Apr 4, 2015

Although it was raining, I enjoyed a very pleasant run in and around Coonabarabran this morning – 23 km in total. That will be my last decent length run prior to the 150 km Anzac Ultra next Friday in Canberra (300 km or 450 km for some others – I’m just doing the soft option).

And I’d like to take the opportunity of mentioning the great work Phil Essam and his team have done in organising the Anzac Ultra. Not only is Phil a great race organiser, he’s also the President of the World Runners Association.


On This Day


Apr 4, 2012

Distance today = 57.82 km; Total distance = 4523.90 km; Location = Aztec, New Mexico – 36 49.581′ N, 107 58.696′ W; Start time = 0903, Finish time = 1724


There’s something particularly relaxing about running on a quiet path by a river. That’s how I started today. However, it was all too short, ending after only few kilometres, and I was back on the main road.

The weather was much better, with blue skies and a light breeze. I passed an emu farm along the way, shortly before reaching the New Mexico border. The road on the Colorado side had a minimal shoulder, but just before the border it widened considerably, making the running less onerous.

All in all, it was a nice, if uneventful, day. I felt surprisingly good after yesterday’s big run. I’ve now covered more than 120 km in the past two days.

PS The Tom’s Next Step Facebook page reached its 500th friend last night. Congratulations to Shelly Harbour for being that friend – now who are you?


Apr 4, 2013

Distance today = 52.19 km; Total distance = 18,969.87 km; Location = Tachov, Czech Republic – 49 48.017′ N, 12 38.148′ E; Start time = 0834, Finish time = 1718


Another very hilly day, and one in which I reached the 11th country of my world run – the Czech Republic, land of Emil Zatopek, one of the world’s greatest ever long distance runners.

And, believe it or not, there was a slight snow fall this morning as I set off. And it’s April!!! It was very cold, with my Garmin again registering sub-zero temperatures while I was carrying it.

The first part of the day was on very quiet roads, with the middle bit on an old rail trail through a pine forest. All the ponds were frozen over. I decided to test how thick the ice was, so I found a big rock and threw it as hard as I could on to a large pool of frozen water. The rock bounced off, merely chipping the ice. I reckon I could have safely walked on that water.

I have also found something quite unusual. When I go in to a shop and buy a drink, it’s actually warmer than the air, despite coming out of the fridge. It feels like I’m drinking a warm drink, because it’s at the 4 C temperature that fridges are normally kept at, which is higher than the temperature I’m running in. Amazingly, the fridges are acting as heaters.

Early in the afternoon I crossed from Germany into the Czech Republic. There were billboards everywhere for casinos just down the road. They must cater to Germans who cross the border to gamble. Unfortunately, after knowing a little Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German, I’ve now reached the difficult stage, as I know absolutely no Czech, Slovakian, Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian, or Turkish. The next six weeks will be interesting.

I finally reached my finish for the day in Tachov, where Carmel had had enormous difficulties securing new Czech SIM cards. She finally got it sorted, just as I arrived. We then struggled a little with accommodation, before finding a very nice pension, with a very friendly proprietor. She was most helpful, and her son asked me for my autograph.

One disappointing thing – today my total distance covered in kilometres finally passed the Oxfam donations in dollars. The dollars had always been ahead of the kilometres, but this is now not the case. I hope it’s temporary, so please donate if you can, to help my ratio go above $1 per km.