for a fantastic job and terrific discount Mark!

Vansign
Tripmap

My plan is finish at Kitsilano beach on Sunday, June 18th. It would be amazing If you can make it to the beach that day to help celebrate!

Click on map to open Trip Plan

Cath, our author for Ocean Warriors Plastic in Paradise wrote a couple pieces on her inspiration for the two characters in the book, Novi and Petrus. Check out her Facebook posts at:

www.seayogi.com/2017/05/who-is-novi.html

www.seayogi.com/2017/05/who-is-petrus.html

Very cool!

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Tough Decision

Dave made it to Oregon today!!! This was a huge milestone for him as the California coast was the longest portion of the Ocean Rescue Run. Big gains, yet a tough decision lay ahead.

May 22nd, 2016 (Day 35)
total distance completed: 57.96 km / 36.01 miles

start: between Crescent City and False Klamath, CA (in the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park)
stop: Brookings, OR
ran by: Smith River and the CALIFORNIA/OREGON state border!!!
total distance achieved to date: 1549.10 km / 962.57 miles

Oregon was a welcome change and felt like the perfect next phase of the run. Just knowing that he made it this far helped re-energize Dave. Dave has an interview with a reporter in Brookings booked for tomorrow and is looking forward to speaking with someone from Oregon. It is a great feeling when a reporter follows up on Dave’s story. We know that Dave’s endeavour and cause are important and deserve attention; it is encouraging to get the word out and find fellow supporters.

May 23rd, 2016 (Day 36)
total distance completed: 51.42 km / 31.95 miles

start: Brookings, OR
stop: just south of Bandon, OR
ran by: Port Orford and Gold Beach
total distance achieved to date: 1600.52 km / 994.52 miles

Today was hotter than the last few days and Dave had to contend with a headwind for quite a bit of the time. I went out after lunch and did a portion of the route with him which was eye opening for me. By the time I left the van, met up with him, and got back to the van I had only been going for about 70 minutes. Having to pay attention to the traffic going by (some huge trucks), the headwind and the heat is a lot more to deal with than I thought. At lunch we discussed how the run had gone so far – if it was harder/easier than he had thought, and what it was like compared to the 4-month long, length of Africa cycling trip he had done previously. It was interesting to hear his answers and to know a bit more about how he has felt doing the run. Get the scoop – answers to come in Dave’s next interview!

May 24th, 2016 (Day 37)
total distance completed: 53.62 km  / 33.32 miles

start: just south of Bandon, OR
stop: Coos Bay, OR
total distance achieved to date: 1654.14 km / 1027.83 miles

We came across a really amazing organization today that is located in the town of Bandon. While trying to make contact with newspapers in the towns of Bandon, Coos Bay, and Reedsport, a couple reporters asked if we knew about the organization Washed Ashore: neither of us did. Washed Ashore is ‘a non-profit, community-based organization with a mission of educating and creating awareness about marine debris and plastic pollution through art.’ We know that in order to achieve our initiatives at Friendly Drifter it is crucial to have insight into how other organizations operate and work to achieve their goals. As Amy Poehler says, “Watching great people do what you love is a good way to start learning how to do it yourself.” There are many great individuals and organizations out there. We managed to get in touch with a director at Washed Ashore who was in Washington DC presenting some of their work.  They are making great strides in bringing awareness and education to the masses about plastic waste and our oceans. We have planned to meet at a future date to get an inside look at their programs and perhaps collaborate!

May 25th, 2016 (Day 38)
total distance completed: 46.36 km  / 28.81 miles

start: Coos Bay, OR
stop: Reedsport, OR
ran by: North Bend
total distance achieved to date: 1700.50 km / 1056.64 miles

Dave decided (yay!) that we would stay in a motel tonight in order to have access to a bath so he could soak his muscles and relax properly. The van is really great and perfect for our needs but it is a small space and unfortunately doesn’t have a shower/tub. I was more than ecstatic about having a break from the van for a night. Of course the running aspect of this trip is difficult but there are other aspects to get used to such as being away from home, having the same gruelling routine day after day, and not having access to all of the daily luxuries (bath, shower, space) that I am used to at home. It is however, great to see how little you actually need and you start to quickly appreciate the small pleasures more. Dave’s distance was a little shorter today due to the fact that one of his toes was quite painful and he was experiencing some swelling on one foot.

May 26th (Day 39), May 27th (Day 40) & May 28th (Day 41), 2016

An unfortunate occurrence interrupted the run on these days. Dave mentioned on May 24th that his big toe on his left foot was painful. I took a look at it and it was red and swollen. We both remembered that a couple of weeks ago Dave had an small cut there due to the chaffing from his running shoe. At the time we didn’t think much of it and I treated it by cleaning and drying it, applying a topical antibiotic and covering it while Dave was running. On May 26th I suggested we go to the clinic. We did and Dave was sent home with 2 antibiotics to treat a possible infection. The doctor said it could also be a stress fracture but his x-ray showed no conclusive results of this. Dave took 24 hours to rest and tried to run again on May 26th but with no luck. We revisited the hospital again as things were not improving but were sent home again with no re-assessment; the doctor confirmed it was an infection but said that oral antibiotics would be sufficient. Dave tried to continue running the next day hoping the antibiotics would clear the infection as he ran, however, the pain and swelling were too much for him to even walk. We spent another day hoping that the antibiotics just needed a little time but his condition continued to deteriorate.

Message from Dave:

“A tough decision needed to be made at this point and it was a crucial one. The antibiotics had no effect after three days of taking them and my condition was if anything getting worse. After reaching out to a friend of mine who is a doctor in Vancouver, Dr. Nic Lendvoy, and much deliberation, coming home was an option I started seriously considering. I want to take this time to thank Dr. Lendvoy as he played a vital role in making the correct decision to come home and I’m thankful he reached out to me before the start of the run offering his help if needed. There were a lot of factors involved in making this decision but ultimately without knowing what the injury truly was I felt that it was best to have my condition treated at home where I could rest and recover. We estimated that the length of time I would need to heal from this would be at least a week once diagnosed, treated, and working up to running again. Unfortunately with this amount of rehab time and still having to run for another 17 days I wouldn’t have sufficient time to finish the run and start working at my seasonal job as planned. Working at my seasonal job affords me the ability and time to spend time in Indonesia and work on Friendly Drifter. We considered all the different ways we could still make the run work at this time but none made sense. I feel very disappointed that this is the outcome at this time. It is difficult when you set a goal for yourself and uncontrollable circumstances keep you from attaining it. Kate and I are still together which is a feat in itself; we are both arriving home safe which is all we could really hope for.

I will be continuing the run and completing it as I have set out to do; this setback is a temporary one. Unfortunately I only had a small window in which to complete the run as it was planned. As work is vital in allowing me to commit my time and energy to Friendly Drifter, it is a priority. I will be resuming and completing the run at the conclusion of the mining season in the fall.

I want to thank everybody for their support and for following us on the first part of this journey. Your comments, likes, shares, and posts all helped motivate me to keep going on a daily basis and I look forward to having all of you along when I finish. I want to thank Choices Markets  in South Surrey, especially Chris Butler, for providing us with sufficient food, drinks, and supplements for the run; without this I would have incurred large personal expenses.

Please continue to follow us on our blog and social media. We will be providing updates about plans for the completion of the run as well as showcasing the various contacts that we made on this first 2/3rd’s of the journey.

Total days: 38
Total distance ran: 1700.50 km / 1056.64 miles
Total rest days taken: 5
Number of marathons run: 40.5
Longest day: 62.76 km / 39.00 miles
Shortest day: 10.00 km / 6.21 miles (on crutches)
Average distance considering run days only: 51.53 km / 32.02 miles
Average distance including rest days: 44.75 km / 27.80 miles

Number of blisters at one time: 11
Lost toenails: 3
Number of baby wipes: ~150
Number of bandaids: ~200

To raise awareness on the effects of plastic waste in our oceans and funds for waste management solutions in Raja Ampat, Friendly Drifter Co-Founder David Pennington began the Ocean Rescue Run on April 18th, 2016 at the US/Mexican border and will end in Vancouver, Canada. The route for the run along the Pacific Coast Highway was chosen to connect ocean coasts, remove international boundaries and bring attention to this global issue.  “Some of our western technologies, plastic culture and production have had serious negative impacts on the environment, all over the world.  I feel we have a responsibility to create solutions for areas ill-equipped to deal with the waste issues.” states David. The Ocean Rescue Run is approximately 2700 km / 1740 miles. If you have the means and wish to participate please visit the Go Fund Me website.  Additional details and more information on our program can be located on our Home and Participate pages.  News and articles can be found on the Media link. Thank you!

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Reached Half Way Point

Dave passes the Ocean Rescue Run halfway mark nearing his way into Oregon! We encountered a bit more excitement this last while than usual so read on! A long post due to our lack of internet access this past while…

May 15th, 2016 (Day 28)
total distance completed: 50.20 km / 31.19 miles

start: Willits, CA
stop: Bowman Place, CA
ran by: Laytonville
total distance achieved to date: 1226.05 km / 761.83 miles

Dave got picked up by the po-po today!! Ok well that’s not entirely true. Here is the real story: Dave started his run in the morning as usual. I met him for the first break and then when it was over I left him to go into town as I needed to pick up a few things. Unfortunately after Dave started running again the highway turned into an interstate. Sometimes the interstates have signs prohibiting pedestrians however sometimes they do not. This one didn’t so Dave continued on as per usual. A short while later Dave got stopped by a state trooper. The state trooper explained that sign or not, unfortunately pedestrians were not legally allowed on the interstate (they are too busy, too dangerous, and usually lack a decent shoulder). Long story short Dave was driven a few miles down the road to where the interstate ended and then he continued to run from there; this was after he was given a good pat down from the officer. It took me a while to figure out where he had gone as we didn’t have reception, but in the end I tracked his skinny little behind (running 50-60 km a day is a guaranteed weight loss plan) down and we got back on track.

May 16th, 2016 (Day 29)
total distance completed: 53.52 km / 33.26 miles

start: Bowman Place, CA
stop: Phillipsville, CA
ran by: Leggett, Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area, Smith Redwoods State Reserve, and Cooks Valley
total distance achieved to date: 1279.57 km / 795.09 miles

The daily routine Dave and I settled into seems to still be working well to which we are more than pleased. Dave has an interview with a journalist from the Times Standard in Eureka lined up which is great. We also have had contact with a journalist in Brookings, Oregon which is a town just past the border after Dave crosses from California in to Oregon. We are both starting to feel the finish line faster and faster approaching and I think this has given Dave a little bit of a boost, helping him push through a little longer and farther on the days. Passing the middle point of something feels like you are over the hump and on the downhill towards home. I’m not sure if literally there will be a lot of downhills in Dave’s trek from now on but here’s hoping!

May 17th, 2016 (Day 30)
total distance completed: 51.42 km / 31.95 miles

start: Phillipsville, CA
stop: just south of Scotia, CA
ran by: Miranda, Myers Flat, and Humboldt Redwoods State Park
total distance achieved to date: 1330.99 km / 827.04 miles

Today was definitely one for the books and although we have both seen really amazing landscapes on this entire trip we both agreed that this area was one that stood out the most, possibly above all the others. Dave spent the day running, and me driving, under the umbrella of towering Redwoods all day. They really do leave you awestruck and unfortunately the feeling it gives you, similar to Raja Ampat, Indonesia, is hard to comprehend without seeing it for yourself. I can describe it to you and direct you to some pictures but I don’t even think that a writer such as the likes of Dickens or Frost could do these majestic trees the justice they deserve. The trees themselves and the habitat in which they exist is fascinating. This is a place where feeling small is a welcomed state. It is hard sometimes to put in all this hard work doing what Dave is doing but being in this nature reminds us why he is.

John Steinbeck once wrote: “The Redwoods once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always… from them comes silence and awe. The most irreverent of men, in the presence of Redwoods, goes under a spell of wonder and respect.”

May 18th, 2016 (Day 31)
total distance completed: 47.02 km / 29.22 miles

start: just south of Scotia, CA
stop: Eureka, CA
ran by: Rio Dell, Fortuna, and Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge
total distance achieved to date: 1378.01 km / 856.26 miles

The day before a rest day brings an interesting mix of feelings. It’s a good day because Dave is reminded that the next day he gets to sleep in, relax, and basically do whatever he wants. However, it is also a little difficult to get through because Dave is tired from the string of days before. Today it was helpful that we were making it in to Eureka that evening so there was a clear finish line for Dave to focus on. Dave probably could’ve continued running longer in order to gain some more distance, however the next stretch was a longer one that was comprised of a series of bridges out of Eureka and into Arcata that would’ve made his day much longer than was probably good for him; it’s a constant balancing act of knowing when to push and when to fold for the day. Dave has been feeling good and doing well using the new running strategy but by the time the rest day hits he can definitely feel the need for time off.

May 19th, 2016 (Day 32) – rest day
We spent our rest day in Eureka, CA. This worked out well because a journalist, Hunter Creswell, picked up Dave’s story and we were able to meet with him in person for an interview that went in the Times Standard.  Thank you Hunter!  It is really encouraging to get picked up by the press and getting Dave’s hard work and story out there. We relaxed for the day and visited the Carson Mansion which was really neat to see in person; we both liked Eureka for all of it’s Victorian architecture. We both agreed that the best part of rest days is getting to sleep in until whenever we feel like getting up!

May 20th, 2016 (Day 33)
total distance completed: 56.82 km / 35.31 miles

start: Eureka, CA
stop: just south of Orick, CA
ran by: Woodley Island, Indian Island, Arcata, Humbodlt State University, McKinleyville, Clam Beach, Trinidad, Patricks Point, and the Big Lagoon
total distance achieved to date: 1434.83 km / 891.56 miles

We had to navigate our route a little more carefully today. I mistakenly thought we would have more trouble with Dave’s route before we got to San Francisco as most areas were busier and the towns bigger. However, his route proved to be easier as there were a lot of sidewalks for him to run on and a great deal of designated running paths as well; that being said the driving was more stressful for me. Once we passed San Francisco, planning our route got a little bit trickier. There are a lot more direct routes available along the highway, however, when the highway turns into interstate (usually indicated by two lanes in both directions and double lines down the middle) only vehicles and cyclists are allowed; pedestrians are not. In order to make sure we are taking the best route we do two things:

1. map out the route together using Google maps
2. I drive up ahead of Dave in order to see if he in the clear for running the route. If the highway turns into interstate there is usually a scenic route or other road that runs alongside it which is what we end up taking.

Dave recommends that anyone making this journey take the scenic routes whenever possible as we have stumbled upon some cute little towns with interesting history and the views tend to be more spectacular as well.

May 21st, 2016 (Day 34)
total distance completed: 56.31 km / 34.99 miles

start: just south of Orick, CA
stop: between Crescent City and False Klamath, CA (in the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park)
ran through: Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, Klamath, Trees of Mystery
total distance achieved to date: 1491.14 km / 926.55 miles

Today was a rainy one. It’s amazing how, at the 50-60 km daily rate that Dave runs, we can see such a drastic change in both weather and landscape from one day to another. The terrain was mostly flat however there were a lot of open areas so Dave was quite wet for most of the time. There were a lot of elk in this area and it is always nice to see wildlife along the route. Dave was totally a trooper as he never complained even though he was rained on for most of the day; recurring theme = Dave never complains. I remember having a conversation before we left on this trek about Dave bringing rain gear with him for the run to which Dave responded: “Babe, we’re not running through Vancouver ok; it’s not like here.” As the good girlfriend that I am I won’t say “I told you so.” 🙂 We can definitely tell we are close to Oregon which is a nice feeling. Although I’m not a fan of Dave getting rained on, the weather and terrain does remind me of home; a welcome feeling having been on the road for this long.

Click on Photo for National Geographic - Author and photographer David Doubilet underwater adventure - Raja Ampat Indonesia

To raise awareness on the effects of plastic waste in our oceans and funds for waste management solutions in Raja Ampat, Friendly Drifter Co-Founder David Pennington began the Ocean Rescue Run on April 18th, 2016 at the US/Mexican border and will end in Vancouver, Canada. The route for the run along the Pacific Coast Highway was chosen to connect ocean coasts, remove international boundaries and bring attention to this global issue.  “Some of our western technologies, plastic culture and production have had serious negative impacts on the environment, all over the world.  I feel we have a responsibility to create solutions for areas ill-equipped to deal with the waste issues.” states David.

The Ocean Rescue Run is approximately 2700 km / 1740 miles. If you have the means and wish to participate please visit the Go Fund Me website.  Additional details and more information on our program can be located on our Home and Participate pages.  News and articles can be found on the Media link.

Thank you!

Please Share

Running Strategy

We have had delays in getting this post out; we do not always have good internet access along our route. These five days brought about a new game plan and changes for us both. We assessed Dave’s running and health patterns more rigorously to be sure we were being both effective and safe in how we carried out his journey. These assessments resulted in changes to Dave’s running routine along with plans to increase rest and nutritional intake.

May 12th, 2016 (Day 25)
total distance completed: 55.71 km / 34.62 miles

start: Petaluma, CA
stop: Healdsburg, CA
ran by: Santa Rosa and Windsor
total distance achieved to date: 1064.06 km / 661.18 miles

The beginning couple of weeks of this run were spent navigating Dave’s initial set of injuries (blisters, left ankle and knee joint problems, etc.). After working these things out we started focusing on how Dave could achieve the greatest distance each day without being too tired. Suffice it to say, this wasn’t easy. At first we tried getting up earlier and having Dave run later but this didn’t allow for a lot of time to sleep; ultimately this left Dave exhausted during the day which caused him to run slower and cover less distance. Next Dave tried running faster but for a shorter amount of time. Unfortunately this strategy was ineffective as he still had to run for at least 8 hours a day and it was not possible to keep up the required speed for this amount of time. After these attempts we tried a third strategy which so far seems to be working well. We get up at a decent time (usually around 7am); Dave runs for 2.5 hours; 30 minute break; 2.5 hour run; 1 hour lunch break; 2.5 hour run; 30 minute break; and then 2 – 2.5 hour run (depending on the distance he has already covered). So far this seems to be working and we will continue on with this routine to learn of the long term effects on both distance and Dave’s physical state.

runstrat3
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May 13th, 2016 (Day 26)
total distance completed: 53.42 km / 33.19 miles

start: Healdsburg, CA
stop: Hopland, CA
ran by: Geyersville, Cloverdale, and a whole lot of wineries! (Rodney Strong is the only one I remember as we sell it at my work!)
total distance achieved to date: 1117.48 km / 694.37 miles

Today we were in wine country. Nice terrain, pretty quiet on the roads which is always welcome, and a little on the hotter side but not bad. Dave is still getting used to his new routine but it seems promising. It’s nice not to have to wake up too early as rest is so important in order to let his body recover from the previous day. The 2.5 hour bouts of running are good for both of us as I am able to get more blogging and social media work done. Having less breaks and timed ones are good because once Dave sits down it is hard for him to get back on the road again. I think knowing that he’s covering good distance while not having to be on the road quite as long has served as a good motivator. The scenery is beautiful, it is quiet along the run and there has been a lot of wildlife, such as deer and coyotes, to look it.

May 14th, 2016 (Day 27)
total distance completed: 58.37 km  / 36.27 miles

start: Hopland, CA
stop: Willits, CA
ran through: Ukiah, Calpella, and Redwood Valley
total distance achieved to date: 1175.85 km / 730.64 miles

Today was a long one! We use GoogleMaps to map out Dave’s route as they have an on-foot option which gives the best route for him and tells him where he can and can’t run. This has proved to be immensely helpful for us both since I can see exactly what his route will be. However, despite this there are routes that Dave has to take that are difficult for me to get to. At the end of the day today Dave was on the 101 and then turned off onto a walking route that I couldn’t drive to; this ended up pushing him over his goal time and distance and he was obviously super tired and achy – we will see how things pan out tomorrow. These types of things are par for the course and for the most part we have been very lucky. Although our plan of fewer breaks and longer run times had been going well Dave mentioned he was still feeling a little weaker than he’d like. We strategized to combat this with increased sleep and nutrition. We are now focusing on upping his nutritional intake by about half and also focusing on providing him with a lot of calories through fluids (gatorade and protein shakes, etc.). We need to be really proactive with this in order to stop and hopefully reverse some of the weakness that is occurring.

To raise awareness on the effects of plastic waste in our oceans and funds for management solutions in Raja Ampat, Friendly Drifter Co-Founder David Pennington began the Ocean Rescue Run on April 18th, 2016 at the US/Mexican border and will end in Vancouver, Canada. The route for the run along the Pacific Coast Highway was chosen to connect ocean coasts, remove international boundaries and bring attention to this global issue.  “Some of our western technologies, plastic culture and production have had serious negative impacts on the environment, all over the world.  I feel we have a responsibility to create solutions for areas ill-equipped to deal with the waste issues.” states David.

The Ocean Rescue Run is approximately 2700 km / 1740 miles. If you have the means and wish to participate please visit the Go Fund Me website.  Additional details and more information on our program can be located on our Home and Participate pages.  News and articles can be found on the Media link.

Thank you!

Please Share

The Interview

We’ve passed the three week mark on the Ocean Rescue Run! Dave has run for 23 days, completing 1008.35 km / 626.56 miles. Since I primarily write the blog now I know people must miss hearing from Dave as intimately and as much as they used to. So voila!

Why are you doing this run?

To draw attention to Friendly Drifter initiatives. Doing something like this grabs peoples attention and I want to create a buzz about Friendly Drifter, our initiatives, the general state of the oceans health, and more specifically how Raja Ampat, Indonesia is being affected by our use and waste of plastics. We have a lot of plans and ideas for what we envision for Friendly Drifter; it was time for an awareness and fundraising campaign to begin putting our initiatives into action. We have done well up to a point, creating our vision and doing beach cleanups etc., but in order for us to tackle some bigger long term goals we need financial backing and strong community support. Doing a run of this length and intensity is a tangible way to demonstrate my commitment to Friendly Drifter.  I am serious about making this an effective organization; one that has a positive impact on the health and future of our oceans. Friendly Drifter will be a positive community that allows people to get involved in a way that creates powerful and long lasting positive change.  It is important that the health of our oceans is a priority, and that we put conversation plans into action.

You’ve been doing this run for three weeks now. How are you feeling?

Pretty good. (Please note: As everyone who knows Dave knows, he’ll never say anything less than good and this is the typical response I get whenever I ask him this question; I’ll get the odd variation of this such as ‘fine’ but this is his go-to response)

Terrain wise what has been the most difficult for you?

Hills and winding roads for sure. Big Sur and the surrounding areas, which lasted a few days (see blog post: The Wild Coast), were a challenge and probably the hardest for me up to this point. The winding roads are tough because I must run on an angle which rubs my feet on the edge of my shoes; this causes friction and further irritates the bunch of blisters I already have. Angles and inclines are hard on my joints and muscles because it’s difficult to maintain the looseness that I try to keep up most of the time while running. When you cycle, hills are motivating because you know you’ll get to enjoy the downhill after you make it to the top. Unfortunately with running uphill takes a lot of energy, and downhill is tough because I have to brace the whole way down to lessen the impact on my joints.

Weather wise what has been the most difficult for you?

The heat in southern California. When we first started San Diego was experiencing a heat wave.  Not only was I dealing with the start of the run and all that meant, but I also had to navigate some pretty intense heat. We quickly figured out that it was most beneficial to start early in the morning around 6am or so and take a longer lunch break around 1pm when the temperature was at its highest. Staying sufficiently hydrated and fueled, and taking breaks in the cool, dark van helped a lot.

There are obvious physical challenges that come from doing a run of this length and intensity. Have you had any mental struggles along the way yet?

I think that the mental struggles will come later on. I’m still in the early-ish stages of the run and I’ve been able to hold it together pretty well so far. When I did the Tour d’Afrique, I biked the length of Africa in 4-months, and the Ironman in Cabo, I learned how to deal with intense, endurance type physical activities. I’m pretty good at maintaining a level head because I know getting caught up mentally uses up energy that I don’t want to expend.  Ultimately it just isn’t helpful. I have started to see a bit of the exhaustion affect me mentally which is why it has been important for me to pay attention to my body and take breaks when I need to. We’ll see how things go in the coming weeks.

I’m sure you tried to anticipate potential challenges so that you could deal with them better. Have you had any surprises?

It’s really hard to anticipate things in a situation like this because there are only a handful of other people that have taken on something similar and documented it. You can anticipate that your body is going to rebel in the beginning days to the long distance and amount of time spent on your feet but you aren’t exactly sure how. You also don’t want to entertain too many thoughts about what challenges could arise before you start as you don’t want to deter yourself from starting. I went in with the thought that “I’m going to do this and we will figure things out as we go.” I’m pretty in tune with my body, what I’m capable of and my limitations so that’s really helped.

You are vegan. Has that affected your performance on this run?

It’s hard to say because I don’t have anything to compare it to. I haven’t done this same kind of thing on a different diet. I can say that I do feel well nourished, healthy, and strong even with what I am putting my body through right now. Whether or not I would feel different on a different diet I don’t know, but I’m getting all the nutrients I need so I’m happy.

Looking back at the past three weeks would you do anything differently?

No. Getting malaria in Indonesia wasn’t part of the plan and had some detrimental affects on my training. Instead of being able to begin training in November I was sick for almost a month in December and then had to start training from square one in January.

How did malaria affect your training?

I think at first I didn’t realize all of the effects that malaria had had on my body; at the time I was just happy to be alive and that was enough for me. I was in a place where I was contemplating if I was going to do the Ocean Rescue Run now or postpone it. When I decided firmly I was going to do it now and started training again, that’s when I started to notice the extent to which malaria had affected me. My first run was less than a km; I was out of breath like crazy. I had lost a lot of weight, most of it muscle mass, and so I had to rebuild that from scratch; I’m still rebuilding it today. As much as the malaria was frustrating to recover from, I really found a new appreciation for just how important my health is. I’m used to being a pretty strong guy and being able to perform at a high level so it was humbling for me. I really had to listen to my body more than before and work within some new boundaries.

What advice would you give to others looking to do something similar to what you are doing?

Just to get out there and do it. Make a plan, commit to it, and go. You can over think something and talk about it but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t put those plans into action. You can have a lot of regrets and give in to your fear of failure or you can commit and give it your all and see what happens. I know this is probably over said, but enjoying the ride is a huge part of it. If you don’t enjoy the hard work something like this takes while being able to have a little fun at the same time, it’s really hard to see it through to the end. I think a lot of people underestimate what they are capable of both physically and mentally. When you try something new and challenging, your body adapts and your mind grows stronger.

What do you think about when you are on the road for 10 hours a day?

Not a lot to be honest. It’s tough being out there for that long every day over and over again. I zone out a lot of the time. The scenery is beautiful so that helps and there is a lot to look at whether it be natural beauty when in the country or along the coast or architecture and people when in the city. A lot of times I focus on my stride and breathing; I pay attention to my body to make sure I’m doing what I need to be doing in order to be as efficient as I can be. That being said, the whole idea for the Ocean Rescue Run came to me while I was on a run.

Are you happy with how things have gone up until this point?

I am. We had some physical challenges to deal with up front but we knew those were coming. I have to say that things have smoothed out quite nicely since then.  Aside from the expected aches and pains of being on my feet for 10 plus hours a day, I feel good. We quickly realized that 65 km / 40 miles a day just wasn’t feasible and that to push myself to do it wouldn’t be beneficial in the long term so anything over 50 km / 31 miles is a good day. It is important to learn to be flexible in an endeavour like this. Overall I’m happy with where we are at and am curious to see how my body responds as we continue on.

The past three days brought a lot of reflection for the both of us. Passing the three week / 1000 km mark was a huge milestone for Dave to achieve and we are both so happy, and me so proud to be celebrating it! It dawned on us (more loudly on me I believe) how important self-care along this journey is. We are both so focused on the goal that sometimes we forget to stop and remember that it is a long haul. We both realized how important it is to take breaks and to make time for ourselves/each other along this trek in order to make sure we both stay healthy physically and mentally. We had a really nice rest day in Petaluma which is a sweet city and Dave is back at it today re-energized and ready to tackle more distance!

May 9th, 2016 (Day 22), May 10th, 2016 (Day 23) and May 11th, 2016 (Day 24- rest day)
total distance completed: 83.72 km / 52.02 miles

start: South San Francisco, CA
stop: Petaluma, CA
ran by: Daly City, San Francisco!, over the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito, and Novato

total distance achieved to date: 1008.35 km / 626.56 miles

To raise awareness on the effects of plastic waste in our oceans and funds for management solutions in Raja Ampat, Friendly Drifter Co-Founder David Pennington began the Ocean Rescue Run on April 18th, 2016 at the US/Mexican border and will end in Vancouver, Canada. The route for the run along the Pacific Coast Highway was chosen to connect ocean coasts, remove international boundaries and bring attention to this global issue.  “Some of our western technologies, plastic culture and production have had serious negative impacts on the environment, all over the world.  I feel we have a responsibility to create solutions for areas ill-equipped to deal with the waste issues.” states David.

The Ocean Rescue Run is approximately 2700 km / 1740 miles. If you have the means and wish to participate please visit the Go Fund Me website.  Additional details and more information on our program can be located on our Home and Participate pages.  News and articles can be found on the Media link.

Thank you!

Please Share

Silicone Valley

Dave has completed 3 weeks of the Ocean Rescue Run! From the wild west coast to Silicone Valley, we’ve had ups and downs but we are happy with how things have gone and are excited to see how the rest goes; we hope you are too.

May 6th, 2016 (Day 19)
total distance completed: 13.20 km / 8.20 miles

start: just west of Watsonville, CA
stop: Seacliff, CA
total distance achieved to date: 819.23 km / 509.05 miles

We took today as a rest day but Dave still got some distance in. We weren’t planning on today being a rest day but it ended up working out that way. Last night we had to move our parking spot just as we were falling asleep; we think this may have been the result of it being Cinco de Mayo and the police were on the lookout. We moved and found another spot but were woken up by a curious citizen just before 6am; it turned out he had a Westfalia as well and wanted to have a long chat about it – Westy owners are passionate about their vehicles! Dave got to a late start and a little while after he did the rain decided to come out and play and we were forced to fold for the day. (The rest day was very much welcome.)

May 7th, 2016 (Day 20)
total distance completed: 60.32 km / 37.48 miles

start: Seacliff, CA
stop: Mountain View, CA (not far from Stanford University)
ran by: Santa Cruz, Soquel Demonstration State Forest, Los Gatos, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Cupertino (Apple headquarters!)
total distance achieved to date: 879.55 km / 546.53 miles

Today we both played catch up; Dave with mileage and me with van duties and blogging. Dave had a nice route to run and I got to go by the Apple headquarters which the nerd in me loved. Dave was feeling great; his blisters were almost all healed up (finally!) and his body seemed to have settled into the pace of the run quite nicely. It is a real relief, for both of us, to not have to worry about how his body will respond each day. Dave is really good at listening to his body and knowing what his body needs so this makes things a lot easier overall.

May 8th, 2016 (Day 21) Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!
total distance completed: 45.08 km / 28.01 miles

start: Mountain View, CA (not far from Stanford University)
stop: South San Francisco, CA
ran by: Palo Alto, Stanford University, Redwood City, Belmont, San Mateo, and San Bruno
total distance achieved to date: 924.63 km / 574.54 miles

It has been difficult to find the balance between nutrition and rest with the length and distance of Dave’s runs? When Dave feels great he wants to push and get extra miles in but if he pushes too much he can get pretty exhausted the next day which is what happened today. Fortunately it was a perfect running day with easy terrain. It was bright and sunny but not too hot with a bit of a breeze. Dave ran along one road the whole time and it had a sidewalk so he didn’t have to worry about keeping track of his route or about traffic much unless he was at a stoplight (which he didn’t love because it slowed him down). We discussed how to go about trying to avoid the bouts of exhaustion as best we could and decided that even on a perfect day he would cap it around 55km (we are still negotiating ;)) as the short term gains of getting in more mileage on one day hasn’t been outweighing the long term physical and mental effects that result. We are confident this will make a positive difference!

To raise awareness on the effects of plastic waste in our oceans and funds for management solutions in Raja Ampat, Friendly Drifter Co-Founder David Pennington began the Ocean Rescue Run on April 18th, 2016 at the US/Mexican border and will end in Vancouver, Canada. The route for the run along the Pacific Coast Highway was chosen to connect ocean coasts, remove international boundaries and bring attention to this global issue.  “Some of our western technologies, plastic culture and production have had serious negative impacts on the environment, all over the world.  I feel we have a responsibility to create solutions for areas ill-equipped to deal with the waste issues.” states David.

The Ocean Rescue Run is approximately 2700 km / 1740 miles. If you have the means and wish to participate please visit the Go Fund Me website.  Additional details and more information on our program can be located on our Home and Participate pages.  News and articles can be found on the Media link.

Thank you!

Please Share

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