Tuesday morning, just before 9 a.m., Farmer came running through Refugio – 20 pounds lighter than when he began his trip on April 2 at the North Pole.
The heat wave has taken its toll – fever blisters have erupted on his bottom lip.
“It looks a lot better than it did a few days ago,” he says with a smile.
The Australian runner averages about 600 miles before his Brooks Trance running shoes wear out. In Houston, he was down to his last pair.
In true Texas hospitality, Houston residents scoured the stores and came up with eight more pairs to send his way. The shoes are a bit pricey – more than $100 per pair.
“His shoes are quite specific,” says Nick King of Sydney, Australia, who drives one of two vans that accompany Farmer.
That wasn’t the only crisis to arise in Texas. The van blew out two tires in the middle of nowhere, leaving the crew stranded and no way to get food and nourishment back to Pat. Despite consuming approximately 6,500 calories a day during the trip, his weight is dropping.
A man Nick only knew as Juan saved the day. Juan who wanted to run with Pat for a few miles had been tracking Pat via a GPS on the runner’s website. Luckily, Juan came across the crew and shuttled them back to Pat with food and water.
Nothing so far has stopped Pat in his tracks – he runs through thunderstorms, pitches a pup tent at night and gets back on the road early the next morning.
“If I stopped for a storm, I’d get behind schedule,” Pat says.
About six minutes after stopping to pose for a picture or two, Pat was off again and by nightfall, he was almost to Robstown.
Though his feats may seem almost impossible, Farmer is no ordinary runner. He is a multiple-world record holder for endurance running.
“He has run around Australia and across North America twice. Pat served eight years as a member of Australia’s Parliament, with three years as parliamentary secretary for education, science and training” and he is a winner of “Achiever of the Year” (2000), awarded by Prime Minister John Howard.”
Pat has raised millions of dollars for causes during his 20-year running career, including Lifeline, Cancer Council and Diabetes Australia. Pat is a widower and single father of two children, Brooke, 15, and Dillon, 13.
The Pole to Pole run is Pat’s way to earn money for the Red Cross. His pet project is getting safe, clean water in all parts of the world.
Check on his progress or make a donation by logging onto his website at poletopolerun.com.