Feb 26, 2021

I knocked over a 4:13 km this morning. Nothing spectacular about that, though it was relatively easy. However, having just turned 60 a couple of days ago, it makes it my fastest ever kilometre since turning 60. Only a temporary age PB, and one I intend to improve upon quite markedly in the months to come. Remember, I ran a 3:20 just last October, so I should be able to get at least close to that time again.

And when I think about it, my fastest ever marathon of 2:49 required an average pace of 4:00 per km. So, I’d be very disappointed not to be able to go under 4 mins pretty soon. Actually, I know I could do it now, but I want to take my time coming back from the stress fracture injury in my foot.

Four blog posts from the world run for you today, as I ran towards Los Angeles at this time in 2012. And three videos from that time too.


Feb 23, 2012


Distance today = 56.42 km; Total distance = 2493.53 km; Location = Lake Cachuma – 34 34.067′ N, 119 57.097′ W; Start time = 0827, Finish time = 1647


Another hot one today, with 28C. I reckon it was a lot hotter running along the highway without any cover from the sun. I was suffering a little during the early afternoon, but felt a lot better by late afternoon when the temperature dropped a bit.

I normally wouldn’t have too much of an issue with these temperatures, but I haven’t experienced them for a while, even during the summer in NZ. I will get used to it over time – I’ll have to, as it will only get hotter here in the US as summer approaches.

The TV interview yesterday aired on four separate occasions on local station KSBY. It must have been seen by a lot of people, as today I experienced innumerable car horns and waves, as well as people stopping to take photos of me, and even one guy running out of a shop and yelling “Hey, are you the guy who is running around the world?”

The highlight of the day was passing through the town of Solvang (where we happen to be staying tonight). It has evolved as a sort of Little Denmark, with virtually every building, business, and other establishment exhibiting a Danish theme. There are Hans Christian Andersens, King Fredericks, mermaids, Hamlets, Carlsberg beers, Copenhagen restaurants, Danish bakeries, Danish butchers – pretty much anything you can imagine about Denmark, although I haven’t seen any Princess Mary references yet. But I’m sure there will be something about her here.

Tomorrow I have a short run into Santa Barbara, where I will celebrate my birthday.

PS I went the wrong way up a street today and had to backtrack, therefore requiring me to subtract 140 metres from the distance registered by the Garmin.

Feb 24, 2012


Distance today = 33.34 km; Total distance = 2526.87 km; Location = Santa Barbara – 34 25.524′ N, 119 42.694′ W; Start time = 1016, Finish time = 1512


Woke to a beautiful birthday morning, along with singing and presents from the support crew. What a nice way to start the day.

After a late start (I had planned a short run today), I was only 7 km into it when I received a phone call. It turned out to be from the Ellen Degeneres Show. A girl spoke with me for some time about the possibility of being on the show. At the time of writing this blog, I am not sure whether this will happen or not. Will keep you posted.

I continued on, over the highest point so far in the US – the mountain range behind Santa Barbara, at about 700 metres above sea level. I will go higher than this on many occasions to come.

From there it was a long drop into the city. Running along one of the main streets I had my first fall of the trip. My phone handled it better than I did. Despite flying to a height of many metres before landing in the gutter, the phone does not have a scratch on it. I, on the other hand, lost a small amount of skin around my left knee, and a little from the palms of my hands. Pretty good for over 2,500 km of running, though.

For those regular readers of this blog, you will recall I spoke previously about Tony Mangan, who is also running around the world (following a different course and different criteria to me). I also promised to introduce you to another – Jepser Olsen – who happens to be here in the US at the moment as well.

Jesper is an old hand at running around the world. This is his second time. In 2004/05, he ran in a similar direction to what I am doing now. However, in 2008, Jesper began a north-south run, from the tip of Scandinavia, through Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. After taking nine months off to recover from injuries and illnesses he contracted in Africa, Jesper started again last year at the tip of South America, and is currently on his way to finishing in northern Canada. He is presently in South Carolina. It’s a great feat, and it is well worth following his adventures on www.worldrun.org.

I’d also like to congratulate Pat Farmer, who is back in Australia after his pole to pole run. Although having to alter his plans a bit due to weather, it was a mighty effort regardless, including (I’m led to believe) a new world record for covering the distance from the edge of Antartica to the South Pole on foot. Puts my efforts back in perspective.

Tonight we will celebrate my birthday in Santa Barbara. More on this in tomorrow’s instalment.


Feb 25, 2012


Distance today = 24.23 km; Total distance = 2551.10 km; Location = Carpinteria – 34 23.123′ N, 119 29.218′ W; Start time = 0954, Finish time = 1258


Firstly, thank you to everyone who sent me happy birthday wishes. I think I received more than I ever have for any previous birthday.

Today was another scheduled short day, with 24.2 km. I’m glad I had planned a half day, as the 2 am finish last night would have made a full day less than preferable. We had a great night at a Mexican restaurant in Santa Barbara, followed by a live band in a nearby bar.

We’re staying a couple of nights with Libby’s nephew, James, and his wife Jacki, along with Harry (and Buster the dog). After today’s run, James drove me back from my finishing point at Carpinteria, and we all went down to the Santa Barbara Marina for a fantastic seafood lunch (see the photos).

Tomorrow I’ll be back to more normal distances, as I draw ever nearer to Los Angeles.


Feb 26, 2012


Distance today = 49.01 km; Total distance = 2600.11 km; Location = Camarillo Airport – 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 lifestyle. 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 6/10 , 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 3.84. 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.