Jan 29, 2012

Distance today = 33.15 km; Total distance = 1475.08 km; Location = Taupo –
38 41.848′ S, 176 04.948′ E; Start time = 0936, Finish time = 1359


As promised, just a short day up to Taupo. For the most part the run was
uneventful, until I reached Taupo itself. Firstly, there is a big speed boat
racing competition on the lake today, with helicopters filming and all. The
sound of the speed boats roaring back and forward around the buoys was/is very
loud, but it’s drowned out somewhat by the gale force winds. These winds have
chopped up the lake surface significantly, and the boats have been forced to go
much slower than they otherwise would be.

Then, just before I arrived at my stopping point (the motel we’re staying at
tonight), I saw a girl up ahead holding up a sign. I assumed it was for someone
else, probably in a car. However, as I got nearer, I could see my name on the
sign. It read “Kia ora Tom” – a traditional Maori greeting! I stopped to talk to
Karleen (apologies if this is not how your name is spelt). It turns out she has
been following my progress and could see on the tracker that I was approaching
along that particular road. Thank you again Karleen for a lovely welcome to

Once again, the worth of the website tracker has been demonstrated. As I
mentioned in an earlier blog, it allows anyone to follow me in real time, and to
come out and meet me on the road. But it also ensures the integrity of the run,
as any authority can do the same in order to verify my whereabouts without me
having any forewarning – exactly what is needed to maintain the highest possible
standard of run validation.

It’s Sunday afternoon now in Taupo, and I think I might just  go and have
a natural geothermal spa. Believe it or not, we have one in our room, with the
water and the heat supplied directly from inside the earth. What a luxury for a
weary world runner!