Jan 30, 2017

This morning I decided to do another casual time trial lap of Centennial Park, to test out my fitness. On Jan 29 two years ago I did the same thing, running it in 17:11. Today I managed it very comfortably in 16:21. I wasn’t stressed at all in the lungs. It’s difficult to estimate what it means if I was to go flat out, but I reckon I could fairly easily take another 90 seconds off. Not that a high 14 minute lap is that good, but it’s not bad at my current weight. It’s a good indication of the year ahead. If I’m already a minute ahead of 2015 – a year I “ran my age” at the City to Surf – I may do better than expected this year.

Definitely a photo with a difference today. This was a prairie dog I encountered in Utah on the world run. I think his name was Alan. That’s what another prairie dog kept repeatedly calling him, or was it Steve. I actually saw these animals all over Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. I’m sure they’re elsewhere too. Like meerkats, they stand as guards, alerting the rest of the group of approaching danger.



On This Day


Jan 30, 2012

Distance today = 52.54 km; Total distance = 1527.62 km; Location = Waiotapu, NZ –  38 21.310′ S, 176 21.530′ E; Start time = 0825, Finish time = 1553


Most of today’s run was along the cycle course of the New Zealand Ironman Triathlon. The first 45 km of so was from Taupo to Reporoa, which is where the turnaround is in the triathlon. Of course, the cyclists then head back into town and then do the loop again to total 180 km of cycling. I simply went on beyond Reporoa to finish my day at 52.5 km.

There were many cyclists training on this road today – I was the only runner. It was mostly flat, and a good surface, but a fairly uneventful day. However, I did have a chat over a milkshake at Reporoa with a cyclist who is doing the Ironman here in a few weeks.

We are staying in Rotorua the next two nights. Thank you to Tuscany Villas for providing us with a two-for-the-price-of-one deal. I will be taken back in the morning to start where I finished today.

For those who are unfamiliar with this town, it is the centre of New Zealand’s thermal spring region, with innumerable geothermal vents wafting sulphur laden steam into the air. It’s a great place for a natural spa in pools where the hot water comes straight out of the Earth – the perfect antidote to a long day on the road.


Jan 30, 2013

Distance today = 51.06 km; Total distance = 15,742.73 km; Location = Valencia de Alcantara, Spain (5 km north of) – 39 26.743′ N, 07 13.513′ W; Start time = 0900, Finish time = 1724


A couple of milestones today – I reached my seventh country of the run (Spain), and I also passed 60% of the journey so far. That means I only have 40% left to run – still a long way, but it feels like I’m on the downhill section to some degree.

I felt quite strong today, and my heel was not an issue at all. I ran through the stunning hilltop town of Castelo de Vide. As you may have guessed from the name, there’s a castle on top of the hill, with the village nestled below it.

From there is was on to the high point of the day, at the Spanish-Portuguese border. Tonight we’re in Valencia de Alcantara, just inside Spain, which is surprisingly bustling for a remote frontier town.

It was a little sad leaving Portugal. Everything was enjoyable there – the running, food, people, landscapes, and towns. Well, the weather early on left a little to be desired.

I’m sure Spain will be just as good.