Sep 9, 2016

Following Serge Girard’s run through the Hawaiian Islands has piqued a desire in me to do some more running in Hawaii. Although Serge didn’t scale any of the volcanic peaks (he really doesn’t need that, still having more than 11,000 km to go on his world run), I would love to one day run to the top of both the Haleakala peak on Maui and the Mauna Kea peak on the big island on consecutive days. I’ve run to the top of Haleakala three times already, but I’ve never run Mauna Kea.

Haleakala is 3,055 metres (10,023 feet) high, which makes it a great “training run” to precede Mauna Kea at 4,207 metres (13,802 feet). The highest point I ran to on my world run was the Cristo Redentor Pass in the Andes, at just under 4,000 metres in elevation. Therefore, scaling Mauna Kea from sea level to the peak would set a new altitude record for me as far as running goes. I have no immediate plans to do this, but it is on my list for some time in the future.

Although it could be years before I actually attempt such a feat, I do recall enjoying the training for past Haleakala races. So I might just start doing similar training now, as a way to stay motivated. At the very least, it will keep me fit.

An keeping with the theme of old favourites photos, here’s the one of my dog bite from the outskirts of Buenos Aires. I was afraid of rabies (which is 100% fatal), so was very pleased to find out that rabies is rare in South America.


Dog Bite


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 (actually, I did see it at the start of my South American leg too).

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.