May 13, 2022
A minor milestone this week – I passed 110,000 km of running since I last had a day off, back in August of 2004. My daily average since that time has been a tick over 17 km.
On this day in 2013 I was running in western Turkey, usually with Barry at the end of the day. Check out the blog posts, the video, and the photos. It was getting hot. In fact, within a month the conditions had gone from -10C to +30C.
May 10, 2013
Distance today = 50.20 km; Total distance = 20,718.51 km; Location = Harmanli – 41 55.091′ N, 25 55.787′ E; Start time = 0849, Finish time = 1715
A bit hillier, a bit hotter, and a bit busier, made for a tougher day. I’m looking forward to a quieter road tomorrow, and probably from here to Istanbul.
Last night we experienced real Bulgarian cuisine, as well as some of the local liquor. The waiter brought us out a glass of Bulgarian schnapps that he’d made. It was smooth enough going down, but the after taste was that of duplicating fluid from the old Gestetner machines. One glass was enough for the four of us.
Tonight we’re staying in a fantastic hotel on a river – the Prikazkite, which means “fairy tale” in Bulgarian. It looks like it could be right out of a fairy tale. I’m looking forward to a few beers with Barry in the garden by the river. If he has enough, he may even do his pixie dance. He is now up to 40 km in total, after his run with me this afternoon.
May 11, 2013
Distance today = 51.78 km; Total distance = 20,770.29 km; Location = Edirne – 41 41.984′ N, 26 25.501′ E; Start time = 0844, Finish time = 1800
I have reached Turkey, the 17th country of my world run. As usual, the border crossing process was a pain, but we finally got through late this afternoon.
Barry ran the last 12 km of the day with me, and he also crossed the Bulgarian-Turkish border on foot – his first, and possibly last border crossing on foot. There were five check-points in total, over a distance of 1.2 km. My only remaining border crossing on foot will be from Malaysia to Singapore, in a few weeks.
The day was, otherwise, without drama. The weather was spectacular again, and the roads were much quieter, thanks to a parallel freeway about 2 km north of the road I was on. Barry and I ran on an uncompleted section of this freeway, just before the border.
Earlier in the day, I passed a creek with a green mossy growth on it, noticing a lot of movement. I waited until the culprits appeared again – numerous terrapins (not turtles or tortoises) poking their heads above the water when they thought I’d gone.
We found accommodation on the Turkish side quite easily, unlike yesterday. Carmel, Deb, and Barry had gone ahead on that occasion to a “hotel”. There were actually three reception desks in the one lobby area, each for a different hotel. There were spruikers from each establishment, vying for their business, trying to pull them in their direction. They found the whole experience too confronting, and left. Thankfully, they found the great hotel on the river, in which we stayed.
There have been a lot of comments recently about Barry’s running fashion. He’s been getting a bit of flak from those close to him, about the “daggyness” of his apparel, and now he has dragged me into it, with reference to my 1970s Greg Anning style running shorts. I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this.
May 12, 2013
Distance today = 51.93 km; Total distance = 20,822.22 km; Location = Kuleli – 41 30.119′ N, 26 57.260′ E; Start time = 0852, Finish time = 1740
Another day closer to Istanbul, and the end of my European leg – only four days to go now.
The roads here in Turkey have so far been excellent for running – the best I have encountered anywhere in the world. The one I’m running on at the moment has a fantastically smooth surface, with a wide shoulder. It is also relatively quiet for such a good road. I couldn’t ask for more.
Early on I passed through the city of Edirne, which has one of Turkey’s largest mosques. It is very impressive, with several minarets and lots of adornments. There seemed to be lots of Turkish tourists in the town, but not many westerners.
A little later, I was passed by four cyclists, who I caught up with soon after at a petrol station. They were from France, and were heading to various parts of the world. It was good to stop and have a chat for a while.
It got quite hot during the afternoon, until a breeze hit – which was greatly appreciated. Barry again ran the final 12 km of the day with me. His total is now up to 64 km.
May 13, 2013
Distance today = 48.24 km; Total distance = 20,870.46 km; Location = Yenibedir – 41 20.637′ N, 27 27.068′ E; Start time = 0913, Finish time = 1716
Today exhibited a contrast in weather conditions. It was hot and humid until early afternoon, but when a huge thunder and lightning storm hit, the temperature dropped to 13C, with me shivering in wet clothes.
The running was along the D100, a very good road for this sort of activity. It is getting busier, however, as I get closer to Istanbul. I passed through the towns of Babaeski and Luleburgaz, which were both much bigger than I expected, the latter having a population of well over 100,000.
A policeman stopped me during the storm to enquire why I was running in such unfavourable conditions. I just told him that I keep going, no matter what. He seemed to accept this.
Carmel, Debbie, and Barry had a lot of trouble again finding a hotel for the night. We weren’t expecting it to be like that. They were eventually successful, with a much better hotel than last night. In fact, last night’s accommodation was probably the worst we’ve had on the entire world run. The power went out twice, power cords weren’t long enough to reach sockets or they didn’t have plugs, the walls were cracking with pieces flaking off, the showers overflowed with murky water, and to top it off, there was a wedding reception that went to 4 am, with very loud music shaking the building until then. Luckily I can sleep through just about anything, but the others really suffered. They have been tired all day.
Due to the storm, there was some trouble finding me this afternoon, so Barry only ended up running 7 km. His total is now up to 71 km. Will he reach his century by Istanbul?