Feb 2, 2017

I chalked up 520 km during January – my best for that month since the world run. But I have to admit that running back in Sydney has been a lot harder than running down south. This morning I did fartlek session (remember, that’s Swedish for ‘speed play’) that included a kilometre in 4:19. However, the whole run was quite a chore.

The movie Manchester by the Sea  premiers in Australia today. I haven’t seen the movie and have no opinion on it, but it does bring back memories for me. The town the movie is named after and filmed in is a real place in Massachusetts. It’s where I finished my run across North America.

Having started in San Francisco, I concluded that part of my world run eight months later by dipping my toe in the ocean at Manchester, after more than 12,000 km running across the continent. I took a video of the occasion too, but I can’t seem to locate it. So, if you see the movie, or just the trailer, take note of the quaint harbour with the fishing boats in it – that’s where I dipped my toe in the water.

This photo below was taken as I approached the town of Williams in Arizona. Williams is sort of the gateway to the Grand Canyon – the point where you leave Route 66 and head north to the canyon.  It had snowed heavily a couple of days earlier. However, by the time I reached the Grand Canyon, two days later, most of the snow had melted.



On This Day


Feb 2, 2012

Distance today = 52.38 km; Total distance = 1673.54 km; Location = Taotaoroa, NZ –  37 54.871′ S, 175 37.519′ E; Start time = 0904, Finish time = 1645


Sorry for  the hiccough with the web site. Hopefully things will be back to normal from now. I published yesterday’s blog but it is only just now visible. Please read it first if you haven’t already.

Following on from the previous installment, we had a great BBQ last night with members of the Tauranga Boys College cross country team, including some of the parents. It was great to chat and answer questions, and the hospitality was unprecendented. We then stayed the night with Scott and Kirsty, which was greatly appreciated.

This morning we then returned to the school, and I ran a few laps of the playing fields with the boys (distance not counted in my total), before some photographs with the press. It was all a very pleasant experience, and hopefully I have been able to impart a few pieces of wisdom to the boys as they start their training regime for the upcoming cross country season.

From there it was straight to the point where I stopped yesterday for today’s start. The first 20 km was all uphill to the Kaimai Pass (I kept thinking ‘Kyber Pass’, one of the great examples of rhyming slang ), where I had a great view down into the Waikato Valley.

After a hair-raising descent, it was across the valley floor to my finish point for the day on Taotaoroa Road.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s run into Hamilton, as I’ll be meeting up with Roger “Chook” Evans and members of his running club, who will be accompanying me over the final kilometres. It will be great to have some company again on the run.

Just finally, I read with amusement last year the blog of Nick Hayes and his mates.  They ran from Melbourne to Sydney, competing for the title of who could find the most coins along the way. When running highways it’s amazing how many coins one finds. Well, how about this one Nick – did you ever find a Tongan coin on the road? I guess it might be common in Tonga, but it’s a first for me.


Feb 2, 2013

Distance today = 47.36 km; Total distance = 15,889.96 km; Location = Trujillo, Spain – 39 27.489′ N, 05 52.651′ W; Start time = 1050, Finish time = 1805


It was a very late start to the run today, as we needed to buy Spanish SIM cards for our phones.We had to wait until the shops opened at 10 am, and it then took nearly an hour, but – mission accomplished.

Mobile phones while travelling in Europe are a bit of a pain. Every country has a different system, and once you cross a border, you start paying the exorbitant roaming costs. There is theoretically a way around this, but I am yet to be convinced, having tried a couple of the options. You can buy a single SIM that will allow you to make phone calls in any country, but it’s fraught with catches. I won’t go into the details here, but I can advise on one company to stay as far away from as you can – Exxacta! We bought SIMs from this company, having been told the data costs were 30 cents per MB. Long story short – it turned out the true cost was $20 per MB. They brushed this off with a simple “Sorry, our employee must have told you the wrong price” Duh!!! They didn’t offer our money back, though. Anyhow, we now have basic SIMs that work in Spain. If you ever decide on a multi-country option, I advise you to do your research very well – there are all sorts of hidden traps.

Back to the running. It was a slightly short day, and I’m glad it was, given the late start. I ran all the way on the one road, the N-521, from Caceres to Trujillo (pronounced True-heeyo, the same as the former Telstra CEO – Paul Geason and Jimbo Simpson should appreciate that one). It was a great road to run on – an old highway that has been made redundant by a new freeway. It reminded me a lot of the old highway between Breadalbane and Gunning in NSW. I doubt I was passed by more than twenty cars all day, often running in the centre of the road.

That said, it wasn’t the most interesting in terms of scenery. But the towns, at the beginning and end, made up for what was lacking in interest in between them. Caceres is a must for any visitor to the region, with its history and architecture going back to the Roman times. Trujillo is also worth a look. I am writing this while looking out at the old town, over the balcony of our hotel room. There are certainly worse views to be had!!!