Sep 21, 2016
I had a wonderful evening on Monday at the annual Spartans AGM in Melbourne. As I mentioned before, the Spartans are a club made up of those who have run ten or more Melbourne Marathons. As it turns out, there are 1,232 people who have achieved this feat. And there are eight who have run all 38 Melbourne Marathons, some of whom I met on Monday.
Besides talking to the gathering about my run around the world, I also got to present various members with their milestone singlets – 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 year singlets. But the best part was presenting singlets to two honorary members – a couple of teenage boys with cerebral palsy. It was a great honour for me.
Today’s photo is one where I was running through a small Czech town west of Prague. As you can see, I was still rugged up against the cold at this stage, which was early in April of 2013.
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. You may have heard me previously mention such classsic 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.