15.Apr.2022

Apr 15, 2022

Today’s world run flashbacks are from Austria and Slovakia. As the European spring started to kick in around this time, I began to ‘see’ the end of my run around the world. I still had about 7,000 km to go, but I was starting to get a sense of the end approaching.

 

Apr 12, 2013

 

Distance today = 50.82 km; Total distance = 19,384.94 km; Location = Overmallebarn – 48 27.187′ N, 16 09.706′ E; Start time = 0822, Finish time = 1658

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/296854445

By the time I’d run 13 km today, I had reached my 12th country of the world run so far – Austria.  These days there are no border checks, but a quarter of a century ago I would have been figuratively running through the Iron Curtain. It’s much easier now.

The road, before and after the border, was not ideal for running. There was far too much traffic, but I don’t let it faze me anymore. As long as I’m making reasonable progress, I’m happy enough. An amusing highlight of the morning was passing a town called Windpassing.

After lunch, at the 35 km mark, I was able to get on to a much quieter road that paralleled the freeway. The rest of the day was quite pleasant.

We struggled with accommodation again. Apparently there is a major table tennis tournament on this weekend, along with the Vienna Marathon. I finished on the far outskirts of Vienna, but the shortage of accommodation even extends right out to here. We have found a hotel, but it has no internet. It looks like we’ll have to go down to the local McDonald’s to upload this blog. I am scheduled to run into Vienna tomorrow – it may be very hard finding accommodation.

As we’ll only be in Austria and Slovakia for a few days, we are going to use our Czech SIMs on roaming, which means there’ll be no data and, hence, no live tracker for the next few days. I am also having trouble getting the tracker to update in McDonald’s tonight. I’m sure it will be fine when I get a new SIM card.

 

Apr 13, 2013

 

Distance today = 48.19 km; Total distance = 19,433.13 km; Location = Wittau – 48 10.920′ N, 16 36.284′ E; Start time = 0824, Finish time = 1711

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/297238205

Wow, when the weather changes here, it really changes!!! Today was close to summer. It was a beautiful sunny day, with temperatures in the low 20s. And it felt so different to the past few months. For the first time since Argentina, I was running in shorts and a short-sleeved T-shirt.

I ran from the north and into the eastern suburbs of Vienna, on the opposite side of the Danube River to the city. I had mentioned a couple of weeks ago how I was running along the banks of the Donau. I hadn’t realised this is the German name for the Danube. So, this is my second experience of the river.  The fact I was running along the river valley, means the day was very flat – a nice change from the past week.

I am often asked what the hardest thing is about running around the world. I think I now know the answer – communications. The running looks after itself, but we are constantly at the mercy of our internet connections and phone reception. Take today, for example. Because we’re only briefly in Austria and Slovakia, we’ve decided to keep our Czech SIM cards until we reach Hungary, using roaming for phone calls. The downside is, we don’t have any internet on the phones. Carmel really needed to finalize accommodation for Vienna, and we’d had some offers from friends of friends. She vitally required the internet to check emails for phone numbers she needed to call. As the internet wasn’t on her phone, she went to McDonald’s but the Austrian McDonald’s Wi-Fi is hopeless, and kept dropping out. She then went to a different McDonald’s, but got the same result. And again at a third. She then found a café with internet, and this worked just long enough for her to make some progress, before it too dropped out. She managed to get a phone number to call, but then her phone couldn’t get through to that number. It was incredibly frustrating for her, and the result is that we could not take up the offers of accommodation, and have had to book into a hotel (luckily, the Vienna Marathon tomorrow has not resulted in a total book-out of the city’s hotels). Running is a breeze, compared to all that.

A minor milestone today, when I passed 4,000 km run in Europe since I started on January 24.

 

Apr 14, 2013

 

Distance today = 46.25 km; Total distance = 19,479.38 km; Location = Bratislava – 48 09.091′ N, 17 06.417′ E; Start time = 0838, Finish time = 1610

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/297780618

Today felt a bit surreal. I think it was probably the rapid change of seasons, which suddenly brings a totally different vibe to the day. The air, the light, the smell of the countryside – everything has changed. And it seemed that everyone was out enjoying it.

I ran from the very flat river plains of the Danube in Austria, toward the east. I eventually crossed over the river, and after that, it was all cycle paths. There was a bit of a rise over a ridge, but hardly a hill otherwise.

Late in the day I reached the 13th country of my world run – Slovakia – finishing in its capital, Bratislava. This city is like a smaller version of Prague, and I’m looking forward to exploring the old part tonight.

Tomorrow I’ll be having a short day, running into Hungary. I’m then going to have my first day off in more than eighty days. Our good friends, Jo and Dave and Sue and Greg, have arrived in Europe and will be meeting us in Vienna tomorrow afternoon. So, we’ll be driving back there, before I recommence the run on Wednesday from Hungary. There will still be a blog tomorrow, so stay tuned to this channel.

Finally, there have been a few comments about the number of kilometres I get out of my shoes. Most experts recommend between 500 and 1000 km, whereas I get over 2000 km. However, as they say, “don’t try this at home, kids”. It takes a lot of years of experience to be able to manage that level of mileage in a single pair of shoes, and it only works if you’re a front foot striker – not a heel striker.

 

Apr 15, 2013

 

Distance today = 35.28 km; Total distance = 19,514.66 km; Location = Mosonmagyarovar – 47 52.337′ N, 17 16.184′ E; Start time = 0819, Finish time = 1354

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/298423693

Awoke to a stunning day. Perfect temperatures and clear blue skies. Once again, I was running with shorts and a T-shirt.

I headed out of Bratislava and was soon in the countryside. It is incredibly flat here in the Danube Valley. About half-way through my run, I reached the old border station, between what was then Czechoslovakia and Hungary. It has been essentially demolished by vandals, with broken windows and holes in the walls. At that point, I had made it to the 14th country of my world run – Hungary.

I finished early in the town of Mosonmagyarovar. We picked up new Hungarian SIM cards, and then headed back to Vienna to meet Jo, Dave, Sue, and Greg. Remember, I will be having a day off from the world run tomorrow, catching up with them. I’ll resume on Wednesday, where I left off today.

There should be plenty of stories over the next week so, as our friends travel with us. The guys will be doing some running with me too. For those with good memories, you might recall that Greg, aka The Hud, ran with me on Day 1 of the world run, from the Sydney Opera House to Bondi Beach.