May 27, 2016
More good progress with my calf rehabilitation. I’m now able to run much further and faster (still fairly slow by most measures, though), and with less pain. Another two weeks should see me pretty much back to normal, although full strength in the calf may still be a month or two away.
Serge Girard continues to churn out 72 km days. Overnight (Sydney time) he ran through Las Vegas. Serge’s strategy is basically to run and sleep, with a bit of time set aside for eating. I’m not sure I could do it that way, but everyone is different and it’s up to the individual as to how they approach a world run. I always liked to stop and enjoy the towns, see the sites, and spend a bit of time meeting the locals in the restaurants and bars.
I viewed my world run as more of an adventure than an athletic challenge. But that’s just me. I’m sure plenty of people would prefer the way Serge is doing his run. It will be great to run with Serge for a few days in late September (at least that’s the current expected timing) and get his perspective in more detail. But I’ll have to get myself pretty fit if I’m to keep up with Serge’s regular days of 72 km.
The photo below shows me leaving Chile, just past the border check point. Or so it would seem. Actually, it takes another several kilometres before you’re out of Chile. Both Chile and Argentina have their border checks further down the mountain on their respective sides from the border itself, which is on the high point of the pass – the ridge that runs along the top of the Andes. It took me a few more hours before I reached the true border between the two countries.
On This Day
May 27, 2012
Distance today = 55.10 km; Total distance = 6858.99 km; Location = Kadoka, South Dakota – 43 50.308′ N, 101 30.866′ W; Start time = 0903, Finish time = 1704
Another tough one today, due mainly due to soreness associated with the constant camber on the roads over the past couple of days. It was also a long day of 55 km, made even harder at the mental level by the long straight treeless roads. The last 31 km into town was along a dead straight line of tarmac.
I also ran through the Badlands National Park earlier in the day. This is an amazing region of eroded landforms, a little like a mini Grand Canyon. Apparently it used to be an ocean floor, and there are innumerous fossils of ancient sea creatures amongst the hills and spires.
I also had another run-in with a snake. I had walked a few metres off the road and into the grass to answer the call of nature. Suddenly I noticed a brown coloured snake, about a metre and half long, slithering about six inches past my foot. I was back on the road so quickly I almost ran straight out into the freeway traffic.
Libby left today to head back to Australia, via Santa Barbara. Her contribution to the run has been truly invaluable, especially with the setting up of the publicity. I’d like to offer her my deepest gratitude for her contribution. Thanks Lib.
May 27, 2013
Distance today = 50.19 km; Total distance = 21,187.92 km; Location = Batu Pahat, Malaysia – 01 51.531′ N, 102 55.626′ E; Start time = 0911, Finish time = 1726
I’ve thought up a new invention – ice under your cap, to keep you cool on oppressively hot days. Ohhh, Carmel just informed me that people have been doing that for years.
Seriously, I’m glad I’ve now acclimatized to the conditions, as today was the most difficult so far in Malaysia. The sun shone fiercely all day long, there was no shade, the humidity was at nearly 100%, and the middle of the day was as still as a ….. mmmm, maybe I need Watto to complete the simile. Thankfully, later in the afternoon a breeze sprung up and there was a lot of shade. It got me through the final part of the day.
Carmel was more important that usual today. Without her there to provide me with drinks and ice during the middle of the day, I don’t think I’d have made it.
Having said all that, I did finish feeling surprisingly well for such an extreme day. I have just two more days of this humidity before I finish in Malaysia.
Where to start and finish is often a more vexing question than one might think. My original plan was to start my short Asian stint at Kuala Lumpur Airport and finish in Singapore. However, KL Airport is surrounded by pedestrian-free freeways, so I started at Port Dickson, the nearest town to the airport on the coast. And it is now illegal to cross from Malaysia to Singapore on foot, so I will finish at the coast in Pontian, the town closest to the most southerly point on the Malay peninsula. I have illegally run across bridges before, but to get on to the causeway to Singapore, I’d first have to breach the immigration check on the Malaysian side – a sure way to end up in jail.
Now, I have been reliably informed that the huge lizard I saw two days ago was a komodo dragon, the largest of the monitor lizards. I saw another today, although it was only about 1.5 metres long. There are plenty of dead ones along the road. I think they get creamed by cars at night.
As for road kill, I’ve seen all sorts on this run, from deer to armadillos to rattlesnakes, but Carmel pointed out a new type today – a monkey. He looked like a small baboon, with enormous sharp teeth. I’m surprised there aren’t more monkeys killed by cars, as they come very close to the edge of the road.