Sep 10, 2014

Thankfully, my calf injury was greatly improved today. Not quite back to where it was on the weekend, but close. I have no idea why yesterday it felt so sore. Maybe I slept badly?

Today’s race from the past is the 1990 Shoalhaven Circular Seven. This was a seven mile race, starting and finishing at the same point in Nowra on the NSW south coast. Like the Run to the Sun, the race no longer exists. Pity.

The 1990 Circular Seven had about a thousand competitors, and the reason I recall it so fondly is because it was my highest place in a major public race – I finished 2nd in 38:50. The day was very windy and I made a tactical error, hitting the lead as we turned into the wind. The guy in second place sat in behind me before kicking near the finish. I was completely shot after weathering the gale force westerly for several kilometres. The winner ended up receiving a trip to New Zealand to compete in another race.

Just briefly, my 9th place in the 2009 Run to the Sun was my best place in an international race (I think I finished 10th in the 2003 Vancouver Island Marathon). But I was in 4th place for a long while in the Run to the Sun, eventually being passed by five others, all of whom lived at, or had ready access to, high altitude training. My sea level training left me short once we passed above 7,000 feet. The cold didn’t help either. Those who rugged up early fared much better.


On This Day


Sep 10, 2012

Distance today = 50.44 km; Total distance = 11,397.96 km; Location = Olive Hill, Kentucky – 38 18.273′ N, 83 09.554′ W; Start time = 0833, Finish time = 1609


It was a quiet day as I made my way inexorably toward West Virginia. The road was very busy during the morning, but I managed to get on to a much quieter road for the afternoon leg. The weather was again mild, and I am finding running so much easier than in recent months.

These quieter roads are interesting. There are some very nice houses, both old and new, but also some really dilapidated places with people still living in them. In some cases, they are literally falling down. If they were in the city, I’m sure these houses would be condemned.

It’s amazing how smell is such a strong memory prompt. I am often transported back to occasions from my past when I get the whiff of a certain scent. Sometimes it’s very specific, other times it’s general. Today I experienced one of each. I am not sure what the actual smell was, but I suddenly found myself feeling like I did in 1976. It was weird, and difficult to explain exactly what I mean. The other instance was more precise. I ran past a woman who was wearing a perfume that instantly placed me in a covered walkway in my primary school in the late 60s. I assume a teacher back then was wearing that same scent. I really quite like these flashbacks, as it’s like re-living the occasion – almost like brief time travel.

PS The tracker is showing me about 20 km to the east of my actual position in Olive Hill.


Sep 10, 2013

Distance today = 44.58 km; Total distance = 26,149.12 km; Location = Thirroul, NSW – 34 19.203’ S, 150 55.422′ E; Start time = 0826, Finish time = 1637


Wow, what a day!!! There was too much happening and too many people involved through the day for me to list everything and everyone. So, I will attempt to describe the day via a list of thanks.

Firstly, to Barry, who ran with me over the initial 10 km, and organised a visit to my old high school. To all the students and staff from Lake Illawarra High who ran with me, and to all my old school friends and teachers who came out to meet me on the road and say hello. To the school staff, especially Principal Tony for the greeting, official school jersey, and donation to Oxfam, and to Deputy Phil, who ran with me. The school visit also entailed a lot of media. Special thanks to Greg Ellis for his extended coverage of the run.

From there, I headed down the road to my mother’s place, meeting lots of family members. Thanks to them all for the trouble they went to in order to be there. My sister, Linda, and brother Paul, then ran across the Windang Bridge with me, along with several others, including old school friends, Hughie, Darren, and Paul. There were so many involved to this point, it’s impossible to name them all, so thank you again to all of you.

It was all quite overwhelming, but perhaps the highlight of the morning was my 5th Grade teacher, Fay Holbert, coming along to meet me on the shores of Lake Illawarra. It’s been 40 years since I’ve seen her. What a great surprise!

The afternoon was very hot, running north past the steelworks with Matt, and then on into Wollongong, where I met Carmel and Hannah for lunch. It was the first time I’ve seen Hannah for three months.

I finished the day running on the cycle path to Thirroul, where I was again met by Karen, and then Chips. We finished at Chips’ and Jenny’s, where we are staying tonight. I have to admit to being very tired this evening, due to the combination of heat and hectic social schedule – nothing a good night’s sleep won’t fix. I’m  looking forward to running along Sea Cliff Bridge tomorrow.

PS The Warilla Gorillas won their semi-final on the weekend, so I’m now looking forward to watching them in the grand final on Sunday week.