Today was all I had hoped it would be. Just an amazing finish to an incredible journey. (Sorry if I ramble a bit).
I got up at 4:00 AM because I had to finish my 2.3 mile final run at 6:15 AM, at the Crystal Pier. The first thing I did was skype my son, Jeffrey, in Israel, to share this experience with him. He was the first person I told about my plans, and the first to encourage me to do it. He was also the one who told Sheryl of my plan, since I couldn’t muster the courage to do it myself. Thank you Jeffrey for all of your great ideas and encouragement.
It was pitch black when I started to run, so I had to almost feel my way to the beach. I was so fired up, I was way early for the cameras. They were filming live for the early news.
I picked Julie up at Fanuel St., 1/2 mile from the beach. We jogged to Mission Dr. and had to hang around until they were ready to film. Julie and I ran into the area, and then proceeded to the beach. Julie, seeing your big smile and hugging you in the Pacific was my motivation for 5 1/2 months.
As I ran to the water, I thought of running away from the water in Jacksonville.
I was waving my 3 flags as I walked into the Pacific Ocean. What an incredible feeling. I was overwhelmed. The camera crew was following me as I touched down. The best part was that my son, Jason and grandaughter Rachel surprised me and were there to see me finish. Thank you, Jason and Rachel for this amazing surprise. Danielle and Ari, I know you were with me today in spirit. Also, my brother-in-law, Nessim, and sister-in-law, Diane, flew in from New York to be there at the finish. I was stunned. What a great ending. They were with me everyday of the run, as were their kids. Thank you so much.
Thanks Brian and Susan for all you’ve done for us while heading towards San Diego and while here, and for the publicity we got through Myrna.
I want to thank my family and friends who were so interested and supportive of my effort. To my long lost childhood friends from Montgomery who I reconnected with, thank you for so much encouragement along the way. My classmates Alan, Mary, Dickie, Bobby, James, Shelly, and Marsha, Steve, Rhea and Raymond–thank you!!
Suzie, and kids, I know you planned from the very beginning to be here for the finish and that means so much to us. Thanks for everything, and your daily calls to Sheryl to check on us.
To my sibs, Ellen, Mark and Marshall– thanks for your encouragement, interest, and concern. I know you were worried about my health and safety. We really appreciate your checking on us regularly.
To all of our friends and family from all over the country– thanks for your daily check ups on our progress and interest and encouragement and advise. Your daily phone calls and emails were Sheryl’s lifeline to the real world.
To new friends from all over the world, who I have recently met or have yet to meet, thank you for your kind words of encouragement, support and interest from the very beginning, and along the way. You embraced my run more than I could have imagined. You have no idea how much your comments have meant to us.
Thanks KitKat for your invaluable help while we were gone. We appreciate all you did for us.
To my wife, Sheryl, I can only say again, that without your help, I would not have been able to even get out of Jacksonville Beach. I now pronounce you “Magellan, the navigator”. You have learned, in 5 1/2 months, and over 16,000 miles, the 4 points on the compass. You are a real adventurer–I love you!!
Below is one of the TV interviews from my finish.
Enjoy the pictures!! I’ll post more after I get some sleep.
2350 miles– Jacksonville Beach to San Diego
Thank you all—Richard