Mar 30, 2015

Sorry for the lack of posts in recent days. I’ve been away in the countryside, cycling on the Tour de Bois annual mini tour. The weather was perfect and everyone enjoyed riding through the beautiful farming land and rustic towns.

On Saturday, I did a longish run with one of the guys, Chips (who ran the entire third last day of the world run with me). He and I ditched the bikes for the morning and ran  23 km between the towns of Young and Murringo. It was a wonderful run in coolish sunny conditions and really brought back memories of being on the road during my run around the world.

There’s now less than two weeks until the Anzac Ultra. In fact, for those doing the 450 km option, they’ll be starting a week from today. The 150 km race, starting Friday week, will be enough for me this time around. Don’t expect too much from me in regard to my finishing position. As I’ve stated many times, I don’t have the body type to make me a natural over those sorts of distances. I’m sure there will be several faster runners on the day. I’ll be pleased if I finish this, my longest ever single day run, in reasonable condition and in under 24 hours.

If everything goes to plan, Kevin Carr is now just eleven days away from finishing his world run. He still needs to average more than 75 km per day, but Kevin has been doing that comfortably for the past month, so I’m sure he’ll make it to the finish by Thursday of next week – the day before the Anzac Ultra. Jesper Olsen is hoping to be there at the finish, running the final miles with Kevin. If so, that means all three previous world runners – those acknowledged by the World Runners Association – will have run with Kevin during his world run. I ran with Kevin in Australia last June, Tony Mangan ran with Kevin in Ireland recently and, hopefully, Jesper will run with him to the finish.


On This Day


Mar 30, 2012

Distance today = 49.35 km; Total distance = 4257.84 km; Location = Blanding, Utah – 37 36.929′ N, 109 28.641′ W; Start time = 0842, Finish time = 1559


Today was tiring – nearly 50 km and just about all of it uphill. At least the hills weren’t too steep, but the unrelenting nature of the ascents gradually takes its toll. I have now been between 4,000 and 7,500 feet in elevation for the past two weeks, and will be going even higher in the next few weeks. The snow-capped Colorado Rockies are clearly visible now, although I’ve been on the lower Rocky Mountain plateaus for a good while already.

After starting this morning at Bluff Airport, I ran the seven or so kilometres into Bluff itself, and had breakfast with the support crew. Once I left Bluff, the climbing began. I have had much bigger days of climbing, but with so much mileage already in my legs, a full day of it is tiring. Coincidentally, my total ascent for the day was exactly the same as yesterday – 632 metres.

The highlight of the day was a great green chilli stew that I picked up for lunch at a small town called White Mesa. From what I can gather, this town is the traditional home of a small tribe of indigenous Americans called the Ute. I am guessing this is where the name Utah came from? Everyone in town appeared to be from this tribe.

I finished in Blanding – a town I am yet to be impressed with. I can handle my phone having no reception at all here, but the ban on the selling of beer and wine due to its “Mormon-ness” is a little harder to handle. I am very tolerant of others holding whatever beliefs they like, but I have no time for practices and customs that force others to follow suit. And I was really looking forward to a nice red wine on a Friday afternoon to celebrate my passing 100 marathons today. I’ll just have to make do with the Coronas the girls stocked up on earlier, and/or the Canadian bourbon we found under the seat of Chook and Don’s car.


Mar 30, 2013

Distance today = 46.66 km; Total distance = 18,715.95 km; Location = Dachau, Germany – 48 15.828′ N, 11 28.436′ E; Start time = 0843, Finish time = 1628


Carmel looked out the window this morning and informed me it was snowing heavily – a great start to the day. And I had just gotten a new pair of running shoes ready. No-one likes to wear a brand new pair of shoes out in the mud and slush.

Anyhow, I took a deep breath and headed out into it, nicely attired in the new shoes. The old ones had done 2,115 km, since Burgos in Spain. It wasn’t so bad. The snow was light by then, and soon abated. The rest of the day was dry, except for some light drizzle right near the end.

It was a relatively flat day, and mainly on cycle paths again. Germany has more cycle paths than any other country I’ve been to – by far. Where there wasn’t a cycle path, it was usually a very quiet road.

During the morning I used Skype on my phone to make some calls. Firstly, I called Dave in the Coonabarabran Bowling Club, where he was watching the Dragons-Sharks match on the big screen. Next, I called the Ellsmore residence, which is always a tense place during a Dragons-Sharks game – the household is split between supporters of both teams. They even watch the game in different rooms. Debbie answered the phone, which was a good luck omen for her and her Dragons, as they promptly scored to put the game out of reach of the Sharks. Sorry Barry, you should have answered the phone.

Around lunch time, I ran past a camping ground we stayed at in 1986, on the outskirts of Munich. It was quite tranquil back then, nestled against a small lake. It still exists, but now has a sand mining operation right next door, and some sort of oil or gas refinery just a few hundred metres away. Sometimes it’s best to just stick with the memories.

It was a short day, due to a visit to the Dachau concentration camp at the end of the day. For those who don’t know, Dachau was the first Nazi concentration camp, originally set up to inter political prisoners. It ended up as one of the main camps that housed Jewish Holocaust victims. It is now a memorial and museum, and I would strongly recommend a visit to anyone who is in the Munich area. I won’t go into it too much detail here, but it’s worth mentioning a particularly poignant item I recall seeing here back in ’86. Above the ovens, where thousands of gassed Jews were incinerated in the early 1940s, was a photo of a Nazi book burning ceremony that had taken place a few years earlier. Alongside was perhaps one of the most prophetic quotes of all time, from German poet, Heinrich Heine, who lived a hundred years before any of this took place. He had said “When they start burning books, they’ll soon be burning people”.