At the age of 55, record-breaking ultrarunner Mimi Anderson embarked on her most ambitious adventure yet. She wanted to become the fastest woman in history to run across America from Los Angeles to New York.
Her journey would cover 2,850 miles, 12 states and four time zones, dealing with extreme changes in terrain, weather and altitude along the way.
For 40 days, the determined mother of three pushed herself on and on for more than 2,000 miles across the vast continent, despite the onset of severe pain, until she was forced to make a crushing decision: carry on and risk never being able to run again or give up on her all-time goal.
What happened next set Mimi on a new, unexpected journey. She learned to face her fears and bounce back from defeat by taking up the new challenge of becoming a triathlete.
A follow-up to her first memoir Beyond Impossible, this next installment in Mimi’s inspiring story proves that when one door closes, another opens – you just need the courage to swim, cycle and run through it.
“On the 7th September I will start my world record attempt to run across the USA,” Mimi wrote. “With all the controversy that has gone on in the last year regarding records, I think it’s important to let everyone know what I will be doing in order to prove that my run is above board, legitimate and beyond reproach. According to the guidelines set out by Guinness, the attempt should start at New York City Hall and end at Los Angeles City Hall (or vice versa). If two alternative cities are chosen, both cities must be coastal and the route distance must be equal to or greater than NY to LA. My run will begin at the City Hall in Los Angeles and finish on the steps of the City Hall in New York. There is no set route to follow but I have chosen to run from LA to NY as that was the way Mavis Hutchinson ran in 1979 when she set the original female record – 69 days 2 hrs. Over the course of the record I will have/do the following: I will have a Tracker on me while running so everyone can follow my progress. There will also be a second tracker on the support vehicle or RV. I will wear a GPS Suunto watch that will record my distance, time, pace and cadence while running. This will be downloaded onto Strava on a daily basis, subject to internet availability. (I have 4 watches)There will be official starters in Los Angeles and at the finish in New York. The crew will keep a detailed logbook, obtain witness statements along the route, take photographs & video footage. Receipts will be kept by the crew as additional proof. I’m happy for people to come and join me along the route. No pacers are allowed so people who run with me have to run beside or behind me. I’m prohibited from running on any illegal roads such as interstates. A film crew will be following me. …”
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