Sep 9, 2015

I’ve had a few responses regarding my comments on carrying water or other drinks while running. So I thought I’d elaborate a little to clear up any misconceptions.

I certainly did carry drinks while running around the world. However, it was generally only when it was warm and when I knew Carmel wouldn’t be seeing me for a few hours. I had enough to carry as it was – GPS device, phone, money, credit card, and ID, as well as spare sunscreen – so I preferred not to carry drinks if I could help it. But some days it would have been silly to head off without spare fluids.

But the main reason I didn’t bother carrying drinks was because I simply didn’t need them. I rarely ever felt thirsty, even on the couple of days when I ran more than 40 km without any support (no drinks or food). If you do regularly feel thirsty, even on short runs or walks, then feel free to take a drink with you.

But if you want to reduce your reliance on fluids during exercise, there’s a very easy way to do so. Eat less salt. As I’ve mentioned many times, including in my book, I never touch a salt shaker. I get more than enough sodium in the assorted processed foods I eat. This was a key component for survival in the heat of the US summer of 2012, which I managed to get through without too much discomfort. And I never had the slightest hint of a cramp (actually, I haven’t had a cramp in more than 30 years, since I reduced salt intake, but I used to get them all the time when I was a regular salt user as a kid).

Sometimes on the world run I couldn’t avoid high sodium food, particularly when we had takeaway or delivered meals at night. I always felt the heat and was more thirsty the next day. If I wanted to feel good and able to run a long way without feeling the need for a drink, the solution was easy – eat food with minimal sodium.

The world run photo for the day is of a very tranquil scene on the North Island of NZ, near the town of Taihape. Who wouldn’t want to run in a place like this?207


On This Day


Sep 9, 2012

Distance today = 52.15 km; Total distance = 11,347.52 km; Location = Midland, Kentucky – 38 07.422′ N, 83 36.042′ W; Start time = 0809, Finish time = 1617


Now, that’s what it’s all about. Beautiful weather, spectacular scenery, and a bit of adventure to spice it all up.

I started the day in cool temps. It was about 20 C, but that’s heaven compared to the past few months. I had a quiet road to run on, passing through forests and farmland.

About three-quarters the way through the day, I headed down a road that petered out with a fence across the road. No big deal, as I only wasted 220 metres (which has been subtracted from my Garmin total). So I went a longer way that was suggested by Google Maps. However, this one also ended with a gate on to private property. Now it was a problem, as backtracking this time would mean wasting about 4 km and having to go a much longer way.

So, I decided to risk it and cut across the private property. Carmel had to turn around and go the long way. We agreed to meet in the town of Olympia.

I had to cross a muddy creek first, then crawl under the gate. However, I very quickly found myself in a grassy paddock with no road. The only thing around was an old house. Luckily I had Google Maps, as I was able to see where I was in relation to the nearest road. I headed over the paddock until I intersected with the road, after having to crawl under another gate. From there I ran along a dirt road, and had to crawl through more heavily fortified steel gates (easy by foot, but impossible for a car to traverse). Eventually I reached Olympia, where I met up with Carmel.

I consider myself quite lucky, as the fortifications I encountered were far too over-the-top for simple farmhouse security. In some cases, three different strong steel gates needed to be passed before reaching the properties. Either those who live there are super paranoid, or something illegal is going on. Given Carmel’s recent experience of having a rifle aimed at her, I am sure anyone I met during my short odyssey would have been more than willing to challenge me with a gun. Fortunately I saw no-one.

I continued on through the Daniel Boone National Forest and finished the day feeling as strong as when I started. I think this was partly due to the delicious eye filet with potatoes, beans, and mushrooms that Carmel cooked last night, and partly due to the cooler weather. Let it continue.


Sep 9, 2013

Distance today = 46.05 km; Total distance = 26,104.54 km; Location = Albion Park, NSW – 34 34.252’ S, 150 46.453′ E; Start time = 0814, Finish time = 1513


Another day full of visitors! I did an interview early on with ABC Illawarra, as I headed across the Southern Highlands.

Soon after, I was surprised by a visit from Gregor MacFarlane and his father, John. I last saw Gregor in Newport, Rhode Island, in October last year. He was travelling up from Tasmania, and found me today via the tracker.

A little later, my cousin, Warren, stopped as he passed me on the road. I was then joined by Kate’s trainer, Matt, who ran with me for the rest of the day.

We passed through the town of Robertson, and soon after, I was met by an old school friend, Cindy Stevens, who was passing by. It was great to see so many people surprising me on the road via the tracker.

We then reached the Robertson Pie Shop, which Billy Connolly once described as having possibly the best pies in the world. Matt, Carmel, and I just had to have one each.

About one kilometre further on, I reached a spot on top of the escarpment, where I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time on the run since Los Angeles in late February last year. It’s been more than 18 months.

From there, we started the descent of Macquarie Pass – a 600 metre vertical drop, over eight kilometres. The quads might be a little sore tomorrow.

From the bottom of the pass, a quick 10 km then brought us to my finish for the day in Albion Park, where Kate picked up Matt. Carmel and I drove on to Barry and Deb’s, where we’re staying tonight, catching up with others as well.

Don’t forget, the finish is at 1 pm at the Opera House on Friday, and I’d love to see as many there as possible.