Apr 11, 2015

As some may have heard, I made it to the 75 km of the Anzac Ultra yesterday, but had to call it quits after the Achilles packed it in again. I had run well till the 65 km mark when I felt a twinge. I think it was caused by the very uneven bush trails and hills, some of which were extremely steep.

The Achilles  rapidly deteriorated after that. I was contemplating pushing through it, but the rate at which it was getting worse, coupled with the experience I now have – you can’t run through an Achilles injury, as it simply gets worse – convinced me to bail out by the time I reached the half way point.

I feel it would have been irresponsible to continue, both on a personal level (as it would have potentially resulted in months on the sidelines), and also to Phil Essam, the organiser, who may have had to arrange a rescue team if the Achilles finally snapped when I was on the bush trails at night.

It’s a real pity, as I was feeling quite good. In fact, as the temperature dropped with the onset of the evening, I was feeling better all the time, relatively full of energy and raring to go. I’d covered the 75 km in 9 hours 49 minutes, which was pleasing for such a tough course (I’ve run 100 km in 8:45, but that was on a completely flat athletics track). I would have been probably half an hour faster again had I not slowed so dramatically after the injury reared it’s ugly head.

The race was very well organised by Phil and is a credit to him and his team. It’s a tough race, but well worth it if you like subjecting yourself to extreme challenges.

Oh well, I’ve decided not to dwell on the issue, and I’m not going to bore people with constant stories about the tendon in coming weeks. Having a natural place to stop (the start finish line at the 75 km mark), which was just 10 km after the onset of the problem, has meant I did a lot less damage to it than I might have otherwise. I estimate I should be running reasonably freely again within a couple of weeks.

On a more positive note, Kevin Carr is enjoying being able to put his feet up. I will hopefully be speaking with him tonight or tomorrow. I believe one of the Australian breakfast programs will be doing a cross to a studio interview he’s giving in the UK on Monday morning (Australian time). I’m not sure which program at this stage. If I find out in time, I’ll post about it.

And Tony Mangan has (I believe) just completed the North Pole Marathon. I’m waiting to hear how it did.


On This Day


Apr 11, 2012

Distance today = 56.21 km; Total distance = 4871.25 km; Location = Golden, New Mexico – 35 15.235′ N, 106 13.139′ W; Start time = 0829, Finish time = 1645


Pretty much uphill all day, but that’s the way I like it (so long as it’s not too steep). I am finding that my legs feel much better after a day of uphill than a day of downhill – so much less impact shock over the course of the day.

I spent the first part of the day running across and out of Albuquerque. I really love the architecture in this city. It’s a brilliant mix of Native American and Spanish influences, and is very aesthetically pleasing.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I ran into the city on the old Route 66 (until I got to the cycle path by the river). This road used to be an extension of the Santa Fe Trail for wagon trains, and prior to that it was the Camino Real (the Royal Road – the most northerly part of the Spanish road leading up from Mexico). It became part of Route 66 when cars came into vogue. However, in 1937, a new road to the east of Albuquerque took over as Route 66, and this was the road I ran out of Albuquerque on today. Wow, two different Route 66s in two days.

I also passed 3,000 miles today, which represents more than one-sixth of my run. I have a few more milestones approaching in coming days.

I would also like to point out, in case you haven’t already visited it, the Travel Log section of the web site. It’s on the bottom left. The support crew have compiled this list of interesting venues. They are worth your consideration if you happen to be visiting, or are just plain worth reading about if you aren’t.


Apr 11, 2013

Distance today = 55.29 km; Total distance = 19,334.12 km; Location = Znojmo, Czech Republic – 48 51.419′ N, 16 02.833′ E; Start time = 0809, Finish time = 1718


Another big day, and one in which I struggled with my energy levels for most of it. It was only during the last 10 km that I actually felt quite strong.

It wasn’t quite as hilly as the past few days, but still reasonably formidable. It’s good running country, even if the roads are not ideal. At least they were mostly quiet today. And it was about 20 degrees warmer than a few days ago. I was down to a single layer of clothing, and I even had to roll the sleeves up to prevent getting too hot.

I finished in the unusually named town of Znojmo (don’t ask me to pronounce it). All the indications are that it’s quite historic, although I’m not exactly sure of its history. If I find out why, I’ll report back in tomorrow’s blog.

Tomorrow I’ll be heading south into Austria. I’ll reach Vienna on Saturday. Unbelievably, I am writing this with the window open and no shirt on. What a difference a few days makes.