Aug 8, 2014

My Achilles is feeling a lot better today, after four relatively easy days. It may even be pretty much back to normal by the time of the race on Sunday, though I’m sure it will be sore for a few days after that.

Something a little different today – I regularly receive requests to advertise products on this blog for payment. I politely inform the sender that I don’t take “cash for comment”. But, if they want to send me a sample and I feel it has the potential to benefit runners, then I’d be willing to mention the product free of charge.

Strangely, many of these requests begin with a stance of “you pay us for the product, then we’ll pay you for the comment”. That’s a bit unusual to begin with. Even more outrageous (and this has happened more than once), after I’ve suggested I’d recommend the product free of charge (if beneficial to runners in my opinion), is when it’s then suggested that I still pay for their product. In other words “You pay us for the right to recommend our product”.

I’m no marketing expert, but many of the marketers in such companies are living in fairy land. Yesterday I picked up my City to Surf number bib from a nearby hall. A similar marketing disaster was in evidence. Some genius decided that, instead of letting runners leave through the nearest door (just metres away), everyone was forced to walk through a 200 metre maze of stands with many dubious running products on display. I (and I’m sure many others) came away feeling entirely negatively about any product I noticed on my way past all these stands (I tried not to even look).

Surely good marketing is about creating a positive attitude to products. A much smarter way to ensure this would have been to make the walk past the products optional rather than mandatory. Instead, a proportion of participants will now have a negative attitude to these products and to the City to Surf marketing and organization in general.

As I said at the top of the page, today’s post is a bit different. I hope you don’t mind.

Anyhow, I’ll post again on Sunday as soon as I can after the race. My stated aim if to run under the hour. Anything better than that will be a bonus.


On This Day


Aug 8, 2012

No report for this day. I was back in Australia for a brief break, renewing my US visa status.


Aug 8, 2013

Distance today = 54.00 km; Total distance = 24,457.04 km; Location = Cannawigara, SA – 36 15.199’ S, 140 40.459′ E; Start time = 0814, Finish time = 1615


The weather was much kinder to me today, with no rain or wind.

After 18 km, I reached a sign indicating it was 2 km to Keith and 500 km to Melbourne. The significance of this is that I took a photo of the same sign in 2010 as I passed it on the Tour de Bois. I clearly remember thinking at the time that I would be passing that same sign in a few years, having run most of the way around the world. That moment arrived today. It almost felt like I had seen the future.

Other than that, the day was fairly uneventful – just a solid 54 km.

N.B. The official distance of 54 km today, differs from the Garmin data by more than 800 metres. For some time now, I have suspected the Garmin device has been short-changing me in regard to the distance I’ve covered on some days. It’s often difficult to be sure of this, so I accept the data as is. However, on certain occasions, like today, it’s easy to check. Running entirely on the same highway, from the 108 km peg to the 162 km peg, I was able to compare the data with three other types of distance markers – the kilometre pegs (each km), distance to town markers (each 5 km), and Google Maps. All three of these were consistent with each other today, but the Garmin differed by the amount mentioned above. When it is so conclusive, I feel it’s important to adjust the total.

Assuming the Garmin has, from time to time, been registering less than what I’ve really run, what implications does this have? Luckily, not much – it simply means I will probably end up running a bit more than what my official total says. At least my official total will be a lower bound – I know I will have run at least that much, and probably more. If it was the other way around, it would be a serious problem, as I couldn’t then be sure I’d run the required distance of at least 26,000 km.

There have been times when the Garmin has attributed more than I have really run, but these occasions have been very rare, extreme in their error, easy to spot, and simple to correct. For example, like the time it added 1,360 km to my distance for that day – it’s not likely I’d ever miss something like that.

PS Thanks to David from Duke’s Motel in Bordertown for his generosity tonight.