Jul 6, 2014
I’ve taken it a little easier this past week, hoping to freshen up a bit. I think it’s working, as I feel like I have more energy when I run. It’s a delicate balance in the end – one can’t expect to improve without hard work, but too much hard work results in chronic tiredness and lack of improvement. I hope my 31 years of running has resulted in the ability to achieve that balance.
The past few days have been quite light, so I intend to do my weekly time trial tomorrow. It will be a lap of Centennial Park again.
Thursday and Friday saw me playing a lot of golf in Bowral with Barry and Richard (Barry ran with me through Bulgaria and Turkey, and he and Richard then both joined me near the end of the world run for a couple of days). I’m not much of a golfer, but the 45 holes we played should have improved my game a little, and the less strenuous activity has clearly freshened me up too. I did, however, do some light running as well each day.
And now for an update on other world runners. Both Tony Mangan and Kevin Carr have recently been covering identical ground as I did during my world run. Tony is currently running in Serbia (I was there in late April of last year), and Kevin has just finished the South Island of New Zealand and is now north of Wellington (I was running the same roads in January of 2012).
And not to be outdone, Jesper Olsen has just released a book (in English) about his two world runs. It’s called The Runner’s Guide to the Planet. The book is around 500 pages and can be bought as an Ebook via i-Tunes or through Amazon. You can check it out on www.worldjog.org/books. The book retails for US$19.99. But you can get it directly through Jesper for just 10 Euros. Just email Jesper at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve only skimmed through it as yet, but it certainly appears to be a good read, including much about Jesper’s adventures running through Africa. I recommend you purchase the book. By the way, my own book is now with the publisher, but it won’t be in the stores until next year.
On This Day
Jul 6, 2012
Distance today = 50.15 km; Total distance = 8847.94 km; Location = Coloma, Wisconsin (4 km west of) – 44 01.304′ N, 89 33.900′ W; Start time = 0835 Finish time = 1737
I won’t go on about the heat today. Yes, it was extremely hot, but I’m sick of talking about it.
Instead, I’ll focus on some positives. Today I crossed from the far quadrant of the Western Hemisphere to the near quadrant of the Western Hemisphere. In other words, I crossed the 90 degrees west meridian. This means I’m now closer to the Greenwich Meridian (0 degrees) than I am to the International Date Line (180 degrees).
I was also met by a film crew from TV Channel WBAY 2. They did an interview on the road and some filming. That clip should be airing tonight.
Finally, on a negative note, I am having major technology problems with my Garmin watch, due mostly to the hot weather. It has been bathed in sweat all day every day of late, and this has severely corroded the battery terminals. It is proving extremely difficult to recharge the watch. Last night it only recharged roughly 50%, which meant I had to employ the spare Garmin during the middle of the day while the watch begrudgingly partially recharged in the car. I am going to have to get a new watch soon. If I can’t get the current one recharged on a daily basis, I’ll have to use the spare in the interim, which unfortunately is an old version and doesn’t provide mapping of my daily course.
Jul 6, 2013
(There was no internet reception on this day, so I’ve instead appended the blog post from the previous day).
Distance for July 3 = 53.04 km; Total distance = 22,516.71 km; Location = Cocklebiddy, WA – 32 02.300’ S, 123 05.871′ E; Start time = 0754, Finish time = 1541
Distance for July 4 = 67.64 km; Total distance = 22,584.35 km; Location = Madura, WA (24 km west of) – 31 55.730’ S, 126 44.717′ E; Start time = 0803, Finish time = 1751
Distance today = 44.18 km; Total distance = 22,628.53 km; Location = Madura, WA (20 km east of) – 31 54.536’ S, 127 13.429′ E; Start time = 0800, Finish time = 1456
The Nullarbor is living up to its reputation for being remote. I have had another three days without internet or mobile phone reception. And it will probably continue intermittently for a while yet.
The past few days have seen the vegetation become more and more sparse. There are very long stretches of road with almost nothing to look at, but I still find it strangely beautiful. At the very least, it’s a unique landscape.
Jeff and Michael have been running a few kilometres with me at the end of each day. They’re doing well, considering neither has run for years. Jeff actually ran 10 km with me on Thursday – his longest run since the 70s. They’re also taking turns cycling, and Michael rode 66 km from Caiguna to Cocklebiddy. They play each of the Nullarbor golf holes several times when they get in to a town. In Caiguna a crow stole two of their balls, which is not so unusual. The fact the crow, (or perhaps a different one) returned one of the balls by flying over our camp and dropping it, is unusual – an apologetic crow.
I had an interesting episode on Wednesday. I was running along the completely deserted highway, when I noticed an entourage about a kilometre ahead. It didn’t take me long to realise it was Shane Crawford, who is cycling from Melbourne to Perth, in support of breast cancer research. He has quite a big entourage with him, including a film crew from the AFL Footy Show. As I ran up to them, the cameras started rolling. Shane conducted an impromptu interview with me. I believe this appeared on the show’s Facebook site, and on the Footy Show itself on Thursday night. It was great to see such a group on the Nullarbor – quite incongruous to have so many people in a place you usually see none.
Thursday saw a ferocious tailwind behind me. I really felt sorry for Shane, who would have been riding into it. It helped me to my second longest day of the world run so far – 67.64 km, which is only 1.2 km short of the day I ran into Palm Springs, California, on March 3 last year.
I was also passed on Thursday by another cyclist, riding from Perth to Melbourne. While it would be an exaggeration to say there are as many cyclists as cars, I’ve been surprised to see so many people living their dream.
Today I passed by the roadhouse of Madura. I was surprised to come to the top of a pass, and run down an escarpment to a lower plain, on which the roadhouse sits. The afternoon was spent running alongside the escarpment, which used to be the coastline, before sea levels dropped during the last ice age. There are thousands of fossilized sea shells scattered all over the ground, as this used to be the sea floor. I had to start ignoring them, as I was getting distracted looking for interesting fossils, instead of concentrating on running.
The Madura caravan park has been very generous in giving us the accommodation for free tonight. I quite like these all-in-one roadhouses, with their restaurants and bars, and we’re all looking forward to a tasty meal tonight.