Sep 13, 2016
Today marks the third anniversary of me finishing my run around the world at the Sydney Opera House. As most would concur, it certainly doesn’t seem that long ago. I clearly remember the day, especially arriving to the crowd of onlookers and press. Hopefully the memory doesn’t fade as more years pass.
Yesterday I did my first hill session as part of my training to run the volcanoes of Hawaii. But remember, this isn’t actually going to happen in the near to medium term. I’m just pretending I’m training to run Haleakala and Mauna Kea – well, I’m am doing the training, I’m just not running those volcanoes any time soon. But the training will benefit me. I’m starting slowly, as too much sudden hill work can lead to disaster.
To celebrate the third anniversary of me finishing the world run, here’s a photo taken just moments after I crossed the finish line at the Opera House. It was a classic media scrum, and I felt like the ball in the middle.
On This Day
Sep 13, 2012
Distance today = 52.58 km; Total distance = 11,552.80 km; Location = Dunbar, West Virginia – 38 21.519′ N, 81.44.333′ W; Start time = 0814, Finish time = 1623
For some reason, I had a bad night’s sleep, and woke feeling tired. But it wasn’t too bad a day in the end. I reached the milestone of 6,000 miles run in the US.
Half way through the day, Carmel pulled over ahead of me, waiting to give me a drink. She had stopped among workers who were picking up rubbish on the side of the road, and hopped out to take photos. It turned out she had plonked herself right in the middle of a group of female prisoners from a maximum security jail. The women were on inmate road patrol. The female guard in the van behind was checking Carmel out keenly. I’m sure she thought Carmel was trying to “spring” one of the prisoners. She probably had her gun at the ready, in case.
Later, I noted a historic marker indicating an archaeological site where pre-historic locals had lived around 10,000 BC – right on that spot. I have also been enjoying all the Civil War historic markers. There have been hundreds in recent weeks, pointing out a battle that occurred here, a battalion that had camped there, a general had held a meeting in this place, or an army had eaten breakfast in that place. Knowing these things took place on the ground on which I’m standing is quite surreal.
Sep 13, 2013
Distance today = 11.39 km; Total distance = 26,232.47 km; Location = Sydney Opera House – 33 51.472’ S, 151 12.909′ E; Start time = 1058, Finish time = 1309
It’s now over. I ran up the steps of the Sydney Opera House to an amazing welcome from hundreds of people, thereby finishing my 26,232 km run around the world.
I began the day early, with an appearance on The Today Show and ABC News, as well as various radio interviews. ESPN then arrived to film me preparing for the day, ahead of a late start at Tempe. I headed off with Chook, Rob, Wayne, Barry, and Jeff.
The ESPN crew captured some dramatic footage when Wayne had a fall and cracked his head on the pavement. He had a massive “egg” on his forehead, with plenty of claret running down his face. Some ice from a petrol station, and a stint in the car with Peter and Jane, soon had him back running with us.
We passed by Newtown and were then joined at Broadway by Grace, Tessa, Ariane, Emma, and Meg, and then by Tim Sharp. Our contingent of twelve then headed down George Street. At Market Street we met our police escort – Patrick and Simon – as well as a group from the South Sydney Rabbitohs, including Michael Crocker. The police took us down the bus lane, amid the stares of thousands of lunch time shoppers and office workers.
Not long after, I reached the steps of the Opera House, to be joined by the Rabbitohs mascot, Reggie Rabbit. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I was swamped by a multitude of cameras and boom mikes. After innumerable interview questions and photographs, I managed to get around to most friends who had come down to see me. It was a truly surreal experience, and felt like a scene from a movie.
After a shower at home, it was on to the Clovelly Hotel, where the party continued to well into the night. Thank you to everyone who came along to help me celebrate. Thanks also to all those who ran with me, and to the Rabbitohs, the police, and the Sydney Opera House authorities for their help.
I will post blog updates over the coming days and weeks, so keep watching this space. For the moment, however, here are the final results of the informal running competition we’ve had going the past year or so.
Female Aggregate: Karen 89 km, Kate 87, Sylvia 70, Grace 46.
Female “Most in a Day”: Karen 37 km, Kate 30, Sylvia 21.
Male Aggregate: Chook 312 km, Dave 209, The Hud 195, Barry 150, Jeff 142, Eric 106.
Male “Most in a Day”: The Hud 60 km, Dave 57, Eric 56, Chook 55.
Most Countries Run In: Tied for first place – Chook 3 (NZ, US, Australia), Barry 3 (Bulgaria, Turkey, Australia).
Male “Most in Two Days”: The Hud 111 km, Eric 81, Dave 79.
Male “Most in Three Days”: The Hud 111 km (run in just two days), Dave 110, Eric 106.