Nov 4, 2016

I read recently about a guy who was running a marathon every day of October for the purpose of having his immune system response studied by specialists in the field. The hypothesis was that running that much actually boosts the immune system.

This idea is certainly consistent with my experience. Since I began an unbroken sequence of running on August 25, 2004 (nearly 4,500 consecutive days of running as I write this, without a day off) I have not once been sick. I’ve had the occasional upset stomach with a touch of minor diarrhoea, but nothing that even remotely prevented me from running. In fact, the healthiest I felt during this period of more than twelve years was during my run around the world.

If the doctors find the results of their guy running 31 marathons in 31 days indicate a boost in his immune system, then I wonder what they would have found if they’d studied me after my equivalent of 622 marathons in 622 days? I actually offered myself for study before I began, but I had no takers – not that I advertised it very widely at the time.

This photo was taken the moment I commenced my North American leg of the world run in San Francisco. I finally finished this stage eight months later north of Boston, having covered more than 12,000 km.




On This Day


Nov 4, 2012

Distance today = 50.68 km; Total distance = 14,030.85 km; Location = Santa Celia, Chile – 32 48.487′ S, 70 55.998′ W; Start time = 0916, Finish time = 1752


It’s certainly a change, running in Chile. We got very used to life on the road in the US. We now have to adjust to conditions in a Spanish speaking country. Luckily, we have had lots of help from locals, including Alberto at the Alecon Hotel in Valparaiso, and Patricio and Evelyn at the airport.

Today I headed off a bit late after sleeping in, and looked at Google Maps after about 5 km. It was placing me in the middle of nowhere, despite the fact I was on a busy road. I have found there are many Chilean roads that actually exist, but are not on Google Maps. I guess it’s better than the other way around.

We also had trouble having Carmel meet up with me on the road. She found a somewhat similar issue with Garmin maps. And the data on my phone went AWOL. We were so lucky we could still make phone calls, or she would have had no idea where to find me. Carmel often finds herself driving on a road that the Garmin shows as a car icon on nothing (for those who are familiar with GPS imagery).

Another problem occurred last night. We drove to a pizza restaurant and ordered a large pizza. I was told it would take ten minutes. While I waited, and as Carmel drove around the block multiple times, I was accosted by three drunk guys who wanted to share a beer with me, expressed in a rather rude and crude way. Struggling with the language, I politely declined, not actually knowing what they were saying. Another Chilean local apologised for them, and helped me with my order, which was taking some considerable time. It turned out the pizza oven had broken down. After an hour (just what I need in my tired state), I finally received a pizza with slightly uncooked dough. In the end, I simply didn’t care.

The weather here in Chile is great, with totally cloudless skies, although it’s a touch on the warm side for pleasurable running. I was still a little below par, but persevered. After 20 km, I passed the 14,000 km mark. The whole day was pretty much gently uphill, with a net elevation gain of about 1,000 feet. It will go up a lot more quickly in a couple of days time.

I can now clearly see the Andes in the distance. They are an incredibly impressive sight. Tomorrow I’ll get to the base, and will start climbing in earnest on Tuesday.