Archive for January, 2011

Southbound and South Paw.

Saturday, January 29th, 2011


I kept running along route 6. Once again it was very hilly. When I get to Ohio in a few days time the hills will be more or less gone till the Rockies. The hard shoulder was fairly clear today.. A good job by the snow plows. Towards late afternoon I start looking at the clouds. A clear sky this time of year usually means its going to be a cold night and even colder morning. Clouds trap whatever heat is around which usually means a milder night and morning. Tonight it’s cloudy.
After 3 stops I make my way to Coudersport.

I meet Pete my host for tonight at the courthouse and stop my gps watch at exactly a marathon. Well it was a bit more but I usually subtract a bit. I don’t really know why I do this as gps watches are actually more accurate than some online maps. The latter don’t always calculate the distance going down into valleys whereas the gps will calculate every stride.
At the courthouse steps there was another reporter for the Bradford Era. This one was of French origin. I think he was calling himself De Laney… I was calling him Delaney and suspected he was Irish. He certainly had the wit. We had a good laugh.
I sometimes feel like I have ridden a stage of the Tour de France at the end of the day as I take my left-over snacks out of my cycle top pockets and drink from my water bottle as the press wait. A few pictures and an interview. No pretty blondes dressed in yellow or even teddy bears! One difference, this tour is three years and not three weeks.
My answers all come out on auto pilot. I am usually fiddling with my clothes and packing my stuff away as I shoot out the familiar lines  without a moments thought. I even answer their questions before they ask them. I know them all. And I can tell by their tone what is coming next. I will sometimes speed it up by saying.. ” 6 pairs of shoes, just over 2, 000 miles between a marathon and 50km per day, I’m 53, not married and no kids! I started with the Dublin marathon last October and will finish with the Dublin marathon in October 2013.
Please thank the American people for me, mention my charity, website and sponsors. You can get a huge amount of info from my About page of my website. I recommend your research from the Irish Times article just scroll back to December and also the Irish Runner article.”

Sometimes I get: ” What running shoe do you like best? ”
” No comment…. I ain’t got a shoe sponsor! ”
” But you must have a favorite? ”
“  I do and it will be the first company that gives me some! ”

So Pete drives me over to his home in Bradford about fifteen minutes away. He is yet another bicycle shop owner. He does a lot for the area organizing cycle rides from his shop. Previously there was not much of an interest but he has got an enthusiastic group that meet twice a week in the spring for a trail ride and a mountain bike ride.



At the dinner table his dog comes over to me and hits me with his paw and gives a strange whine that sounds like it’s a war dance.
Then Pete goes over to the refrigerator and gets out about 6 different tubs of Ben and Gerry’s ice cream for me to make a selection.
I choose caramel. Later the dog comes back for round two. It’s a big dog. I have forgotten the breed. I have also forgotten about his south paw and push him away as he tries to lick the fallen ice cream from my trousers leg. He puts up his paw again and swipes just as I duck away on my chair. Another war dance whine. Pete is laughing. I’m a bit scared and tell him. He takes him out for a walk. Returns with the shattered dog which is now  out for the count. I guess I won on a technical knockout.

Post to Twitter

Dave Potter and the secret of Great Outdoors‏

Friday, January 28th, 2011


That Monday morning it was freezing cold. People had been warning me for over a week it was to drop to -17 Fahrenheit. My conversion scale tells me that’s -27 Celsius! And we are not even talking about the wind chill factor as I have my hands exposed holding onto Nirvana’s handlebars.
So what do I do? I figure I have a long day as I want to try to reach Galeton a little over 6okm away. I was super optimistic planning the route the night before. I will head out early… I have averaged nearly 50km or around 30 miles every day last week.. So what’s another 50km and then more with the early start!
I can never get an early start.. Its always my fault as it takes me a while to get going in the morning.
So there I am running down route 6 pushing Nirvana when an old timer called Greg shouts out..
” Hey bud are you collecting soda and beer cans from the side of the road? ”
I think he thinks I am a tramp pushing a supermarket trolley while collecting the cans to return for their deposits.
” I figured nobody would be out in this weather if they didn’t have to be. ” Said Greg and then added.
” You want a job for a couple of days I got some lumber that need moving but don’t have a lot of money. ”
” Actually I am running around the world! ”
Then the usual questions.. I get into his car for some warmth putting my 3 pairs of gloves over his heater.

Hey bud are you looking for a job!

I tell him about all the wonderful people I am meeting.. He says.
” People are wonderful everywhere in the world. It’s the governments of the world that is messing up the world. It doesn’t matter about language we are all the same and I guarantee if it were not for the governments of the world we would all be much happier.
I run on and half an hour later he comes back with a bag of gloves and some packages of hand warmers. I hand him back the gloves and am already using the hand warmers. They are shaped and look like tea bags but once shook up they give about 8 hours warmth when pushed in behind a glove.
I fell a bit short of Galeton so Tony come out to pick me up in his pickup truck. I finish for the day in a place called Rexford at mile marker 206. I am staying at his house tonight with his wife Jill.

Jill and Tony


Tony is a manager in the local lumber yard. They are not so busy now with the recession.
I hear about all the natural gas that’s being drilled in the state of Pennsylvania. Something like 8,000 wells. One of the biggest gas areas in the world. It’s very controversial. They are drilling for it in a horizontal manner putting explosives and chemicals down the wells. Apparently the rigs don’t have to tell anyone what chemicals are being poured down. they are answerable to nobody.. Even the fire brigade don’t even know when they go down to fight the few fires they have had. It seems there was a lobby by gas drilling companies to keep it that way and they are protected by law.
Meanwhile people have told me water has been contaminated on farms. Farmers have had to have have their cows slaughtered because their milk is also contaminated.
The onus is on the homeowner to prove their water was not contaminated before. They would have to pay about 1,000 dollars for such a test in advance of any problems and few paid that before having problems.
” But there is surely a benefit to the local economy? ”
I had been asking this question to many people over the last few days.
” Sure there are now jobs in an area which has been depressed for the last five years or so but now gas prices have risen and its now economically feasible to drill.”
” Anyone with a skill like a welder is working and being well paid. But many of the jobs and much of the money is going out of the state and there are huge amounts of Texans here.”
Almost immediately after crossing the state line yesterday I could smell natural gas. I have smelt it many times since. Surely this is not safe? Surely contaminated water is not safe. I find it amazing that gas exploration companies are not answerable to the federal government

Next morning Jill and Tony drop me back to where I left off and I run on from Rexford and stop in a service station in Galeton for coffee. They are opening a Subway snack bar soon. As I am going I am told I can have a free sandwich as he staff are being trained in by giving out the freebies. Nice one but the didn’t force me with the potato chips as the normally do! I stick it in the back pocket of a cycle top I wear. I run on and am greeted by many members of the town. It seems many have read about me online and phoned their friends to say I am on the way.
I am running up Denton Hill. It’s steep and wicked in places and goes on for miles.
A guy in a red jeep pulls up ahead. He gets out and offers his hand as I approach.
” I am Dave from the Potter County Tourist Board. ”
I note he is dressed in neat casuals and joke.
” Hi Dave, you going to run with me? ”
” Ha Ha not exactly but do you mind if I drive on ahead up the hill and take a photo? ”
” No problem Dave.. Go for it! ”
Five minutes later a red jeep drives back down the hill and I think its Dave’s. He has probably got a telephoto lens and took it from a distance.. Strange I thought.
So I sit on the guardrails and eat my sandwich. Half an hour later I am at the summit, altitude 2,424 feet.

I'm loving it!


Dave has his camera out. I think he must have been a journalist in a former life. They are all the same they go to the top of the steepest hills and wait for that knackered look on your face.
I always like to piss them off by cracking a big wide smile and say ” I’m Loving it! ” Just like I was in a fast food commercial and a million dollars depended on my emphatic line delivery.
” Sorry for the delay Dave I thought you were gone and I got a Subway.”

” That’s great Tony I will get the rest of the story from your website. ”
I am wondering why Potter County Tourist Board are interested in my world run.

” One more thing Tony… Just why did you pick Potter County? ”
” Well I look to see where I am… Then I look at Colorado…. I get a google map, press avoid highway…. And Bob’s your uncle! ”
” Eh! ”
I don’t think the tourist guru was happy with that one and continued.
” Tell me one more thing…”

And he asked what many people have been asking over the last couple of weeks.

” Why are you not heading south instead of west? ”
“Well its not that simple when you are running! Just over a week ago I had a big mountain range to the south and then there is the storm that is heading this way, so it’s best to head west for now and south when I can.
“ Besides I am heading for Colorado now and cant go too far south or I will have to come back up! I am running gradually south-west picking my way around the major towns and mountain ranges. Am also trying to get decent roads with hard shoulders because of the slush.
” So I gotta listen to local advice too.”
” Besides it doesn’t really matter as I am well stocked up by good equipment from Great Outdoors from Ireland.
” I haven’t had a single day when I have been miserable from start to finish with the weather. Their equipment has kept me warm, safe and comfortable.”
My pride and joy is the Event Montane red shell waterproof/windproof jacket that I am never out of and will probably get buried in!
Down the hill and into Caudersport I ran. Yes it had been a nice day. I didn’t even have to push Nirvana as Jill and Tony were delivering it to the place I was staying in tonight.  Well to a car dealership anyway. Jim works there as a driver driving cars around from the companies 6 shops for customers to test drive. Just as I was arriving a journalist snapped my picture and I did another interview.
On the way back to Jim’s house he tells me his wife blew up her car engine a few days ago.
So I go in to their house and 3 dogs are sniffing me. A pleasant lady puts her hand out and says..
” I’m Barbie”
I say… ” I know you blew up the car!”
” No that was Jim’s wife Kathy. I’m their neighbor. ”
So we have a couple of bowls of stew and have a laugh.

Kathy, Jim and Barbie.

Post to Twitter


Monday, January 24th, 2011

20th Jan 2011 Cortland US13 and Main St. 40.7km = 25.3miles.

Tonight I am a guest of Melissa, Trever and Lukas. Many thanks. :)

21st Jan 2011. Cortland to 9 miles south of Ithaca. 50km = 31.1 miles.

Tonight I am guest of Ian and Sherry and family Many thanks :)

22nd Jan 2011. start 9 mls south of Ithaca finish Elmira. 40.2km = 25 miles

Tonight I am a guest of Paul and Wanda. Many thanks :)

23rd Jan 2011. Elmira to Tioga Jct. (Pennsylvania) 35.4km =22 miles.

Tonight I am a guest of Tom and Sheila. Many thanks :)

24th Jan 2011. Tioga Jct to Rexford ml marker 207 (on US6south) 50km =31.1miles

Tonight I am a guest of Jill and Tony. Many thanks :)

25th Jan 2011. Rexford to Caudersport 50km = 31.1 miles.

Tonight I am the guest of Kathy and Jim. Thanks so much :)

26th Jan 2011. Caudersport to Smethport 42.2km = 26.2 miles

Tonight I am Pete’s guest. Thank you very much :)

27th Jan 2011. Smethport to Kane            40.2km =     25 miles.

Tonight I am Lisa and Tom’s guest. Wonderful people, thanks so much :)

28th Jan 2011. Kane to Marionville.   40.3km = 25.1 miles

Tonight I am Dave and Mel’s guest.  Thanks a million :)

29th Jan 2011. Marionville to Shippenville. 37.1km = 23.1 miles.

Tonight I am John and Debbie’s guest Thanks so much  :)

30th Jan 2011. Shippenville to East Brady, 44.2km = 27.5 miles.

Tonight I am the guest of Bookie and Kathy Thanks very much :)

31st Jan 2011. East Brady to Butler, 37.3km = 23.2 miles.

Tonight I stayed in Butler’s  Methodist Church. Many thanks to Pastor Tim :)

1st Feb 2011. Butler to Deer Lake Extension, 41.4km = 25.7 miles.

2nd Feb  2011. Deer Lake Extension to Wellsville, OHIO. 45.2km = 28.1 miles.

Tonight and last night I am the guest of Tim and Mary-Beth. Thanks so much for your kind help :)

3rd Feb 2011 Wellsville to 8km east of Carrollston. 43.9km =  27.3 miles

Tonight I am staying with Charlotte and George. Thanks very much :)

4th Feb 2011. East Carrollston to New Philadelphia. 45.6km = 28.3 miles

5th Feb 2011. New Philadelphia to Junction US 36west/county road 10.

50.2km = 31.2 mls

Tonight and last night I am staying with Nancy and Jerry. Wonderful people! Thanks a bunch :)

6th Feb 2011 36W/co.rd10 to 2km east of US 229/62 junction.  44.4km = 27.6mls

7th Feb 2011. 2km east of US229/62 Junction to Centerburg. 42.5km = 26.4miles

Tonight  and last night I am the guest of Mark and Debbie. Thanks for helping with the dream :)

8th Feb 2011 Centerburg to 3km/2miles west of Ashley. 38.8km = 24.1 miles

Staying with Jason and Leighlay Thanks for your help :)

9th Feb 2011 3km/2miles west of Ashley to W.Mansfield 52.6km = 32.7miles

Guest of Julie and Pete Thanks for your great help :)

Total for 90 Road days: 3,975.2 km = 2,470.1 miles = 94.2 marathons


I am going through the most amazing chain of hospitality at the moment… It’s just unbelievable!
Almost 2 weeks ago when the weather deteriorated my friend John Geesler from St. Johnsville called his friends in Pitsfield, Ma. I had been stormed caught in a storm in nearby Shakers Village. I had taken refuge in the local museum of the Shakers sect. The workers there made me feel at home and did everything they possibly could to make me feel comfortable.
John’s friends Beth and Brad arrive and take me to their home. It’s God darn cold…A cold wind is taking my face off.

Beth and Brad

They are fussing, checking my route and making phone calls down my route to try to organize places for me to stay.
I have a pile of laundry on the floor that they have offered to wash for me. Then I discover their labrador dog is licking my multidays old underpants!
Brad rushes over and the other labrador jumps up on takes his brathurst hot-dog off his plate. Brad just smiles and says the dog needed it more than him… The dog knew better than to touch the Food Demons!
They both have to be in work for 7am. So at breakfast I am pleading with them to leave the phone down and not be late for work on my account.
But Brad doesn’t care and insists on taking me for breakfast in a nice old fashioned diner.
I look at the menu and laugh. Nobody there can see the irony when I point out ” Irish Breakfast served on an English muffin. ”

So then I ran on and as mentioned in a recent post stayed with my friend the Kurahura Kickers in Little Falls NY. In all I stayed there 5 nights in Stan, Joann and Sweet Pea’s house. I took two rest days there and they commuted me back and forth for 3 running days.
Just as I got beyond their range another club member Mark and his wife Renne offered to put me up just outside of Waterville.
That day I ran 60km /37miles. Another member of the club, Dave Putney who I know from a race a few years ago clocked out of work at noon and joins me on the road for 31km/19 miles. We are joined for about an hour by Kelly-Ann a noted track team coach in the area. Its so fantastic running with other runners…It makes the time fly.
John has also driven out now it must be over 80km/50 miles but he doesn’t care. He delivers Nirvana. I wanted to run with the buggy this morning but he insisted. So he parks ahead and runs towards to run back to his pickup. John doesn’t run in traditional running gear. He prefers to wear his factory work clothes when he runs. He says his work uniform is very comfortable. I see him running towards me in his brown uniform. He jokes and says..
” I’m the UPS delivery man and I got Nirvana for you! ”

Running with the UPS man.

He told me of the story of the cop stopping him as he was running in his street clothes! The long hair and headband didn’t help!
Mark and Renne have a delicious chicken salad dinner prepared. They also invite John and Dave, another couple and Marks business partner Paul.
Mark is a bicycle shop owner.
Paul comes over in the morning to drop me back to my finishing spot. I run through some beautiful scenery that day. Its still biter cold. I don’t think too much about temperatures or even weather forecasts these days as I gotta run and whats the point of worrying… People are more worried for my safety than I am. I don’t even care about mountains… I am living my dream…Throw it all at me. I run into a junction town called Georgetown. My tracphone doesn’t work. So the lady in the gas station allows me to use hers to call Paul. I tell him I would like to run another 9 miles and ask him to leave to pick me up in about 40 minutes. Its an hours drive. No problem, he says.
On the way back we passed many Amish people AMISH DETAILS in their horse drawn black carriages.

Aimish horse and cart

Amish believe in a simple life without modern conveniences. I have been though they reject modern technology it is ok to use other peoples. John has had an Amish neighbor come in to borrow a cordless drill. A lot of the strict rules and regulations have been skirted about. For example they obviously don’t have a phone but some may have a pay phone installed in their garden! They ride their horse drawn carriages but accept a ride in someones car.
Today I ran over 50km/ 32 miles.

Paul drives me back to Junction 80/13 and on I go… My never-ending life of goodbyes. I get around the corner and am ambushed by the Cortland press. Someone has tipped them off as to my starting point and time and I am giving an interview that lasts nearly half an hour in the freezing cold (later I see a copy riddled with mistakes)
 I get to Cortland and John’s niece Melissa, her husband and their 18 month boy called Lukas are putting me up.
This chain of events just seem to be never ending.
A man named Peter has tracked me down to Melissa’s house. He is very keen to run with me for a stage of the world run. Melissa is very accommodating and invites him around at 6.30am. We have breakfast and set off. Peter tells me he has taken a day off work to run with me. Later I discover he has donated 100 euro to my charity Aware… Thank you so much Peter :) I got joined by an Dubliner called Innis who ran for only a short time as he was in a hurry off to New York City. Innis is a student over here these last four years. Word has gotten out of my run as Lynn has posted something on a triathalon forum. John has also contacted the Finger Lakes Running Club.
So Ian a sportswear and bike shop owner comes out. He has also raced many triathalons and ultra races. He is a race director for a 100 mile trail race.

With Ian outside his Finger Lakes running store

I am going to be staying with him tonight. He runs me into the town of Ithaca and we go to his store. He is incredibly generous and sponsors me a couple of pairs of shoes, some apparel, clothing and a massage stick.
I say to Ian that as todays run was a bit short and tomorrows is very long I would like to run another 9 miles to get my 50km. He picks me up 2 hours later.
I go back to his house and on the way way Ian was telling me his wife, Sherry had a baby girl Nora only two weeks ago. It would be a full and crowded house as Ian’s parents George and Brenda would be there and so too was Linda, Sherry’s mother..
” But this is too much for you Ian! ”
” Nonesence Tony we would like to have you as our guest! ”
I get talking to George..
He is very extroverted and a funny man.
” What kind of an Irish man has an Italian name like Tony! Come here Anthony! ”
I say. ” What kind of an American is called George? Saint George…..”
He says.. ” George Washington! ”
I say ” George Bush ” He almost pukes into his coffee!

Then Sherry asks.. ” How did you get the buggy here ”
I said. ” When Ian came along and Innis came along he asked him to put it into his car and drive it over here.”
So Sherry says.. ” I am not surprised Ian didn’t want to push the buggy…. He wouldn’t even push his own kids! ”
So Ian gets on the phone and finds a place for me to stay for tomorrow. A rival bike store in Elmira

Next morning at breakfast its a very full house with all the grandparents and a couple of friends come over.
Sarah a 17 year old high school student with a passion for running. She has already run a couple of marathons and 50km races. Her mam was a marathon Olympic trialist. Sarah tells me her passion for running is such that she was dreaming of a journey run across somewhere like the USA and then hours later she hears about me. They just had to come over for breakfast. They brought delicious cookies. Then Sarah says she would like to skip rehearsals for a musical she is performing in to run the 25 miles to Elmira with me!
On the way we are joined by Korey.. We run to Paul’s bike shop. He is out skiing but we let ourselves in as he suggested.
That evening I go with Paul and his partner Wanda to the local bike club’s annual meeting and pasta dinner. I am introduced to the members as an Irishman that is running around the world but many years ago cycled around the world… ” So he is one of us ” The members were told.
I am not sure but it sounded like they passed a vote to make me an honorary member. I give a talk for about 10 minutes on my world run.
One of the members called Tim says he would like to run a couple of hours with me… He gets teased a lot…Especially when I mention he has to push the buggy! Any time Tim opens his mouth at the meeting he is told to just go and push the buggy!
Paul puts some air in my tyres next morning as Tim and I set off.
We cross the state line into Pennsylvania and soon I have clocked up 2,000 miles.Then his wife and mother came to pick him up.
Its bitterly cold. Its about -17 degrees. Even though its so cold I am rarely out of control. I have good gear and am still loving the challenge. There is also a headwind with a serious wind-chill factor. It seems people are more worried for me than I am for me! I feel I have become hardened and dont even check temperatures and weather forecasts now… I still gotta run!
My plan for today was to run to Tioga. Yet another bicycle shop owner, Tom and his wife are my hosts tonight! This is the 4th time this week I have been hosted by bicycle shop owners.
I moved onto rural Pennsylvania highway 287 and enjoyed the run so much. It was very hilly but with little traffic.
On the way a man called Mark pulled up and asked if I was ok. When I told him what I was doing he gave me his coffee! One of the nicest coffees I ever had! If you are reading this Mark… Thanks a million!
I arrived in Tioga Junction thinking I was in Tioga. I phoned Tom as arranged to pick me up from the gas station. It was only later I realized I was about 4 miles short of town.. Ah well a short day to a very good week.. My best so far over 200 miles and just a little shy of averaging 50km per day.
I had a nice quiet evening listening to Tom and Sheila’s travels and telling of my own…

Tom and Sheila

And what do you think they spent a large part of the evening doing? They rang around their friends and found a friend of theirs in a town called Galeton that is going to put me up tomorrow.
My head is literally spinning with all the thank yous and goodbyes.. I am literally lost for words.. I am sometimes afraid my goodbyes and thank yous sound hollow but they are not… I just am having trouble coping and often just say that I don’t know what to say anymore…I am overwhelmed to a point of speechlessness as I bid my goodbyes. This is the hardest part of travelling.. All the goodbyes to wonderful beautiful people and only a small fraction of I will probably ever see again but I shall never forget…
I am doing the running….. But you my friends are making it possible :)

Post to Twitter


Saturday, January 22nd, 2011



January 21, 2011

Running the world one step at a time

Runner’s global trek takes him through Cortland County on three-year journey back to Ireland


Bob Ellis/staff photographer

Tony Mangan, from Ireland, pushes his 3-wheeled cart full of supplies Thursday morning along Route 13 between Sheds and DeRuyter. Mangan is planning on running around the world, covering 26 to 31 miles per day.

Staff Reporter
DeRUYTER — Tony Mangan started running 87 days ago out of Dublin, Ireland. He expects to return to his starting point in three years.
The 53-year-old Irish ultrarunner’s route takes him around the globe, onto five continents and through about 35 countries. He said his plan is to cover every single  land kilometer on foot, fly over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and alter the route when circumstances force him to.
“I’ve been dreaming and planning this in my mind for 20 years,” Mangan said as he ran along Route 13 between Sheds and DeRuyter. “Really it’s just the experience, the strength, that I got from my competitive career and the training I’ve done.”
He holds two world 48-hour records for endurance running in a regular race and has been long-distance running and cycling since the late 1970s.
The idea for running around the world entered his mind 20 years ago, while running.
“I went home and wrote into my training diary that I felt so good I could run around the world,” Mangan said. “The idea just escalated and the next day I thought, ‘why not?’”
Mangan said he knew what he was getting into, having bicycled around the world.
His journey has garnered media attention in other locations along the way.
Now he is wearing his seventh and eighth pair of shoes, which he alternates regularly.
He pushes a three-wheeled jogging stroller which he calls ” Nirvana ” filled with supplies, including food and water, a tent, and electronics he uses to update the journey online through his website: www.theworldjog.com
Mangan runs 26 to 31 miles each day and posts regular updates about the journey on his blog.
“I knew what I was getting myself in for because I’ve been in positions like this with the cold weather, and I knew my state of mind in what to do,” Mangan said.
Local resident Lynn Cunningham said she met up with Mangan later in Truxton and ran with him for about 3.7 miles. They also stopped for coffee and brownies and he shared his story, she said.
“I tried to let him know what I remembered about the terrain of the rest of Route 13 to Cortland was like … he said not to worry,” Cunningham said via e-mail.
She encouraged anyone available to offer Mangan a warm place to sleep overnight, since he is on a very low budget.
Mangan said if he has not prearranged places to stay with friends or followers, he pitches a tent, or will simply knock on doors and ask to sleep in the garage.
Most people allow him to say and others have no problem inviting him to spend the night in their house, he said.
“I haven’t had a single rude comment since I started in Dublin on Oct. 25,” Mangan said.
He said there are some nights he has to sleep outside and the cold gets daunting.
“I am an experienced traveler, but everyone’s talking about record lows this weekend,” he said. “One thing is for sure, if I have to pitch a tent I’ll pitch a tent, but I’ll be fine.”
As he runs through the various landscapes, some very rural and others very populated, Mangan finds ways to keep his mind busy. On some occasions, other runners will follow him for a time.
“When I’m running through places like this I’m thinking a lot about past experiences about people I’ve met and stayed with,” Mangan said.
From New York, Mangan plans to run to northern Pennsylvania, then to Ohio, Indiana, and then to Colorado, where he used to live for eight years. He eventually will make his way to California and into Mexico. From there, he plans to run through South America, eventually to New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Europe and finish where he started with the Dublin marathon in October 2013.
He is looking forward to returning to Colorado.
“That in many ways is going to be sort of a homecoming for me. I have a lot of friends there,” Mangan said.
This type of running sport is different from competitive racing, Mangan said. He is not racing against the clock or other athletes.
Mangan said he tries to make stops twice a day for a cup of coffee and talk with people in whichever town he happens to be passing though.
With the bulk of the journey still ahead, Mangan maintains confidence it will get finished, mostly because of his dedication to see it through.
“Ultrarunning is not a specialty of younger athletes because it’s not a fast sport,” he said. “It’s about endurance over a long period of time, so often maturity is an advantage because younger guys go on fast and older guys with more experience can go longer.”

Post to Twitter

Beware Of The Geez

Thursday, January 20th, 2011


I ran across the state line from Massachusetts into New York and the first thing I noticed was a deterioration of the roads. Also the hard shoulder was not ploughed as well.
I stopped in a service station cum diner in the town of New Lebanon just enjoying listening to that familiar almost Italian accented New York twang.
Its funny when I told a few people back home I was on my way to this state their reply was of the order of…
” I just love the Big Apple. ”
Does everyone think the whole of New York state  is New York city? And it’s a big state.
It was still very cold and windy and slushy in the hard shoulder. Normally my feet don’t get cold but when I run on slush they do. My running shoes were saturated. I am now running in my 6th and 7th pair. I usually alternate shoe brands as it is better for the feet and aids recovery. Last time I did a calculation I was tying up a brand new pair every 2 and a half weeks.

Just outside Nassau a blonde jumps out of a pickup and says..
” Are you homeless? ”
” Kinda… I am running around the world! ”
” Are you hungry? ”
” You mustn’t read my blogs! ”
She hands me two packaged meals.
” Are you meals on wheels? ”
” Yes. ”
I opened up one of the packages. Pasta and veg. I couldn’t stomach them cold.

I ran to the outskirts of the state capital, Albany. I was to meet my two friends John Geesler and Terry there.

Myself and the Geez go back about 8 years. He is my biggest arch-rival and great friend. He is also the American 48 hour record holder having run 252 miles. Their area is a bit off my route so I decided I would get close and run along highway 20. His running club, the Kuyahoora Kickers made me an honorary member after my battle with John in the 2006 Across The Years 72 hour race. Members of the Kickers would commute me back and forth for the few days I would be in the area.
After that race they sent me a signed photo at the awards breakfast as I had breakfast with John.

The breakfast photo after the 2006 Across The Years 72 hour race that the Kuyahoora Kickers signed and sent me

He won on that occasion. I was second about 12km behind. I think I ran about 450km. The following year I won and John was second.

John leads our personal encounters 4-2.
I remember the first time I ran against him. It was in November 2002 in a 48 hour race. He is a big tough looking guy so distinctive by his long hair and trademark headband. He looks just like a Hells Angels biker but a gentle giant.
I had been reading an ultra running magazine over the years. John Geesler’sname kept coming up. He was a prolific racer. Racing often winning his fair share. The joke in the Kickers is that they run races because they have trained hard for them but with John he runs them because he got an invite in his mailbox.
In that 48 hour race he ran non-stop for 36 hours. He had a lead of about 31 miles or 50km on me. Then he got injured and left the 400 meter track. He went for a rare nap. About 2 hours. You see his injury was such he felt he had to quit. So he returned to the track just to say goodbye to the other runners. One of the competitors a man called Ray grabbed him by the arm and pulled him back onto the track.
John just kept walking. He was walking one lap for every two I was running. His lead was massive. I had got it down a lot. I had been running very hard. I was very tired now. Gradually John starts running again. He won the race having run 231 miles.
Ever since that race John has been one of my heroes.

Well anyway here we are in a fast food joint just outside Albany with his brother-in-law Terry. We load Nirvana into their pickup. One of the lads would return me here in the morning. It’s a good hour each way.
We arrive at Kicker Stan’s house. I would be staying there with him and his wife Joanne for the duration of my stay.
Next morning would be a late start as I have promised to give a talk to the children at John’s local school in St. Johnsville.
He is up on the auditorium stage introducing me to about 300 children and teachers saying….

Talking to the schoolchildren

” Some of you kids may have seen me running forever around the roads and trails around here and just to prove there is someone madder than me I want to introduce you to my friend Tony Mangan from Ireland who is even madder..Tony is running around the world! ”

It was my first school talk and I got a great kick out of it… Nice to be able to give something back to the community.

They asked many intelligent questions about my route and what the Spot tracking device was.
Then just as we are about to wrap it up one asks me about Nirvana….
” Whats that thing up there with the wheels? ”
How could I forget!

Explaining my route to the schoolchildren of St. Johnsville, NY

As Stan is returning me to last nights finishing spot he tells me of the out and back race Geez puts on every year.
” Its a great 10km race.
” John always says….
” It’s flat going out and downhill coming back! ”

So I run through the city of Albany buggy free.. Its tough as there is so much slush on the road and sidewalks. There is also a lot of traffic and I got to negotiate a steep ramp climb with traffic belting past me.
I eventually clear the city and stop in a Gulf gas station for a coffee. The friendly proprietor of the Brother Pizza counter gives me some for free.
I cant stop for long as John will be picking me up on the road soon. He works in a textile factory as a maintenance man. he can fix anything, a man of many talents. Tomorrow he will butcher 3 pigs on his farm. I am invited to help. I decline.
Next day Saturday I take a rest day. I ask him how his day was…
” Better than the pigs! ”
I went over to Donny and Linda’s house. Donny says.
” You want to see my game room Tony? ”
I say.. ” Sure I haven’t shot pool in years! ”
Donny shows me all the stuffed elks and bears he has hunted over the years.

Donny's Pool Room.


Watch Out!

I took another rest day on the Sunday as Stan and Joanne have decided to throw an open house party for all the kickers in my honor.
I can’t believe the amount of effort people are putting in on my behalf.
The usual banter and teasing is going on.
I tell the story of my first Irish international appearance. It was a world 100km championship race in Cleder, France in 2001.

My mam and sister Ann went over to support me. It was 2 laps of 50km. At the end of the first lap as we were coming through the pretty  French village my sister rushes over to take my photo as I am slowing down to make a turnabout for the start of the second lap.

Just then my mam rushes out from the crowd with a tissue and wipes my face!

” Son you are frothing at the mouth! ”

This is too much for The Geez… He is laughing his head off
” Oh! Mangan if only I had a blog! ”

” So how come you don’t have a blog? ” Someone asks John.
” I am not like Mangan I am a low key modest runner! ”

Someone else quips..

” So John is that why you got your own sign on both sides of town?

Keep Out! Beware Of The Geez!

Post to Twitter

3,000km Run! And Remaining New York State Route.

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

17th Jan From 6km east of Duanesberg to 3km east of Cherry Valley. 51.6km = 32.1 miles

18th Jan From Cherry Valley 3km east of to Waterville Junction.  60km = 37.3 miles

19th jan 2011 From Waterville Jct to US13 Jct Deruyter area. 51.4km = 32 miles

Total for 69 Road days = 3,065.6km = 1,905miles = 72.65  Marathons.

Sorry I am so far behind with the blog. I have so much to update and will do so as soon as  I get some free time.

On Tuesday I ran 60km / 37.3 miles and in doing so clocked up 3,000km. 2,000 miles is also looming so please make even a small donation to my charity Aware. The donation link is on the sidebar.

Tomorrow Thursday  I plan to run from Jct13 near Deruyter to Sheds Then US13 towards De Ruyter, Cortland Dryden. I expect Dryden to be my finish location  and then onto Itica.

Please come out and run with me :)

Any offer of a place to lay my sleeping bag much appreciated!

Any contacts for North Pennsylvania?? I will be there in a few days.

Post to Twitter

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

8th Jan.2011..Worcester To: Palmer East, Ma.     51.7km   =        32.1 miles.

9th Jan. 2011. Palmer East to 451 Russell Rd. East of Russell.

50km = 31.1miles

10th Jan. 2011. 451 Russell Rd to 10km east of Lee. 42.7km / 26.5 miles.

11th Jan 2011 10km east of Lee to Shakers Village (Hancock) 36.5km/ 22.7miles

12th Jan 2011.  Stormwatch, no running :(

13th Jan 2011  To east Green Bush, NY. (Dunkin Donuts 4 miles east of Albany on US20) 43.8km / 27.2 miles

14th Jan 2011. To 6km east of Duanesberg.  36.4km =  22.6miles

15th and 16th Jan 2011 No running. Rest days/Storm.2 rest days in Little Falls/ St. Johnsville. Jan15th and 16th

17th Jan From 6km east of Duanesberg to 3km east of Cherry Valley. 51.6km = 32.1 miles

18th Jan From Cherry Valley 3km east of to Waterville Junction.  60km = 37.3 miles

19th jan 2011 From Waterville Jct to US 80/13 Jct Deruyter area. 51.4km = 32 miles

20th Jan 2011 US80/13 jct to Cortland US13s/Main   40.7km = 25.3 miles

Total for 70 Road days = 3,106.2km = 1,930.3miles = 73.6  Marathons.




Had a nice couple of days rest in Hudson with my aunt and uncle. They have been living there for almost 40 years now. Frank is a musician and used to play in an Irish show band called the Howdowners in the 1960′s back in Ireland. Here in the US he still plays but not as much. He is an addiction counsellor now. He told me about how the Irish and the Chinese built the railroads. The Chinese died like flies due to all sorts of infections and diseases but the Irish survived as they drank so much whiskey that it killed these hazards off.
Marie told me that it was her dream to come to the USA from the first classic black and white movie she ever saw. She fell in love with the tall buildings, the Cadillacs and everything American. Her sister Sheila was living here and when she got the opportunity she moved here immediately. Being a 100 word a minute typist she was well qualified to find work and found it easily.
During my two day stay I was loaded down with all sorts of goodies, cookies, candy, chocolate and meal vouchers from her very kind neighbours..Thanks a million folks, you are incredible.

Out For Dinner With Frank And Marie.

Then just before I left town Frank brought me to shoe store and sponsored me with two pairs of running shoes!

I left Hudson running for Worcester. I am starting to move inland now. It was a short day. Just over 32km/ 20 miles. Frank transported Nirvana and I ran on. I ended up getting hopelessly lost in town but it turned out well. I had an invite from a man called Nicholas who came across my World Jog Facebook page and had sent me out an invite to stay a night. It turned out that at the last minute Nicholas had to go off to New York for a rock climbing weekend. No problem he said. He would wait for me to arrive, I could stay and just pull the door after me in the morning!
I called Nicholas and followed him over some of the steepest city hills I have ever seen in my life.

Nicholas is very easy-going.. No problem my late arrival..We just had a cup of tea in his apartment.
He told me rock climbing and mountaineering are as different as running and dancing. With running and dancing you use your feet thats where the similarity ends! I had asked do rock climbers also climb mountains. His reply was a genuine surprise to me… I guess there is something to be learnt every day.

Next day was Saturday. There was a snow storm over night. I had gotten an email from Jason of the Greater Lowell Road Runners to see if I was still up for running west towards Russell.

I was joined by Fil, Mason and Jason of the Greater Lowell Road Runners on the run to Warren

” Sure! ” I said
” I will see you on the road! ”
The snow fall was not too bad. I followed my google directions which I had neglected to on the way into town and was almost 4 miles clear of town on route 9 within an hour.
Just outside of Leicester I met up with Jason, Fil and Mason of the Lowell Running club.
As with all runners that accompany me on this world run they paid their price… They took it in turns to push Nirvana!

January 9th, 2011

Massachusettes drivers are the worst I have seen so far. Many people call them MassHoles! They regurally drive out of junctions  not looking to their right, as they turn right as they talk into their mobile phone. Often I just go around the back of their vehicle. They are often obvilious of me.
We ran on through Spencer, Brookfield and Warren through the beautiful New England countryside. The fields were snow covered but the busy road was clear. The hard shoulder had only the odd bit of slush as the strong mid-afternoon intense sunshine delighted.
I was accompanied for the best part of 28km/ 18 miles by the lads before we bade farewell in a Donuts and Dumpin cafe.
It was around 2pm and I had most of my planned 50km up for the day.
Tonight I have an invitation with John-Michael a man of many talents. He said he will put me up for two nights which means I don’t have to push Nirvana tomorrow meaning I will have had a six day pushing break except for small amounts.
So after the donut stop John-Michael pulls up on the road to load up Nirvana. He lives in a town called Wilbraham which is not exactly on my route but he has no problem shuttling me to and from my start finish locations.

Heather and John-Michael from Wilbraham.

I ask him to meet me on the road in an hour and a half and have my 51.7km/ 32 miles for the day… Nice one and they talked about a storm!
On the way back to Wilbraham John-Michael tells me about his father that worked for the CIA as an explosives expert.

” How did he ever get that job? ” I asked.
” He was working for an explosives company in a really cold place in Ontario.
” I think it got as cold as minus 50.
” It turns out the CIA wanted to know about cold weather explosive techniques… This was after the war
” And we ended up living all over the world. ”

We get back to John-Michael’s house and his wife is preparing dinner. Heather was born in London but moved to the USA when she was 6 months old. The daughter of diplomats.
” What another spy. John-Michael was telling me about his father a regular James Bond! ” I said.
” Well he may have sounded like him but look like James Bond he didn’t! ” teased Heather.

Heather and John-Michael had a few house guests over for dinner. We had a lovely salmon meal with creamy pasta and spicy beans.
One of the guests, Peter a keen runner in the past and a 2.24 marathoner wanted to come out and run a bit with me tomorrow.
John-Michael took out his guitar and played a few nice songs as we talked away the evening. Writing songs is his passion and he has dozens on Utube. He says he will write one about my world run!

Next morning John-Michael and Peter took it in turns to run short segments with me for the first couple of hours.
I asked John-Michael what his 13 year old son Walker was up to today.

” Oh he is doing extra homework because of his suspension from school! ”
” Suspension? ”
” Yes He smacked a cute chicks butt as she was bending down to take some books out of locker! ”
” Boys will be boys! ” I joked.
” Yes well it turns out the cute chick was his teacher and he got a 3 day suspension! ”
” I see. ”

The boys left. I ran on and on through Springfield and its two shadow towns each side, east and west Springfield.

The traffic was very busy for a Sunday. There was no hard shoulder in many places. I think it would have been a very difficult day pushing Nirvana. Right on cue and with perfect timing John-Michael picks me up as I was running the last few meters of my 50km/ 31 miles.

We returned to his house and Heather has a delicious steak on the grill :)
I discover that Peter and his wife have donated 100 euro to my charity Aware.
And another couple Tara and Aaron have given me a nice card and $20 for the road. Thanks guys.
Next day as John-Michael drops me off at the previous days finishing point he hands me an envelope and with typical John-Michael humour he has marked on the envelope… ” Not to be opened till Christmas…Or at least this afternoon! ”

Later that evening I open the envelope. I am so overcome by his incredible kind letter and deed that superlatives just fail me. I am so overwhelmed and overcome that it takes me a couple of days to acknoledge a reply, I am so dumbstruck. I will leave it at that… Some things are best kept for the book.

I run on.. It’s a tough day. The toughest since the start. Every kilometer or mile, call them what you like are hard earned. I am in the foothills of the Appalachian mountain range.

Only towards end of day is there any downhill and even then its short lived. I can’t run fast so busy is the traffic and road conditions…It’s not fair.
It was a long day. I stopped only once.I think it was in a cafe/convenience store in Chester. I bought coffee and apple pie. The attendant just left me to it. A rarity, not even a question as to what I was up to. Sometime when this happens – even though I enjoy the break from the ever constant same questions – I just want to tell them!
Instead he asked me the strangest question of the expedition so far.
” Tell me sir do you like cat magazines? ”
He handed me a copy of something like ” Your Lovely Cat Magazine ”

Inside there was a feature on how to have fun with your cat.
I gave it two full seconds of my attention and said.
” Not particularly! ”
” Well we usually have newspapers but we didn’t get them today, sorry. ”

I run on through the beautiful towns of Beckett and past the well kept well to do communities with the interesting name of Sherwood Forest.
A couple of hours later in the dark I am looking for somewhere to stay.
I know I was wasting my time but I approached a show house/office  which was so well lit up that highway 20 west needed no lights for that stretch. Permission refused.

I go down a lane way and ask a young college kid parking his vehicle if I can sleep in his garage.
” You are running around the world! ” He says in an amazed tone.
He looks like he would genuinely get a kick out of a nights storytelling’s from the road from me. Then adds.
” I would like to but its not my place.”
I get the impression he has a chick in there and would have to tell bigger stories to explain!
I run a bit further down the lane. Come to house with a couple of draughty garages. I knock on the door.
Give my usual introduction.
” Sorry to bother you but I am from Ireland and running around the world…. ( I then generally point at the strategically placed Nirvana ) Pushing this buggy… ”
Before I can say my next line.. ” I was wondering if I could sleep in your garage, I got a good sleeping bag, equipment, my own food and a thermos of hot water I just need shelter and nothing else please?”
A man in a vest says….
” Well get on in here and out of the cold! ”
I am delighted as it looks like a cold night is on the way.
I make a tactical error (lesson learned for evermore) I am sure I was about to be offered a cup of tea and then use that opportunity to build up my relationship and make my impression.
So delighted I then rush out my usual line before I am through the doorway.
” What! “ He says.
” We cant have that! I can drive you to the next town if you want? ”
I say I don’t want a ride as I am running around the world. He has not grasped the concept and is more suspicious!
I guess I can understand him but then his wife made the whole experience unnecessarily ugly by shouting after me.
” And don’t you come back sneaking into our barn! ”

So I went back up the lane and turned left at the show house highway lighter and went on for a few more minutes and came to a house that had a second one being constructed on the lot.
I rapped on the door and gave my request.
Another. ” Well come on in from the cold! ” invitation. I did just that with my mouth frozen closed this time!

Doug was sitting at the table looking a bit bemused at me. As his wife Brenda made some hot chocolate. Doug asked me.
” So what are you going to do when the big storm comes through tomorrow? We got a whopper on the way. ”
” I will figure it out as I go. ”
He handed me a magazine. Glad it was not another cat magazine!
” Have a look at my gun magazine… This is my passion… Guns! ”

Something like My Lovely Gun Magazine… How to have fun with your guns!

Spare me!
Then a printout from a website of a guy from Arizona holding what he would love to be holding… I think he called it a Nitra 600 or something like that.
” This must be the biggest handgun in the world… It is homemade and has a barrel 2 feet long! ”
Then I made the mistake of saying.. ” Dirty Harry? ”
“No Harry had a Magnum 45  and the basis of this gun is a modified Rugger……”
Not sure if he was giving me a warning!

Doug brought me to the upstairs of the under construction house. I would have a halogen lamp for heating. Am glad I blew my last attempt earlier as this is a lot warmer than that draughty barn I was warned off!

Once I am in my sleeping bag I am fine… Its the getting out and packing up that’s the killer.

In the morning it took about 40 minutes. Thank God for the halogen lamp but I was still bitterly cold as I packed up the freezing material. These are the coldest days, nights and times of the whole world run. My toughest days and I had to deal with the mountains also.
As I suspected Doug and Brenda had left early. I had kept my 2 water bottles from freezing by keeping them in the sleeping bag with me.During the day I can’t leave them in their holders on the buggy as the rapidly freeze as I got to wrap them in clothes inside the buggy. I also keep my gloves and clothes for the road in my sleeping bag.

Out on the road after a mile I come to a double flyover bridge from the Massachusetts Turnpike Interstate 90. I ran by that last night just before I finished. I think I have become disorientated and am running the wrong way. So I turn around and see they have two sets of these flyovers and I was going the right way all along. Two miles wasted at the start of the day and no credit for this distance.. No worries.. I am living my dream and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.

I run for about two hours and arrive in a junction town called Lee. I have breakfast there and continue on towards Lenox which seems to be a scrawl all the way from Lee for me as the road is busy. I have little hard shoulder in places and there were times it was so busy I went up on the sidewalks which have snow and slush which were sometimes cleared but sometimes not till I ran into a big pile. So I had to get back onto the road..Running towards the traffic with my front and rear lights strapped to my 3 hats along with my high-viz top. Then I decided it was safer to run with the traffic at my back as they had more time to react. It seems to me that running on the road has no set in stone rules. Every section has to be respected and safely figured out as one goes.

Either way, slow progress and a slog all day long.

On through another nightmare called Pittsfield. Just out of town I try the Magic Letter technique as described before on a hotel which had an Indian owner. No joy and no discount. I run on and come to a church. Nobody home. Then I see a man removing snow from his driveway. I make my garage accomodation request.

” Sorry but I got small kids you know the way it is? ”

Not really, a blind man can see I am not a threat and I got my expedition domain stamped all over me and easily check able. They got small kids in Newfoundland too I think…. This is the east coast of the USA… No Newfoundland.. I guess people are more suspicious here.

About 20 minutes later just as I reach the start of the town limits for Hancock I look over to the right and see a man and a woman leaving what I thought was a church. It turns out to be a museum for the Shakers sect. Long gone their belief was a celibate life and existence. They don’t have many followers now.



I ask for permission to sleep in an out house. Todd brings me over to the museum barn/workshop. I climb up to a loft, roll out my sleeping bag and make myself cozy on some gym mats and insulation material which were  protecting a stack of old windows.

Today everyone has been talking about a huge dumping of snow tonight. I will see what happens in the morning.

Post to Twitter

Storm In Hancock, Ma….. On My Way To See My American Hero!

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Hi All!

There was an overnight storm in Hancock, Ma. which is about 8km/5miles from the NY state line. My Spot tracker has not updated in a couple of days. I am in the Appalachian mountain region. I believe there was about 50 cm/20 inches of overnight snow. The road is being ploughed well as usual but for me the ongoing concern is that the hard shoulder or as the Americans call it the break down lane may be neglected forcing me out onto the road and thereby being liable to being pulled off the road by the cops. Should I continue today I could find myself in no mans land.

 Last night I stayed in the loft of a workshop of the local Shakers 1910 museum, Shakers Village, Hancock.  Details of the Shakers sect press >> HERE I am being taken good care of by the museum workers. They are making coffee for me in between their snow removal duties. They are also allowing me to make phone calls and use their computer.

More details of Shakers Village press >> HERE

My good friend and biggest competitive racing rival John Geesler lives about 180km/110 miles in upstate New York. There is a picture of John  and me racing in the Across The Years 72 hour race in Arizona on the ABOUT  page.

As a result of our fiercely contested battles (4-2 in favour of John) over the years we have become great friends and arch rivals!. John’s running club the Kuyahoora Kickers have always followed these races online. As mark of respect a few years ago they sent me 2 framed photos both of which were signed by club members. The first photo was taken at breakfast after the above mentioned 72 hour race while John and I were discussing the race. The second photo was a club photo of  the Kickers outside their clubhouse.

The Kuyahoora Kickers made me an honorary life member, an honor I was proud to accept.

Two of my race reports from these encounters are linked on the ABOUT page.

 It was always a must that I pay them a visit to upstate New York. However as upstate New York is not directly on my route we are working on the possibility of getting me up there for a couple of days to visit. I will then return to my last location and continue on west towards Binghamton and northern Pennsylvania.

I have become firm friends with about half a dozen of John’s club members by email over the years. I would very much like to be able to pull off this side trip and wait out the storm. I would also like to avail of the invitation to give a talk about my adventures to the children in John’s local school.

For those of you that don’t know John. He is well respected in the ultra running world and is the holder of the American 48 hour record. A member of the USA  world 24 hour team for many years. He is an unassuming quiet guy that always gets immediate respect.

I would like to thank my friends here in the Shakers and those in the Kuyahoora Kickersfor your great help. See You soon :) Tony.

Post to Twitter

Video Of Saturdays Run With The Greater Lowell Road Runners And A Newspaper Article

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

8th Jan.2011..Worcester To: Palmer East, Ma.     51.7km   =        32.1 miles.

9th Jan. 2011. Palmer East to 451 Russell Rd. East of Russell.

50km = 31.1miles

Total for 62 Road Days = 2,743.2 km = 1,704.6 miles  = 65  Marathons.

Route and logbook on the ROUTE page.


Video of my run with Jason, Fil and Cullen. They ran about  18 enjoyable miles with me.

Thanks for the help guys.  :) You are a credit to your club.

To view the video shot by the lads.. Press >>>   HERE

Newspaper Article Press >>>  HERE

Lowell Runner Jason’s Report Of Saturday’s Run Press >>  HERE

Post to Twitter

The Food Demons

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Leaving Kittery


It was only a little over a days run through New Hampshire from Kitterly to the Massachusetts state line.  First I had to run through Portsmouth a large New Hampshire city. Today I decided I would follow Googlemaps advice and just plotted out my route for the next 3 days to Hudson, Ma. A distance of something like 135km/ 85 miles. I ran over the bridge in Portsmouth that had a no pedestrians sign.  Luckily there was nobody in the guard booth, probably due to the holidays.

The Googlemaps route proved to be a great success.  I had selected ‘ no highways ‘ I was taken on secondary country roads past expensive looking houses and exclusive golf clubs on and on towards small picturesque towns with English sounding names like Exeter and Northampton. The directions say things like go two miles and turn left onto Old Post Road and take 1st right onto US111 till you see a turn for route 38 south. Its idiot proof, surely even Tony proof.. I am thinking about cutting outs some of the major cities from my route and travelling across small town America. I am excited by that thought.

I was in a very giddy mood as I passed an ice cream dairy farm. I actually considered stopping and asking if I could sleep on the farm! It would not have taken much for me to be persuaded into taking a rest month there :)

As I passed by the ice cream dairy farm I was pushing Nirvana up a hill with my head down. I was having a Fr. Doughall moment from the comedy  tv series Fr Ted. I imagined a monster Black Forest Gateaux ice cream chasing me up the hill!  This terrifying thought had my tongue  hanging down to the road as I waved goodbye to my chance of a lifetime. I imagined I was being smacked in the face by a Cherry Garcia…. Oh Yes!  And told to get back to the farm…. Tony you need some fattening up :)

Eventually I got to the top of the hill and escaped my ice cream monster tormentors.

I ran on and on and came to Kingston just before dark. The first store I came to was called the Kingston Village Market. I went inside far away from my creamy demons. I closed the door.Hugged the doorway. Three young people at a table looked at me in silence. Am I safe now I wondered.  Irene the clerk looked me straight  in the eye and said….. ”Young boy. Let me treat you to a slice of pizza and coffee! ”

” Oh no! The monsters are in here too! ”

God! I am never far from food…. I cant stop thinking about it or stop eating it! I don’t know how many calories I am burning up… Don’ know how people count them up or even how they have the time to. I think I have lost about 3 or 4 kilos or just under 8 lbs. Am down to around 65 kilos 142 lb. But not underweight… Am strong eating every bit of junk I can get my hands on….Whats Happening? Am I pregnant? Well I got the baby stroller anyway.

Thanks Irene. I select a slice of pepperoni. Then she motherly gives me a second, goes behind the deli counter and makes me a big ham and cheese roll. She won’t take a penny.

There are  3 young lads barely out of their teens sitting at a table. In another situation one may think they would be up to some devilment but they speak nice and softly like good lads.

I tell them I think its nice to see young lads sitting in a store drinking coffee and not in a field doing drugs or alcohol.

” No sir we would never do anything like that. ”

I believe them. It turns out one is a volunteer fireman. He gives me his card as they leave.

 Irene is on the phone calling the local author who is as she says a  ’ very interesting man. ‘

Very Interesting Man is going out for the night and unavailable and not very interested in me. Next Irene calls Pastor Thomas from the church across the road and leaves a voicemail message. I hand her the volunteer fireman card. Just then her phone rings. Its her son. She says this is her sons shops and she works here only two days a week. She also lives in her sons house. Her son seems eager to have me. He tells his kids and they are excited by my imminent  arrival. Problem is Irene doesn’t finish work for another two hours and the son has some kind of an appointment later that evening. He seems keen to help but it seems to be a bit messy. Then the phone rings again and its Bill a senior fire officer on the phone offering me a place in his place. So I have Bill on the phone talking to to me and I am also talking to Irene having said yes and I am embarrassed by the dual offer.

So Bill comes over to the store while I am still stuffing my face in pizza and the ham and cheese sandwich.

Then I tell him.. ” Thanks Bill but I already said yes to Irene’s son and family.”

Bill says. ” No worries. ”

Then Irene says…. ” But are you sure? We don’t really mind Tony please do what you think is best! ”

I bring Nirvana into the store and place her beside the pizza display machine. We take photos, have a laugh and I go off to Bills place……. Decisions!

Irene and Bill the fireman beside the pizza machine.

Back in Bills house his wife, Nathalie has a delicious bowl of pot roast stew.

They both have to start work early and I am rolling at 7.15 which is a new record for me. I run for a couple of hours and stop for coffee in a service station. An hour is gone in no time. I suspect I fell asleep while sitting at the table for about half an hour. I see the clerk looking over and smiling at me when I open my eyes and am too embarrassed to ask her. She just tells me to get another coffee…. So I figure I did.

I run along route 111 and then just after it turned into 38 I met Glen from the Greater Lowell Road Runners. Glen is the president of the club. He is retired and was out removing signs for a race they had over the holidays. I gave Glen Nirvana to stick in the back of his pickup and ran the last 8 miles/ 13km to Lowell. Glen went on ahead to their clubhouse to put on the heating. I would be staying there tonight. Just before the city limits he returned to run with me the rest of the way.

I spent a very pleasant evening out for dinner with a few of the runners. They are a great bunch of lads. One of them EJ is a bit of a nutter. He has told me he took the day off work tomorrow so as he can run the 27 miles to Hudson.

” So how you getting home EJ? ”

” I don’t know and I don’t care! ”

I loved his attitude. We make arrangements for him to call over for me at 9am. They go home early and I am working on the computer for 3 hours on the bars wi-fi.

Out with the Greater Lowell Road Runners.

The room they gave me to sleep in had no windows. Their club house consists of a couple of rented rooms upstairs in a running shoe shop.

I had slept on a matress and because there were no windows there I overslept till a few minutes before nine. I remembered EJ was coming over so I jumped out of bed pulling on my running tights. Sure enough he was sitting outside on a step. He had no key and I guess had I slept a little longer he would have thought I had departed early.

So we were about an hour late departing. Just as we were locking up Fil came along to run a few  miles with us as he had to work later.

We eventually ran out of the mill city of Lowell which was one of the centers of America’s Industrial Revolution, along with Manchester NH and other towns that were powered by the mighty Merrimack River.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lowell_Mill_Girls

We ran on for another hour at a good steady clip. Then we were joined by Jessica who had no problem using the alternate facilities when the ladys room was locked at the service station!

” Hey EJ…. Should I report it on my blog? ”

” Naw Tony don’t! ”

Then it was just down to EJ and me running on towards Hudson where my aunt Marie and uncle Frank Mangan live. Ej was a bit surprised when around lunchtime I asked to stop in a Dunkin Donuts for a break! This aint like any other long run you will make for your Boston marathon EJ!

So we stopped and called Marie. EJ was talking to her. I didn’t want to know the details of the route. Today he was the navigator and baby pusher… I was taking the day  off.

We ran on again.

” Hey Tony! Do you know what Maynard’s famous  for? ” he asked as we approached the new England village.

” Wine gums ” I said in all seriousness.

” No It’s The Mill, now known as Clocktower Place it was the international headquarters of Digital Equipment Corporation.  DEC was one of the state’s and New England region’s largest employers.” Said EJ in a rare serious tone.

” Oh Yeah…. And what about the winegums? ”

” Do you know that in 1977 Ken Olsen, the founder and CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation, said….”

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”

The Mill would later become the home of a little startup called monster.com.

We later ran by a daycare center which was previously home to a notorious and ingenious method of controlling young children.  Just duct tape the kid to the wall.  The center is operating under a different name these days…..    (http://articles.latimes.com/2000/mar/26/news/mn-12753 , you just can’t make this stuff up!

The Boys Are Back In Town

So we got to the other side of Maynard as just as I was forgetting about the winegums who pulls up in front of me and blocks the road for oncoming traffic. My uncle Frank actually parked in the middle of an intersection and jumped out of his Mazda 7 seat passenger vehicle to give me a big hug!

” Nephew…. he says

” We are so proud of you!”

Is this the SWAT team roadblock looking for the winegums?Or my uncle Frank? I think it runs in the family!


On we run and arrive at Maries house about an hour later.  It’s a major effort to get EJ in for a cup of tea. He wants to run all the way back to Lowell!

He comes in eventually and Marie makes the tea. As luck would have it Glen was in the area on business and just happens to phone EJ to see how the run went. So Glen comes over and gives EJ a ride back home.

We arrive at my aunt Marie's house.

Post to Twitter

since Tony began his World Run on 25th October 2010

Please sponsor a world walk hotel night or a meal etc!You do not need a Paypal account, just a bank card! Press Paypal link below. Thank You :)

Donate to Aware

Text WORLDJOG to 50300 to donate €4.

100% of text cost goes to Aware across most network providers. Some providers apply VAT which means a minimum of €3.26 will go to Aware. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 01 4433890.


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...


North Pole Marathon Logo
UVU clothing
On Running
Chariot Carriers Logo
Dion Networks Logo
Dry Max Sports
John Buckley


flickr slideshow

view full size

Aware is The World Jog Charity.