Sep 17, 2021

Running still presents surprises from time to time, even after all these years. Having run my 10 km time trial on Monday, I thought I’d reintroduce myself to the pace of a fast 1 km today. I didn’t expect too much – just to familiarise myself with how fast I need to go to set a new over 60 PB at the distance and achieve my long held aim of running 1 km in under 3:20 when aged over 60.

Well, I did it all in on go, running 3:18.1. This was six seconds faster than my over 60 PB. In fact, it’s the fastest I’ve run since I commenced these 1 km time trials more than three years ago. If I can do that after a heavy week of running with no recent efforts at these shorter distances, I feel I should be able to go even faster. Let’s see what transpires in the coming weeks.

The world run offering for today relates to my time in West Virginia. As you’ll see from the video and photos below, there were lots of hills and forests.



Sep 14, 2012


Distance today = 49.32 km; Total distance = 11,602.12 km; Location = Elkview – 38 29.016′ N, 81 26.877′ W; Start time = 0834, Finish time = 1633


Reached 40% of the journey today. Now two-fifths of the way around the world.


Sep 15, 2012


Distance today = 50.14 km; Total distance = 11,652.26 km; Location = Spencer – 38 47.573′ N, 81 20.080′ W; Start time = 0813, Finish time = 1558


It was a classic day, but also a tough one.

I began on a very quiet back road. It got quieter and narrower, yet was still paved with recent hot mix, so was perfect for running (and even better for cycling). And the forests were great.

Then it turned to dirt, then to two tire tracks, then to potholes filled with mud. When it wasn’t like that, it was covered in very rough sharp rocks, which were incredibly uneven under my feet. On top of all that, it was extremely hilly. If I wasn’t struggling uphill, I was trying to check my descent.

I finally met up with Carmel on a more main road, although the traffic was still fairly minimal. However, the damage had been done. Although I enjoyed the earlier part of the day, it left my legs a little shattered. I’m looking forward to a good night of sleep to help them recover.

The milestone for the day is a bit different. One year ago to the day, Dave and I took the challenge known as Le Cingles du Mont Ventoux (translation: The Idiots of Mont Ventoux). This amounts to cycling to the top of Mont Ventoux in France three times in one day – from each of the directions one can approach the summit. Mont Ventoux is an extinct volcano, and is one of the legendary and most feared climbs in the Tour de France. Our challenge involved a total of nearly 15,000 feet of vertical ascent, over a total of 136 km.

As a single day effort, it’s up there with an Ironman triathlon and the Run to the Sun (a 58 km run from sea level to the top of the Haleakala volcano on Maui, at over 10,000 feet in elevation). I have completed all these things, but felt my three ascents of Mont Ventoux was as comprehensive an effort as any I have managed. All three ascents took less than two hours (1:59, 1:57, 1:56) – I was really pleased to finish it in such good shape; so much so that I ran to the summit the next day, as one does.

Now I find myself knocking over 50 km plus each day for nearly two years – a very different kind of challenge. Mmmmmmm!


Sep 16, 2012


Distance today = 51.97 km; Total distance = 11,704.23 km; Location = Glenville (10 km south of) – 38 53.174′ N, 80 53.637′ W; Start time = 0822, Finish time = 1626


West Virginia is truly beautiful. From what I’ve seen, it consists almost entirely of forests that cover hills and valleys, ridges and canyons. The only thing is, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of variety. Just non-stop pristine countryside. I was running on country roads, but saw no mountain mammas.

Today was very hilly, including some longish and fairly steep climbs. Once again, it wore me out a bit. If my legs weren’t working hard to get up the hills, they were being pounded as I descended.

I have noticed lots of very small oil wells throughout these hills. There is a strong smell of crude oil as you pass them. It’s classic Jed Clampett territory. I can imagine Jed living and hunting in these hills, until he struck black gold and moved to Beverly Hills with Granny, Ellie May, and Jethro.

It was cool early, but reached 30C later this afternoon. I can live with that. September certainly has been the month when the seasons start changing.


Sep 17, 2012


Distance today = 51.06 km; Total distance = 11,755.29 km; Location = Weston – 39 02.809′ N, 80 29.945′ W; Start time = 0821, Finish time = 1619


The forests of West Virginia must be teeming with wildlife, because the roadkill toll is definitely on the up. Raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, rabbits and deer all made unfortunate appearances today on the road. I also heard a woodpecker, which was very much alive.

I also startled a deer, rabbit, and squirrel when I ran past them. All three were drinking in a stream. It was a like a scene from Bambi.

I passed through the delightful little town of Glenville mid morning and had a late breakfast with Carmel at a local cafe – a delicious vege omelette. From there it was on to the finish in Weston, the boyhood town of Stonewall Jackson.

I must admit, I’m sick of hearing barking dogs. Everyone around this region seems to keep dogs, either on a short leash or in cages. I assume they are used as guard dogs. Because of their lack of freedom, they’re all quite mad, and go nuts when I ran by.

However, one place today had three dogs tied at equal distances from each other, followed by a goat. It appeared to be a guard goat. As the great Bobby Quin will tell you, “A good goat’ll do that”.

One final observation – the drivers of school buses seem to be the fastest and most reckless of all drivers in these parts. They fly around blind corners, sometimes on the wrong side of the road. They are worse than what I would have expected from Otto on The Simpsons.