Running across Tennessee for ASN

Running across Tennessee for ASN

£1,296

+ estimated £267 Gift Aid
£500 target

45 supporters



CD

Cliff Dean

£50 + est £13 in Gift Aid 14th May 2020 16:03


E

Emma

£120 + est £30 in Gift Aid 14th May 2020 10:20


Started on 30th April 2020 Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Updates 6


Jack Upton posted an update on 1st May 2020

Launch Day!

Hello everyone, 

Today is the first day of the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee (henceforth referred to as GVRATN) which seems as good a time as any to launch the fundraiser.  

We know that money is tight for a lot of people at the moment, but Jack suggests a donation of £10 - a penny for every kilometre. He's planning on running four kilometres today, or as I like to think of it he's doing 4p worth of running. Tomorrow he's doing a virtual marathon (42p) to launch the Louise Michel Sports Club. Lots of launches!

I say we, because while Jack is doing the running I will be doing the hard work of updating you on which virtual ditch he's sleeping in each night as well as some interesting streetview images.

Laurel


Jack Upton posted an update on 1st May 2020

welp

Bloody hell everyone! We pitched our initial target pretty low because we know a lot of people are having a difficult time financially...but you smashed that target in three and a half hours! I will put on a stretch goal once Crowdfunder will let me. 

Jack successfully ran his 4.22km this afternoon and is feeling pretty good for his marathon tomorrow. 

Due to the vagaries of the American road system and state lines being in funny places, the race starts in Arkansas in a village called Anthonyville. It looks like a pretty typical picture of rural American poverty - little houses with cars in the yard - and unfortunately there's not much on google that means I can illuminate life there. However, it is set among wide open fields, which on a good day look like below - roughly the location Jack will be sleeping tonight. 

Tomorrow he heads to West Memphis and then across the river in to Tennessee and the city of Memphis itself. While he runs I will do some research (aka google Memphis and maybe look at some Zillow listings along his route). Hopefully I will also work out how to increase the fundraising target, so please keep sharing and check back for some exciting Tennessee content over the next four months!

Laurel


Jack Upton posted an update on 2nd May 2020

Baby's First Marathon

I spent all day researching a post about West Memphis and Memphis and crowdfunder has eaten it. So instead have a picture of Jack finishing his first marathon in 3 hours and 32 minutes, beating his goal of 3.58 and therefore beating Sarah Palin. 

Here is a video by Waxahatchee of a song written about crossing the bridge between Memphis and West Memphis. She's going in the wrong direction but you get the idea.

Here is a story about the Sanitation Workers Strike that brought MLK to Memphis, his death and the after effects of both that continue to be felt today - click here

Here are the recollections of Bayard Rustin and his partner Walter Naegle on his often-minimised involvement in the Civil Rights movement - click here

And here is a video of B.B. King, legendary blues musician who cut his teeth playing on both sides of the river, playing to the inmates and guards at Sing Sing Prison:

There was a lot more but *shakes fist* crowdfunderrrrr!

Tonight Jack is sleeping on the side of Route 40 to the north of Memphis. The next few days will be rest or light exercise so I will amalgamate his progress later on in the week. 

Laurel


Jack Upton posted an update on 10th May 2020

Out of Memphis, Eastward Bound

TOTAL KM: 96.4
KM THIS WEEK: 48

Since you last saw him on the side of Route 40 there has been a long-winded kerfuffle about maps. We were using an illicit map as a kind of placeholder until the official one got fixed, which it has been this week. Turns out Jack was not on Route 40 at all, which is why no-one should depend on counterfeit goods.

It has taken him longer to recover from the marathon than he expected. That is correct, he expected to bounce back from a 26 mile feat of endurance that leaves your body feasting on its essential reserves. He’s been taking it easy this week with some short runs and walks, but has done enough to move him on out of Memphis. 

On his way through Memphis Jack ran along Peabody Avenue which is as good an excuse as any to tell you about the Peabody Hotel. The ducks that enjoy the Peabody Hotel foyer fountain are specially selected and trained. They live in a penthouse apartment on the roof and enjoy their own personal concierge. There is a daily procession from the apartment to the fountain and back again. See inside the duck apartment here (you will need to move the view around because you start facing a wall). 

I've spent a lot of time on Zillow looking at classic American monstrosities, but instead have a look at this cute house on Cooper. Jack ran right past!

Memphis is famous for its food, including its own style of BBQ. We’re planning to use the barbecue/smoker to make some Memphis ribs in the next couple of weeks. We’re also planning on cooking some other Tennessee delicacies including Banana Pudding, Hot Chicken and Moon Pie as he moves along the trail. Here is a picture of Central BBQ, a popular Memphis restaurant on the route. 

From Midtown Jack joined the Shelby Farms Greenline, a foot and cycle path that runs from Midtown through East Memphis, through Shelby Farms Park and ends in Cordova.

The Greenline runs along the bed of an old railway line and ends at the old Cordova Train Station.

Cordova mainly appears to be full of Mini-McMansions but so many of the listings are foreclosures I got sad and stopped looking. Oh no, I lied, I kept looking and what? are? these? light fittings????  Buy this horrible house, get two free bears

Out of Cordova to discover that in Tennessee they farm pylons

I went to show you the view of Jack’s sleeping verge for this evening and found this fella instead.

HONK


Jack Upton posted an update on 14th May 2020

Highway 64

TOTAL KM: 127.0

Hello everyone, 

Jack is back on it this week and has been putting the miles in. He's been running down Highway 64 (wide, flat, green, unchanging) and is past Laconia, which is really just a picture of rural Americana to me - there's a one pump gas station, piles of logs, some trucks, an antiques store and a roaming dog that seems totally unbothered by the google car. I'd like to think that someone here would take pity on a sweaty Jack and give him somewhere to sleep for the night. 

Tennessee's Native Peoples

One of the first things I did when I started researching Memphis was to look at whose land it stands on. The land was peopled by Chickasaws when colonialists arrived. There's an excellent article here about the role of the Chickasaw people in the creation of Memphis. The Native American population was removed from Tennessee following the Indian Removal Act and the Chickasaw Nation now exists in Oklahoma. There are no state-recognised tribes in Tennessee today, though many are seeking recognition. Here is an in-depth history of the native population

Lazarus Lake and the Barkley Marathons

The run that Jack is doing was created by Lazarus Lake, a veteran ultrarunner renowned for his hardcore trail plans. This week we watched an excellent documentary about his most famous race, the Barkley Marathons. You can rent it on Amazon for 99p. It's an excellent documentary that really gives you some insight in to how weird ultrarunners are as a species (Jack: they look like mutants. Me: they look like you. Jack: no, they are who I aspire to be). It's also a great portrait of Lazarus Lake as an imaginative oddball who really has found his people. We recommend it. 


Jack Upton posted an update on 27th May 2020

Amish Country!

Hello everyone,

I took a week off but Jack did not. He has now run 312.6 kilometres and is closing in on the town of Ethridge. I’ve been waiting for this, because Ethridge is AMISH COUNTRY. While many tourists idealise the simpler life of Amish people, their separation from society, strict gender roles and limited education is a fertile breeding ground for abuse. If you want to hear about life in (and after) a Tennessee Amish community you can listen to Michelle’s story here and here.

This is as good a time as any to remind you that Jack is running this race to raise funds for the Abortion Support Network, a group that helps people access safe abortion care if they live in a place where law or circumstance doesn’t allow that. This is made more difficult by travel restrictions due to the pandemic, as well as increasingly stringent measures put in place by states who have been looking for the opportunity. You can read more about abortion in Poland during the pandemic here.

Just south of Ethridge lies Lawrenceberg, once home to folk hero and Tennessee Congressman Davey Crockett. There is a large state park named after him just west of the town, which also includes a segment of the Trail of Tears. It looks like a pretty good place for a swim...

(photo credit)

(photo credit - you can buy a nice card of this)

I used some of my time off last week to smoke and barbecue a pork should in the traditional Memphis style. It was delicious. 

This week I will make a traditional Tennessee banana pudding to mark Jack passing south of Centerville TN, the home of the Annual Banana Pudding Festival. We have also made our peace with the fact that we will not be able to buy hominy grits here, so next week I’m planning to make a ‘shrimp and grits’ with polenta. 

Here is Jack's ditch for the night, just west of a church. 

Until next time, 

Laurel and Jack

Between May 1st and August 31st I will be taking part in my most ambitious running project yet, running 1000 kilometres - the distance between the South-West and North-Eastern corners of Tennessee. Of course coronavirus means that I won't be doing it in Tennessee. Instead my daily runs around Bevendean will count towards my mileage. You can find out more about the race here - The Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1000K

Laurel pointed out that people were going to ask me about fundraising, so I decided to fundraise for the Abortion Support Network, who offer solidarity, not charity, to those seeking abortion. 

Many places across the world have used the pandemic as an excuse to restrict access to abortion further. You can find out more here:

Millions of women feared at risk of backstreet abortions during pandemic

Fighting for Abortion Rights During The Pandemic 

ASN do incredible work supporting people from Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Malta, Gibraltar and Poland to access safe abortions, often by travelling to another country. This is more difficult in a pandemic but they continue working hard to enable people to access the healthcare they need. 

Activity


AH
Arrietty Heath pledged £10 + an est. £3 in Gift Aid
17th May 2020 at 4:58pm
Arrietty Heath has also backed 1 other project
CD
Cliff Dean pledged £50 + an est. £13 in Gift Aid
14th May 2020 at 4:03pm
Cliff Dean has also backed 1 other project
E
Emma commented

Half for the amazing cause, half for the amazing write up which has made my day

14th May 2020 at 10:21am
E
Emma pledged £120 + an est. £30 in Gift Aid
14th May 2020 at 10:20am
RH
Richard Hatton commented

Well done Jack. Well supported Laurel.

12th May 2020 at 3:47pm
RH
Richard Hatton pledged £50 + an est. £13 in Gift Aid
12th May 2020 at 3:46pm
KE
Kate Eccles commented

Good job Jack! :))

10th May 2020 at 4:48pm
larain pledged £20 + an est. £5 in Gift Aid
10th May 2020 at 4:47pm
larain has also backed 3 other projects
KE
Kate Eccles pledged £20 + an est. £5 in Gift Aid
10th May 2020 at 4:47pm
A
Alex pledged £20
10th May 2020 at 3:34pm

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