People seem to forget that Gally came back to the Glade after being humiliated to warn the Gladers about how the grievers were going to take one of them a night until it was over and then sacrificed himself to the grievers so no one else would have to be taken that night.

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From the top of the hill jutting out in the middle of the university neighborhood, exactly one mile from my house. Lovely view tonight (aside from the horrible youths seen at the end of the video). The visibility tonight was about 180 miles, even with the string of storms to the northwest. Nice slow run tonight.

Sometimes running does funny things...

So while I was out this lunchtime doing a cheeky five miler testing the new Adidas miCoach Smart Run smartwach I had the most bizarre chance encounter.

I was running through Hyde Park, went to cross the road that runs through the park when a Range Rover swerved to miss another car that had decided to switch lanes without indicating.

The Range Rover in question sounded its horn loudly and almost swerved into me. The driver was doing the best impression of a man with road rage and looked familiar in that way that celebrities make you think they’re old friends. Then I realise who the driver was.

David Beckham. David Beckham nearly ran me over.

10

Running for redemption

After days of big talk and no action, I finally laced up, strapped on my Camelbak and conquered the Christ in Rio.

Armed with three maps and a lot of warnings about how far it would be and how punishingly steep the climb was, I jumped a cab to a place called Alta da Boa Vista and set off up the Tijuca National Park roads.

Every hotel receptionist I spoke to about running to the Christ told me it wasn’t possible. Some told me that only buses and taxis were allowed, others that I’d have to hike it and need ropes for the final stretch but they were all wrong. All of them looked at me like I didn’t have it in me to cover the distance and the hills. They said it couldn’t be done. So today I did it.

The Tijuca Park roads were just that - roads not trails. But they were stunning. I can’t possibly do it justice. If I were Ernest Hemingway maybe but I’m not.

Mile upon mile of steep ups and sharp downs, all under the cover of a patchwork canope of green. I clocked a total of 20 miles in 3:34. I had hoped to make it 26-ut the breathtaking surroudings forced me to stop too often to burn the views onto my retinas and take pictures. Of all the runs I’ve done, this one was special. It’s the most free I’ve felt for a long time.

Large parts of the route were free from cars. Only cyclists and other runners, with all of them shouting greetings as they passed. The respect out there for people making their way to the top, not by tour bus, but by their own power was palpable.

I passed waterfalls, warnings for what look like rogue skunks on the loose and some of the most unforgetable views of Rio.

For this run, I decided not to take a GPS watch. I ran with only my phone and forgot about distance. At time running uphill felt like downhill. I hope this bodes well for this time next week when I take on the Classic Quarter. That run in Cornwall will feature more consistently severe climbs and drops but at least it won’t be 31 degrees celsius like it was out there today.

As I reached the final stretch up to Corcovado, I suddently ran into hundreds and hundreds of people queueing. After being fairly isolated in the Tijuca wilderness this was a massive shock to the system.

I had to ask a Brazilian policeman what the score was with running the final stretch. Everyone else was lining up for the mini bus up the final 1.5 mile steep ascent to the feet of Christ. When I got the nod from the gun-toting cop that I was ok to run on, I got some baffled looks as I set off up the harsh incline.

On the way up I got shouts of support from people walking up and toots on the horn from bus drivers. I assumed they were honks of support rather than warnings to get out of the road.

It was a tough run but I made it and at the top running gave me a gift for my endeavour. At the moment I arrived, so did the entire England football team who are in town to play Brazil tomorrow. Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Theo Walcott, Michael Carrick and old England legend Trevor Brooking were all taking in the views. I wouldn’t have seen this had I not set out to conquer Corcovado. It was a complete buzz. Then I realised I’d only done half the job.

So I turned around and ran back down.

3

What the runner saw… Hello Chicago

One afternoon, one evening and one morning is all it’s taken to make me love Chicago already.

I’m flying solo in the city until Friday when a friend joins me from New York so I’ve been wandering mainly. We’ve had some stunning weather so far and it’s been a pleasure bumping into Chicago’s street art installations. Running this city is going to be real treat on Sunday.

Plans for pre-marathon clean weak took a nose dive last night though. I ran into a really top bloke at a bar who showed me around town a bit, incudling a whiskey tasting. At one point I believe we were even in a limo. Still it seems to have sorted my jetlag out in one drunken hit.

Useless fact: Everytime I’m in the US I seem to end up eating Mexican food.

Days in the US: 1

Taco count: 1

So is anyone else out there running Chicago?

3

What the runner saw… Central Park

Finally got the chance to do a few laps of Central Park. Another bucket list run ticked off.

We did about 8 miles mixing up the wider outer road with some of the reservoir track and a some zigzags through the off-track bits of the park that remind me of the film Warriors.

It turns out there’s an unwritten rule about running the reservoir section that says you need to run anti-clockwise. I did wonder why we were the only ones running clockwise at the time but you live and learn.

It was great to see so many runners out. I think Rio is the only other place I’ve seen so many people getting running at the same time, outside of races.

Hope to get another chance to get out before I fly back to Blighty.

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