Apr 5, 2012

Distance today = 51.91 km; Total distance = 4575.81 km; Location = Bloomfield (38 km south of ) – 36 24.965′ N, 107 51.764′ W; Start time = 0811, Finish time = 1550


Some people think running is boring. While I’m not one of those, today would not have been a good day to convince the doubters otherwise. I spent a lot of time on a long straight featureless road, and there’s two more days of this to go.

Thankfully, this stretch of road, on the way to Albuquerque, is my last such venture into remoteness, possibly until the Nullarbor (although there might be something similar on the Argentinian pampas).

The tracker was working early today, but it has not registered the last 10 km or so. I am actually further down the road than it shows. I suspect I may not have an more tracker updates for a couple of days now.

Other than that, there’s not much to report on. So, since it’s a slow news day, I thought I’d bring you a little peripheral story about a particular distance I pass through each day.

As some of you know, I ran a short prologue stage on December 31, to kick off my run around the world. I ran this stage with a good friend, The Hud. We covered 16.77 km from the Sydney Opera House to Bondi Beach.

Ever since, for some reason, I notice when I reach the 16.77 km of each day’s run. I know this is a completely arbitrary distance, but it has become a milestone that I look forward to reaching each and every day.

I have christened this distance a Deci-Hud. More on why in a moment, but first, a little info on The Hud.

The Hud, also known as Big Huddo or Barry Dawson, is a legendary guy. His toughness is astounding. He once had a kick at goal in a grand-final to win the premiership for the Coogee-Randwick Wombats. Never mind that he had a broken leg and a dislocated shoulder hanging limply by his side. His effort was made even more difficult because it was his right leg that was broken, and this was his kicking leg.

Yet, he lined up the kick from the sideline, moved in, and booted it with his left foot. It was never in doubt, and the Wombats won the premiership by one point. The resulting jubilation, with The Hud being mobbed and held aloft by the fans, did not do his broken leg any favours. It came back to haunt him at a later date, when at the 37 km mark of the 1985 Sydney Marathon, it manifested itself as The Huddo Shuffle. But, as is typical of him, the Hud turned a negative into a positive, with The Huddo Shuffle evolving into a popular dance style of the late 80s.

The Hud is so tough that Superman owns a pair of Hud pyjamas. When the Bogeyman goes to bed each night, he checks his wardrobe for The Hud. In fact, The Hud sleeps with the light on; not because he’s afraid of the dark, but because the dark is afraid of The Hud. The only time The Hud was wrong was when he thought he’d made a mistake.

For this reason, a mere 16.77 km is far too short to honour The Hud with. Therefore, I have christened the distance of 167.7 km as a Hud, just as the arbitrary distance of 42.195 km is known as a marathon. This means that the 16.77 km I pass each day is now known as a Deci-Hud.

Perhaps one day the Hud will become an Olympic distance for ultra runners. It’s a little more than 100 miles, which is only fitting – nothing outdoes The Hud.