Jan 26, 2017

This morning I did a moderately long run along the banks of the Yarra River and by the MCG in Melbourne. Once again, it was relatively fast, at least compared to my pace during recent months. I’m hoping to take my form from the past week and half back to Sydney. I’m not sure if it’s the change of environment, the more conducive weather conditions, or perhaps something else, but my running these past ten days has been much stronger, faster, and more enjoyable than it has been for a long while. May it continue forever.

Here’s a photo of me running past a field of artichokes in California. It wasn’t clear to me what they were until I had a closer look. It seemed to me that most of the crops in the region between San Francisco and Los Angeles were either artichokes or strawberries. Anyhow, I had no arguments. I’ll take a nice field of artichokes to run by any day in preference to city streets.



On This Day


Jan 26, 2012

Distance today = 51.79 km; Total distance = 1335.45 km; Location = Taihape, NZ –  39 40.312′ S, 175 47.562′ E; Start time = 0835, Finish time = 1556


I had my hilliest day yet, with almost one kilometre of vertical ascent. One climb was 6 km long. Thankfully it was a mostly overcast and relatively cool day.

Annoyingly, I made a mistake by passing up the first cafe in the town of Mangaweka. I explored further into town before realising I was going to have to go back. So I turned off my GPS and backtracked to get something to eat and drink.

The lady in the cafe was very interested in my endeavour, and filled my water bottles from the tap out the back. And I’m doubly glad I went back, as I bought a smoked fish pie, which was delicious. For some reason it tasted very similar to the scallop pies in Tasmania.

The town of Mangaweka is very historic, and reminded me of the town of Carcoar in NSW (not exactly sure why, because they don’t look that much alike). There was a grand old Bank of New Zealand building on one corner, but it has clearly not been used for banking for some time.

Much of the day was spent paralleling the Rangitikei River. This river has huge scarred cliffs of dried mud. All the road cuttings display the same strata. I’m no geologist, but I can imagine that the top hundred metres or so of this region was deposited in ancient times in a huge mud slide when a volcano melted a glacier or caused a large lake to burst its sill. Maybe a real geologist can correct me or elaborate?

I made it to the town of Taihape today. This town, quite high in elevation with snow capped mountains in the distance, is what I imagine some of the towns will be like when I run through Colorado and other US states in the Rockies. By the way, the town is pronounced ‘Ty Happy’, so it’s a big hello to all the happy Ty men out there, especially those born on May 2.

Tomorrow I will finish in the shadow of Mount Ruapehu, the 2,800 metre high snow capped volcano. The views should be memorable (from below, of course).


Jan 26, 2013

Distance today = 49.80 km; Total distance = 15,540.00 km; Location = Rio Maior – 39 20.162′ N, 08 56.162′ W; Start time = 0906, Finish time = 1732


There was barely a peep out of my left heel today, although my quads were very sore. That’s to be expected. Perversely, my right heel actually ached a bit, but it’s nothing to worry about.

It was a beautiful day of running, through quaint villages and along quiet back roads in the Portuguese countryside. There will be a lot of these roads throughout Europe, particularly in France. I even spent some time on a fire trail, hopping over fallen trees that were across the road. And Carmel had a tough time in the car on one very narrow dirt road with crumbling edges.

The weather was a lot better today. Although there was only a bit of sun, the temperature was quite high for winter – around the 20 C mark – and there was no rain. If every day in Europe was to be like today, I’d be pretty happy.

PS Carmel’s Apple can’t pick up the internet in this hotel, so she hasn’t been able to post any photos today. Hopefully tomorrow.