Feb 10, 2016

One of the comments I received from a reader the other day pertained to the comparison between how far I might run in a year to how far I drive. It got me to thinking and I did some calculations. It turns out that last year I ran further than I drove and cycled combined. I drove a little over 2,000 km during the year, rode a little less than 2,000 km, yet ran 5,400 km. Other than when I was running around the world, I think it was the first time this has happened.

My latest article for Azumio has been published. This one is about avoiding running injuries – unfortunately, advice that I don’t always adhere to – I should listen more carefully to myself. You can read it by clicking on Azumio – Avoiding Injuries.

Finally, I’ve had a better couple of days on the calf. Too early to be confident, but the signs are good so far.

Today’s photo is of the high plateau in the Colorado Rockies. Believe it or not, this flat plain is situated at over 8,000 feet in elevation. It’s surrounded by many peaks of 14,000 feet. It was hot and dry when I ran through the region, much like a high desert. And, like most deserts, the sky was so clear and blue.




On This Day



Feb 10, 2013

Distance today = 54.11 km; Total distance = 16,299.21 km; Location = Villacastin, Spain – 40 46.827′ N, 04 24.839′ W; Start time = 0901, Finish time = 1741


Diet is often considered a key component of an adventure like running around the world. But sometimes it just doesn’t work out as you’d like, and you have to take what you can get. Last night we headed out to have dinner, and noticed there were hundreds of people milling around outside and in bars. All the restaurants were empty, but had all their tables set up for big groups. Each one we tried told us they were booked out.

It turned out there was some sort of festival on – something to do with Lent – and the whole town was out for a feast. So we had to take the next best thing – tapas. A nice barman, Jose, realising our dilemma, kept plying us with whatever tapas was remaining, while all the townspeople headed off to their various restaurants for dinner. We had sausage, tortilla, chips, calamari on bread, and some things I have no clue about. I thought I’d feel a bit below par today because of it, but I actually felt very good.

The town itself – El Barraco – is very interesting, with a serious athletic pedigree. It turns out that Carlos Sastre, winner of the 2008 Tour de France, lives in the town and grew up here. No wonder he was a good climber, when just about any decent training ride in these parts would have entailed 2,000 metres or more of ascent. And the hotel owner, Txema, is related to Martin Fiz, a former world champion marathon runner.

It was a big climb of over 400 metres out of town, culminating at the top of the mountain pass, where a bit of snow was still on the ground. I’ve now had consecutive days with over 1,000 metres of vertical ascent, but my heel is feeling fine, despite the work it’s had to do.

I’ve done some more research on antipodal points, and when I was a short distance from Avila, I reached a point which was precisely on the other side of the world from a road I ran on just north of the town of Levin in NZ. It was strange to think that, directly below me – about 12,800 km through the centre of the Earth – was that same road I ran on just over a year ago. Except that I was then running upside-down, or am I now running upside-down?

I found the city of Avila a little disappointing. In 1986 the old walled town stood out clearly, with little that was modern obscuring it. Now it’s difficult to see the old town for all the new buildings. The ancient walled town still exists, but you have to go looking for it. While there, I ducked into a Burger King to use the toilet. Despite it being lunchtime, there was only an old American couple in the place. Never seen such an empty hamburger joint.

There were hundreds of wind turbines rotating furiously all along my course today. They would have been churning out hundreds of megawatts of power on a day like this.

The day itself was generally overcast, with a westerly wind blowing strongly. For me, this was a tailwind during the afternoon, when the wind was at its most vigorous. If I’d taken the Tour de Bois on a ride into the headwind from a couple of days ago, they would have lynched me. But they would have been happy with me today – except perhaps for the hills, although the mountain goats, like Dave, would have enjoyed those too.