American Ultra Recap
18 days have passed from the March 29th start of The American Ultra endurance challenge. Shane has now covered more kilometres than the average person will clock up over the course of a few years with their normal weekly run. To the average person running 10km or cycling 60km on the weekend is a great achievement. Shane has run 60km or cycled 270km per day for 18 days. Shane is an example of what can be done when you have reason and hope. His reason is the charity Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland, with thoughts of his cousin Mary on his mind. His hope is in his body, a body which has brought him far in his life but never this far. The challenge is being updated daily on Shane’s social media. If you want to keep up to date on what is happening along the journey, follow Shane on Instagram @_shanefinn.
Shane Finn The Journey So Far
Shane has now travelled from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge to currently somewhere in Kansas. Soon he will be repeating the words from Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Except there is no Toto and Dorothy did not have to get to New York’s Brooklyn Bridge by foot and bicycle. In a few days’ time, Shane certainly will certainly feel that he is not in Kansas anymore. Only he will know what he is feeling.
Leaving California and entering Nevada you wouldn’t blame Shane for feeling hungry as he passed Pancake Summit. A climb that high was a nice warm-up for what was to come. The blistering sun of Nevada swapped itself for snow storms and iced peaks only to quickly change back to sun again. Like any proud Irish man, Shane warmed himself up with copious amounts of tea supplied by his ever-tailing support crew. Leaving Nevada Shane felt like he was running in a familiar place. His mind transported thousands of miles to the landscape of the Connor Pass in his home town of Kerry, Ireland. He was soon back in the present realising he was entering a new state in America and not going back home to Kerry just yet, not before he climbed the 7,722ft Connor Pass of Nevada, USA.
A new state brought a new sunrise with the same goal still looming on the horizon. Utah was there but New York was still far away. When cycling ultra-distances, it is the little things that can get you through tough moments. The little ironies like riding a Canyon bike through the Bryce Canyon National Park can bring a smile to a tired face. Utah brought with it the first double-digit day of The American Ultra. Day 10 came and went with Shane Finn fixed on his next destination, Colorado.
Colorado brought with it bad weather and a bad toenail. At least the sore toe would take Shane’s mind off the weather. On an endurance challenge like this, some events cannot be planned. A support crew and great improvisation are needed to tackle whatever might come. The Rocky Mountains decided to come along and bring with them minus three degrees Celsius temperatures. But this didn’t stop Shane and his crew. Quick thinking and two tinfoil footwarmers later Shane was back in action. Like a wolf on the hunt Shane and his support crew pack set out to conquer what would be the biggest climb so far, Wolf Creek Pass. The pack succeeded in their hunt for the 10,857ft summit.
Day 16 resembled the tornado scene from The Wizard of Oz. Every type of wind came to try lift Shane off the road. Cycling through headwinds, tailwinds, and crosswinds Shane was now entering the land of Oz. Kansas is the halfway point of the trip with only the yellow brick road left to lead him to New York.
Shane Finn American Ultra Trivia
Since leaving San Francisco Shane has burnt over 70,000+ calories.
He drinks up to ten 750ml bottles on each cycle and up to 7 while running.
The elevation gain covered so far is enough to cover Mount Everest, twice.