Jul 26, 2013
Distance for July 25 = 51.42 km; Total distance = 23,721.14 km; Location = Iron Knob (37 km west of) – 32 57.901’ S, 136 53.193′ E; Start time = 0819, Finish time = 1605
Distance for today = 56.28 km; Total distance = 23,777.42 km; Location = Iron Knob (19 km east of) – 32 39.875’ S, 137 19.257′ E; Start time = 0840, Finish time = 1714
What a difference a road surface makes!!! Thursday was tough, due to a very rough road, consisting of large and sharp blue metal. It was also steeply cambered – not the best combination for running.
The traffic was quite eventful. Early on, there was a massive oversize load that came past. Not only were there two pilot cars, but also two police cars with lights flashing. They were forcing the oncoming traffic to move off as far as they could on the gravel, as the loads spanned not only both lanes, but also part of the each shoulder. They were so big they needed two truck prime movers, linked together, to transport the huge mining vehicles.
I also encountered a policeman booking a truckie, and a road train overtaking another road train. They were approaching me from behind, and I’m pleased the leading road train blew his horn to warn me to get off the road.
Jeff ran the last 5.5 km with me, which brings his total to 102 km, putting him into second position, surpassing both Dave and Barry.
Last night was the last of free camping with Jeff and Michael. They found a very secluded spot, well away from the road, complete with a fantastic camp fire.
This morning, one of the Tour de Bois, Eric, arrived at our camp, after spending the night in s sleeping bag on the side of the road. If last Friday belonged to Chook, then today belonged to Eric. When he asked me how far I was running today, I explained that, because I wanted a shorter day into Port Augusta tomorrow, I would be running 56 km today. He simply said “OK, let’s get going”.
The amazing thing is, despite a previous longest ever run of just 35 km, Eric today ran 56.28 km, breaking Chook’s one week old record for the greatest distance run with me in a single day. What a fantastic achievement. It now means either Dave or The Hud will have to run at least 57 km to set a new record.
I have often said that one of the reasons I am doing this run around the world is to demonstrate that ordinary people can run these sorts of distances. Guys like Chook and Eric are helping me to confirm this. Neither has any real history in ultra running, yet they are achieving things of which they never thought they were capable. It makes it all worthwhile from my perspective.
To cap off a great day, Jane and Peter have returned to set up camp with us tonight. They brought a case of Kingfisher beer, so I’d better get out there and help Eric celebrate his accomplishment with the rest of them.