Archive for December, 2010

Irish Times Article Of The World Jog

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Click here for full story >>Tony Mangan Irish Times December 13, 2010

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Magic Letter Jitter

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

Friday 10th was my 19th straight day running, so I plan on a rest day Saturday and will update the blog then.

Amherst is just a few kms from New Brunswick, so I should be in Maine and the USA by the end of next week .

Tues 7 Dec. 51.7km Salt Springs.

Wed 8th 50.2km Debert

Thurs 9th. 55.6km Thomsons Station.

Fri. 10th 44.00km Amherst, Exit 3.

Sat. 11th Rest Day in Amherst, NOVA SCOTIA.

Sun. 12th Memramcook, NEW BRUNSWICK 39km

Monday 13th. 48.3km Salisbury.

Tues 14th. 55km  Sussex.

Wed. 15th.  37km.  Hampton.

Total for 43  Road Days = 1,907.2 km.

Rain, wind and cold was what I entered into my log book for Monday as I ran out of Antigonish on Monday morning.
It was a headwind, so much of my day was spent pushing Nirvana with my head down and on and on up those small hills out onto the busy Trans Canada Highway.
I am still running on the left side of the road, towards the traffic and in the hard shoulder. As I ran on I had to be alert as there were many wide vehicles carrying mobile home and such over-sized cargo. They often ventured into my hard shoulder. The wind was so strong my head was down for most of the morning.
I felt I was cycling again as I held and pushed the handlebars and looked down at the ground while watching my feet move in continuous unison. I can see the white stripe of the hard shoulder boundary under my right arm as I pushed on. I was not tired. I was in my own mental zone.. I was actually enjoying the discomfort, the challenge.

After 29km of this Mark, a merchant marine engineer pulled up in his pick-up. With a concerned parent look and tone said.
” I passed you on the road earlier and came back to see how you are”
” Thanks very much, I am fine. ”
” Are you hungry? When was the last time you ate? Would you like something to eat?”
” Breakfast time, I could do with a sandwich… You got one in the pick up? ”
Mark asked me back to his house for lunch. I found it hard to resist.
I told him I wanted to run the 2km to the junction where he turned off at Barney’s River. I would continue on from there later.
Mark’s wife, Rose had a delicious pasta dish for lunch followed by apple pie for desert.
They offered me a place for the night. I had only 31.5km covered today. My first instinct was: I could do with another 10! How about I go out on the road and run it and could you please pick me up later and bring me back in the morning! That’s stupid, I then thought..Call today a half day… I am not bound to a schedule…. Only 29th October 2013 at 7 Merrion Square North in Dublin…. At 2pm! That’s the nearest I got to a schedule..
I had a very nice afternoon chilling out.
Mark and Rose’s son, Keane came in from high-school classes.

I have families all over Nova Scotia and Newfoundland! The Tobin's... My Barney's River family.

Later for dinner we were joined by Jim an 80 year old Korean war veteran.
We heard some of his tales and jokes, a true character.

Jim. The Korean war vetern.

Then Mark talked about his time on the ships around interesting places like Greenland and remote islands in the arctic.
He also told me about the wildlife that he has seen in his back garden.
black bears, coyotes and a friendly moose that used to wander in from time to time.
” Did you not think of shooting it Mark? You wouldn’t have far to go to gut it out! ”

The wonderful family that the Tobin’s are packed me a lunch for the road.
A couple of hours up the road Ray a newspaper reporter from The News pulls up in his news van for an interview.

Ray from The News.

 I get my thermos and food and climb into his van just as it starts lashing rain.
It’s a good interview. He has done some impressive research in just a couple of hours since Keane phoned him.
Then Ray shoots some video and takes some snaps. The main photo shows a big white Cisco truck which appears to drown me as it sped through massive puddles. In fact it didn’t. It was just a very clever dramatic shot.

I made a couple of stops and found it hard to get any rythm for the rest of the day. Ended up running 2 hours in the dark. I light up well with a headlight and a flashing red led light in addition to my high-viz vest.
I came to a small town called Salt Springs and knocked at the first house for water. I asked him could I sleep in his garage. He said there was no room. Across the road I made the same request this time producing the Magic Letter. The woman that answered said she would… ” Have to ask the Boss. ”
Husband or boss, I wondered.
She returned to say the Boss says no.
About 5 minutes down the road I see a big dome shaped garage. There is a grinding noise coming from within.
Skidoos are parked outside. I bang on the door. Inside Rob and Billy are putting up new lighting. They are surprised to see me, in the least. They invite me in to warm up by the wood-burning stove before we discuss me spending the night on their floor. The are a couple of friendly lads and soon make me feel welcome. I tell them all I need is the floor as I have my own food. I sit down by the stove, eat some bananas, drink tea.
We discuss my trip. They finish wiring the lights.

Billy and Rob finiish putting up the new lights in my bedroom before they move me inside!

I say..
” No prizes for guessing which area of the garage I am going to sleep tonight?”
Billy sweeps an arc-shaped area around the furnace.
Then his 2 young children Maddison and Masson come in and say there is someone over in the house that wants to meet me.

Billy, Leanne, Madison and Masson Mc Cormack. My Salt Springs family.

I go over and meet Billy’s wife, Leanne. Uncle Tom and his wife Kerry have come over as they became curious of the world jog. I mention about the newspaper interview and Tom says he will bring the paper over in the morning before I leave.
We have a good laugh and Leanne says they have a fold down bed in their spare room.. More wonderful people in Nova Scotia, just like Newfoundland; the salt of the earth. How much I am enjoying this wonderful country and discovering it’s kind-natured people first hand.

In the morning Billy and Leanne went to work and left me to help myself to breakfast. I noticed my Magic Letter was gone! Every single item has its place and I noticed it missing when I went to pack my thermos away.

I remembered handing it to the woman in the second house who brought it in to show the Boss… Could I be so dumb enough to leave without it?

I think I can find the house but what if there is nobody home? I prepared a note with a forwarding address.

Tom and Kerry came over with the paper and never mind the report I couldn’t believe they brought over a giant sized bar of luxury Belgian chocolate and to prove they had been reading the blog overnight 4 bars of of my favourite Big Turk and treated me to a coffee also.

The report was accurate except for the bit where he seemed to get the impression I got a windfall when in fact I had received a small redundancy payment from my job when I lost it!

We went over to the lady’s house to see if she had my precious Magic Letter.

She said she gave it back to me. I had a desperate look around the yard.

Just then Kerry noticed a white object sticking down from behind the storage bag at the rear of Nirvana. I rushed over and yes it was the Magic Letter dangling close to dropping off and onto the road… How lucky was I?

I ran on towards the city of Truro.

Arriving in Truro. I ended up running through it after a mess up with arrangements.

 I had had a contact there but poor communications in so far as every time I called I just got an answering machine. So I just ran on a bit more.

On the way a local ultra runner called Glen came out to run with me for an hour. He said he was one of about 3 or 4 ultra runners in Nova Scotia. No invite so I kept running. He had to rush back to his job so I stopped at a service station for coffee and overpriced bananas. On the way in a fellow who was loitering so much that I thought he worked there said.

” I saw you running with my buddy… Did he say anything about  me? ”

I took an unusual first sight dislike and said.

” No who are you? ”

” I’m JJ, I cut down trees and I am the only one from around here that cycled across Canada! ”

” Were  people good to you JJ? ”

” Yes I stayed in many homes and when I had no place to stay I usually slept in the cars in junkyards. ”

” What about the dogs? ”

” Out front I mean ”

” Hey JJ there is no payphone here and I need to call a contact about a place tonight can you let me ring from your cellphone please? ”

” I don’t have one. ”

He comes back a couple of minutes later and says..

” I can let you have 2 minutes on my phone. ”

I call and get the answering machine again. I tell JJ the story. No offer and its getting dark.

I give him back his phone and say..

” Thanks I only used 30 seconds.. You sure people were good to you on your Canada cycle trip JJ  ”

” See ya buddy  I gotta cut down a tree..”

I ran on into the darkness and exited in Delbert. Headed for Tim Hortons. Got talking to a lot of the locals. It seemed to be senior citizens night. Nice the way they go to a coffee place to socialise and not to a bar as in other cultures. In fact I have not seen many bars on my trek west.

One of them went up to the counter and bought me a $20 gift card for the store. He had been giving me advice not to take the Trans Canada Highway tomorrow as there is a mountain pass which could be a bit stormy. The local advice was to take to old highway which was relatively flat and less travelled. It would also have more services.

It had started snowing outside so I decided to stay in tim Hortons for the night as it was a 24 hour. Around midnight I asked the attendant if i could crash out discreetly in my sleeping bag behind my table!

” No problem.. You work away..We probably wont have many here tonight. ”

I had a solid 6 hours sleep. I was awoken by the manager who presented me with a $10 gift card signed from the staff!

I had a huge breakfast, filled the thermos and hit the road.

The old highway was very picturesque. Old wooden houses with the delightful scent of wood burning stoves, snow filled-fields looking like one big Christmas card.

Within minutes problem number 1 was solved: I spotted a post office, the first I had come across in over 2 weeks on the serviced starved Trans Canada. So I bought a couple of cards and posted them.

Everywhere I go I seemed to be causing a stir! The two ladies in the post office wanted the website address to follow my progress!

So I continued on loving these roads. I promise I will travel more on the secondary roads.

An hour later a big white truck pulls up and out hops the driver. He says.

” I saw you on the road the other day and honked at you do you remember me?! ”

” Hundreds of vehicles honk at me everyday! ”

He gives me 5 satsumas.

” No I drove by as the  newspaper photographer snapped his picture! ”

” Shit! Was that you! You are the Cisco driver! Wait till my mom sees that photo of you splashing her little boy! ”

” And I only posted off that article an hour ago, pity we can’t have another look…” I added.

The Cisco Kid.

Around 4pm a local stopped me to ask me what I was up to. When I told him he offered me his mountain cabin, trouble was it was 15km out of my way.

” Thanks but no thanks! ”

Gotta travel more on these secondary roads.

It was 24km to Oxford. A bit further than I wanted but the terrain was now in my favour and I felt strong so I ran on as I didn’t know what else to do. I knew there was a Tim Hortons in Oxford. After 12km I came across a brand new only 2 weeks old Ultramar service station. This will do for today. The last 3 days were each over 50km run. I stopped and phoned my enthusiastic World Jog follower Alfred.

His enthusiasm is only rivalled by Katheryn Cochrane  and family from Pascedna, NF!

Alfred from Amherst – which is just over 40km away –  had offered to pick me up when I got about 40km of his house and he would commute me back the next day to run into Amherst.

So I had dinner and made arrangements with the kind lady in the service station to leave Nirvana there overnight.

Every time I go into a restaurant or cafe my instincts are seeking out two immediate facilities. 1 the heater and 2. The electric socket to power up  my electrics.

Within minutes my 4 place table is usually full of cables, maps and bags…Like a bomb has hit the place.. Of course good-natured banter is always had with the waitress who is kept interested by a drip feed of trip tidbits as she carefully places a glass of water between cables and gadgets.

I am staying in Amherst for my rest day with my friend Alfred, his wife Denise and Joanna.


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Newspaper Article in Nova Scotia

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Press  >  HERE

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Some video footage

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Video footage is compliments of the New Glasgow News.

Press >  HERE

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Nova Scotia…. New Scotland.

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Dec 1 at 23.45 Took ferry from Port aux Basques (Newfoundland island) to North Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Dec 2. at 07.00 Arrive North Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Dec 2. North Sydney to Big Hill (km marker 99.2) 40.5km

Dec. 3 Big Hill to Aberdeen (km marker 52) 47.2km

Dec 4. Aberdeen to Port Hastings (km 0 ) 52km.

Dec 5. Port Hastings to 7km east of Antigonish 45.6km

Dec  6. 7km East of Antiggonish.    31.5km

Total for 35 road days = 1,526.4km

Nova Scotia… New Scotland as they say.

I ran off the ferry from Newfoundland Island onto Nova Scotia soil ready for more Canadian adventures.

I had heard so much about how beautiful Cape Breton Island is. It’s about 1km to the east of the Nova Scotia mainland, connected by the Canso Causeway.

But first there was a minor scare as a bridge about a km long had a ‘ No Pedestrians ‘ sign. I want to run every land kilometer, so as there were no cops around I just ran over it as quickly as possible

There were spectacular views of the lakes as I climbed over Kelly’s mountain.

A 240 meter climb over 7km. And then the descent :) Climbs like this really break up the day for me. I actually enjoy them. A couple of people sent me emails getting the impression I don’t like hills. I guess perhaps this is because I mention them in the blog.. Well, I am just reporting what I am doing, and remember… I lived in Colorado!

This area is also steeped in Scottish Gaelic.

There were many beautiful hiking trails but as I am on a mission I won’t be taking any trails or making any excursions off my chosen route.

The first day I clocked in with a 40.5km which was a bit shorter than I wanted. I cut it short as I spotted a good place to camp.

I got a good 12 hours sleep, on and off and hit the road just after 8am.

I pushed on through a couple of Indian reservations, or First Native as they are called here.

Someone told me that the person responsible for sorting out the social problems of this area is on a million and a half dollars a year.

I ran through Wagmatcook and Whycocomagh. In one of these villages there were so many unfriendly dogs that I had my dog deterrent at the ready. Even the birds sounded angry.

I spent my second night in the Aberdeen Motel, in Aberdeen thanks once again to my Magic Letter I managed to negotiate a $20 room with a queen sized bed!

The owner is Beatrice from Switzerland.

Just after having my shower a First Native man came through my unlocked door supposedly mistaking my room for his own.

Next morning upon leaving I couldn’t get Nirvana out of the room as his GMC SUV was parked up on my path and outside my door blocking my exit!

I hammered on his window and after about 10 minutes the same man looking the worst for wear reappeared to verbally abuse Beatrice and me telling us to ‘ Just Shut Up! ‘ Nice..

It rained all day Saturday. Irish rain… We would be proud of it!  My first real rain since leaving the Emerald Isle. Still I ran 52km to Port Hastings getting there after dark. By now the rain was torrential. The Magic letter failed in 2 motels. Best I could get was 70 dollars a night plus taxes, only a miserable 10 dollar discount.

I didn’t know what to do. I decided to stay in the second one for dinner and just to change clothes and log onto their wi-fi and figure something out when the rain stops..Gotta be optimistic!

I was sitting up at the bar eating my steak and chips and keying away at my keyboard. A man called Phil was also sitting eating his dinner  at the bar and talking about road conditions to another customer. I had been altering my route through New Brunswick. In Ireland I had been considering a southern route through Saint George and Saint John’s but instead had opted for a northern route as it looked ‘ safer ‘ weather-wise. I had decided to wait till I got here and ask the locals. I have been assured by many that the southern route would be a better bet and would also save me a couple of days.

Phil confirmed this. He then got interested in my trip. He said he saw me a couple of times on the road and wondered what kind of a father would bring his child out in the rain for a run along the highway today!

He told me he works as a service engineer for a refrigeration company doing much of his work on hockey rinks. He has racked up many ‘ loyalty frequent stayer ‘ free nights in a series of hotels. He gave me one of those vouchers for tonight in this hotel….  It’s people like Phil that come to my rescue at my time of need that make the World Jog possible. It would not be possible withou these wonderful people… I owe you all so much.

Sometimes  I wonder if there is someone up there looking down on me.

Happy days… Thanks Phil! :)

Phil the engineer gave me a voucher for a nights stay in this nice motel.

Next day out on the road from Port Hastings to Antigonish the running was easy and very enjoyable. For much of it I had a tailwind. The road was very busy for a Sunday. I can’t believe I haven’t seen a cop in 4 days in Nova. Scotia!

I stopped for the day at 45.6km at a motel Phil recommended for Magic Letter treatment and sure enough I secured a $20 room. Back in business!The owner of The Coastal Inn, a Chinese woman called Jane was very friendly saying all Chinese motel owners are decent people.. I believe that as this is my second such dealing with them in two weeks. I have found them to be very susceptible to a haggle.

I went across the road to Mother Webb’s Steakhouse and got ripped off!

A $19 steak ended up costing $30 as they charged for gravy and onions which were not marked as extras. Then she didn’t give me the small change out of the 30, just handed me back 10 out of my 40!

I left a 2 dollar tip and also a comment in the comment box without getting as much as a thank you for the tip!

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Newfoundland: Newfound Loveland.

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

30 November St. Fintans to 10.7km north of Doyle Junction. 41km

1 December. 10.7km North of Doyle Junction to Port aux Basques 48.5km.

Total km for Newfoundland:Cape Spear to Port aux Basques = 932.0 km.

Rough update below..Am short of time, sorry!

Mike and Linda dropped me off at St. Fintans where I picked up Nirvana from the service station before setting off. I felt nice and fresh as Linda had done my laundry last night, thanks Linda :)
I made many stops this meant I was out on the road till just after dark.
I had hoped to reach Doyles Junction but fell a little over 10km short when Clem a local teacher came out to meet me. He will bring me back in the morning.

Clem from Doyles

He cooked a lovely pasta dish while giving me the lowdown on some of the local politics. I asked him about the (Newfoundland) Premier, Danny Wilson who is retiring this Friday after serving 7 years as Provincial leader. Wilson has a 90% popularity rating. Anyone that says anything against him is an outcast, so popular is the man.
” Did you ever hear anything like that before Tony? ”
” Only in a dictatorship! ” I said.
I then asked Clem.
” So where did he make his money? ”
” From cable tv, the media.
” So who is going to say anything against him?
” He has always made it clear he was going back to his old business when he served his term ”

Next morning I ran on towards Port aux Basques for my ferry to Nova Scotia. This will be my last day here. I felt a bit sad.
On the way I was almost blown off the road in an infamous area called the Wreckhouse. Strong winds blow through the mountainous valley and in the 18th century have been known to blow over freight trains!

Wreckhouse Canyon... To be blown out onto the road?

Thats where the name Wreckhouse came from as someone rang a particular house to check on the wind. DETAILS If it was blowing the trains were halted and if it was calm the trains proceeded.
In recent years the wind has taken out several trucks. Today the wind seemed to be downgraded to taking out bicycles, horses and world runners!
I was so concerned that I actually crossed the road and ran with the traffic to my back instead of running towards it. Reason being, I was afraid of being blown out onto the road. I reckoned I stood a better chance being blown into the Atlantic, well there was a bit of beach in between!

Or into the Atlantic?

This went on for almost 20km.
About 18km before Port aux Basques a woman called Jane drove up and got out of her car to give me a Tim Horton’s coffee and some sandwiches.
I need to get sponsored by Tim Horton’s for all this publicity!

Jane stopped me on the way to Port aux Basques with Tim Horton's coffee and sandwiches.She later joined me for the run in and arranged a steak dinner compliments of Hotel Port aux Basques :) Thank you!

Jane said she would join me on the road for my run into the city. I can’t believe I will arrive this afternoon. I remember seeing the sign for this place, just over 3 weeks ago back near St. Johns and it read something like 920km!

November 10th My second day and A long way to go in Newfoundland.

Port aux Basques...At last! December 1st.

On the Road

Arriving in Port aux Basques.

Jane told me she rang the local paper and a reporter was on the way out.
What transpired next is not for this blog! Suffice to say the reporter reached me on the road, then she had an incredibly embarrassing moment which made her report of my world run unimportant.. A second reporter was dispatched to rescue the embarrassed reporter.
Don’t worry, I told her you will be telling this incident at dinner parties for years to come once you get over your embarrassment!
Many incidents like this will be reserved for the World Jog book!
Jane had also arranged a steak dinner for me at Hotel Port aux Basques Many thanks :) Also a complimentary passage with cabin and a buffet breakfast compliments of the Marine Atlantic ferry company.

On November 9th I set out from the Atlantic Ocean in Cape Spear. Dec 1st I run into the Atlantic to complete the 932km run across Newfoundland.

Many thanks to Marine Atlantic for a complimentary passage from Newfoundland Island to Nova Scotia.They also gave me a cabin and a buffet breakfast.

Dec 1 at 23.45 Took ferry from Port aux Basques (Newfoundland island) to North Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Dec 2. at 07.00 Arrive North Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Dec 2. North Sydney to Big Hill (km marker 99.2) 40.5km

Dec. 3 Big Hill to Aberdeen (km marker 52) 47.2km

Dec 4. Aberdeen to Port Hastings (km 0 ) 52km.

Dec 5.   7km east of  Antigonish  45.6km

Total for 34 road days = 1,494.9km

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About Tony

I have always considered myself to be an average runner. In school, I was even bullied for I was a sports wimp. Through hard work, dedication, perseverance, self-belief and a strong mind I succeeded in not only running around the world but breaking four ultra running world records during my competitive career. Having previously cycled around the world I didn't start running until I was almost 30. Then I had a dream of running around the world. For many reasons, I waited for over 20 years. One reason was to establish my pedigree as an endurance athlete. I started and finished my world run as the current World Record-Holder for 48 Hours Indoor Track 426 kilometres (265 miles), a record I have held since 2007. I also broke and still hold the World Record for 48 hours on a Treadmill 405 kilometres (251 miles) in 2008. When I retired from competition, more pleasing than any of my world, European or Irish records I had the respect of my fellow athletes from all over the world - in my opinion, sports greatest reward - an achievement I am most proud of. Then I finally put myself out to pasture, to live my ultimate dream to run around the world! This blog was written on the road while I struggled to find places to sleep and to recover from running an average of 43.3 kilometres or 27 miles per day for 1,165 road days. There were many nights I typed this blog on a smart phone, so fatigued my eyes closed. Many journalists and endurance athletes have referred to my world run as the most difficult endurance challenge ever attempted. During my expedition I rarely had any support vehicles, running mostly with a backpack. In the more desolate areas I pushed my gear, food and water in a cart which I called Nirvana, then I sent her on ahead to run with my backpack once again over altitudes of almost 5,000 metres in the Andes. I stayed in remote villages where many people had never seen a white person before. I literally met the most wonderful people of this world in their own backyard and share many of those amazing experiences in this blog. My run around the world took 4 years. There were no short cuts, I ran every single metre on the road while seeking out the most comprehensive route across 41 countries, 5 continents, I used 50 pair of running shoes and my final footstep of the run was exactly 50,000 kilometres, (almost 31,000 miles) I eventually finished this tongue in cheek named world jog where I started, at the finish line of my city marathon. I started my global run with the Dublin Marathon on October 25th 2010 and finished with the Dublin Marathon on October 27th 2014 at 3 05pm! Thank you for your support, I hope you can share my unique way of seeing the world, the ultimate endurance challenge! Read more...


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