Aug 12, 2022

I have the second of the weekly treatments on my heel later today. It’s still too early to judge how successful this might be, but I remain optimistic.

The world run action today is from the Coonawarra region of South Australia. Another of my favourites places to run – admittedly, there are many.

Lootie isn’t far away from finishing her world run now. She’s in central Victoria, having stayed in Violet Town last night. She’s running a very similar course to my Melbourne to Sydney run in 2009, which is what gave me the confidence to embark on a world run. She’s due in Sydney on August 30. Follow Lootie’s progress on https://lootie-run.com/blog.


Aug 9, 2013


Distance today = 51.77 km; Total distance = 24,508.81 km; Location = Frances (10 km north of) – 36 38.304’ S, 140 54.453′ E; Start time = 0811, Finish time = 1613


I finally got to run on a quieter road today, moving off the Duke’s Highway. Besides the extra traffic, the Duke’s has a rough surface of sharp stones. Once on the road to Frances, however, it was much quieter and smoother – much easier on the feet.

After a radio interview with ABC Illawarra in Bordertown this morning, I enjoyed my run on a course that holds fond memories. In 2010, this was the road where Lance and GD made a break 30 km out from the town of Frances, and the pace was on. They took turns at the front, as we averaged 50 km per hour. Reefton Humblewood was dropped very quickly, as Big Andy, Chips, and myself hung on as best we could. The amazing thing, though, was Jimbo’s performance. He missed the initial break, and so, set about bridging the gap on his own. He passed Reefton, who was immediately spat out the back again. Jimbo eventually caught the lead break just a few kilometres from the end in Frances. We had ridden 30 km in 37 minutes, thanks to the cracking pace of Lance and GD, and Jimbo would have been even quicker. I was much, much slower over the same course today.

There were so many birds around the road today, mostly sulphur-crested cockatoos. The noise was deafening at times, as they protested my presence. But ……. there was something more disturbing that emerged today – something that strikes fear into the hearts of cyclists, and even more so for runners. Magpies!!!! Magpie breeding season is usually around September and October, when they protect their young by swooping and attacking humans, often drawing blood. I was swooped upon twice today, and once last week. It looks like the season is getting earlier every year, but the start of August is a new record for me. I may have to start looking at strategies to ward off the dreaded magpies as I near the end of the run. They will surely be worse by then.

I also managed to figure out the Garmin issue today. I did many experiments over distances that were known by the kilometre pegs that had been verified by the support vehicle’s odometer. When I had the Garmin in my hand, it measured up perfectly with all the other measurement methods. However, almost every time it was in my pouch, carried right up against my body, it began to “lose distance”. It seems that being so close to my body prevents the satellites from “seeing” the device properly. I have added in the missing data from today – 530 metres – but from now on, I will carry the device in my hand to ensure accuracy. It’s a bit annoying, but necessary. I did discover, however, that the device also works properly when carried on my head, under my cap.

Tomorrow I continue on to Naracoorte. Stay tuned for the story of how Chips won the day.


Aug 10, 2013


Distance today = 48.87 km; Total distance = 24,557.68 km; Location = Naracoorte – 36 57.280’ S, 140 44.603′ E; Start time = 0827, Finish time = 1559


Awoke to a cloudless sky, and relatively warm temps. Although a few clouds did gather later, and a cool breeze sprung up, it was still a very pleasant day on the road.

It’s beautiful sheep grazing countryside around here, and a pleasure to run through. I learned something about sheep today – they recognise each other’s voices. I was passing a large field, with many hundreds of sheep in it, when a lamb starting bleating. It was the only sheep making any noise at all. All of a sudden, from about 200 metres away, an adult sheep started bleating too – just the two of them calling back and forward. The lamb started running toward the mother, calling all the time. They were still the only sheep making any noise. Eventually the lamb made it all the way to its mother, where it began to suckle.

Today’s run was over the same course as an afternoon stage of the Tour de Bois in 2010. Into a stiff headwind, the peloton was sticking together as it rode toward the finish line in Naracoorte. As the 5 km To Go banner was reached, Chips decided to go for a lone breakaway. Cycling fans always love a lone breakaway, perhaps due to the tragic reality that, despite their bravery, they rarely win.

The peloton was slow to react, probably expecting Chips to fade. He quickly got out to a 200 metre lead. A disorganised peloton is the friend of a lone breakaway, and so it was on this occasion. No-one wanted to chase, because they’d have to do the work into the wind, so Chips stayed out in front as the finish line approached.

As he passed under the 1 km To Go banner and started to show signs of fatigue, there was finally an attack in the peloton, and the gap narrowed. Fortune favours the brave, and Chips was about to be favoured on this occasion – there was a 500 metre long uphill just before the finish line.

Now, hills are not really Chips’ strength, but nor were they the strength of those pursuing him, particularly Reefton Humblewood, whose heart shrinks to the size of a pea when the gradient turns up. The hill was enough to prevent any of the chasers from reaching him, and Chips earned a courageous and memorable victory.

The VC demonstrated his power, by blowing away the best of the rest in the sprint for second place. The VC is certainly a rider to be feared when he’s at his best. Anyhow, I enjoyed reliving the exploits of Chips and the VC as I ran the same course today.

Tomorrow I run through the Coonawarra wine region. I’m looking forward to that.


Aug 11, 2013


Distance today = 50.72 km; Total distance = 24,608.40 km; Location = Penola – 37 22.690’ S, 140 50.189′ E; Start time = 0745, Finish time = 1515


Best day of weather for some time – lovely sunshine, mild temps, and a gentle tailwind.

The course I ran today is unique in regard to the world run. It is the only stage that I have essentially run previously in its entirety during my training for this challenge. Back in 2010, I set off from Naracoorte, with the other guys following later on their bikes. On that occasion, there was a gale force headwind all the way to Penola, so today was much easier.

The run was initially past paddocks full of sheep, but this eventually gave way to the Coonawarra vineyards. It’s always a pleasant experience when I run through vineyards.

Strangely, I saw three dead sheep in the fields today, all quite close to the road. I remember Klitty seeing a dead sheep in the very same region back in 2010. Amazingly, I don’t recall seeing a single dead sheep anywhere previously on the world run. I don’t know why there are so many here. One was a lamb, about half grown. Its mother was standing over it solemnly. Sheep may be pretty dumb, but I reckon they have feelings.

I also saw a dead echidna, which had been hit by a car. It’s particularly sad to see the demise of such a rare and interesting native animal. Echidnas do it tough when trying to cross roads.

I had an early start this morning, resulting in an early finish into Penola. We are very pleased to have received great generosity from the Prince of Wales Hotel in Penola – thanks Tim.


Aug 12, 2013


Distance today = 52.19 km; Total distance = 24,660.59 km; Location = Mt Gambier – 37 49.790’ S, 140 46.703′ E; Start time = 0755, Finish time = 1614


The one predictable thing about the weather in these parts is its unpredictability. It can be lovely and sunny one moment, and cold, wet, and windy half an hour later. That’s what happened today, but the worst of it only occurred over the final few kilometres.

Although it was a reasonably busy road, from Penola to Mt Gambier, the shoulders were very good, so I quite enjoyed the run. One highlight was a tuna pie I bought in Nangwarry.

It got quite cold during the final stages, as I approached South Australia’s second largest city. On arrival in Mt Gambier, I did an interview with Sam from the Border Watch newspaper. She also took some photos out on the road.

I also reached the 94% mark today – I now have less than 1,600 km to run.