Feb 6, 2021

I actually receive the results and report from my MRI on Monday. I’ll finally know what the problem is – I hope.

Anyhow, today’s world run blog posts take us from Feb 3-6. These include my time running through the Hamilton Botanic Gardens with Chook’s running club. This was the first time I encountered Chook on the run – the first of four.



Feb 3, 2012


Distance today = 41.91 km; Total distance = 1715.45 km; Location = Hamilton –  37 47.795′ S, 175 17.609′ E; Start time = 0937, Finish time = 1626


Today was different, as I was joined by members of Hamilton’s second oldest running club who came out to join me for the final 20 km or so of the run. I will report more on today’s run, either later tonight or in tomorrow’s blog. In the meantime, we’re off to have dinner and a few drinks with members of the club.

On a technical note, I forgot to turn my GPS watch back on after a short stop, resulting in me having to remeasure 740 metres of the run. This has been added back in, but does not show up in the Garmin records (which show 740 m less than the official distance for the day). Luckily, it is only the second time I’ve made this sort of mistake.

Finally, many thanks to June and Joe at the Aspen Manor Hotel in Hamilton for the accommodation tonight. Anyone passing through Hamilton should stay here. It’s centrally located, with everything you might need.

Feb 4, 2012


Distance today = 58.16 km; Total distance = 1773.61 km; Location = about 7 km east of Te Kauwhata –  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 5, 2012


Distance today = 50.60 km; Total distance = 1824.21 km; Location = Buckland –  37 13.140′ S, 174 55.035′ E; Start time = 0856, Finish time = 1616



Let’s start with today’s dramatic moment. I had just bought a drink at a service station in the small town of Mercer, on the highway to Auckland. I noticed that I had covered 28.4 km to that point, and used the Google Maps Directions function to see that it was 4.7 km to the main intersection in the next town of Pokeno, which would take me to 33.1 km.

I started to run, and after roughly one kilometre I glanced at my watch, which should have been reading approximately 29 km. However, it was reading 1360 km. What the ……?

It didn’t take me long to realise that the GPS system had malfunctioned, most probably placing me momentarily out in the ocean somewhere before returning to my real position. In addition, it had my average speed at 341 km per hour.

Luckily I knew precisely what my distance would be when I reached the main intersection in Pokeno – 33.1 km. I simply reset my GPS watch when I reached the intersection and headed on for another 17.50 km. Therefore, my total for the day is 50.60 km. It means there are two Garmin data sets for the day. If you look at the first one, you’ll see the anomaly in the speed and elevation.

So, after all that, I’ll now report on the rest of the day a little differently – with a mixture of Australian rhyming and other slang. I realise not everyone will understand what I’m talking about, but perhaps that’s a good thing, given the subject matter.

The early day was uneventful, until the drama described above. Soon after that I stopped for a dog’s eye for lunch, then hit the frog and toad again. Eating and running usually result in nature calling, and I soon found myself needing to look for a place for a Lorraine (sometimes called a Johnny Tapp). One place looked promising, except there were a couple of tin lids playing nearby. I moved on and found somewhere that looked perfect. I was about to drop the dacks when I spied a row of bee hives (that’s not rhyming slang – I mean real bee hives). I could just see the headlines “Runner stung on Kyber Pass while attempting a Brad Pitt”. I hightailed it out of there, and continued my search. Needless to say, everything eventually turned out OK and I finished strongly with another 50+ km. Once I got back to our accommodation I cracked open a Terry Dear, and started writing this Rodney Hogg.

I trust you enjoyed this example of the Australian vernacular, even if you have no idea what I was on about.

Tomorrow is my last full day of running in New Zealand. The following day will be a short run to the airport. We’ll be then taking a few days to get the travel and logistics sorted before I’m on the road for the US leg, starting in San Francisco. Stay tuned.

Feb 6, 2012


Distance today = 46.62 km; Total distance = 1870.83 km; Location = Howick –  36 53.553′ S, 174 56.375′ E; Start time = 0832, Finish time = 1455


Well, I’m just about finished the New Zealand leg of this run around the world. Tomorrow morning I have a short stage of about 22 km or so to Auckland Airport. I will provide a more rounded overview of the run so far during the next few days.

Today’s run was in cool and overcast conditions – once again, quite perfect for running. The suburbs of Auckland comprised around half of the 46 km; the sign of a large city. In fact, I heard that last week Auckland reached 1.5 million residents, which is far and away the largest city in NZ. One thing I wasn’t expecting were the several children who said hello to me as I ran by. I’m not sure this would be a common occurrence in most big cities.

And it’s great to conclude the NZ stage with more of the great hospitality we’ve encountered during our journey up the length of the country. Tonight we are very grateful to be the guests of Gail and Michael in their lovely home near the shores of Mellon’s Bay, an outer suburb of Auckland.

As mentioned, I will be taking a few days before beginning again in San Francisco, but will be posting reports during the interim, so stay tuned.