Jan 12, 2012

Distance today = 46.54 km; Total distance = 616.53 km; Location = Hinds –  43 59.87′ S, 171 34.635′ E; Start time = 0858, Finish time = 1548


Before I report on the day, I want to introduce a new aspect to the daily blog. Please click on the hyperlink above and you will see a detailed record of my latest day of running, courtesy of Garmin. You can zoom in and out of the map, as well as seeing the vertical profile of the course. You may have to first hit the Change to Metric button in the top right. You can also click on the Previous button to look at earlier days, all the way back to the beginning.

This is a great facility, as it allows anyone and everyone to constantly monitor my progress in a very detailed way. This sort of transparency is, in my opinion, vital to validating my run. Via this link, any authority can scrutinise every leg of my run in detail at anytime, either now or in the future. Each day I will update the link.

Today was a bit of a chore, but some days are like that. I covered 46.5 km over mostly flat terrain on the Canterbury Plains. At least the weather conditions were favourable. It’s not surprising that I’m a bit tired after three consecutive days of around 60 km each, including in yesterday’s hot conditions.

Something I have noticed since I’ve been running in New Zealand, is the number of roadkill hedgehogs splattered all over the tarmac. We don’t have these little animals in Australia, but they are akin to echidnas, only smaller. And judging by how many of them meet their end on the road – far more than all other animals put together – I suspect they crawl on to the highway, get scared and roll into a ball when a car passes, and then stay in that position until one eventually flattens them. They would look no different to a piece of brown mud, so cars probably don’t even realise what they’ve done. But if that many are dying on roads, then I guess there must be a healthy population of hedgehogs out in there in the wild.

Giant hedges are another peculiarity of this region. It appears farmers planted rows of pine trees many years ago, which have coalesced into a single row of vegetation that is regularly manicured into very impressive looking hedges, many of them ten metres or more in height. The farmers must use some form of mechanical trimmer, as no-one could do so with hand-held hedge trimmers.

I’m looking forward to a good day tomorrow, as I head toward Christchurch – should be there on Saturday.