Feb 5, 2012

Distance today = 50.60 km; Total distance = 1824.21 km; Location = Buckland –  37 13.140′ S, 174 55.035′ E; Start time = 0856, Finish time = 1616



Let’s start with today’s dramatic moment. I had just bought a drink at a service station in the small town of Mercer, on the highway to Auckland. I noticed that I had covered 28.4 km to that point, and used the Google Maps Directions function to see that it was 4.7 km to the main intersection in the next town of Pokeno, which would take me to 33.1 km.

I started to run, and after roughly one kilometre I glanced at my watch, which should have been reading approximately 29 km. However, it was reading 1360 km. What the ……?

It didn’t take me long to realise that the GPS system had malfunctioned, most probably placing me momentarily out in the ocean somewhere before returning to my real position. In addition, it had my average speed at 341 km per hour.

Luckily I knew precisely what my distance would be when I reached the main intersection in Pokeno – 33.1 km. I simply reset my GPS watch when I reached the intersection and headed on for another 17.50 km. Therefore, my total for the day is 50.60 km. It means there are two Garmin data sets for the day. If you look at the first one, you’ll see the anomaly in the speed and elevation.

So, after all that, I’ll now report on the rest of the day a little differently – with a mixture of Australian rhyming and other slang. I realise not everyone will understand what I’m talking about, but perhaps that’s a good thing, given the subject matter.

The early day was uneventful, until the drama described above. Soon after that I stopped for a dog’s eye for lunch, then hit the frog and toad again. Eating and running usually result in nature calling, and I soon found myself needing to look for a place for a Lorraine (sometimes called a Johnny Tapp). One place looked promising, except there were a couple of tin lids playing nearby. I moved on and found somewhere that looked perfect. I was about to drop the dacks when I spied a row of bee hives (that’s not rhyming slang – I mean real bee hives). I could just see the headlines “Runner stung on Kyber Pass while attempting a Brad Pitt”. I hightailed it out of there, and continued my search.Needless to say, everything eventually turned out OK and I finished strongly with another 50+ km. Once I got back to our accommodation I cracked open a Terry Dear, and started writing this Rodney Hogg.

I trust you enjoyed this example of the Australian vernacular, even if you have no idea what I was on about.

Tomorrow is my last full day of running in New Zealand. The following day will be a short run to the airport. We’ll be then taking a few days to get the travel and logistics sorted before I’m on the road for the US leg, starting in San Francisco. Stay tuned.