Apr 5, 2016

Once again, my foot and my legs in general, felt great today. Saturday’s problem seems an eternity away. I already mentioned that I suspect it was caused by spending a lot of time last week in hard business shoes – something I haven’t done for several years. I was also wearing old shoes for running.

In fact, I’ve been alternating between two pairs of shoes for more than a year now. Each pair has seen more than 3,000 km. I’ve had no problems doing this. I know, I know, every shoe manufacturer tells you to change your shoes after 500 km, but that’s definitely too early. Then again, 3000 km is getting pretty extreme.

Anyhow, I wanted to make sure the shoes weren’t contributing to the problem, so I went to my wardrobe and looked to see what I had in there. I decided to try the very same pair I wore over the final 500 km of the run around the world – the pair in which I crossed the finish line at the Sydney Opera House. I’ve probably run a few hundred kilometres  in them since, but the total distance for this pair of shoes is less than 1,000 km.

And you know what – I’d forgotten how comfortable they are. They’re the best running shoes I’ve ever had. They are essentially the same shoes as I wear now, but design changes over the past three years have been retrograde. The old pair are better than what you can buy now. I’ve felt great in this pair from 2013 and have decided to wear them for a little while yet. Why wouldn’t I, when I’m running so comfortably in them. Whether they’re the reason the heel problem disappeared so abruptly, I’m not sure. But it’s possible.

Here’s a photo taken by Carmel as I ran past the chateau at La Rochepot in the Burgundy region of France. We’d visited this place in 2009 on a cycling trip and loved it then. Just down the road is the town of Nolay where we stayed on both occasions. The city of Beaune is nearby too.


Day 53 Nolay - Ferme de Saule - 03


On This Day


Apr 5, 2012

Distance today = 51.91 km; Total distance = 4575.81 km; Location = Bloomfield, New Mexico (38 km south of ) – 36 24.965′ N, 107 51.764′ W; Start time = 0811, Finish time = 1550


Some people think running is boring. While I’m not one of those, today would not have been a good day to convince the doubters otherwise. I spent a lot of time on a long straight featureless road, and there’s two more days of this to go.

Thankfully, this stretch of road, on the way to Albuquerque, is my last such venture into remoteness, possibly until the Nullabor (although there might be something similar on the Argentinian pampas).

The tracker was working early today, but it has not registered the last 10 km or so. I am actually further down the road than it shows. I suspect I may not have any more tracker updates for a couple of days now.

Other than that, there’s not much to report on. So, since it’s a slow news day, I thought I’d bring you a little peripheral story about a particular distance I pass through each day.

As some of you know, I ran a short prologue stage on December 31, to kick off my run around the world. I ran this stage with a good friend, The Hud. We covered 16.77 km from the Sydney Opera House to Bondi Beach.

Ever since, for some reason, I notice when I reach the 16.77 km of each day’s run. I know this is a completely arbitrary distance, but it has become a milestone that I look forward to reaching each and every day.

I have christened this distance a Deci-Hud. More on why in a moment, but first, a little info on The Hud.

The Hud, also known as Big Huddo or Barry Dawson, is a legendary guy. His toughness is astounding. He once had a kick at goal in a grand-final to win the premiership for the Coogee-Randwick Wombats. Never mind that he had a broken leg and a dislocated shoulder hanging limply by his side. His effort was made even more difficult because it was his right leg that was broken, and this was his kicking leg.

Yet, he lined up the kick from the sideline, moved in, and booted it with his left foot. It was never in doubt, and the Wombats won the premiership by one point. The resulting jubilation, with The Hud being mobbed and held aloft by the fans, did not do his broken leg any favours. It came back to haunt him at a later date, when at the 37 km mark of the 1985 Sydney Marathon, it manifested itself as The Huddo Shuffle. But, as is typical of him, the Hud turned a negative into a positive, with The Huddo Shuffle evolving into a popular dance style of the late 80s.

The Hud is so tough that Superman owns a pair of Hud pyjamas. When the Bogeyman goes to bed each night, he checks his wardrobe for The Hud. In fact, The Hud sleeps with the light on; not because he’s afraid of the dark, but because the dark is afraid of The Hud. The only time The Hud was wrong was when he thought he’d made a mistake.

For this reason, a mere 16.77 km is far too short to honour The Hud with. Therefore, I have christened the distance of 167.7 km as a Hud, just as the arbitrary distance of 42.195 km is known as a marathon. This means that the 16.77 km I pass each day is now known as a Deci-Hud.

Perhaps one day the Hud will become an Olympic distance for ultra runners. It’s a little more than 100 miles, which is only fitting – nothing outdoes The Hud.


Apr 5, 2013

Distance today = 51.39 km; Total distance = 19,021.26 km; Location = Tlucna, Czech Republic – 49 43.540′ N, 13 14.355′ E; Start time = 0825, Finish time = 1640


Lots of milestones and highlights today. Late in the morning I passed the minor milestone of 450 marathons. Then, a couple of hours later, I reached the 19,000 km mark. I’ll reach the big one in about three weeks.

It was very cold, once again, and also very grey. We’ve only seen the sun twice in the past two weeks. The locals are not impressed, as it’s just like the middle of winter, and they’ve had enough. It’s going to put the crop harvests back this year.

The day was generally run on roads that varied from little to mild traffic. The route today paralleled the freeway from Frankfurt to Prague, and I actually crossed over the freeway four times during the day.

I finished the day just outside the city of Plzen. This is the origin of the beer variety called pilsener. It could be argued that Plzen is the spiritual home of beer (much like the Warilla Hotel is the spiritual home of the Warilla Gorilla’s Rugby League Club, but that’s another story). I’m looking forward to sampling a local pilsener tonight.

Regular readers will know I often mention Tony Mangan, my fellow world runner. He’s now running through Central Australia, and is currently in the vicinity of Lake Eyre. Anyone who happens to be driving between Adelaide and Darwin, look out for Tony. I’m sure he’d appreciate you stopping and saying hello.