Dec 2, 2015

The question I’m being asked most at the moment is “What’s next?”

I’ve previously expressed an interest in trying my hand at a few 400 metre races on the track this summer. As much as that interests me, I fear it may result in a lot of muscle strains and tears getting there. That one’s a work in progress.

Another race that interests me a lot is quite unique. There is a 250 km race in the Simpson Desert in late June called the Big Red Run. It’s held over six days as a stage race. That means there are six different races within the one overall race, with one’s accumulated time each day comprising their overall time and result, similar to the Tour de France.

The first three days are roughly a marathon distance each (42 km), followed by a 30 km day, then a big 84 km stage, culminating in a short 8 km race to the finish on the sixth day. The race starts and finishes at the iconic Australian outback town of Birdsville. Sounds like a fantastic race to me. However, the almost $3,000 entry fee is a bit of a stumbling block, especially when the cost of getting there is also factored in. I can’t see how I can justify spending that sort of money on a race – but maybe at some time in the future.

Today’s photo is another from my pre  world run cycling training ride through Europe in late 2011. This one was taken a the top of the Col d’Aubisque in the Pyrenees. It was the first of the major climbs that Dave and I did that year.




On This Day


Dec 2, 2012

Distance today = 54.54 km; Total distance = 15,274.54 km; Location = Carmen de Areco, Argentina – 34 24.177′ S, 59 49.709′ W; Start time = 0850, Finish time = 1728


Many parts of the road today were lined with eucalypt trees. I assume they have been introduced from Australia. The smell of the gum leaves in early summer, coupled with the landscape of wheat fields, had me thinking I was in central NSW on my way to the Gooloogong Hotel.

The road itself started out as most have in recent times – two lanes, with shoulders of long grass. I had come to expect it would be like this all the way to Buenos Aires. However, to my great surprise, after about 20 km, I struck a paved shoulder. And not just any shoulder. In fact, a man could not hope to see a finer shoulder. After 500 km of torture, I was now enjoying running bliss. No more lifting my knees high to get through the long grass. No more turning around incessantly to check on overtaking cars that might hit me from behind. No more jumping off into the grass when a car approached from in front. The rest of the day was so much easier because of it, and I’m already feeling the difference.

And I also saw today the Argentinean version of a goanna. It had been hit by a car and was dead. It was about one metre long, and looked like a cross between a goanna and a blue tongue lizard. In fact, it was probably more like a Komodo Dragon in appearance. I’m glad I didn’t encounter a live one in the long grass.

Carmel had another traumatic experience with the car today. She went to do a U-turn on the highway, and the car stalled and wouldn’t start – while she was partially across both lanes!!! For about ten seconds she tried restarting it, with other cars gradually bearing down on her at high speed. It could have been a tragedy but, luckily, the car did start, and she was able to quickly get it out of the way. She was pretty shaken up.

Today was my longest day since I reached New York City, back in mid-October. The paved shoulder certainly helped. Not too far to Buenos Aires now.