Feb 4, 2015

Back in 2009 I ran the Run to the Sun, a 58 km race from sea level to the top of the Haleakala volcano at over 10,000 feet in altitude. I’ve mentioned the race before on this blog. To train for that race I ran hill sessions every day – as many hills as I could find. In recent times, with my Achilles injury, I’ve steered clear of hills. But the Anzac Ultra includes a lot of hills in its 145 km course – around 2,000 metres of climbing in total.

Yesterday I decided to test the Achilles by doing one of my old hill sessions from the Run to the Sun campaign. I wasn’t sure how I’d go. But I ran it easily, feeling fine throughout. It included 360 metres (1,200 feet) of climbing and the Achilles came through with flying colours. I now intend to do one of these sessions each week. I will also be adding a long run each week.


On This Day


Feb 4, 2012

Distance today = 58.16 km; Total distance = 1773.61 km; Location = about 7 km east of Te Kauwhata, NZ –  37 23.794′ S, 175 13.012′ E; Start time = 0829, Finish time = 1647


Following on from yesterday’s blog, we had a great evening with the Hamilton Road Runners at a bar/restaurant in East Hamilton called The Cook. It was a great night, and I even received an invitation from the two man acoustic act to do a song or two. I’m afraid I’m too rusty on guitar at the moment to perform to a real audience, so I graciously declined.

This morning, more runners from the club arrived at our motel to “run me out of town”. Before that, however, one of the club stalwarts, John, arrived with a box of Mizone electrolyte drink, which will do me for the rest of the journey in NZ. Thank you to John and Lynn for providing this.

We ran through town and then along the banks of the Waikato River for about 10 km before they said goodbye and sent me out on my own. The rest of the day was quite enjoyable, passing through classic rural scenery. The world’s best support crew arrived at the 31 km mark, in the middle of nowhere, with a milkshake, piece of fish, and bacon and egg slice for my lunch. That kept me going all afternoon, finishing the day at 58.16 km.

A note to those who use the Garmin link – when I stopped and clicked off my GPS watch at 58.16 km, I mustn’t have pushed the button hard enough. As we headed off in the support vehicle, I noticed the distance continued ticking up, at which point I promptly turned it off again (more firmly this time). The official distance for the day is 58.16 km , not the 58.92 km recorded on the Garmin site.

I’d like to end today’s blog with a massive thank you to Roger “Chook” Evans. Not only did he arrange for the Hamilton Road Runners to come and run with me, both yesterday and this morning, he also arranged last night’s function, as well as our accommodation for the evening. Not to mention that he has provided the support vehicle for the entire NZ leg, and will be doing the same (in partnership with his brother Don) for the entire North Amercian leg. Can you get a better friend than that? There simply aren’t enough superlatives to describe Chook, so I will just say a big THANK YOU once again.


Feb 4, 2013

Distance today = 53.70 km; Total distance = 16,000.27 km; Location = Oropesa, Spain – 39 55.188′ N, 05 10.509′ W; Start time = 0859, Finish time = 1741


The weather has been kind to me this past week. Crisp, still mornings, and pleasantly warm afternoons. Today was more of the same.

I set out fairly early, at 9 am. This may not sound that early, but considering it doesn’t get light in Spain during winter until 8 am, I feel I’m doing OK.

I ran by a nuclear power plant, and on through the large town of Navalmoral. It was then that the service road, which parallels the freeway, turned to gravel. It was a pretty good road, but my feet didn’t appreciate the surface for the next 30 km. I have a few stone bruises on my left foot, due to the thin-soled shoes I wear.

All afternoon I had a great view on my left side. There were snow-capped mountains in the background, and green fields peppered with yellow wild flowers in the foreground. The crystal clear day made it all the more vivid.

I finished in the hill-top village of Oropesa. As I ran into town, I saw an old man calling his herd of about forty sheep in for the day, without the use of a sheep dog – and they obeyed him. Now there’s a good shepherd.

We are staying in a fantastic castle, with a huge room that has an amazing view out over the valley and up to the mountains. I have just witnessed the sunset from the balcony as I was downloading my data for the day. You must check out the photos of the place.

Just as I was ascending the hill to the castle, I passed the 16,000 km mark for the journey so far. What a great way to celebrate my arrival at our castle accommodation. I think it calls for a nice bottle of red!!!