Apr 5, 2017

I’m currently in Washington DC. Yesterday, on my connecting flight from Dallas to here, I had a window seat on a very clear afternoon. I occasionally glanced out the window to look at the landscape below. Most of the time I didn’t know exactly where I was, although the Mississippi River stood out pretty clearly.

Then a region from my run around the world stood out like the proverbial dog’s. I could virtually trace two entire days of running from when I crossed the Kentucky state line into West Virginia. I could clearly see the Ohio River, the bridge I crossed (although it was over a smaller tributary watercourse, the Big Sandy River), through the small city of Huntington with its sorority houses all labelled with three Greek letters, and on the next day to the state capital of Charleston. It evoked such clear memories, including some I haven’t recalled at all since the time I was running there. I was completely enthralled as so many recollections came flooding back.

So now I’m about to go out and run around the city here, maybe even past the Whitehouse, which is just down the road.

I’ve posted a similar previous photo before, but this one is actually slightly different. It shows the Colorado Rockies, looking back toward the town of Fairplay, the setting for the series South Park. I was so skinny at the time, certainly a lot more so than I am now.



On This Day


Apr 5, 2012

Distance today = 51.91 km; Total distance = 4575.81 km; Location = Bloomfield, New Mexico (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 Nullabor (although there might be something similar on the Argentinian pampas).

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.


Apr 5, 2013

Distance today = 51.39 km; Total distance = 19,021.26 km; Location = Tlucna, Czechia – 49 43.540′ N, 13 14.355′ E; Start time = 0825, Finish time = 1640


Lots of milestones and highlights today. Late in the morning I passed the minor milestone of 450 marathons. Then, a couple of hours later, I reached the 19,000 km mark. I’ll reach the big one in about three weeks.

It was very cold, once again, and also very grey. We’ve only seen the sun twice in the past two weeks. The locals are not impressed, as it’s just like the middle of winter, and they’ve had enough. It’s going to put the crop harvests back this year.

The day was generally run on roads that varied from little to mild traffic. The route today paralleled the freeway from Frankfurt to Prague, and I actually crossed over the freeway four times during the day.

I finished the day just outside the city of Plzen. This is the origin of the beer variety called pilsener. It could be argued that Plzen is the spiritual home of beer (much like the Warilla Hotel is the spiritual home of the Warilla Gorilla’s Rugby League Club, but that’s another story). I’m looking forward to sampling a local pilsener tonight.

Regular readers will know I often mention Tony Mangan, my fellow world runner. He’s now running through Central Australia, and is currently in the vicinity of Lake Eyre. Anyone who happens to be driving between Adelaide and Darwin, look out for Tony. I’m sure he’d appreciate you stopping and saying hello.