Mar 8, 2017
My taper is going well, and I’m feeling a lot more energetic when running. I’m still encountering some residual heaviness in my legs, but I expect this to disappear over the coming four days, ahead of Sunday’s race on King Island. By the way, the record for the 32 km is held by Steve Moneghetti at 1:37. I’ll be at least an hour slower than that. But it’s a handicap race, so everyone – those faster and those slower than me (as well as me) – is a chance at winning.
This is a great photo taken by Carmel in Monument Valley. I was somewhere down below running while she and Libby visited this lookout. How could anyone not be enjoy running in a place like this. It is simply spectacular – one of the highlights of my run around the world.
On This Day
Mar 8, 2012
Distance today = 49.01 km; Total distance = 3171.83 km; Location = 10 km south of Palo Verde, California – 33 20.759′ N, 114 43.392′ W; Start time = 0902, Finish time = 1541
Another tough one today. I ran into a stiff headwind the whole way, and the early part was uphill as well. I knew it was going to be hard when I awoke with only seven hours sleep under my belt.
In addition, there was not a single town along the way, nor any shop or other means of obtaining drinks or food, so I used my Camelbak for the first time. It proved more than adequate. The combination of its 2.0 litres and the 1.5 litres I usually carry in my running belt, was more than enough for the whole 49 km.
As beautiful as the desert is, the one thing it lacks when you’re running through it all day is variation. But that’s when I draw on other inspiration to get through it mentally. At least I had the Chocolate Mountains to keep me company during the morning, and I got my first view of the Colorado River this afternoon.
I am now in the region of the desert giants – huge drawings carved into the desert by ancient indigenous people, some estimated to be as much as 12,000 years old. They are very similar to the Nazca Lines in Peru. If I get a chance, I hope to have a look at one tomorrow.
Mar 8, 2013
Distance today = 47.36 km; Total distance = 17,618.61 km; Location = Malaucene, France – 44 10.450′ N, 05 07.981′ E; Start time = 0904, Finish time = 1720
I woke to pouring rain – oh no, not again. But, by the time I started to run, the rain had stopped, and within half an hour the sun was out. It ended up quite a nice day, and certainly the hottest since I began in Europe. I could easily have run in shorts and a T-shirt.
By mid morning I had crossed the Rhone River. It’s the third time I’ve crossed this river on the same bridge, although the first two times were on a bike. From there, I was running through the Chateauneuf du Pape area of the Cotes du Rhone wine region. There were vineyards and wineries everywhere.
There is also a French Air Force base nearby, and they must have been doing drills today, as there was a constant stream of fighter jets landing and taking off. The sound of these things is incredible. You can hear them from miles away.
At this point, the clouds really started to clear, and all of sudden, the Giant of Provence stood in front of me. For those unfamiliar with the term, this is the name given to the long extinct stand-alone volcano of the region, Mont Ventoux. It is legendary on the Tour de France, and an impressive sight, rising up from the surrounding countryside. In 2011, I rode to the top of the mountain three times in one day, from the three different towns around its base – about 4,500 metres or 15,000 feet of climbing in a single day. I believe there are only about 4,000 people in the world who have ever done this, and I was quite chuffed at my achievement. I guess running around the world might top it, though, seeing as there’s only one person in the world so far who has done it, and two of us part way through at the moment.
I finished in the town of Malaucene, one of the three towns at the base of Mont Ventoux. I have come here to pay homage to the mountain. I would have run up it, except the road is closed for winter. I have run to the top before, but never from the very bottom. Oh well, it wasn’t to be.
From here, I’ll be heading north toward the Burgundy region over the next week. Definitely looking forward to that.