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UK Route

August 23rd, 2014
Belgium today, France tomorrow and England on Monday!
Thanks to Ludo for crewing 45km for me today and commuting me back to his home where Steffi his daughter cut my hair,
well three weeks today I arrive in Ireland :)
47,750km run for 1,095 road days
Below please find my UK route as kindly worked out by Siobhan Clifford and Tom Enright
I have been having a lot of rain delays and if for some unlikely reason I fail to run my last
85km to Calais, France before Monday and arrive in Dover on the 26th,  Days 1 and 2  will be run on 26th August
Thanks Siobhan for the easy first day, I presume its because I will travelling to Dover
I’m what! :)
This route is obviously subject to change,
You can also see the distances are much lower than
normal, well marathon runners need to ease down before a marathon!
Calling UK runners can you join in anywhere :)
If so or can offer me a bed night for a load of yarns or offer to crew please contact Siobhan Clifford of Blue Bubble Marketing
Blue Bubble Marketing will be promoting the run by way of their very effective marketing skills
I can do a reasonable commute from this route if next day you can return me to my finishing location
BTW Siobhan is in the Dover area now on her camping holiday with hubby Billy
All going well we will meet on Monday and hang out for a couple of stages
Do I have a speech prepared for my Dover arrival!
You bet I do and it goes like this
” I am so happy to be running on English soil,
Ireland and England have had a long conflicting history going back several centuries now
” You make claim to something we Irish cannot possibly accept
” Everyone knows the Irish are the worlds greatest tea drinkers!
So I am here to prove this! “
25.8.14

DOVER – BARHAM

15.3 KM

26.8.14

BARHAM – FAVERSHAM

25.4 KM

27.8.14

FAVERSHAM – GILLINGHAM

26.1 KM

28.8.14

GILLINGHAM – WELLING, GREATER LONDON

34.9 KM

29.8.14

WELLING, GREATER LONDON – EALING

34.7 KM

30.8.14

REST DAY

31.8.14

EALING – APSLEY

30.2 KM

1.9.14

APSLEY – WADDESDON

35.1 KM

2.9.14

WADDESDON – AYNHO

31.4 KM

3.9.14

AYNHO – PILLERTON, HERSEY

32.3 KM

4.9.14

PILLERTON, HERSEY – STUDLEY, WARWICKSHIRE

31.6 KM

5.9.14

STUDLEY – KIDDERMINSTER

30 KM

6.9.14

KIDDERMINSTER – MUCH WENLOCK

36.6 KM

7.9.14

MUCH WENLOCK – NESSCLIFFE

33.6 KM

8.9.14

NESSCLIFFE – LLANGOLLEN

32.7 KM

9.9.14

LLANGOLLEN – TY – NANT

25.7 KM

10.9.14

TY – NANT – BETWS – Y – COED

25.7 KM

11.9.14

BETWS-Y-COED – BANGOR

33.2 KM

12.9.14

BANGOR – HOLYHEAD

38.4 KM

13.9.14

FERRY TO DUBLIN 8.55 AM

 

Siobhan Clifford

Blue Bubble Marketing.

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Bailing out the Irish!

August 15th, 2014

Today I had a very tough but an  enjoyable day. A late start with  heavy rain most of the day. However it was really good enjoyable running with Benjamin a Berliner who tracked me down.  He helped me a lot today. Benjamin was very well read on my blog. Can you believe he even mentioned the red jacket. The red jacket I wore for the first 100 days of the run without taking it off because it was winter. He asked me jokingly if it was the same red jacket I wrote about in march 2011. ” wasn’t that in the Nebraska!” Then he asked me what was in my backpack. My sleeping bag clothes charger  bits and pieces ” And the magic letter!” He said long time readers to the blog  will know the magic letter is a letter of introduction from the Lord Mayor of Dublin. Also other interesting questions about the Darien Gap. Before he left he got some delicious goodies in the supermarket! Thanks Benjamin I enjoy the run with you it was great :) Benjamin confided in me a desire to run around the world but instead of using a cart he would use a wheel barrow!

But you are married with five kids and what would you do with your wife? I asked. I would put her in the wheel barrow! He replied. A stronger man than me I thought!

There was a lot of rain today but it didn’t dampen my spirits I really enjoyed today.  My Spot tracker didn’t update properly. I made it to Bonn the old German capital. 30km.Finished outside of McDonalds. Theo as mentioned in last blog had picked up Nirvana from Jurgen’s. We decided to call it a day because I was pretty cold from the rain so we will return there tomorrow. Theo had booked a very nice hotel and we had a nice dinner. Theo born in Holland, works  in Strasburg, France. Married to an Irish woman he has an Irish accent. A speaker of seven languages. So he took a bit of figuring out. He wondered if the reason the Germans – except for Benjamin -were not out supporting me was because they had already bailed out four million Irish people! He mentioned that he knew a woman that has a place for me to stay but the only problem is her dog does not like men! And Theo said Tony looks like a bag of bones so perhaps the dog will like him. So the lady said don’t worry I will lock him up in my bedroom! So Theo asked ….Lock who up in your bedroom…. the dog or Tony? :( I tell you its just as well I don’t offered easily. Later in an email from Benjamin ” I was shocked at how bad you looked!” My own sister Ann remarked on the Brno photos ” you used to look younger, nicer and fitter, what happened!?” And Tomás Rusek in Brno on the phone to friends.. ” Yes Tony Mangan he used to be a good runner!” And I am thinking I am crap now put out to pasture to run around the world :)   Theo had driven several hours all the way from Strasbourg in France he’s going to crew for me tomorrow what a guy thank you very much Benjamin and  Theo.

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Less than 1,000km to Dublin!

August 15th, 2014

Thursday 14th Taking a rest day in my German friend Jurgen and Irish wife Bernadette’s house in Sankt Augustine. Thanks to them for making me so welcome and I have met my tea drinking match in Bernadette! Jurgen used to live in Dublin and we were great buddies playing football, drinking pints in the Brazen Head among many other places for many years.  His English is so good he is an English language teacher having perfected his linguistic skills  in Dublin. A massive fan of music not to mention a Monty Python fan!  His favorite sketch being ‘ the smack on the head ‘ episode, indeed back in Dublin for many years he kept reminding me of this, teasing me and reciting those immortal words when I mentioned I got a smack on my head from Hungarian gypsies on a previous cycling holiday!
He met Bernadette in Dublin, they married and a few years later they moved to Germany.
So I had a nice restful day goofing off from all the work I planned to do here.

I have committed myself to being in Calais about 435 km away on evening of 24th. I travel to Dover, England on 25th. Dublin port is about 970km away. I will arrive in Dublin Port from Holyhead on September 13th at 12.10pm Hoping you can be there!

I will take a rest day in Ealing, London to see another old friend, a friend since I was 19, a man called Louis Brady who I have not seen since 1986. Now married with a family, so I look forward to that visit also.
Thanks to Stena Line for my complimentary passage to Dublin from Holyhead which Kevin Scanlon helped to obtain from the friendly Stena staff.
A  man called Theo Wells who has been a follower of the blog and has emailed me many times with encouragement and even arranged a few pairs of sponsored shoes during the run from John Buckley Sports in Cork. Thank you John and Theo for this.

Theo lives about three and a half hours away from where I am staying now and tomorrow evening will drive over to Jurgen’s place to pick up Nirvana.
Early Friday afternoon after Jurgen’s English language classes Jurgen will return me to where I finished yesterday, about 27km east of here. I will run with a pack as far as Bornheim, a bit more than a marathon away.

Theo has booked a hotel there for us and will crew me on Saturday, What a man, thanks Theo.
He has contacted a few runners in Belgium, so I look forward to running with them. I am very surprised there was almost no response from the huge German ultra running community.
I have about three more days on the road in Germany and then countries 36,37,38 and 39 will follow all within a week! That is Holland, Belgium, France and England. Ah Yes England I am especially looking forward to that and all the fry-ups :)
Theo is also going to see if he can get Nirvana transported ahead to Calais.
In Dover I will be met by Siobhan Clifford and her husband Billy. You may remember Siobhan’s Blue Bubble marketing company are going to be arranging my lap around Ireland and the associated logistics involved, So thanks to Siobhan and Billy for organizing some of their camping holiday around my run through the UK. I look forward to running with Billy who I am told is a very fast runner! And drinking lots of tea. They will then transport Nirvana back to Ireland in their camper, so that’s the plan.
Press HERE for my route to Calais

And my UK route please press HERE

Total to date 47,397km in 1,085 road days.

970  kilometres to Dublin :)

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Turkey In Pictures and a bit more on a sad day when Turkey elected a new president.

August 10th, 2014

I am aware I didn’t post pictures in Turkey due to my smart phone and website incompatibility so here goes.

I prepared the piece below in advance of today’s presidential election.

Turkeys arrogant  prime minister narrowly scraped to victory, virtually unopposed, perhaps because of his success in turning around the countries economy. Here I tell a bit more about this unsavory character.

Crossing from Iran to Turkey.

I am thinking prison cage but which direction!

Turkey was also a tea experience just smaller portions for a big mouth!

This nice shopkeeper didn’t charge.

Curious eyes

One day I suddenly stopped at the side of the road. I took off my worn out 43rd pair of shoes and gave them to this poor onion seller. In my pack I had my 44th pair. I now wear the ON brand of running shoe, a Swiss make.

More tea? I sat in this highway construction traffic island with the workers for a short while to refresh.

Late one night I stopped at a mosque to see if I could sleep there. It was locked up. After a discussion these people brought me to this house. One of them spoke some decent English. I rely on people like him for my information much of my text may seem generalizations, many are the opinions of the ordinary people I meet on a daily basis.  So we chatted and I used this man to interrogate  the others while they fed me dinner.

The Turks are so friendly.

Then in the morning they brought this delicious breakfast. Nobody seemed to live in the house, I think it was some kind of a community house.

Turkey is the Islamic worlds only secular state I am told (perhaps Azerbaijan may have something to say about that I wondered)  founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who was a Turkish army officer. He was the first president of Turkey.  He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey.  Born in 1881 and died in 1938.  His surname, Ataturk -which means Farther of the Turks was given to him in 1934 and by law of the Turkish parliament can not be used by any other person.

I found it was mostly the older generation that respected Ataturk, younger people seemed to almost spit his name out.

An extremely mountainous country, the reason I decided to send Nirvana on ahead.

Turkey had some of the most amazing scenery of my entire run, A beautiful country but a shame they don’t do picnic sites like the Iranians to enjoy it more. Funnily I found the Turks to be less ‘outdoorsy’ than the Iranians.

There were many days when I had to stop and admire, Yes Turkey took my breath away.

Always time for a chat.

One day I spotted a police car in the distance. Not wanted to be bothered by a passport check I put my head down to pound my way past. Then I realized it was an immitation to encourage speeding drivers to slow down! Very original.

Mountains. And….

More mountain passes to be run over.

Only men frequent the tea shops. I often wondered how I would fare if I were a woman. In Iran I know I would not have gotten my visa for independent travel.

One day I was invited into a construction canteen for a huge lunch.

And only two kilometres was ordered to stop again!

I wondered about this place, Mangan Madenas!

One big weeks running to Istanbul


The infamous, notorious Turkish dogs did not bother me. Perhaps I have become a ferocious sight for them on the road, Many big dogs whined or ran away, others just wagged their tails as I ran towards them :)

Doing what I do best! Ah yes Ann will tell you butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth and always willing to listen :)

Note my own proper size ‘tea cup’, no little girl tea cups I used to say! One man called it my dog bowl!

One night I stopped at an arts and crafts shop thinking it was a cafe. The Russian man who owned it gave me tea and biscuits and told me there was a small mosque two kilometres down the road I could sleep in.

So I arrived. This one was particularly good as you can see I could have a body wash, charge my phone, camera and get my beverage heater and dog bowl out for another tea-riffic night on the road!
Later some locals actually checked inside while locking up and discovered me lying there in my sleeping bag. I pretended to be asleep as I lay there in the darkness. I had tried to make myself inconspicuous as I could to anyone that just popped their head inside the door as I had placed my sleeping bag behind the chair with womens garments hanging down as shown here. Yes once again I am in the womens section.
They didn’t bother me, they just left and I heard one man say something about tourist. Ah yes! I couldn’t resist thinking if this was in India and their incurable curiosity and pestering nature!
One day I just kept running and running for there was no place to sleep. I was rapidly approaching Istanbul. I had run 64km that day arriving in a small town called Izmit. For me and I know the pictures don’t do it justice this was the most picturesque town on my entire world run.

The skyline was lit up in a beautiful array of lightning reflecting off bridges, high rises.
 A beautiful marina, fashionable cafes and restaurants while city workers out planting flowers after dark! So pristine, everything I looked at seemed to be freshly painted.
Istanbul outskirts and a huge slog through Turkey’s biggest and most famous city. Remember Ken Thompson the Irish ambassador to Turkey had assigned the wonderful Erok to get me a permit to run over the non pedestrian Bosphorous bridge which connects Asia to Europe.
However I arrive a day early. Erok managed to get me a permit to cross on the 7th June.
I show these police officers my permit to run across the bridge. Unable to find an internet cafe and have it printed out I have to keep showing the download on my smartphone. My phones  battery is rapidly draining. There are many phone calls. One officer has a Turkish/English translate app on his smart phone and we go into a very long conversation. This was the first time I ever saw such a feature. I just spoke into his phone and my words were translated into Turkish text for him to read and vice versa, isn’t technology wonderful. I can see the day when tourists will be walking around with headphones and microphones and have real time conversation. I wondered about this possibility recently after reading Skype wants to add this feature for phone calls.
Here nobody picks up on the date that I am a day early. Eventually the officer on the right is assigned to escort me across the bridge.
So off I go towards Europe a couple of kilometres away.
I stop and wonder who this fellow ‘ Larry ‘ is because he couldn’t be happier than me :)
I got handed over to this police officer on the European end. I did not see the  ’ Welcome to Europe sign as I was on the left side of the bridge.
This officer just let me run on.
However at the end of the bridge proper there was a pathway less than a metre wide between the railing and the guardrail you can see here. This pathway was about one kilometre long. I was terified another officer on a motorbike or in a patrol car would stop me and as very few Turks can speak English I didn’t want any more hassle so scrambled my way through here and onto the mainland as fast as possible. Thank goodness I didn’t have Nirvana, I thought.
I have been told to keep my blog postings shorter! Yes a picture blog does that nicely. However ‘ Motor Mouth ‘ is back from vacation.
Recently I have had emails and comments to the blog re: my Bulgarian and Indian blogs and my comments about their countries, If they only knew what I left off they would thank me for being so kind!
Thats funny because in every country I have been to since Australia I have been told my comments are pretty much accurate regarding the social issues face in those countries. Not wanting to digress too much here but tonight as I write this posting in Vera’s house in Brno, Czech Republic. Vera my host asked me to describe politicaly correct and politically incorrectness.
Telling her I believe in telling the full honest story and not the brushed under the carpet job Vera advised me to have a second edition of my book published.
I will if the first edition is sucessful I said.
So Vera makes me laugh when she says.
” No one edition will be the politically correct edition and the other the politically incorrect edition! “
Ah! Yes I love it, I have Monty Python in my head.
 ” And which edition of Mangans run would you like sir?
” The politically correct or the politically incorrect edition? “
Anyway Turkey, Here goes!
I made it to a restaurant for dinner after getting over the Bosphorus Bridge and then took a taxi to my friends house that night. I would return to my finishing spot when running out of Istanbul.
My host had also taken delivery of Nirvana last March and was still minding her – a  man called Baris – a Turk who lived most of his life in England and still has a very strong English accent. A vegetarian, environmentalist and lover of life especially the life of his hero, John Lennon.
Like many other Turks he is despondent by Turkeys almost totalitarian government, a so called democracy with military rules like Myanmar as it has been described to me. When I told him I had already run over the bridge he suggested I run over again with my permit the next morning as initially planned.
Six local runners wanted to run across with me including another man called Ercan who has helped me enormously. I had to submit all their names to the transport authority via the Irish Embassy in Ankara, so we emailed as required in order for us to all run across.
That’s what we did a couple of days later after I took my first rest day in 51 days since the Iranian desert, a record for the run.
Saturday morning  after breakfast we set out from the Asia side and ran across to Europe.
That is after waiting for the prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to be escorted through at high speed.
Some more thoughts on Turkey and their  insensitive prime minister, Recep  Tayyip Erdogan, whose abrasive response to the Soma mining disaster in which 301 miners were killed in April.
He visited the site of the accident and during his visit he managed to  infuriate a region in mourning.
During protests of Mr. Erdogan’s visit, an aide to Mr. Erdogan was photographed kicking a demonstrator who was being held on the ground by military police officers. Mr. Erdogan himself responded to the heckling by defiantly taunting protesters and allegedly slapped one saying.
” If you insult me, your the Prime Minister you will get a slap. “
The dork then revisited the area in his presidential campaign and used the same word ‘ slap ‘ to describe a victory for him would be a ‘ slap ‘ for democracy over his rivals. I would certainly hate to be married to this creep, if I was a woman!
Speaking of Turkish women. ” Women should not laugh in public.” So said Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc in a recent speech about “moral corruption” in Turkey. “Chastity is so important,” he said. “She will not laugh in public.”

Baris extreme left and Ercan third from left. Three runners wore Gezi Park protest tee shirts

Many Turks I have spoken to can’t understand how this man, though well educated and a former lemonade street vendor amassed an estimated 50 million US dollar fortune. In March this year people asked this question on Twitter which was subsequently blocked for a 24 hour period until he realized, no not a good idea and restored the social media site. Facebook and You Tube have also been targets of his after questions of his financial dealings. However the questions are not going away.

Baris was asked to remove his Gezi Park tee shirt

I have also learned that journalists of the Zenden Daily newspaper who have been asking the really big uncomfortable questions to Erdogan have been ejected from Erdogan press conferences and  also his finance minister presumably on the orders of the  prime minister Erdogan at a FT press conference abroad.
I did not mind when Baris wore a Gezi Park tee-shirt to demonstrate. Gezi Park a very sensitive subject for many Turks.

Gezi Park

Imagine the Irish Govt deciding they wanted to knock down St,Stephen’s Green Park for building offices. Imagine the outcry there would be, well imagine if the Irish police went in with riot squads and tear gas canisters killing  many protesters and innocent people who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or in London’s Hyde Park, New Yorks Central Park.
Thats what happened in Gezi Park.
Erdogan is not a very popular man and many people ask me to guess how he got into power and was then re-elected twice, Ah yes much the same story I have been hearing throughout the run.
His three terms of prime minister is the limit under the Turkish constitution. He cannot stand again. I had been told long before his July announcement he wanted to run for office of the Turkish president in a soon to be held presidential election.
 Well that same constitution he wants to change to give the Turkish president more powers. And yes he announced he wanted to be a candidate.  Few doubt he will not succeed.
Turkey a country where 1,6 million children between the ages of 6 and 16 are working in jobs meant for adults is very much a polarized country.
Many people believe this division means votes for Erdogan’s  ruling Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party, known as the  A.K.P.
I asked several people did they think Turkey had any chance of becoming a member of the EU. Many people said no because of ‘  the Muslim thing ‘ as one man put it.
Another man said they EU don’t really want Turkey as they already have a
 ’ Special Relationship ‘ agreements with the Turks, This man believed the EU is a closed shop.
I am afraid my own sad impression of Turkey after about seven weeks running through is that democracy as we see it, or even the bit they have here is about to be dismantled. Erdogan though not a popular man probably still gets the Muslim vote for his strong Islamic beliefs. He is pulling Turkey further and further away from the EU and membership seems to be low on his priority list.
I can’t help wondering that perhaps in the not too distant future Turkey may even be an Islamic Republic state. Or as one of the militants in the self declared Islamic state in Iraq worrying said, ” With no western garbage like democracy. “
I also wonder will the west be defeated by our own democracy?

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Chech Mates!

August 3rd, 2014

Hi everyone.
Sorry for this title!! I know my Hungarian friends were throwing their eyes to Heaven and saying
” Oh No not the Hungry comment again!!!
I crossed to Germany today and am having some getting sorted problems re phone battery crashing/ taking huge amount of time to charge even a little, so time spent charging. looking for internet and camera broken! Cant do anything in Germany on Sunday!! yes I have lost count about 7 cameras!
I had amazing help in Czech rep. Am in such a rush but …special thanks to the two Tomas’s, Martin, George and Camilla, Irene and Charles and wait till you see the picture of their two dogs!! Michel who drove out from Prague on Saturday to drive Nirvana on 5km to Stribro and then push another 26 to Plana!! Hope I havn’t forgotten anyone!!
Oh yes, Tomas son David 17 years old and his friend Andrew 15 never ran more than 5km before. Well about 3 days ago they ran 49.6km as on Andrews gps. They were full of chat at the end, so much that they ran around the church yard where Tomas had arranged for me to sleep, then they got the 50km, only a couple people ran 50 with me!Great lads!!
Then Pavel, Maria, John and son John gave me dinner and I showered before returning to the church accommodation to sleep. The family brought me breakfast in the morning and snacks for the road as did Tomas, so I was well fed there! Thanks everyone :)
833km to Calais – end of mainland Europe!

Am now about 15 from 47,000km!! :) sorry for rush. Lovely bicycle trails today. talk soon

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Thanks Tomas Rusek for amazing help!

July 27th, 2014

Thanks to my great friend Tomas Rusek who crewed for me on Saturday. I had a wonderful 47km run finishing in the village of Rostin, all this fantistic support made it so easy!

 On the way I enjoyed help from two young runners David and his brother Vitek and father another Tomas, so no doubting Tomas’s here!!

Then I was escorted by George on his bicycle anong with his 11 year old son Alex. We finished at the house of Jirina and Charles and their son also Charles.

This family made us so welcome and we even had a session in their ‘ theraputic salt cave’

Tomas told me he was working until 2am sorting contacts and places for me to stay with crew for the rest of my run through the Czech Rep. Yes this country is my favourite in Europe! Tomas will crew for me again today, Sunday, a short 31km day he estimates. This is his fourth and final day with me, I am so thankful for his great help. I am so lucky he was here during my stay as he travels the world as a tour guide organiser and is rarely in Brno for more than a couple of days between his trips. He is a walking and a cycling tour operator. He was one of the worlds leading ultra runners having run a personal best of 433km in 1995 for 48 hours and finished second to the legendary Yiannis Korous.

His travel website is www.rajbas.eu

Thanks so much to everyone :)

I will edit this entry and put pictures in later.

 

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Brno Revisited!

July 24th, 2014

World Indoor Ratification Certificate Issued By The International Association of Ultrarunners.This Record Still Stands!

 

This morning my host Tomas Rusek, former race director of the Brno 48 hour indoor race here in the Czech Rep drove me to the village of Rajhrad where I finished running yesterday.

Tomas and Vasek

 I could have shaved off 15km by running from there towards Germany and bypassing the city.

 But why would I have done that! Brno has always been a special place for me since I broke the world 48hour record in 2007. A message from my former Irish team mate Eddie Gallen told me it was still listed on the IAU current world records list last January. Please read next blog posting below for that race report.

With Tomas Rusek on the way to the place we both know and love so much

Tomas had his bicycle attached to his car so as he could cycle crew me to the Brno Trade Fair Pavilion Z.

Vasek, his friend drove his car and helped me enormously too, Thanks to everyone concerned.

So on I ran, it was a very nice day, a bit overcast, but that’s ok by me.

We even stopped for a non- alcohol beer near a park picnic area.

Carbo Loading!

Svata, a local runner joined me for about 6km. For some reason I was hurting badly, very tired.

Svata tries to give me the 'tour.'

I have been focused on Brno these last six or seven weeks now since leaving Istanbul and have noticed in the past when I reach a much focused destination which has required a big effort, that the tiredness often hits me like a bolt of lightening.

Brno Trade Fair Pavilion Z was the only landmark which interested me that day!

Svata was a great help here but I refused ‘ the tour ‘ Often people point out universities, libraries, the vet they bring their dog to and for some strange reason usually the courthouse. Why do they always tell me that!

In the grounds of the pavilion we meet David who works for the company. I was told last week it was locked up in between trade shows but pleaded with Daniel Oralek, my friend from my competitive days to beg a few laps for me and other runners to run.

Ah Yes! I can still feel the excitement from the two most memorable days of my life.

 Daniel thankfully managed this, he was to join us in the afternoon. The deal was sound, the Pavilion wanted David to take some photos for their Facebook page, so everyone was happy :)

Which direction do you want to run could have been my biggest decision of the day... Well both directions, don't want to be greedy!

With Tomas and Svata we ran some laps. I could almost hear the noise from my fellow runners seven years ago , the spectators, the chanting for they knew something I didn’t.

 The last time Tomas ran a lap with me was to mark the  final spot where my foot landed right on the 48 hour hooter for a world record I was oblivious to!

It was with a tear in my eye I left the arena. We met Daniel and then ran towards Tomas and Vera’s house about 20 kilometres away. Yes Daniel is a genuine ultra running man. He told me he gets a four hour lunch, for many business do a four hour siesta here. No Daniel doesn’t sleep. Jokingly I asked him if he ran for the four hours every day. 

Daniel Oralek a fierce competitor from my competitive days joins us.

” No ONLY for two or three hours a day! ” Daniel runs 60 races a year but ONLY 20 ultra marathons, easing down only one day before and is back running the next day! 8,000km a year he runs, enough to run around the world. 

 

So we ran for about 12km through some nice parks and cycle ways, he has to go back to work running back to his office on the other side of Brno. He is an IT specialist. I had brought my computer over to him to see if he could sort out the problem I was having as mentioned in my last blog posting.

Daniel the IT expert soon figures out the problem with my laptop, thanks Daniel!

Then realized we had no internet. So I explained the problem to him, he suggested I change browser, and hey presto when we got home it worked! Thanks Daniel.

Briefly another friend of Tomas a cyclist called Pavel joined us.

With Daniel and Pavel

Then it was just down to Tomas and this slugger hacking my way through another of Brno’s wonderful trail parks.

Half an hour later we got to the house. The toughest and happiest 35 kilometre days in many a long year. Ah Yes, I remember when it all seemed so easy!

Tomorrow Friday, a rest day :)

Please read my ” Uno in Brno ” race report in blog post below.

.

The end of road day 1,066 with 46,605 kilometres under my feet.

.

Sweet Caroline!

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Uno In Brno

July 24th, 2014
I just had to take in Brno on the world run. Brno 48 hour indoor race
 March 16/18 2007 was the highlight of my running career!
Sorry for the rough text and photos. My photos are back home,
these ones I just had on emails. Here is the race report I wrote after
 the race.
 Ah! it all seemed so easy then!
Uno in Brno!
By: Tony Mangan.

The world indoor record still stands.426.178km about 266 miles!

I felt the Japanese runners eyes burning holes through my back.We were in 
the latter hours of the Brno 48 hour indoor international endurance race in 
the Czech Republic. He was probably wondering who was this upstart.I had 
googled him last week and knew he was a member of their gold medal-winning 
team from the world 24 hour championships in Taiwan.He had finished 7th 
there.I was 16th.

I moved to the left he moved to left.He was waiting for me to go. Cat and 
mouse.I was in no hurry, as I had a nice lead of about 10km.
I slowed to let Kenjai pass me on a lap. He grunted and charged off.
This was his 3rd attack of the 4 he had mounted on me.Knowing he was
nearing his limit this time I went with him just to show him I was feeling
very strong.
It was a short attack.Just one lap of the 250 meter concrete track of the
indoor arena. Eyeballs- out-stuff, we ran it in about 70 seconds but it
seemed sub 60. Most of my other laps were in the 1:30 to 1:40 region.
 At the end of this lap his hand went up in the air,almost as a sign of
 submission. I had managed to fend off his 2 previous attacks,
lapping him a few times when he faded.
We jogged on for a couple of hours, towards the never-ending 
finish.Refreshed with about 2 hours to go we spoke for the very first time
 in the race.
He told me not to worry that he wanted to go through 400km in style.
 Still,I had to take this seriously as anything could happen to me giving
 him an outside chance of victory.He lifted his pace gradually,
adrenalin filled, running through the pain barrier.I was watching him
carefully from the opposite side of the indoor track matching his pace.
He was running clad in his white Japanese singlet and blue shorts with a
 forward leaning style which was easy to pick out among the other runners.
I started this race wearing my Dublin clubs Metro St.Brigid's singlet for 
the first 14 hours.
As as it was St.Patrick's day at midnight on the first 
day I changed into my Irish national singlet.This was first time in 20 years 
as a member of my club I didn't wear my clubs colours for a non-championship 
race.It was my plan to change back at midnight,but I decided I didn't want to
 change the luck of the Irish.
After 2 hours I was in 26th place of the 51 runners.
As the hours ticked slowly by I was gradually moving up the standings,
passing other runners,one by one.I felt like a grand prix driver moving up
through the grid. By the 24 hour mark I was 3rd place, later getting a
presentation for that competition within a competition;
223km run, almost identical to the distance I covered 
in the Verona European championships 6 months earlier,finishing 9th.
For once the weather could be guaranteed for a race.The arena which
is usually used for expos had been heated to 17degrees C.

Here in Brno, I took the lead with 10 hours to go. I was running like
a man possessed. No way did I want to finish second again in a big race.
Passion,ambition and a hunger to win were the fuel that drove me on through
that second long night.
This Japanese runner, Kenjai Okiyama, is some competitor,
Courageous full of running, never-say-die attitude.
We had an incredible tussle!
 On each of those 4 attacks I managed to hold him off by raising
my pace steadily so he found it hard to keep his attacks going.
I took a half hour nap after 20 hours and another half-hour
 at 32 hours.
Upon returning to the track I got sick and wasted another
 15-20 minutes.
The only time I walked was for 3 laps immediately before my
first nap.

Peta a young science student was assigned to look after me,
giving me my carbohydrate drinks gels and electrolytes.
Also, Alan Young a UK athletics official was very generous
with his assistance,
Alan was there to crew for William Sichel who broke the
 Scottish 48 hour record and finished 6th.
These helpers were instrumental to my success.
 I owe them a huge debt of service.
After the race my feet were in surprisingly decent shape.
In fact my feet hardly had a blemish!
The official aid stations were well stocked and included beer!
As a non-drinker I chose the alcohol-free one, occasionally.
They were of course not pint glasses but shot glass size!
Sometimes runners finds it hard to stomach regular drinks
and as beer is rich in carbohydrates - it's a welcome
refreshment for some ultra runners!
Towards the end of the race I was escorted by the race referee
to my exact finishing spot to put down a marker to mark what
I thought to be a course record.

In the last stages of Brno 2007. Race referee and race director Tomas Rusek right prepare to mark exact spot for the world record I was oblivious to!

 .
 
Jaroslav Kocourek,a Czech runner was the first to shake my
 hand and congratulate me on breaking his indoor
world 48 hour record!
 I asked him what he meant:
"Was it not a course record?"
"Yes it's a course record but the course record is
the world record!"
 That was a pleasant shock to me!
I looked for Kenjai and gave him a massive hug.
 We exchanged our national flags.

Exchanging flags with Kenji

Then we were photographed holding each others flag.
Third place Vlastimil Dvoracek from a Czech runner came over.
We exchanged race stories.

With Kenji left and Vlastimil Dvoracek right.

I fell into a chair and gave two television interviews
and numerous photos as the arena scoreboard sign flashed....
 " World 48 hour indoor record Tony Mangan Ireland
 426.178km " (264.81miles) "
Kenjai's second place total was 412.9km.
Third was the Czech runner 
Vlastimil Dvoracek in 374.9km.
Irina Koval frrom Russia won the womens race
running  353.4km.
Nina Mytrofanova from the Ukraine was second,334.4km.
Michaela Dimitriadu, Czech Rep. 322.3km, third.
My 24 hour splits were 223km and 203km.

We got onto the podium sharing with the 3 women's winners.
We were all so tired, almost falling off and hanging
onto each other as the presentations continued with
individual awards for each finisher.
Eventually they allowed us to sit down on the podium
while the ceremony continued.
I went back to the hotel,showered and slept for
about 4 hours and went out 
to dinner with the other runners.I sat with Kenjai.
He told me about life as a runner in Japan.
His wife is a 10 day runner.
It was very expensive for him and his handler to come here.
I felt sorry for him.
I was wearing my traditional race night tee-shirt which reads:
 "Battered,shattered,plastered and twisted!"
 I was happy and this made up for so many heartbreaking
second place finishes during my ultrarunning career.
My club club mate Michael Farrell deserves a lot of credit
for his great work getting me ready for races.
 Many times I have doubted if I could get
 over some of my injuries but Michael always seems to pull me
through.
In 5 years years working on me the masochist has never
 failed me!

Race director,Tomas Rusek did a wonderful job putting on
this incredible race which went like a well-oiled machine
without a hitch.
The trophy I was presented with was so big,
 I didn't know how to get it home!
Tomas the race director called to my room the next morning
to give me a large sports bag which the trophy barely
fitted into.
I went to the airport put the 48 hour shoes into the
x-ray machine and pitied the operator,
 how those shoes must have stank!
As I put them on I heard some Irish weekend revelers 
asking.
"Did you Run?" Thinking they were talking to me
I turned to answer...
Just as the other was man was replying,
"Are you crazy? I couldn't run across the street!"
I had a little chuckle and walked very slowly
through the terminal.
I was happy.

Tony Mangan. March 2007.

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Near Brno!

July 23rd, 2014

 

I have had a busy week running from Hungary to Slovakia, two days in Austria and now the Czech Republic!

Today, Wednesday was a short day. Thnks to Tomas Rusek, my friend and race director from Brno 48 hour race who came out to crew for me.

Even time for a non alcohol beer!

It rained heavily so I finished early, a half day at 22km.

Tomas met me on the road to Brno

Tonight I am guest of Tomas and his partner Vera.

Thanks also to Vera. I always have to borrow clothes when people kindly do my laundry! Thanks Tomas.

It is about 15km to Brno. We will return on Thursday morning to Rajhrad village where I finished running today. The plan is to run to the arena in Brno where I set the record.
We have been asked to be there around 11.30am to meet other local runners and hopefully ran a lap or two of the 250 metre circuit.
And then run another 20km to Vera’s house which is on my route west towards Germany.

Then it rained!

 I will take a rest day here on Friday.
46,556 kilometres for 1,065 road days.

Singing in the rain...

Tomas took lots of good shots which I am having trouble downloading. Will sleep on it and hopefully tomorrow God will have fixed the problem!

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Hotel Tatra in Bratislava, Slovakia is the place to stay!

July 19th, 2014

Many thanks to Hotel Tatra in Bratislava, Slovakia for sponsoring my two night stay her in downtown Bratislava. The hotel is conveniently located beside all the nightlife and medieval township tourist attractions, also the Presidential palace just to name a few attractions. An hotel with a tradition, offers its services since 1930. Hotel Tatra boasts over 80-years history.

Bratislava is a must stopover I was told by a friend last week. So I did – I took a rest day.

I met the Hotel sales manager Michal Ruzovic this morning and was able to thank him personally for his immediate offer when the Irish ambassador Anne-Marie Callan just happened to mention in conversation that I was running through the city on my world run.

With Irish Ambassador Anne-Marie Callan and Michal Ruzovil the sales manager for Hotel Tatra

Just in case I didn’t get enough heat the hotel has a sauna. Also a gymnasium for running on a treadmill!
And a huge buffet restaurant, coffee shop and bar.
It is very affordable and a most memorable stay can be guaranteed.
Please visit the Hotel Tatra website www.hoteltatra.sk
Thank you so much, Tony Mangan www.theworldjog.com/blog

With my friend Josef the brother of my ultra running host in Tasmania, Vlastislav Skvaril who escaped from former Czechoslovakia

A friend from my racing days Edit Berces from Lake Balaton, Hungary came back to Bratislava especially to see me as we missed each other when I ran through Hungary last week. Edit holds the women’s world 24 hour treadmill record 247 plus kilometres set in Budapest in 2004. Edit is the first woman to have run over 250km on a track in Verona, Italy in 2002.

Edit Berces

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since Tony began his World Run on 25th October 2010

PLEASE Feel Free To Sponsor A Meal, Hotel Night Or Even A Coffee! Press Paypal Below. Thank You :)

about tony

Anything is possible! I didn't start running till I was almost 30. Then I dreamed of running around the World. I got delayed for over 20 years for many reasons. One reason was to establish my pedigree. I am the former WORLD RECORD-HOLDER for 48 HOURS INDOOR TRACK 426km/265 mile. I previously held the WORLD RECORD FOR 48 hours on a Treadmill 405km/ 251miles. Now I am retired from competition I can finally live my dream. I hope you will travel around the World with me. This World Run will take 4 years and over 50,000km. I started with the Dublin Marathon on October 25th and am on schedule to finish with the Dublin Marathon on October 28th 2014 at 2pm! Read more...

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