May 5, 2016

I feel like I’ve pretty much fully recovered from Saturday’s marathon. I have no residual soreness whatsoever and am feeling quite fresh. Tonight I’ll be attending my second rugby training session, ahead of this Saturday’s game – my first in more than a third of a century. The next post I publish will, no doubt, be focused heavily on the outcome of this game.

Now for something a bit different. When it comes to running shoes, we pretty much have to discover what works best for us. Like with every other product, you can’t believe the marketing hype. I certainly don’t. Wouldn’t it be better if there was independent and transparent evidence and statistics that could help you make your purchasing decision?

Well, there’s a new initiative which should shed some light on the issue of running shoe efficiency. New running shoe company, Airia from Sweden, is conducting a world wide experiment to compare their shoes against all the other options. The basic premise is that when a runner does exactly the same session on a treadmill in two different types of shoes, the shoes that result in the lowest heart rate are the ones in which you’re running most efficiently. I agree with this hypothesis.

Airia is actually offering a free pair of their shoes to the first 100 people who register for this initiative. I trialled Airia shoes about a year ago, finding them quite interesting and potentially beneficial to many runners. So, if you want to be a part of this experiment or are simply interested, go to the following link and read up on it:


Whether the shoes ultimately work for you, the main thing as I see it is that the company is being very open and honest, putting their reputation on the line. We need more of this is every area of retail life.

There is also a new book on running that readers might want to consider. If so, have a look at http://spartanracemedia.com.

To finish, here’s another photo from Germany during the depths of the late snow season of 2013. My feet would be soaked and freezing for many hours every day during this period.


Day 62 Worndorf - Unlingen, Germany 52.05km - 57


On This Day


May 5, 2012

Distance today = 44.15 km; Total distance = 6050.89 km; Location = Norfolk, Colorado (7 km south of) – 40 50.487′ N, 104 58.038′ W; Start time = 1019, Finish time = 1644


I was going to run a bit further today, but the girls called during the afternoon to say that the TV and radio channels were being interrupted by announcements of a severe weather warning. There were thunderstorms in the area and the prediction was for large hailstones and lightning. They were rightfully concerned for me being out on the road, so we agreed they’d come and pick me up early.

At least I still got a decent day of running in, and am now located just south of the Colorado/Wyoming border. I again got to run through nice farming country, with lots of cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs to be seen along the way.

It was hot again, with temps around 30 C. Yesterday was 31 C.  These are far above average for this time of year. In fact, yesterday’s 31 was the hottest temperature ever recorded in Denver for early May. However, I haven’t been uncomfortable at all. The humidity is very low, thankfully.

Last night we went for dinner in Fort Collins, on a very balmy Friday evening. We found a very “buzzy” little bar that had 100 beers on tap, and a predominantly university crowd. As we sat there outside, facing the street, we witnessed an amazing scene. A freight train, about a mile long and carrying molten sulphur, came up the middle of the leafy suburban street. I had thought the tracks were for a tram, but it was a full-blown train, not five metres from us. I’m not talking about train tracks crossing the road – these tracks were right up the middle of one of the main streets of this large town. The train had to blow its horn incessantly each time it passed a cross street, which was every hundred metres or so. Quite a sight – and sound!


May 5, 2013

Distance today = 42.13 km; Total distance = 20,465.63 km; Location = Sofia, Bulgaria – 42 40.741′ N, 23 18.734′ E; Start time = 0913, Finish time = 1617


Today was mostly good, although the heat and uneven surfaces got to me a bit near the end.

Carmel, along with Deb and Barry, dropped me at my starting point at Dragoman, and I was on my way. I passed Slivnitsa at the 10 km mark, where a monument and plaque informed me this was where the Battle of Slivnitsa took place during the Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885. Sadly, many young men lost their lives in that very spot. These are the pieces of history you could only ever find out about on a world run.

One thing that has been reinforced to me is that time moves on. As I mentioned the other day, the camping ground in Nis, scene of the 1986 fancy dress party, is now gone. As I crossed the border yesterday, I passed a spot where, in 1986, while we waited in an incredibly long line to be processed, PT and I kept the large crowd amused with our acrobatic antics with a Frisbee. This location now has a building on it. And 12 km on the Bulgarian side of the border, there was a restaurant with an outdoor verandah where we had our last meal in Bulgaria in 1986. I passed this too – the restaurant is now in ruins. Time marches on, and not always for the best.

The road was nice and smooth early on, but as the traffic picked up nearer to Sofia, I had to do more and more running on the shoulder or sidewalks, all of which were very uneven. This is always tough, especially with a sore heel. But I managed to get through a short day, with an early finish.

I now have just 560 km to Istanbul. I am certainly looking forward to getting there, and having my first rest in four months.