Jan 25, 2016

Less than a week now until Serge Girard sets out on his run around the world. I’ve been in touch with Serge and he appears as ready as he’ll ever be. I’m really looking forward to following his progress, as I have been with all the other world runners in the past few years – Tony Mangan, Jesper Olsen, and Kevin Carr. Serge begins in Paris on Sunday at 10 am, and the first few weeks will be through France, Spain, and Portugal; all countries that I really enjoyed running through.

Speaking of Tony Mangan, he and I were reminiscing about running through Arizona along a particular highway through Navajo country that we both traversed, although in opposite directions. In particular we were discussing how we both passed through a tiny town called Red Lake on the road between the towns of Kayenta and Tuba City. So I pulled out the photo below and sent it to Tony. It’s of a couple of geological features that resemble elephants feet, just a couple of miles from Red Lake. They’re typical of the strange things you see in the Arizona and Utah desert.




On This Day


Jan 25, 2016

Distance today = 58.27 km; Total distance = 1283.66 km; Location = Rewa, NZ –  39 59.177′ S, 175 38.017′ E; Start time = 0812, Finish time = 1638


I started the day by running into the Palmerston North town centre to see Carmel at the dentist surgery. She had broken off a piece of tooth – such are the hazards of chewing on muesli bars. It’s all fixed now and the support crew are firing on all cylinders.

From there I headed north, through the amusingly named village of Bunnythorpe, and on to Feilding (correct spelling) – a great little town.

The afternoon then consisted of climbing through some beautiful countryside in very hot conditions – maybe not extreme in terms of an Australian summer, but hot enough to make things quite difficult for an uphill 58 km run.

However, I was rewarded with a spectacular view from the high point of the day (425 m), where I could see the snow-capped volcano, Mt Ruapehu, at 2797 metres high. I hope to have a video of this uploaded later.

I then had to descend 300 metres down a steep pass to my end point of the day at the village of Rewa. My Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS ran out of batteries shortly before I finished, and I had to change to my spare Garmin Edge 705 for the last 1.45 km. I will upload this when I have wireless internet which doesn’t require a USB plug-in. My Notebook only has two USB ports – one is used for the wireless mouse, and the 705 has to be plugged into the other for downloading, meaning I don’t have a port for the internet plug-in. It’s complicated, I know. Anyhow, the correct distance for the day is 58.27 km, not the 56.82 km shown on Garmin Connect. Unfortunately, I will have to go to the second Garmin device every day that I’m out on the road for more than eight hours.

One bizarre moment of the day occurred when I passed a shearing shed where there was rap music blaring from inside. I guess it’s a sign of the times. What would the shearers of days-gone-by think?


Jan 25, 2013

Distance today = 40.48 km; Total distance = 15,490.20 km; Location = Lourinha, Portugal – 39 14.689′ N, 09 18.954′ W; Start time = 0932, Finish time = 1557


It was a bleak day weather-wise, but positive in all other regards. The heel still hurts a bit after about 20 km, but it’s not too concerning. As long as it doesn’t get any worse than it currently is, I’ll be very happy.

Once again, there was drizzle all day long, as well as some heavy fog at times. When you’re wet and cold and unable to see more than fifty metres in front of you, it’s hard to enjoy the running. But, as I tell myself, there are many people in the world with a far worse lot than mine at the moment, so I’m not complaining.

I’ve been hugging the coast the past two days, but tomorrow I’ll start heading inland, toward the Spanish border. The terrain has been very hilly, and I’m  not expecting that to change. In fact, it will be pretty hilly for the next few thousand kilometres, so I’d better get used to it.

I discovered that last night’s town, Ericeira, hosts a second tier event on the world professional surfing tour. Surfing has pretty much taken over the town, although it still retains its quaintness and charm. So, if you’re a surfer and you happen to visit Ericeira one time, you should stay at the Hotel Vilazul. Great value, with a decent restaurant attached too, and very nice people.

As you may have noticed, I’ve started with shorter distances than usual, as I build back up to the normal 50 km per day. I should be back there within a few days.