Archive for June, 2011


Thursday, June 30th, 2011

I had a restless night in Camalu’s police station. After leaving the internet cafe I just headed down there and asked to sleep. They were a great bunch. Mexican police have gotten a bad name but I have found them to be decent, kind people. That was my third night to stay in a station. I have been in the country over a week now and have not been asked to even show my passport. Even been waved through two military checkpoints. Only get asked the normal human interest questions that civilians would ask.

In  the station a prisioner persistantly rapped on his cell door for over an hour till he got tired, or saw he couldn’t get what he wanted.

I laid out a piece of plywood to sleep on in the covered patrol truck parking lot. It was around the back  in the forecourt. An officer told me I could sleep in his truck. I did so but it was too cramped so around 2.30am I dragged my sleeping bag over to my glorious piece of plywood

Stopped on the way out of Camalu for breakfast. It was at one of those dingy roadside shacks.

I am astonished at how expensive Mexico is. For a country where the average worker earns just $9US per day I paid 7 for a bowl of soup, tortilla bread and 2 cups of coffee. A pizza costs the same as in the USA and many other items are even more expensive.

Sitting next to me was Art. He lived in Oregon with his Mexican wife. They had four children. She left him for another man, didn’t want anything to do with the kids. Art reckons she had problems. He got deported, she got to stay. I guess that’s because she was born in Texas even though he called her Mexican. The children are in care. He lives here working as a barber.

I wished him good luck. There are surely countless stories like Art’s.

I ran on towards El Rosario. El Rosario will be the start of the desert in about 3 or 4 days time.


Many people are concerned about my welfare in the desert…. Except me. I have been told the traffic is light and that will do me fine. Here the roads are very dangerous. Very narrow, tight on the curves two lane highways with very little shoulder. Gone are the 2 meter wide shoulders. I think that was just for show up at the border area and around the tourist town of Ensenada.

Almost every vehicle travels at high speed breaking the speed limit. They go two or three, trucks and all overtaking even on a solid yellow line. I think the Mexican Green Party should start a campaign not to paint the roads, save a bunch of paint,  as nobody bothers with road markings. It is no surprise to say they are the worst drivers so far on the run over taking (no pun intended!) the Mass holes, as they are known in Massachusetts by a huge margin.

In many places now there is little or no shoulder. Sometimes bushes are overgrown making it difficult to pull off the road into the gravel. Besides I have to keep an ever constant eye open for snakes. They blend in with the gravel or sand. Luckily you can usually hear them hiss when they are ready to strike. I asked one person how I can tell the difference between a rattler and the constant insect noise. Don’t worry I was told when there is one around and ready to strike you will know, its hiss will be louder than that television. I guess if you can hear it over the constant racket on the road.

Believe it or not it’s safer to run with the traffic to your back. I persisted running towards it for several days and got blasted out of it many times. Then you got to worry about the overtakers. A mirror of sorts would be nice, like cyclist use but on a headband.


As I said running with the traffic to my back is safer as I wear my high viz vest and they will just pull out and over the line, second nature to them anyway. It’s when two trucks are coming at speed from the same distance out. They rarely slow down so Sandwich Mangan has to be ever alert and get onto whatever gravel I can find.

I stopped in a couple of stores in Vincente Guerrero for a Mexican flag for Nirvana. Couldn’t find one. Instead I sat outside drinking soda. A couple of nice ladies tried giving me a few pesos!

Thanks, but no thanks! It continues even down here in Mexico people think I am a down and out. I told them I am living my dream and thanks for the offer.

Just on the way out of town I got stopped by a man who jumps out of his ambulance. His name is Hannibal, he owns two ambulances which he paid for out of his own money. He hustles for diesel to act as the local EMT. Hannibal trains others free of charge so as they can volunteer their services to the community. He is very busy on the road. He tells me the towns local government, tourism secretary have been looking out for me and want to welcome me to town. There is also a plan being drawn up to help me through Baja state. I have only 15km run today, so what could I say when he said he had a place lined up for me for that night. Today was my shortest day of the run.

So Hannibal takes me over to the Welcome Home Outreach Ministry.

On their website  they have this:

The San Quintin Valley is a primary agricultural hub with farms in the area growing such crops as tomatoes, strawberries, onions and other vegetables. Farm owners hire agricultural works at about $9-10 per day to work the fields, and they provide ground on which the workers and their families “squat.” A majority of these farm workers have migrated from the Mexican mainland state of Oaxaca and built makeshift shelters for their families. These settlements are referred to as “migrant camps” and the children enrolled in the Welcome Home daycare come from these camps.

The owners are Steve and Jackie Scott from Oregon. They are very passionate about their great project. They also run a house building program where volunteers come, usually from the USA and offer their services, some for a couple of months, others came for a couple and have stayed for years.

The volunteers stay in dorms in the ministry. Everyone I met had a cheery face and just loved what they were doing.

Hannibal came over to me that evening. He said the local politicians wanted to meet me in the morning. He would provide me with an escort in his ambulance for the day.

He asks me what time I want to depart. Breakfast is at 7.30 and of course super optimist, or stupid that I am says 8am!

Next morning this website crashes. I noticed it when I awoke at 7am. I had half an hour to figure out what was wrong or go hungry :( trying to sort it. Untechinical me discovered it had expired its disk storage quota and shut down ( shame on the host company not giving notice)

So I upgraded and was 5 minutes early for brekkie!

When food is at stake :)

Just put a bowl in front of me.

Hannibal’s phone rings at 8am. The politicians are waiting at the spot I finished at yesterday. We are still at the breakfast table and I still got to pack up my messy room into Nirvana.

I tell him to tell them to go get a coffee we will be there at nine!

We arrive, I give an interview and tell them how delighted I am to be here. One of them tells me he once had to go to Belfast and was equally scared to go there as I was to come here but when he was there he didn’t notice anything at all and had a lovely time there.

Another tells me had he known I was staying in Camalu and in the police station that he would have come over and brought me to his Hotel California. Then I tell him it’s just as well he didn’t as he would have been more than an hour waiting.

” What do you mean Senor Tony? ”

” Oh the Eagles song, Welcome to the Hotel California,You can check in but you can never leave”

We all have a laugh. then the Tourism Secretary who is called Ramon says when I get to El Rosario I can stay in the Sineai Motel on the ministry department. I make a note of that and can’t think of anything smart to say.

We go over to a pickup and there are 4 cases of bottled water for me. one of them says he is sorry it’s not Guinness!  They must think I am a camel!



More photos, handshakes and I am off running through the dusty streets out of town with Hannibal escorting me from behind with the flashers. All other vehicles have to wait till they can overtake. I am running in the middle of the right lane. After a few days missing the Green Angels or Angeles Vertes suddenly make a reaparance. I can’t help thinking because Hanibal is escorting me but am sure it’s because the tourism secretary is there.

Now I have a two vehicle escort with the Angels behind and Hanibal behind in his ambulance.


On we go. I am feeling great, nice and strong due to my 2 easy days. We run by another govt office and that official is waiting for me with his secretary. I stop for handshakes and photos.



My Spanish is coming on. I spent almost all of 1983 travelling in south America and 10 weeks back packing in Centra; America in 2002. I can have a basic conversation and usually make myselfunderstood. My structure leaves a lot to be desired but I can work my way around a missing word by adding an extra sentence. Every day words ar flying back thru my subconscious and there is no prize for guessing which word of the two I could remember and which I couldn’t tonight when ordering an ICE CREAM and then asking for a SPOON. :)

 Hannibal who lived in the USA speaks fluent English and does any necessary translating.

I run on a few more k’s and get stopped by a journalist and give my first Spanish interview!

On through the Quintin Valley and into San Quintin a small bustling town. People are surprised to see this spectacle. They just stare at me. Many are delighted when I wave and say ‘ Buenos Dias.’

In a small village a bit further on there are a few people gathered around a shop staring over. I suddenly run over, go inside the shop, buy 5 Cokes for me and my 4 escorts, have a laugh, tell the customers what I am doing, we all laugh again and I say.. ” See Ya Loco’s! ” More mirth…. I am sure they were saying.. ‘ Imagine him calling us mad and him running around the world! ‘

This was about 30km run. Hannibal had to go but the Angels, Omar and Hector stayed for another 18 as they didnt have enough diesel to go any further.. Did I run a truck dry! All the crawling along at between 8-10kmph was hard on their consumption. The Tourism secretary had a place in Palapa’s Tanto resort for me but they couldnt go the extra 8km with me. They offered to drive me there but I refused as I  would have to get back in the morning and of course even though they say they will their schedules get changed around a lot. So to independent and to be free to leave when I wanted in the morning I ran the last 8km of my 55.5km day on my own.


As it turned out the resort was closed and I ended up camping out there in a straw roofed bar by the sea shelter. A caretaker came in late. I could see the light in his camper but just stayed where I was. For dinner I had oatmeal, biscuits and mint tea.

I didn’t have much left for breakfast just a couple of black mushy 3  day old bananas and a few biscuits. 14km up the road I remembered I had a few cereal bars bought in Wal-marts, California  stashed in Nirvanas day bag. Just as I was pulling them out Omar and Hector pulled up. What timing as there was about 4km of steep hills ahead!

I threw Nirvana in the back and ran on. We came to a military checkpoint and were waved through. By now I was really hungry. Then I noticed a shack at the side of the checkpoint that sold refreshments. I went over and bought the Cokes and had a pot noodle. I couldn’t believe it a shop at a checkpoint.

On we went, about another 5 or 6 km to El Rosario. The lads said arrangements were made for me to stay in the police station. Hold on i said and pulled out Tourism Secretary, Ramon’s card.

How could I forget a name like Sinali, I had thought it he had said Sinai. The Secretary was phoned, the arrangements were made for me to stay in the desert frontier town’s motel.

The first stage of this is 123km towards Catavina. I stocked on supp up for this 3 day run. Have also been told I am getting an escort for at least the first 40km. Quiet roads ahead :)

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Monday, June 27th, 2011
So much has happened in the last week and it is all good!

For over 7 months I have been hearing horror stories of Mexico
literally every day. I was almost contemplating just skipping the
country and continuing on from Guatemala... I gave that thought about
2 seconds but it kept coming back over the months. I want to do this
world run properly as mentioned many times. I could have backtracked to
Florida and island hopped thru the Caribbean but that would not be a proper
solution for me.
All the stories were about the gangs and the drug warlords. But it
seems it is between themselves, bad guys killing bad guys. In Ireland
we have a similar problem with drug gangs killing each other. Also a lot of
 media hype. Just about everyone says it would be bad publicity to
´interfere ´with me. My research made me realise that the
Baja ( pronounced Bah Ha ) Peninsula was the safest route as it is important to
Mexican tourism and there is assistance available to tourists. I have been advised
that almost all of the trouble is in the border areas and cities and areas way off
 my route.
 Tecate was my choice as it is a quiet town of perhaps a hundred thousand. From San
Diego the logical crossing would have been Tijuana a couple of hours run down the
coast but that is a city of 3, million right on the US border and a hell hole.
 So I ran the extra 2 days to Tecate last month. I am now well clear of the border
Last Tuesday morning Roger my friend from El Cajon, California dropped
 me to the point where I finished my first leg last month right at the
USA/ Tecate border. He and his wife Cindy had been good enough to let me stay
at their house before and after my timeout and also mind Nirvana while I was
in Ireland.
 Roger had a meeting that morning so he dropped me off around 8am.
 My rendezvous with the Los Angeles Vertes or the Green Angels was at 10am.
I had been advised to stay in the USA till that time.
The Green Angels are an unarmed sort of tourist police.
I sat in the scorching sun in a mini market plaza about 100 meters
from the border wondering if I was making a mistake. Was I selfish,I wondered
In my mind I replayed the interview I had given to a film maker last week..
I posted this a couple of posts earlier. I kept
coming back to my mothers words ¨ Tony is very sensible, I know he
wont take any chances... ¨
Tears rolled down my cheeks, yes mam this is not very sensible and I am
taking a big chance here that I never told you about... I am so
sorry..... But I gotta do what I gotta do ¨
Across the road a US border patrol officer observes me from his pickup
for over an hour.

I sit down in a quiet corner and cheer myself up by playing some of my
 favourite running songs.
Born To Run, Keep On Running, Run Like Hell! And of course my anthem
Run For Home.

At 9.30 I decided to make my way through the border. No US exit check.
Straight to the Mexican immigration. Mexico issues a standard 6 month
visa for about $25. I have never come across a standard visa for 6 months,
very generous. My passport was stamped but I would have to bring a
form down the road to the Commerce Bank to pay my 25 bucks and return
to the officer.
I was 10 minutes early so just waited in the area till I was spotted
by a guy called Juan Carlos who I took to be a representative of the
Mexican Tourism Ministry. Juan Carlos immediately recognised me,
welcomed me to Mexico, shook my hand and presented me with a letter of
introduction, a sort of Mexican Magic Letter.
There were two officers from the Green Angels with a pickup truck.


Their flashers were flashing. I did an instant interview saying how I
was so happy to be bringing my world run to Mexico. The officers took
some pictures of their own while Juan Carlos recorded my interview on
a camcorder.
I told the officers I had to go down the road to the bank to pay for
my visa. I was surprised to be left ramble off on my own. A block
down the road a juice vendor asked.. ¨Hey Tony How you doing today? ¨
I wondered how he knew my name till I realised it was printed on my singlet!
At the Atm machine I made a major booby. I withdrew only 300 pesos by
mistake thinking of 300 dollars! A big mistake as my bank in Ireland
charges over 11 euro for a foreign withdrawal.. I had googled the rate
of exchange last night. It´s a little over 11 pesos to the dollar. So
I had to bite the bullet again and give a certain ¨The Slow Bank ¨back
in Ireland another 11 euro!
I paid for my visa in the bank and went out a different door I had
come in. I got lost and had a bit of trouble finding my way back due
to a misleading sign. What would the boss of the Angels say to this!
Only in the country a few minutes and vanished!
Eventually I found my way back and started running at 10.45am. I ran
in front of the Angels vehicle with its flashing lights and siren to
warn other drivers we were coming through red lights. I had Run For
Home on repeat. I was actually enjoying the experience especially as the
Angels had Nirvana in their pickup!
It was hot, very hot. It took less than half an hour to run out of
Tecate, about 4km.
I ran on for 16km feeling a bit shattered as I hadn´t run much in the
last 4 weeks during my timeout.
 At that stage they said they had to go
do another job! Fine I said and ran on with Nirvana. I had kept
calling these two officers Pascal and Ronaldo. They had similar names
but I just couldn't remember them. I was a bit relieved to be able to
set my own pace and ran on through the arid Mexican countryside. In this
area there is a nice 2 meter hard shoulder even if the roads are two lanes
and narrow.
I stopped at a roadside shack for a soda... It´s great to be back on the road!
Later another Angel Patrol vehicle stopped and gave me an escort for
the rest of the day. Most of it up a huge hill. He had told me there
was a good camping spot at km 40.The spot was not very secure. I had
about 2 litres of water and was a bit hungry. It had been a very tough
first day back on the road. I was so despondent when he told me the
next town was 9km away. It was the last thing in the world I wanted to
do but I just ran on, thankfully mostly down the steep hill I had just
struggled up.
We arrived just as it was getting dark in the town of Testerazo.
 As luck would have it I arrived at at a police station.
 An officer was outside sweeping up so I presented him with my
Mexican Magic Letter from the minister stating the usual, what I was
doing and the minister would appreciate any hospitality granted etc.
Just then I sat down at a bus shelter and puked! The offered to call an
The shame of it and on day one!
The cops were great. A friendly bunch. They said I could either sleep
in a closet with some mops and buckets but I didn't fancy the whiff from
a couple of petrol cans or I could sleep in an ambulance parked outside.
 I chose the latter and went down the road for something to eat.
When I returned I was told that someone across the road wanted to meet
me and to bring Nirvana as they would more than likely give me a place
to sleep.
It turned out to be a pastor and after a while he showed me his church
which was just a small simple room built with concrete blocks and a galvanised
roof. A dirty carpet was in the altar area.
Just as I was settling down to sleep a different pastor came in to
investigate me. I told him pastor number one and the police know I am
here. I don't think he liked me.
So at 4.57am there was a hard rap on the door. Number two tells me I
have to leave as he is going to give a service at 5am!
I ask how long will it take am told ten minutes, so instead of pulling
all my gear out, packing up and taking advantage of an early start, I
sit outside at a picnic bench and wait and wait till nearly six.
He was wailing, crying for ¨ Mercy Jesus, I love you. ¨
Eventually number two comes out, his congregation is just one woman.


I go back over to the Policia Municipal. I cook oatmeal and coffee in
the officers microwave.
One of them offers me pancakes and hot dog slices and also a plate of
spaghetti. I just take the pancakes and meat and did I really
refuse the spaghetti! Just as I was thinking I could have stuck it in
my tupperware dish for the road an officer coming on duty snaps it up
and sticks it into the fridge.
Out on the road I am late starting, all this wasted time, its around
8am. I stop at a construction site by the road where a guard is
minding some heavy equipment.
I ask him for some water. His name is Husein, he also offers me a
delicious bowl of chili
soup. When he offers me more as he has made a huge pot. Once again I have had
my fill.. MHowever, my 1.2 liter thermos comes out in a flash!
¨ Thanks I will have it for dinner tonight. ¨
I am learning fast.
Later I was stopped by Victor a construction engineer.
 He asks me am I going to Ensende that night.
I tell him its just a little too far I am going to San Antonio de las Minas.
He says he has a friend in both towns, they are father and son both called Beta.
The father lives in San Antoine de las Minas, my destination that evening.
Victor phones and arranges for me to stay tonight.
Later on I see a Green Angel truck helping a broken down motorist.
I whip out the letter from the minister and embarrass him into escorting me.
After about 8km he tells me he has to go off on another job. Just then his boss
phones. The phone is passed to me. Antonio is the bosses name. I ask
him would he allow the Angel to deliver Nirvana to Beta snr´s house.
That's soon arranged. I run on for about another 16km expecting a small
village. What I get is a largish town with solar panel powered lights
in the 3km road separation! One never know what to expect from a town or village.


I was told Beta Jr will hunt me down on the highway. I call it a day
 with some 45km that second day at the towns stop lights.
 I make my way down the lane following the excellent directions Victor gave me.
 The two Beta´s pick me up on the road.
 I am whisked back to Rancho Taurus where I have a nice pleasant evening with
the lads and Betas wife Imelda. The ranch is mainly a cucumber ranch.
 I sleep in a caravan after a lovely shower.


Got going around 7.30 next morning.
Beta who seems to be very much into my run offered to deliver Nirvana to me out on
 the road at around 2pm. He is a university lecturer in Ensenada, he is on vacation
 at the moment. The offer came when I realised it was 18km there and I would be
running through his city. He is an adventure racer himself.
 Nothing seemed to bother him, nothing was too much trouble. He and his father both
 speak good English. I took full advantage of this opportunity and ran 40km past
Ensenada despite a 2 hour stop there for breakfast and getting a Mexican sim card.
 The sim is 150 pesos and you get 50 credit. It was a bit of an effort getting
this sorted. I had to present my passport to be photocopied, my phone registered
and a lot more besides. A couple of days later it was still not sorted.
 Beta eventually did this. I didn´t think I will get a sim in every country,
only the big ones. On the way I remembered stopping on top of a hillock in Manero
 just as a big cool breeze hit! Heaven. I stood there a few minutes soaking up the
 pleasure. As I stood there I suddenly realised that there were mountains to the
west. But I thought I was supposed to be following the sea.
 I checked my bearings. Pointed the hour hand of my watch at the sun,
 halfway between the hour and the 12 position is south.
 Yes I am going the right way..
 Just made better progress than I expected. Beta is late, I just run on and on.
 He says he will find me with my SPOT tracker on this site. He pulls up at around
 4.30 with some water. He says he is in no hurry and will meet me in a restaurant
 about 4km up the road. A glorious 58.3km run today.
 When I get there I tell him how much I enjoyed running without pushing.
 Immediately he tells me that either he or a friend will be heading south
in two or three days time and can deliver Nirvana.
 ¨ Sure! ¨ So I hastily prepare a day bag and my Camelback 3 liter backpack water
 carrier. He heads back the 40km to Ensenada. Immediately I realise I have packed
 just a little too much. He has arranged for me to stay behind the restaurant.
 It´s a nice night, so I will just use my bivy bag. Inside the Acambaro Restaurant is
 closed but the owner called Juan cooks my can of stew in his microwave.
 He brings me inside, gives me bread, cheese, and salsa chips. His friend asks me
 if I know Juan and I say yes U2 wrote a song about him, 3,2,Juan! or ONE.
We all have a huge laugh. After another late breakfast I blast off into a hot sun
running with my small backpack and camelback. I also got a small two bottle bag
around my waist. Water is so heavy but I plod on. I stop at another construction
 site, this time there are two guards. One of the guards an older man is
refurbishing old Bic cigarette lighters, he is refilling them with gas and putting
stickers on them.I didn't know this could be done. I wonder if this is why
cigarette lighter selling is so popular in the developing world.
He is also a bit of a techno whizz as he has an old style military radio he built.
 The younger lad prefers his Latino music on his phone.
 On I run. Its really hot and I am struggling without Nirvana, the day is a slog.
 For the second day this week, after my first day back Tuesday, I nominate today as
 the hardest day of the trip. Still I clicked up 45.5km falling just 5 short of
 San Vicinte. I arrived at a small hamlet and ran up to Daisies La La mini Mart
just as it was closing. Ordered a soft drink just to get an excuse to talk.
 I was eyeing up the backyard of the property where a nice car cover area would be
 nice and handy to kip in. Daisy had no problem. A couple of kids came out as I
 was eating Cindy´s left over cake which is 4 days old now. She had packed that
with motherly love that Tuesday morning as I set out for the Mexican border.
 One of the kids spoke decent English but I got a bit pissed off as he seemed
 to have some kind of an attention problem as he kept asking the same questions
over and over again. When I am on the road, no matter how hard it was of a day,
I am usually ok after a few minutes but sometimes something like this or a pack
 of Labradors in someones home licking the balls off me is just a bit too much.
In the end I told him I was very tired, which I was as I went to bed around nine.
 The darn roosters woke me up at 5am! I ditched some stuff and was shuffling nice
 and free down the highway. The weight difference made a difference. I felt strong
all day. I stopped to take a picture of a snake on the road. It was about a meter
long about 3 fingers wide. Not sure if it was dead but a motorist that say what I
 was doing ran over it.
About 20k before Colonel I stopped for a juice and snacks. The store
was closed but the nice owner, Raphael opened it. He also gave me 2
cups of chili chicken soup and coke.
Beta finally tracked me down in an internet cafe in Conolel. I
actually expected him tomorrow.
He opened the back of his jeep. His mother had taken all my clothes
and wet bags out and washed them. As they were not dry he propped 2
portable drying lines in the back of his jeep so as the socks could
dry on the way!
He brought me over to the police station. I presented my letter from
the Minister and was given a sheltered area to the side of the station
where I spent an evening discarding unnecessary baggage, much of it I
gave to Beta.

Sunday was pretty much a lazy day, just under 30km. The problem I now
have is lack of internet service. Though many small towns do have
´Ciber Cafe´s´ often they don´t open till around 11am, so obviously I
cant wait. I need several hours at a time, so if I go in early I miss
out on running... It´s early days yet, so I hope I can get regular
updates, but as usual, pictures are the first casualty as the download
time can be huge in these places.

I feel so comfortable running through Mexico now... even if my guardian
 Angels have disappeared.

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Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

This is a megga quick update. My internet access for perhaps more  than a year will definitely be less than what I experienced in Canada and the USA.

I am having a wonderful  time here in Baja area. I crossed into Mexico yesterday and ran 49km. It was the first real running I have done in 4 weeks after my timeout. It was also the longest day of the year and the toughest day of the run so far. I was told yesterday was 33 C which is hot for me.

I ran 45km today. I am meeting such nice people everywhere and both nights I have had places to stay. I will give the details of these wonderful people in my next update.

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Tuesday, June 21st, 2011



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Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Sorry for the lack of updates. I am back in El Cajon with my friends Roger and Cindy who I stayed with before my timeout, they kindly offered to mind Nirvana while I was away. Thank you so much.

I arrived back in El Cajon on Sunday and was immediately whisked away to Rogers dads house for a small Fathers Day bar-b-q party. By small I mean only 28 of the gang of over 50 could make it. His dad is called George. George is very active, he has  just renewed his drivers licence, aged 92.

Did I mention bar-b-q? Yes I did! Please insert several smileys as the steaks were delicious!

The two U2 concerts in Anaheim were MAGNIFICIENT, as they would say.

Angels Stadium was 10km away from the backpackers hostel I stayed in in Anaheim. So I ran to and from both concerts to try to get back into shape!

I had a route marked out from Newhope street up onto Fifth and then missed my left turn onto Santa Ana Trail.  It was a lovely day that Friday so I played BEAUTIFUL DAY on my ipod. So I took the next left and kinda got onto the trail again. I was playing my U2 songs on my ipod. I got a bit lost then asked a local for directions. He wanted me to go back but I said I never backtrack even if it is longer to go straight on. So he told me to take a left and cut across the golf course. Whats the name of that road? He didn’t know so I played WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME.

On I went and cut across Riverside golf course. I have never seen anything like this, a golf course in a city park with trails around it! Signs informed the runners and cyclists to watch out for ‘ flying golf balls ‘ So I played MERCY on the ipod.

On I went up a trail beside the 9th hole. I asked a golfer if I was on the right trail. He pointed me on further up over a hill. He was over at the hole on the green thinking he had got a hole in one I guess.. I spoilt the party by pointing to a ball up on the hill.. No hole in one so I played ONE

Time to WALK ON and fast and GET MY BOOTS ON for the rest of the run.

On to Angels Stadium.. Yes I played ANGEL OF HARLEM

I had a nice time back in Ireland. We had a surprise 60th birthday party for my club physio and great friend Michael ‘ Mick ‘ Farrell. Mick has also acted as my parish priest hearing my many confessions over the years on his massage table. For my sins he usually dished out   his own form of  pennance to this sinner, his infamous ‘ root canal ‘ treatment on the massage table  :(

If I can survive over 8 years of his theraphic abuse I reckon I can do anything including running  around the world :)

I just had one massage as I was so  terrified of letting the ‘ cat out of the bag ‘  to go for a second massage when his wife Ella told me of  her surprise party plan. A good night was had by all. My start day will actually be Micks 60th birthday, so I would like to dedicate my Mexican start to Mick. Enjoy the day Mick.

Let me see… What else did I get up to? I was spoilt by family and friends for three lovely weeks. I didn’t get all I planned to do done but had a nice rest. I just did 3 runs to keep the legs ticking over. I had one massage from my club physio Mick who said my body was in good shape as did Paddy Leahy of the Laser Center who used to took after any injuries I previousy had, I used to go to Paddy on a regular basis during my competitive career for preventive maintenance. Thank you Paddy for this complimentary checkup. My dentist Nial Mc Donagh of the South Circular Road also gave me a comp brushing and checkup. Thanks Paddy and Nial.
Also got some more vacine shots. Rabies, Hep B, I previously had Yellow Fever, Typhoid and a few others. I have to get a third Hep B in a couple of weeks time in Mexico.
What else did I do? One of the first things I did was buy an Android tablet to save weight on my netbook. I couldn’t figure out how to put the apps on it, nor did anyone else that I showed it to, including computer shops. Also I noticed if I was sitting next to the modem I had a decent connection but if I went out to the kitchen for yet more coffee ( I havent changed ) I lost the wifi signal.
This problem was solved when I put my netbook on top of it in my bag…. I smashed it, a waste of 175 euro but time to move on, one problem solved!
Also went out to dinner with my Finnish friend Riitta. While waiting for her on the steps of Temple Bar I resisted the temptation to sit on the steps like everyone else for fear of dirtying my pants. A week and a half Mangan was dusting ants away in the sand as he prepared to sleep under a Californian bridge!
Yes I am still fond of my food. I ate my way across the Atlantic having two dinners I couldnt make up my mind if I wanted chicken or pasta so told the air hostess with a wink that people running around the world need to eat at least a trolley load of food for dinner or they will drop dead. She ensured we had a safe landing in Dublin by giving me two breakfasts.
I got a ticking off about my chocolate, cookie and ice cream appetite so I have decided to cut back, a little anyway :( for now that is :)

 I will begin running as planned from Tecate south through the Mexican state of Baja tomorrow at 10am local 6pm gmt.

I am mad busy at the moment with the last minute details.

I am well rested and rearing to go!

 For those that are trying to contact me about the logistics my cell number is: 978  875  4154 

Hasta Luego :)

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Tuesday, June 21st, 2011



PLEASE VISIT  THEIR SITE   www.big5sportinggoods.com

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Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Thank you to Irish film maker Caroline Brennan for putting this  interview together. It was filmed just before I set out for the next leg of the world run through Mexican, Central and South America. Press HERE  to watch.

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Thursday, June 16th, 2011





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Sunday, June 12th, 2011


I did not report this properly before my timeout. Here is my delayed report. I need to upload some more photos..

Also my ‘ mental slideshow ‘ as mentioned many times in the blog I want the run to be on a continuos route as possible around the world so as I can get my mental snapshots. I cannot possibly include all the wonderful people in this entry as then I would have two blogs! But you know who you are and I will never forget. This is just a random selection. Thanks a million!

As I run closer and closer to the Pacific Ocean I am becoming more and more excited. I feel I can almost smell the ocean now. It has been a long winter. For me winter started last October with the heavy rains in Ireland. It rained hard for 8 of my  9 road days at the start of this world run. Many people would be surprised when I say this was the worst weather so far. I remembered be absolutely drenched in torrential rain running and running, not knowing where I was going to sleep that night. It was my penultimate day in Ireland as I ran from Castleisland my focus set on my final Irish destination, Dunquin.  It was a freezing cold rain. I was almost hypothermic. Then my good friend Colm O Thorna phoned me to tell me that the owner of a local bar near the remote Inch cross roads would be waiting for me in an hour.


Soon I would be basking near a hot log fire in one of his vacant rental cabins. My phone had  just about seized up in a pocket of rain. I was still finding my feet and getting into and establishing a proper road routine. Thank  goodness for Colm’s call that day and the benefits of modern technology.
Then into Newfoundland, though not as severe as I expected it was still cold. I remember one particular cold near St. George’s junction. I was cold, hungry and thirsty. There was a village about 6km detour each way off my route. I decided to run there and ended up with an invitation to stay the night in  a fishing cabin belonging to Jerome, one of the towns volunteer firefighters.


I remembered the US immigration officer that had her boyfriend chase me down on the road to give me a Christmas card and $20. Then there was the woman who stopped me as I ran through another storm in Maine just days before Christmas. She told me she had arranged for me to stay in Clifton Baptist church that night. Pastor John Walsh and his wife Debbie were waiting for me. I ended up spending Christmas with the Walsh’s.


It turned out that Debbie is from a small town in Maine called Stockholm. Her friend from the former Swedish settlement town is none other than Cindy the woman who is married to Roger, my El Cajon hosts. So I stayed with each of these school friends, one at the very start of my American odyssey and the other for my very last day in the country. I wondered what the odds of that were. I believe I am a very lucky person. Many times in life I feel I have gotten more than my fair share of luck. I don’t want to buy any more lottery tickets. I feel if I won the lottery the world run would not be the same. I only want to win the lottery when this is over!. I the meantime I will just need to keep hustling as best as I can.

It was great meeting my great rivalJohn Geesler from my competitive days. I stayed with him and members of his club commutted be back and forth for 5 days!

John, Tony And Dave Putney. They have made me an honary member of their running club The Kurahoora Kickers

Then down into  the blizzards of Maine, Massachusetts and New York, the worst winter in North American history as many people have told me. I actually enjoyed running in the blizzards. There is something quite liberating about running in snow.






I thought of all the numerous people that took days off work to run and help me. Their kind help and how they went to enourmous effort and expense to make things as comfortable as possible for me. How they invited me into their homes, laundered my smelly clothes, showered, fed, bed and befriended me. Just like the family from Kansas that were spending their spring break in McCook, Nebraska with their family. They met me coming out of Wal-Marts and arranged for their sons to run with me that afternoon. I was invited to spend the night with them and their parents sharing their precious vacation time. This family also did me a big favor organising a Colorado flag for me. They knew it was important for me to have a flag of the Rocky mountain state, my former home for of almost 8 years.


My four weeks in Colorado will always be special.

And then there is you the readers of this blog that make it so worthwhile for me. A special thanks is long overdue to the Cochrane family from Newfoundland who have been following this blog since before I ran my very first step of the journey.


I was reflecting on all of this as I ran closer and closer towards my friends home in El Cajon   which is about 30km from the Pacific.
An Iraqi woman had cut my hair that morning. She had told me how she was so grateful to the American people for taking her in as a refugee into this most welcoming of countries.
Now as I run through the streets of El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego I realize there is a huge immigrant population living here. Roger later told me it is the second largest Iraqi community after Detroit in the United States.
I end my day at the 7-Eleven store on Washington Street. Tomorrow I will run from there into the Pacific. Roger came out to meet me. His house is up on top of the steepest hill I have encountered on the entire run. I reckon it’s about 1 in 3. Being a builder he built his large house and office on top of the hill.


He must have spent a fortune pouring the huge foundation. His reward is a wonderful view of San Diego and the surrounding areas. His passion is for gardening, especially cacti of which he has dozens of species from all over the world.

I laughed and joked about the wonderful weather here. San Diego is considered by many to have the best all year climate in the world. Just one season. Nice and warm with the same mid seventies farenheit  temperature all year long.
I asked Cindy if it ever snowed here. I prefixed my question by apologising for the silliness of my remark!
” Well actually it did once in 1969! ”

Cindy And Roger

” What about frost and ice on that steep hill as I see its a bit shaded? ” I asked.
” Yes we do get a lot of frost there in the winter but it doesn’t stick as the heat is still in the ground from the previous day! ” Answered Roger.
” My goodness, I feel so sorry for you. “  I joked.
Roger and Cindy kindly offered to allow me to use their place as a base. It was Friday 20th May. I still got 3 more days running in the USA. Tomorrow I will run to the Pacific and then two more days to the border crossing into Mexico at Tecate.
That run to the Pacific was a bit anti-climatic. I ran up Friars Road and into San Diego’s city limits, population 1,250,000.

 I came to a house which was decorated with stage Irish bunting. Even the car parked outside on the road had been given the shamrock and flag treatment. I pushed my way past a Co. Carlow sign in the garden, knocked on the door.
 A startled barefooted man in his forties and wearing shorts answered the door.
” I see you are from Co. Carlow. ” I said.
” Well no actually we are from Drogheda. ”
I told him he was only the 7th Irish person I had met on my run across North America and I was about to dive into the ocean in a couple of hours.
” I see! ” He said.

Then I remembered the Arizona and Californian deserts and how challenging it was

 So I just ran on.
A little later I met up with Greg from Orange county. Greg had heard of my run through our mutual friend Ash whose Runaways sports store was a former sponsor of mine back in Dublin. Ash used to live near here so he emailed Greg who had no hesitation driving 70 miles each way to run the last 10 with me.
Why did I choose Ocean Beach to make my splash into the Pacific?
Nothing scientific, I just asked Roger for his recommendation and he sent me back a list of 3 possibilities. Ocean Beach was the first place that I saw on the map and it looked like a reasonably easy place to get to from El Cajon.
I was a bit disappointed that there was no response from any of the local running clubs to run with me today. I had texted my contact from my  NBC television interview in  Illinois. They tipped off  their office in San Diego, so Al the local cameraman and reporter phoned me to make an arrangement  to get a piece for the evening news.
On the way Greg told me that I would be sharing the news with some religious zealotsthat  had declared that the world would end at 6pm!
” Is that eastern or pacific time Greg? ”
” I don’t know, why you ask? ”
” Well I want to get North America finished before the sky falls in. I don’t want to be out  on Waterworld Drive I want to be in the Ocean before the world ends. ”
So we upped the pace and arrived at 2.40. :)



Yes that would do nicely even if our 6pm deadline was eastern time we would be early.
In my excitement I ran into the ocean not really thinking about the Nirvana’s contents, phone, ipod etc. I will have to give her a good spraying down later as the sea water will play havoc with her. All was well anyway. I was surprised how easy she moved in the warm water and nearly floated away as I splashed through the waves with my Irish and American flags.

The sunbathers didn’t quiet know what to make of this especially when Al arrived with his  tv camera and began the interview with..
” Well Tony you have just run across America is this the beginning or the end? ”
That was his only question. I answered it telling him how delighted I was and how grateful I am to the American people. I waited for another question but he just kept pointed his camera at me, so I got the hint and just rambled on for almost 12 and a half minutes!

NBC never sent me a copy of the interview but fair play to Greg who recorded it on his phone

Greg treated me to lunch in an oriental noodle bar before I started my run for the Mexican border. It was a bit of a mental effort to make this 2 and a half day run to the border. My focus had been on the Pacific all these months, so I felt a bit like a 100 meter runner being asked to run another 100 meters at the end of his race, possible but a bit shagging!
So I ran on for another couple of hours till Roger came and picked me up.
The next couple of days Roger commuted me back and forth to my finish and start locations. As I got closer and closer to the border I was amazed at the amount of border patrol vehicles that patrolled the area looking for stray Mexicans that had managed to get across the border looking for a better life. It is one thing for them to get across the border but quiet a difficult task making further progress due to the heavy border patrol presence.
I had just run unhindered by a huge compound which housed hundreds of US border patrol agents, busses, vans, pickups, atv’s, you name it.

 I have been told that the hedges I have run by probably have dozens of Mexicans hiding till dark so as they can make a run for it. I don’t know how they can do that. I am an extreme athlete and have had some difficulty traversing this harsh terrain. I have of course had the opportunity to stop for water and food on the rare occasion it has been available. These fugitives have to discreetly fend for themselves or more than likely have help but that’s very difficult with all the patrols and checkpoints.
On my last morning I was stopped on the road by a man who told me he used to live in the area but I was a bit surprised when he asked me for directions! His name was Jim, he told me he has Irish connections and goes back to Ireland every couple of years for a vacation.
A couple of hours later I saw him come out of a cafe at a junction. Jim brought me back inside and treated me to a big fry up!
Leon, who is the owner of the cafe bar told me that he always had an entrepreneur spirit. I asked him how he got his cafe bar. He told me that he noticed many people were trying to sell unripened avocados by the side of the road but there was not so much business as people wanted ripened avocados. So he bought as many as he could, ripened them himself. He told me he had such a huge amount that when they were stacked up he could not see the road from behind them. Cars were coming from everywhere, he could hardly keep up with the demand and with his profits from he bought 30 acres of land in Arizona for $1,000 an acre. He had always wanted to live in Arizona and intended to build a house there. Just before he began building a rock  mining company came and offered him 250,000 dollars for his land. He sold up and bought the cafe bar.

I ran on to the border. In my eagerness to get a photo I strayed across the yellow line that separates the US from Mexico. I was now in Mexico! The US border guard came over and teased me about this. I did not want to cross over now. This will be my finishing point on leg 1 of the world run. I will return here on the 21st of June and run south through Mexico after my timeout in Ireland. I couldn’t get a photo as my camera decided at that inopportune moment to seize up on me.
As former Californian governor would say.
I’ll be Back!
Hasta luego Mexico!



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Friday, June 10th, 2011







Tecate, Ensenada, Uruapan, Camalu, El Aguajito, Santa Inés, Punta Prieta, La Bombas, Santa Ignacio, Santa RosalÍa, Loreto, Ciudad Constitucion, Palo Ferro, La Paz,  

  MEXICAN MAINLAND:  ROUTE  View Larger Map     

Culiacan, Escuinapa, Acaponeta, Tepic, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Tecoman, Ciudad Lazaro,  Cardenas,Zihuatanejo,
Petatlan,Tecpande,Galeana,Atoyac de Alvarez,Acapulco,Cruz Grande,Marquelia,Ometepec,
Santiago Pinotepa,Nacional Puerto Escondido,Crucecita,Salina Cruz,Juchitan deZaragoza,Arriaga,Tonala,
Pijijiapan,Mapastepec,Acacoyahua,Huixtla,Tapachula,Ciudad,Hidalgo,Mexico/Guatamela border.





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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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