You either have to travel back in time or to Eastern North Carolina, apparently, to find a doctor who still makes house calls. On Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend, no less.
On country roads north and east of Goldsboro — the Mountains-to-Sea Trail’s temporary home in the Coastal Plain — Diane Van Deren was joined by Goldsboro doctor/runner Maria Limmen. Dr. Limmen “had been following Diane online and could hardly wait to join up with the expedition,” according to expedition coordinator Chuck Millsaps.
“Not wanting to be a burden, Dr. Limmen would drive ahead a few miles, park her car, run back to Diane and fall into Diane’s cadence of running,” reports Millsaps. “She must have covered 20 miles in this fashion. Dr. Limmen was most concerned about the blisters on Diane’s feet and offered medical advice as well as her phone number should assistance be needed.”
Dr. Limmen departed Van Deren and trail guides Annette Bednosky and Sarah Millsaps around mile 55 for the day, near the town of LeGrange, around 7 p.m. After a quick dinner, mile 700 for her MST Endurance Run loomed 14 miles ahead, and that became the goal for the day. Those miles would include another welcoming committee in the form of a “pretty hairy encounter” with dogs, and yet another meet-up with the State Patrol, which tends to happen when they run across you walking along an otherwise deserted country road in the middle of the night and there’s a crawling cargo van/support vehicle in your wake.
“A State Trooper pulled me over after I shadowed the trio across the Neuse River bridge,” says Millsaps. “He just shook his head and told me that we should have better sense than this. I agreed.”
The team also agreed not to run the remaining four miles in the wee hours along busy NC 55.
Today resumed, early, passing the 700-mil mark downstream from Cliffs of the Neuse State Park.