Jul 1, 2014
After improving from 10:59 to 10:56 the last time I ran my 3 km time trial, I managed to get it down to 10:45 this time (3:38, 3:36, 3:31). I was reasonably happy with this, as I wasn’t feeling in the mood for running fast and there was a stiff headwind for more than half of the course (it probably added a few seconds).
At this stage, I still can’t see my current form warranting much better than a one hour City to Surf. I have less than six weeks to go, and I suppose stranger things have happened. I’ll be more sure of what to expect (time-wise) in the final couple of weeks.
On This Day
Jul 1, 2012
Distance today = 50.80 km; Total distance = 8625.81 km; Location = Stoddard, Wisconsin – 43 42.101′ N, 91 12.853′ W; Start time = 0858 Finish time = 1738
I’ve often said the mental side of this run is the harder part, but some days are just as hard physically. I am now carrying a thermometer, which I keep in the shade in my belt pouch, allowing me to know the real temperature where I’m running. Today it reached 98F (37C) and stayed there most of the afternoon. And I’m running in the direct sunshine, so you can see what I mean about the physical side being demanding. And the heat makes the road kill smell even worse.
However, that said, I did have lots of positives today – more running along the Mississippi (the Great River Road was recently named the most scenically beautiful road in the US), including crossing the river to enter the state of Wisconsin. This happened at the town of La Crosse, where I noticed there had recently been a concert by the Steve Miller Band and Foreigner – two memorable bands of the 70s. I also spent part of the morning getting text updates from Dave in Australia about the first stage of the Tour de France.
And I was also joined by local TV station WKBT Channel 8, for some filming and an interview.
And then we met Diane and George for the first time. You may recall that Jenny, who was travelling with us from San Francisco to Phoenix, left us in mid May and visited the Grand Canyon on her way home. She met Diane there, who made her promise to get us to drop in on her in Stoddard, a beautiful town on the banks of the Mississippi. And that’s what we’re doing now. Diane and George met us in La Crosse with placards welcoming us to town, which was a real treat. We are staying at their fantastic home, right on the river, so I’d better be a good guest and not stay too long on this blog.
Jul 1, 2013
(As was often the norm on the Nullarbor, I was without internet reception on July 1, so I have included the blog post for July 2 instead).
Distance today = 53.38 km; Total distance = 22,463.67 km; Location = Caiguna, WA (14 km east of) – 32 12.560’ S, 125 36.291′ E; Start time = 0726, Finish time = 1541
Once again, I’ve been without phone and internet reception for a few days, as I make my way across the Nullarbor. There will probably be further occasions during the next couple of weeks.
A few days ago we said goodbye to Annie and Guen, as they commenced the drive back to Perth. They are delivering the car back to Julie, who lent it to us for three weeks – a gesture we really appreciate. Thanks Julie and Wayne, and thanks to Guen and Annie for driving it back.
It has been quite congested on the Nullarbor. I have been passed by several cyclists, including Paul from Singapore, and Walter from Brisbane, who is riding around Australia to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. I also passed a young guy, Jimmy, who is walking around Australia, raising money in support of children’s cancer research.
Just out of Balladonia, I was surprised to see that a section of the highway actually doubled as a landing strip for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. I kept checking to see that no planes were landing as I ran down the road.
A couple of nights back, just before I finished for the day, I passed a kangaroo with blood dripping from its mouth. An enormous eagle was stalking it. I assume it had been clipped by a car. It was in a state of shock, and couldn’t move at all well. Unfortunately, there was nothing we could do. I wanted to call WIRES (Wildlife Rescue Service), but there was no phone reception. The nearest town was 90 km away, and it was nearly dark. The next morning the kangaroo had disappeared, but the eagle was still there, picking at something on the ground (not the roo).
Carmel, Jeff, Michael, and I have been free camping on the Nullarbor. It’s fantastic. We set up camp by the side of the road, and sit around the campfire at night, enjoying our dinner and some red wine. The stars are unbelievable and sunsets are brilliant. This could be the highlight of the whole world run. The only downside is the nights are extremely cold.
This morning I got my earliest start of the whole world run – 7:26 am. It was a very pleasant time of the day to run. By early afternoon I had reached the end of the second longest straight road in the world, having run 146 km on a section that didn’t deviate at all. I actually quite enjoyed it, and wasn’t bored like I thought I’d be.
The weather continues to be amazing. Today was the fifth day in a row without a single cloud in the sky. I have not seen even a wisp of cloud since last Thursday. I’m not complaining.
Michael and Jeff have been enjoying playing the world’s longest golf course, with a hole in each of the small towns across the Nullarbor. Today they played the Caiguna hole nine times. That’s dedication.
Tonight we’re in a camp ground in Caiguna, with phone reception and internet. I expect to pass Shane Crawford tomorrow or the next day, as he cycles toward Perth.
PS The last three days of Garmin data links are above.