Sep 21, 2014

My Achilles was hugely improved today. The physio’s exercises must be doing their job. I covered 12 km, my longest single run since early August, hardly noticing the injury at all.

I’m really looking forward to the establishment of the World Runners Association. It will be great to have an international governing body for the sport, thereby taking any ambiguity out of the rules or claims for records. Books of records (such as the Alternative Book of Records and Guinness World Records) will still be able to publish records regarding world runs, as they can do with track and field world records, but the authority for deciding on these records will reside with the WRA.

Today’s race from the past is the 1983 Australian Marathon. This was my first ever marathon. I had started training for it in February, but by mid April I had a bad case of shin splints. I stopped training entirely, not running at all for a month.

With just five weeks remaining till the race, the injury had healed and I resumed training. The last week was spent in a taper, so I effectively had just four weeks to train for my first marathon.

I turned up on the day with minimal miles in my legs. I ran the first part too fast, covering 10 km in just over 40 minutes. However, I didn’t fade too badly, finishing in 3:15:09 and enjoying the experience thoroughly.


On This Day


Sep 21, 2012

Distance today = 50.89 km; Total distance = 11,969.86 km; Location = New Stanton, Pennsylvania – 40 13.185′ N, 79 36.788′ W; Start time = 0802, Finish time = 1544


Yet another really hilly day. The constant uphills are hard, but the downhills are jamming my toes against the end of my shoes. My toes are now quite sore.

I see creatures of all sorts throughout every day. The majority are bugs. All the same, I make sure I never injure or kill anything. I take care to step over grasshoppers and crickets, and I even helped a caterpillar across the road the other day before an approaching car squashed it. I do draw the line, however, at mosquitoes that are biting me. They get squashed. Self defence.

Today, though, I had to make a decision. A small pencil-thin snake, about 30 cm in length, was writhing on the road, having just been run over. Half its guts were hanging out. It would have died slowly. I took the decision to bang it on the head with a rock. I didn’t like doing it, but I felt it was the best of a bad set of options.

Tomorrow is the start of the Tour de Bois. For those who are not familiar with this institution, let me tell you about it.

For the past 25 years, I have been organising an annual cycling tour in south-eastern Australia. Each year we ride a different route. We usually have about thirty or so riders, with a range of backgrounds, but we all get on fantastically well. You may have heard me previously mention such classic characters as Big Bad Bobby Quin, Klitty, Jimbo, Big Huddo, Dave, Mother (who is a 60 year old bearded man), the VC, Big Andy, Pepe, and the irrascible Mr Reefton Humblewood. There are many others who deserve a mention. Sorry to those I’ve missed.

This is the first year in twenty-five that I am not attending. The reason is obvious. I will, however, be keeping in close contact with the bois. In many ways, it’s the sense of adventure I’ve experienced while touring the countryside each year on the Tour de Bois, that has led me to pursue this more ambitious adventure of running around the world.