Feb 26, 2016

I’ve run almost 100 km already this week, and Friday isn’t even over. I have more than two days to go till the end of the week. It will be my biggest week since the Icarus Ultra back in November. I’m feeling pretty good, although a little tired – mostly because I’m not used to the mileage.

Back to the topic of my slow walking – I caught a glimpse of myself in a shop window the other day while I was walking. I noticed how I don’t walk upright. I’m slightly bent forward at the waist, a little like an ape. Maybe that has something to do with my inability to walk quickly compared to most people?

Last night I gave my first talk about the world run for some time. It was to an adventure group in Sydney. They seemed to appreciate it, and I received a nice bottle of red wine to boot. Happy with that.

Here’s a photo from western Pennsylvania in early Autumn. That’s me running up the road. Lovely countryside. Who wouldn’t appreciate running on this road?


Pennsylvania Forest


On This Day


Feb 26, 2012

Distance today = 49.01 km; Total distance = 2600.11 km; Location = Camarillo Airport, California – 34 13.311′ N, 119 06.003′ W; Start time = 1005, Finish time = 1651


Once again the day greeted me with cloudless skies, a perfect temperature, and a slight but cooling breeze. After expressing our gratitude and saying goodbye to Jacki, James, and Harry (not to forget Buster), we drove to my starting point for the day, and I headed off toward Ventura. (It was a late start, so I was very happy with my final distance for the day).

As I mentioned in a tweet, I was running along the Ventura Highway, and it was in full sunshine. I found myself constantly humming to myself in Dmaj7 and G6. However, the heavy and noisy traffic made it difficult to fully appreciate what once must have been an iconic drive for surfers and others looking to enjoy the laid back and relaxed southern Californian coastal life-style. So, I pushed onward.

The rest of the day passed very quickly, perhaps because it was extremely flat and I was able to make good time. I felt good because of the shorter distances over the past couple of days. Running always seems to pass more quickly when you’re feeling good and doing it easily.

I finished near the town of Camarillo, where the support crew spent most of the day inspecting (aka shopping) the four mile strip of factory outlet stores. Mmmmmm, yeah …… I was pleased to be running.

We are currently booked into our hotel in Ventura, watching the Academy Awards that are happening just down the road from here. And, of course, enjoying a red wine.

I have decided that this run around the world will entail an additional component (to the running). I intend to, wherever possible, sample the local reds, with the aim of determining the best value red wine in the world. The criteria will be simple – I will rate the wine out of ten and divide by the price (converted to Australian dollars), to arrive at, what I will call, the Red Wine Value Quotient – the RWVQ for short. The higher the RWVQ, the better the value. It’s only early so far (just NZ and California), but the leader at this point is the Oak Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, which I rate at 5.5/10, but at a cost of US$1.67 (and FX conversion ratio at the time of drinking of 1.07), gives it a RWVQ of about 4. Anything above unity is good value – above 3 is exceptional. Stay tuned for updates, but that’s gonna be hard to beat.

If you’re wondering why I have instigated this wine value metric, think “travelling on a budget” – a harsh but necessary reality on an extended trip like this. Who would have thought a $1.67 bottle of wine could be so drinkable? Of course, I’d prefer to be drinking a JB Shiraz from the Barossa Valley (a little gem that Big Andy and I discovered on the 2010 Tour de Bois), which I rate at 9/10, but that ain’t gonna happen again for a while. It’s all about value now.


Feb 26, 2013

Distance today = 50.92 km; Total distance = 17,107.38 km; Location = Thermes-Magnoac, France – 43 17.762′ N, 00 35.156′ E; Start time = 0855, Finish time = 1706


A very hilly day, with almost a thousand metres of climbing, but it was made easier by the “winter wonderland” condition of the landscape. For much of the day, there was a full blanket of white, with powder snow constantly falling from the branches of the trees.

The day was one of minor mountain passes, punctuated by valley floors. The topography in this region seems to consist of a series of parallel ridges, and I was running across them. There were very few towns of any significance, and no shops along the way until I reached the 43 km mark late in the day.

A few people have commented on the temperature readings from the Garmin device. I guess with the snow these past days, it’s natural to have a look to see what the low temp for the day was. The problem is that the Garmin device I’m using is designed to be mounted in a bracket on the handlebars of a bicycle. In this position, it can take accurate temperature readings. However, I’m holding it tightly in my palm as I run, which means it picks up the warmth from my hand. Therefore, the reading is always higher than the true air temperature (unless the air temp is greater than the 37 C of my body, in which case the reading is lower than the true temperature). You can also often see the temperature spike up if I have lunch in the car (or go down on a hot day due to the air conditioning). So, unfortunately, the Garmin temperature data on the link is not really very useful. Sorry about that. Everything else is, though.

Finally, happy birthday to all those celebrating it on the 27th in Australia – Ellen, Krystle, Lily, Debbie M, and anyone else I may have forgotten – oh, and Rob de Castella, of course.

PS We still do not have data/internet on our phones. The phone company, SFR, continue to charge us, even though they say they are unable to help. Carmel visited a telecommunications store, where an expert, in response to the problem, said “Welcome to France”. He was scathing about the country’s problems like these, indicating that, although there is technically no issue, it could take many days for the phones to start working properly. Actually, Europe is a mess when it comes to mobile phones, with a new SIM needed in every country. Many companies that are present in all European countries, such as Orange, could offer a low cost universal SIM, but then they couldn’t rip everyone off (like they all do) by charging exorbitantly for roaming.