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Trans-USA Skater Plans to Do It Again
Danny Dannels says the timing depends on his recovery

Danny and Hillary Dannels in Moody, TX

Danny and Hillary Dannels reach Florida.

[This is the final report by Danny Dannels, the Texas skater who recently finished his record-setting journey across the United States.

Danny skated from Solano Beach, CA, to Atlantic Beach, FL, in 67 days, 10 hours and 45 minutes to earn a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. His route covered 2555 miles. The previous Guinness record was 69 days, set in 2002 by Rusty Montcrief.

Although he broke two bones along the way, Danny says the low point of his trek was when the engine of the car ("support vehicle") his wife was driving threw a rod on the Bay Bridge in Mobile, AL.]

By Danny Dannels
Monday, March 24, 2007

Since finishing our journey two weeks ago, my wife, Hillary, and I have spent the majority of our time sleeping. For the first week, I slept as though I was in a coma, only interrupted by throbs of pain from my broken appendages (ankle and wrist). It was only during the second week that I could get out of bed on my own.

Fortunately, my recovery is going well. I can walk on my ankle again, and I can even use my broken right wrist to some degree.

Taking Stock

I have tried to decide how I feel about our trip and the world record. Right after we finished, I just felt numb. But since then, I have experienced increasing waves of satisfaction, mixed with a strange detachment about everything that happened.

Part of my satisfaction is due to the fact that I finished an endurance event that few would have attempted, and I beat the existing Guinness World Record by 46 hours and shortened the course by 40 miles.

Another accomplishment was that Hillary and I found a skate-able — though just barely — route across the USA. Some questioned whether one could be found. But we did it.

The question we have heard so many times since we got home is: are you going to do it again?

Yes, we are. ... And yes, I am crazy.

We know so much more now. And we know we could make the trip considerably quicker.

Among the things we would do differently:

  • I would use softer wheels and off-road skates (In retrospect, pneumatic tires make a lot of sense)
  • Instead of using a car as a support vehicle, we would take an R.V. (Mobilized sleeping arrangements are a must.)
  • Hillary would need, at least, one more person to help with the support duties. (We only managed to survive because we are a team. We are in it for the long run. We were pushed to near the breaking point, but we prevailed.)

(I also can't overstate the need for a bright headlamp. I used multiple lamps and flashlights when I had to skate at night.)

We are talking about doing it again next year at the same time. A late summer run is also an option. But first we will have to see how my body heals.

Trans USA Route

Through all this, I hope to establish a Trans USA route that other skaters can follow. That is why I have made the maps public. (Map 1, Map 2, Map 3, Map 4, Map 5, Map 6, Map 7, Map 8) Someone else should have the right to beat me on the same course.

Now that we are back in Texas, we have a few ideas about what is next for us. The immediate future will be about rebuilding our life, though not the old one. Some of the old life gets to stay, but we are different people now. We are stronger. We know that we can accomplish our dreams.

One thing I can say for sure is that I will return to racing marathons. I love to skate. ... I'm a skater. ... It's what I do.

...

Related links

Danny's 1st Report

Danny's 2nd Report

Danny's 3rd Report

Danny's 4th Report

Danny's Myspace page

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