Archive for July, 2011


Wednesday, July 20th, 2011



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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Bienvenido a mis amigos mexicanos querido! Gracias por cuidar de mí tan grande aquí en México.
Mi sitio web tiene una traducción al español la posibilidad!
Por favor, sólo tiene que desplazarse hacia abajo y seleccione el idioma español en la herramienta de TRANSLATE en el lado derecho de mi página de blog. Espero verte en el camino!  Tony

Manuel called over to the Desert Inn Hotel for me at 3.30am and we drove out the 35k marker where I finished up yesterday. The loco wanted to have a sing song in the truck and I was doing all I could to keep my eyes open.

When we arrived he said to me.

” Tony do you want to start here or the other side of the mountain?

” Are you mad Manuel, never in a million years. I always start from where I finished the day before…..Every meter from Dublin.

So I ran on for a couple of hours 15km all uphill. It was nice and fresh at that early hour so I ran topless, just my yellow hi-viz vest on. As we approached the top of one hill he called me back to the pickup truck and gave me an orange.

” See Tony the top is only cien metros ( 100 meters) and then all downhill for the rest of the day!”

Joker, I didn’t see the top of that hill for another 26km!

Still I was delighted I was not pushing Nirvana over this mountain. She adds at least 2 hours to my day.

Manuel had even gone to the trouble of filling up a large plastic jerry can with water so as  I could have a shower with a hose when the going got tough. There were a lot of clouds this morning so thankfully I got an extra couple of hours bonus coolness until the brute escaped and poured down his inferno eyes upon me.

We stopped at a couple of rancho cafes along the way. At the second I treated him to a steak breakfast. I had one myself even though I wasn’t hungry as it was unlikely I would not have another opportunity till I got to Ciudad Insurgentes, about 60km away. I ended up taking it away with me, will have it for breakfast tomorrow.


For anyone just joining the blog; Manuel works for Los Angeles Verdes or The Green Angels.

The Angels provide a unique service I have not seen anywhere in the world in my almost 70 countries travelling. They scour the roads all over Mexico 365 days a year driving something like 20 million kilometers looking for broken down vehicles. They are all expert mechanics a bit like the Automobile Association but with a tourist helping hand slant. Their service is free. They even have a free phone number. Their hours are from 8 am till 8pm.

Manuel told me I have been given special treatment above and beyond their normal service because as he puts it my mission is special. They have escorted me a huge proportion of my run from the border at Tecate through Baja. In addition to escorting me I have been able to run hands free saving myself a couple of hours as mentioned before as they carry Nirvana in their trucks. As I always say this is about me pushing myself around the world and not about me pushing a cart around the world!

Occasionally as I climbed on and on he would put on the siren and frighten the bejasus out of me!

My arms and legs would stretch out hair standing on ends like I was electrocuted and then on the loudspeaker…

” Loco Tony, Cien Metros Mas! ”

” I will get you back for that… You just wait till you ask me to sign your activity sheet. What does Pesimo mean Manuel ”

” It’s worse than Malo, Tony, It means atrocious! ”

” Well that’s what it will be Loco, Tu es Pesimo! ”

So eventually after almost 41km and at marker 44.5 we get to a construction site where a security guard meets us at the entrance. I pull out my letter of introduction from the Tourist Secretary and a newspaper cutting and ask if I can sleep for a few hours under a shady water tank. The guard says sure, no problem.


I am delighted to get out of this heat and to be able to sleep for a good few hours.

” This ok tonight? ” Says El Loco

” Sure is Manuel, what’s the Spanish for heaven? ”

” There are many names for heaven. ” He rattled them off.

One of them was easy to remember…. gloria.

” Tonight I am out of the inferno (hell) and into gloria. ”

” Anyway, Pesimo… Give me that work sheet to sign! ”

” What you going to put on the comments Tony? ”

” Loco! ” I said and did!

Had a half decent sleep but being so near the road anytime a big noisy truck went by it wakened me but I usually fell straight back asleep.

I was out on the road at 2.30am. I am finding it hard to get into a decent pace at this hour especially on days like this morning when pushing Nirvana, I guess it’s like shift work, takes some getting used to. My energy seemed to be drained and almost every kilometer to Ciudad Insurgentes was a battle, I stopped many times to rest.

One time I found this little fellow.


Then for the last 7km I was escorted into town by a police officer. I threw Nirvana into the back of his truck, filled 2 water bottles and was flying!

As I ran towards the town from about 1km out I saw what looked like a green white and orange flag in the distance. Surely they didn’t get an Irish flag to welcome me!

Several locals are calling out their greetings, others are taking photos.  It seems my world run has captivated people in almost every part of North America I have been to. A bit different in Ireland where I have been more or less ignored, I thought as I ran towards the ” Irish flag ”

Yes except for a few loyal journalists and a wonderful Irish running community I have been ignored. Even when I splashed into the Pacific, not a mention, even when I had a 3 week timeout in Ireland all my emails resulted in was a 10pm late night slot on Newstalk. Even my offer to run in the Cork Marathon during my timeout was ignored, like all the other emails.

Those that read this blog and know me well know I rarely seek out publicity but it hurts when your own ignore you for some clowns with funny haircuts.

Then as I approached the flag I realized it was the green, white and red of Mexico and the red had faded to a sort of orange in the harsh sunlight here. That didn’t matter, this is another town, hundreds I have run through that have given me its heart. That’s all that matters.

The patrol car led me around the roundabout, turned left on highway 1. About a km further on down the road the towns new mayor, Martin Fuentes Rocha was waiting for me with several other people. I was brought to lunch of cactus plant, egg and meat. The cactus plant tasted just like a regular green pepper. I was given a motel room for the night at the cities expense.




Later Mayor Rocha brought me out to dinner in a chicken bar b q place.

He told me he has only been mayor for only 3 weeks  and pointed out the improvements. The bases of trees  on the main street have been painted white giving the strip a fresher look. A $70,000 corner clock that the previous mayor bought many years ago that worked for only one month before breaking down has now been fixed.

Tomorrow all the streets will be cleaned up, more painting. Bills have been paid and proper services which were neglected have been restored.

Tomorrow the next town Ciudad Constitucion is only 27km away, this towns only runner, also called Martin will accompany me at 6am. So too will mayor Rocha but in his pickup. We will stop and have coffee in his mams house on the way.

Martin told me that he worked in Texas in a similar town of about 11,000 people. He was an illegal. He worked as a welder and got tired of sneaking across the border. He managed that 4 times in the 14 years he lived in the states. On Christmas Day when the Border Patrol didn’t work he would walk for 14 hours and swim across the Rio Grande back to the states. The Mexicans, just like the Americans love a trier, at least he tried even if he failed. In Ireland we begrudge other peoples success.  I feel so lucky and must be one of the few Irish people that have had a SONG written about them while still alive.

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Monday, July 18th, 2011

Bienvenido a mis amigos mexicanos querido! Gracias por cuidar de mí tan grande aquí en México.
Mi sitio web tiene una traducción al español la posibilidad!
Por favor, sólo tiene que desplazarse hacia abajo y seleccione el idioma español en la herramienta de TRANSLATE en el lado derecho de mi página de blog. Espero verte en el camino!  Tony




Desert Inn at Loreto
Price Category: Superior

Incredible fishing, beautiful beaches, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving are what

Loreto, Baja California is best known for.

The oceanfront hotel Desert Inn features 48 nicely furnished rooms with air conditioning, private patios, swimming pool, restaurant/bar. Ask about our popular Loreto fishing package


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Monday, July 18th, 2011

Bienvenido a mis amigos mexicanos querido! Gracias por cuidar de mí tan grande aquí en México.
Mi sitio web tiene una traducción al español la posibilidad!
Por favor, sólo tiene que desplazarse hacia abajo y seleccione el idioma español en la herramienta de TRANSLATE en el lado derecho de mi página de blog. Espero verte en el camino!  Tony

Manuel shocked me when he turned up at 4am precisely. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect this! I had set my own clock for 4.15 and still needed half an hour to get ready and breakfast on left over rice from a Chinese takeaway mixed with a tin of tuna. I soon found my way running out of town. The swollen foot I mentioned yesterday seems to have cleared. I had only had about an hour and a half sleep as I was uo till sfter 2am blogging and emailing. I don’t always use these escort opportunities to cram the distance… Instead I prefer a recovery run of about 8kmph easy effort. i need to keep my body in good shape and if i cant get enough rest/sleep I need to minimise my punishing road effort. Lately I have been taking a bit more care of my nutrition, especially drinking milk, fruit juice and yogurt. I have also just discovered an electrolyte re hydrant prevention and recovery drink. It comes in a 625 ml bottle called Electrolit and in 3 flavours. I believe it is best taken as a small cupful every half hour or so. So including my stops I got about 20km before it started to heat up. Sometimes I can get an extra couple of hours of moderate heat if there are morning clouds that the sun has to do battle with to escape. After 35 I got to a small hamlet called Ligui. Went into the tienda, bought orange juice and relaxed for half an hour sitting on an ice chest. Just as I was ready to go I started vomiting heavily. I was okay till I stopped and went into that steaming hot shop, my perspiration wet patches were everywhere I put my hands or arms. I asked the store owner what temperature it was. He had a small electronic device which told us the inside temperature was 33 degrees C. Manuel placed the device outside and I watched in horror as it climbed to 50 degrees C!



It’s amazing I never had a problem with vomiting or orange juice before, even had a breakfast this morning. I had wanted to run about 60 today but as the Desert inn had another night provided for me it was not wise for me to run further, besides it was Sunday and Manuel was so good getting up so early for me. Though he was eager this sort of a commute from Loreto was not fair on the man. Manuel impressed me even more by offering to come pick me up at 3am in the morning, I promised him I would be fed and ready.

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Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Bienvenido a mis amigos mexicanos querido! Gracias por cuidar de mí tan grande aquí en México.
Mi sitio web tiene una traducción al español la posibilidad!
Por favor, sólo tiene que desplazarse hacia abajo y seleccione el idioma español en la herramienta de TRANSLATE en el lado derecho de mi página de blog. Espero verte en el camino!  Tony

Last time I updated I was in Santa Rosalita, a busy copper mining town. I had been so busy I hadn’t eaten till 10pm as I had more or less spent the late afternoon and evening in an internet cafe. I had also been dropped there by a police officer, it was about 2km away from the station where I was spending the night and I didn’t even know my way back.That particular occasion I went into a restaurant where Derek the project manager for CAT heavy vehicles on the site warmly greeted me. Derek tells me he is from Tijuana, living close to the US border has enabled him to become fluent in English. This copper mining project is a huge boost to Santa Rosalina’s economy. Tonight he was out having dinner with about 8 of his senior workers. He added my dinner to his bill and drove me back home, so all ready for another early start  The ever increasing urgency to get early starts due to the daytime heat adds to the stress, something has to give and readers of this blog know that is almost always adequate rest and recovery time. This is the only part of running around the world I don’t like, the running on the road is fun but this is mostly an 18-20 hour day, day after day.So I am trying to keep up my nutrition getting as many meals as I can. My favorite meal here is carne asada, a very generous beef steak dinner, with all the beans, rice and salad for about $6 :)
Yes I know they say tourists should not eat salad but I do.
The early starts means I got to be careful to eat something resembling a nutritious breakfast. This is not easy now as eateries’ are not open when I am on the move. Perhaps I should try cooking something but for now I make do with some leftover dinner from the night before, or fruit,a can of tuna, beans etc.
Keeping up ones nutrition is particularly important during heavy activity in hot weather.
Javier from Los Angeles Verdes joined me in mid morning.
These guys are wonderful, so dedicated to their job, nothing is too much trouble. They give the impression that time doesn’t matter, no time watching 9-5 attitude, true professionals and heroes in my book. Thank you Los Angeles Verdes, you have made things so much easier and more comfortable for me.
Today was particularly hot, up around 40 degrees C, I would say. It always feels like 40C when you are struggling, it may have been only 30C. I was drinking a 600ml sports water bottle every 3km or so. I wasn’t taking enough electrolytes though as I kept forgetting them.
I was on my way to Mulege 64km away. Palo Verde at around 43km would have been the logical finishing place for me but I had a possibility of a motel room in Mulege a further 21km away. If I was to stop in Palo Verde, which only had a tienda, grocery store that would mean a short day the next day or forget about the room and just run through Mulege towards Loreto.
Once yesterday I noticed my urine was dark, actually rusty brown colour, like the drained off water from a box of nails that had been sitting out in the yard. Could it have been all the cola I had been guzzling in the last week, I wondered. Often when I ran into a tienda I would buy a 2 or 3 litre bottle and savagely guzzle half of it on the spot. Soda dehydrates, so that will have to be drastically cut. I had been drinking 3-5 liters a day like this thinking I was getting a boost and my electrolytes were being helped. I had forgotten about the caffeine and the dehydrating factor of cola. Yesterday I just drank more water and hydrated fairly well.
Then I noticed it again this morning. I began to get worried. I drank more water. Just before Palo Verde at km marker 156 the rusty nail water was back. I peed a small amount into an empty 4 liter water bottle. I told Javier I wanted to go to Mulege hospital for a check up. I was really worried. I wondered if the run was over. In the last half hours running between that first and second alarming pee I greeted each km marker as my buddy.
” Hello again old buddy, I have met you so many times since Dublin.
” How many more times will I see you? ” I wondered.
I called it a day there and then. On the way to Mulege, Javier innocently kept trying to encourage me to sight see in the town, it’s very pretty he said.
Sorry Javier, I know you mean well but I got more serious issues on my mind. At Mulege hospital we were ushered into a doctors examination room.
I brought in the bottle of rusty nail water to the doctor who reassured me it was not blood more like a very low water concentrate. She first put me on a water drip and then on an electrolyte drip.
Its funny how ones focus can change so quickly. As I lay on the bed for over an hour I was confident I would be okay. In fact my biggest problem was how to get back to where I finished 21km away if I stayed herein Mulege tonight. Would the police bring me back at 3 or 4am? I doubt it, I really hadn’t got the nerve to ask, same with Javier. Then I thought as soon as I got out of here I would would ask Javier to bring me back to the tienda where I could hang out till around 5.30pm till it cooled and run on to Mulege.

 Amazingly I had the doctors blessing! I would take it nice and gentle and have a rest day tomorrow.
We got to Palo Verde having dropped 2 water bottles on the way for me to pick up on my run into town. Javier then told me he was not returning to Mulege but going onto Santa Rosalita and would not be returning for a couple of days. Had I known this I would have left Nirvana in Mulege now I got to push her a long 21km unnecessarily.
So I waited for almost 2 hours at the tienda for the day to cool off. I drank lots of water and fruit juice, ate pot noodles, canned veg and tuna.
I left at 5.30, it was not as cool as I would have liked but I could not wait any longer.
I ran on pushing Nirvana, my progress was slow but steady. I had been nervously drinking lots of water which had sachets of electrolyte mixed. Then it happened, I peed the rusty nail water again. I eased off my effort and thankfully there was a huge 3km steep downhill to Mulege. In town I phoned my contact. The motel possibility didn’t happen. I went to the police station and asked to stay. Then I went out for something to eat. The only place open was a hamburger joint, so hamburger it had to be.
As I sat there a group of vacationing students from Ensenada spotted me and came into the restaurant. I had stopped them earlier to ask for directions. In the meantime they had gone back to their parents rented holiday home and checked out my site. Their father Kevin who was born in Texas but spent most of his life in Colorado, California and now 21 years living in Mexico. Kevin now makes a modest living as a scrap metal trader. He is married to Lourdes, a Mexican.



After they checked out my site Lourdes expressed her horror and told the kids to go back to town and search for me till they brought me back!
I told Kevin I also needed a rest day and he, Lourdes and the family made me so welcome there for my 2 nights.
Kevin told me he got sick of working day and night in the states, the rat race and never seeing your kids been so busy working.
Here in Mexico, things are a bit more laid back, you don’t need a lot to survive.
Mexicans are great survivors, hard workers and they always seem to find a way to exist.
Here in Mexico kids come and visit their parents and grand parents not just occasionally but every day. In the states how many kids can say that. Here there is a great family life, he told me.
” Back in the states the parents often end up dying in nursing homes.
” Here they die in their home surrounded by their family. ”
The he went on.
” I am not a rich man but every year we come down here for a months holiday fishing and lazing around the lake. It’s heaven and all I had to do was sell 2,000 pieces of fruit to raise the cash for the gas and to be able to rent these 2 holiday houses. They cost $500 for the month. ”
I have noticed property is very cheap here. I saw a sign for a one bedroom holiday home in this beautiful location for only $1,200 for 6 months.
Actually I didn’t stay two nights really, as on the second I set out at 2.30am. This has to be the plan whenever possible. The problem this first night was I didn’t get to sleep before setting out. On the road it was nice and cool but I was shattered. There was little traffic, I was well lit up, have my hi-viz vest and can hear traffic and see their lights far off. That means I can ‘ play both sides of the road ‘ changing over to the opposite side when a vehicle approaches.
I got friendly with a construction crew who were building a bridge. There was a huge clearance underneath so I took a lovely nap under it for several hours. Around 6pm as the workers were going home I asked one if it was safe to stay a few more hours till about midnight when I would set out running the next day.
He told me probably not because of the casabelle snakes!
What! I had been there all afternoon and had forgotten about them. He told me there were many in the fields and I would be lucky to see one!
Did he say Luuuccccckkkkyyy!
When he told me there was a restaurant only 4km away I was off running!
I arrived in a nice resort area called Playa Buenaventura. I noticed the mini-mart had a sign saying closed because their whole stock had been robbed.
A group of American kids, from where else, San Diego, gave me 3 bottles of water. All the Americans in Baja seem to be from California, especially San Diego.
Construction crews are also good at topping me up as I have met them on roads where there are not many services. The kids brought me over to the restaurant. The owners Mark from, yes you guessed it! And Olivia,his Mexican wife told me they had just taken a couple of days off as a group of 8 booked and they turned out to be 18 from yes… S. D.
I apologized and did not want to bother him or his wife on their day off. They said I could lay my sleeping bag out on their deck, so I slept for a couple of hours till Mark woke me up saying he had some left over sandwiches and I was welcome to join them in the bar.
Inside the bar I asked Mark about the shop across the road. It turns out it was his and some people just turned up to take it away from him.
” A gang? ” I asked.
” No not exactly, people with suits and papers.
” We didn’t know about this stuff till we came here.
” Some of the people have left, there are only a couple of loosers left,
” I am hoping they will leave soon, they even sold one of our wardrobes today. ”
This was all a bit confusing to me and Mark seemed caught between not wanting to talk and telling me this, so I just changed the subject, thanked them for their kindness and went back to sleep for another couple of hours.
Next morning it was really hilly. My pace was even slower as I was carrying a lot of water now, up to 10 liters. Am also taking the advice of my pharmacist friend Greg who advises half water and juice with a pinch of sea salt per liter. Sea salt has extra potassium and other nutrients regular salt does not have.
After 44km of beautiful scenery, spectacular beaches, mountains and the sight of 2 eagles sitting on top of a cactus I arrived at a rancho restaurant.

I had been hoping I could sleep a few hours some where out back till late evening when I would start running again. The owners of the restaurant didn’t seem to have a problem but the mean spirited man whose property it was on did.
I ran on another km and got stopped by a fun-loving construction crew that took a liking to Nirvana. The wheel barrow operator asked me which I thought was the heaviest, his wheelbarrow of concrete or Nirvana. The barrow of concrete, I remember only too well!
So we had a race up route one and I won easily!



20km up the road, which was 64 for the day I stopped at Rancho San Juan Londo for my second carne asada for the day. The people here were really nice, I really needed to stay here tonight as I dont want to go on again.
I hustled my way to sleep by asking one of the owners what the Spanish name for a hammock was. It was in a shady area at the side of the restaurant.
He said something like ” Maca ” and then ask me if I would like to try it. Good he fell for the bait. I tried it and fell asleep for about 3 hours, then got up after hours and lay my sleeping bag out on the floor.
I was away a bit late, about 5am. I noticed the pad area behind my toes on my right foot was a bit swollen. I took a couple of Nurofen Plus tablets and put on a new pair of shoes.
Not sure if it was as a result of the extra mileage I had to run yesterday but today’s 30k to Loreto will be like a half-day, nice and easy. I have been promised a room in town by Pablo the Tourism Secretary for Baja Sur.
On the way I stopped at a military checkpoint soon after I started. The reason for all the military checkpoints is because the Mexican president has said the best way to defeat the drug cartels is with the military. There is also a lot of military movement of troops in Hummers all over Baja and I presume all over Mexico.
The young soldiers were delighted to see me and when I told them what I was doing they got me to sign my autograph!
I asked one had he any coffee and when he said yes I told him to stick on the kettle.
As I sat there waiting for the kettle to boil one of the soldiers jokingly asked if I would swap my running shoes for his boots. Then an American family whose truck was towing a power boat ignored my good morning greeting. I think because I was sitting down talking to the soldiers that they thought I was having a problem.
Behind me was a noticeboard with wanted pictures of the various drug cartels.
Just down the road and still in darkness a brown scorpion sat on the road waiting for me! I took a photo but in the darkness it did not come out well. I side stepped around it, thankfully it didnt move. It did when a car ran over it with the wind gush the scorpion got blown up and smacked against the cars undercarriage loosing a limb which separated on the road.
On I ran to Loreto, phoned Pablo he told me to make my way to the Hotel Desert Inn. Just then Green Angel/Angeles Verdes Manuel arrives to escort me to the hotel.

Manuel immediately gave me an air of professionism. He asked me what time I plan to start and as I have a nice hotel room I thought I would have a long lie in till 4am.

I told him I would run out of town and perhaps meet him on the road somewhere. These guys dont start work till 8.30 or so. At the Desert Inn Loreto  I was given a warm welcome by the receptionist and staff.
I haven’t had any hydration problems since. I am now more worried about the ferry from Baja to the Mexican mainland as it is booked out for the rest of the year but I am being told there is a big effort going on to get me a place.

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Thursday, July 14th, 2011



9,000km Run!

9,000km Run!

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Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Bienvenido a mis amigos mexicanos querido! Gracias por cuidar de mí tan grande aquí en México.
Mi sitio web tiene una traducción al español la posibilidad!
Por favor, sólo tiene que desplazarse hacia abajo y seleccione el idioma español en la herramienta de TRANSLATE en el lado derecho de mi página de blog. Espero verte en el camino!  Tony

I got a nice early start this morning , 4.35am. Sergio drove his police patrol truck behind me. He had commutted me back the 14ks to km marker 80 from Villa Jesus Maria. It was a nice morning running along at this early hour. Oh if only all running in hot climates could be run during the night! It is not always possible due to dangers, traffic etc not to mention little local interaction. Still it’s nice when I can do it.



On the road to Guerrero Negro today I noticed that the landscape is slowly changing from the almost barren land to more and more green. I never realized there were so many different species of cactus plants.

Jesus took over from Sergio and Pablo, a Green Angel made an appearance. Nice one I am now being looked after by Jesus and an Angel!

After about 50 of todays 55km we approached the Baja Sur or Baja South state line. I could see it a long way off as  a gigantic Mexican flag flew from a tall pole.

I had been told that state lines here in Mexico were like crossing international borders. I think I will have 9 Mexican states on my route but here I was just waved through by the millitary when I pointed to Pablo just behind.

” He is my amigo ” I said to the guard in Spanish.

So over into South Baja and a new time zone which is mountain standard time -7 hours gmt. I never experienced a time zone change going from north to south, as I had always experienced time changes from east to west or v.v.

On I ran the final 5km or so to Guerrero Negro where I was met by a police officer who whisked me through the town at a faster pace than I wanted after 55km! I stayed in the Commandancia as they call the police stations in this part. This one was a compound of sorts and even had a chance to shower!

Out on the road on my own at 6am making tracks for Viscano. The traffic is much heavier now. As I continue south everyone tells me it’s going to get hotter and hotter but I just tell them I have no choice, I just gotta keep on running. If I was cycling I would be able to put in 3,000km in a month and `escape `oppresive weather but the trans-contintential runner does not have much choice as it is so hard to get everywhere on the route the way I would wish.


This week I seem to managing the heat better than last week. It was a long hot day. A motorist called Edgar stopped to check on as the American cops would say `welfare` Edgar then drove to the next town and brought me back a coke and a bag of crisps, thanks Edgar!

I trundeled on, it was a long day and made only brief stops. My progress was slow but when I arrived in Viscaino around 8pm I had clocked up a new record for the trip, 75.1km :)

The next day I got a late start, around 8.30 and to be honest it was because I was shattered! Eventually I got going and ran over 46km to a restaurant called Campo Fisher out in the middle of nowhere, like a little oasis.

I had a fish dinner for a change. I already had my eyes on the foyer as a place to sleep tonight. I waited till about 9pm to ask, knowing well the people would be so agreeable as they always are to long distance hikers and cyclists. I was told I could sleep on a hammock. I heard a couple of sniggers as they watched el Gringo through their window getting in to the hammock. A couple of sways but I managed. I don`t know how good hammock sleeping is for ones back as mine was a bit sore for a while.

Next day 10th July (Happy birthday to my brother Brian!) I was planning on a similar location in a small town called Bonfil.

It was Sunday but hordes of farm workers were still being transported to the fields to work. They are often transported in old yellow American school busses. The bus waits there for the day till its time to go home.

Just short of halfway I spotted a Green Angels truck parked outside a restaurant, went inside, introduced my self with my Baja North letter of introduction and a newspaper cutting. Rorlando and Juan Alberto were most agreeable to helping me.

Rorlando and Juan Alberto

I asked them would the mind waiting till I got something to eat and was amazed it took an hour to get my omelet. Evertime the waitress brought out something to a customers table she wheeled out a trolley, even for 2 milk shakes at the next table, handing them one at a time. As an American lady who lives here told me, everything is so laidback, muy tranquillo!

Eventually we got going, it was very hot but I managed to run a fairly decent pace for the last 30km of todays 45.7km. I was glad the boys had Nirvana in their truck and what a slice of luck spotting them back there as most of the afternoon was mountainous.

I had just been thinking of how when I ran through the deserts in Arizona and California how so many people had stopped to give me water and here it rare. Then within 2km 3 times people stopped! First was a woman that handed me an ice cold litre and a half bottle of water and a bunch of flowers! I dont know if I was supposed to stick the flowers in the bottle but I had different ideas!

I gave the flowers to the boys and stuck the water in my mouth :)

200 meters up the road a man out for a picnic with his family stopped, gave me a coke and water for the lads.

And then minutes later two californians from San Diego stopped, shot some video, gave me a couple of powerbars and more water for us all.

So all watered up I ran into the dusty town of Boniface with its friendly locals. As I said I had been thinking of camping around the back of a restaurant and the Angels said they knew a likely place called Restaurant Tuxpan. Just then a police officer arrived and I reckoned there was no plan here, he just happened to be passing and stopped to investigate. I asked him could I sleep in their station, which as far as I could see unless they got another building, was a one room office with an adjoining jail cell.

So after dinner in the Restaurant Tuxpan the owner’s husband, Juan Angel,gave me batteries for my Spot when he saw me changing them! He also gave me a much needed shower opportunity!

This is a problem I got now as I run through more and more desolate areas. My clothes are constantly drenched from perspiration. It just ends up drying in very quickly, I don’t know what else to do as I cant carry a suitcase around with me. I find if I wash clothes they are not fully dried out the next morning anyway and its not as simple as it sounds when I got so much to do.

Tonight I just took off my pants and went around the town in my underpants as they looked like trendy lack shorts, what the Hell!

Anyway the Angels had taken Nirvana away in their truck and said they would meet up with me on the road around 8.30 in the morning. I just kept my 3 liter Camelback, daypack with a small light-weight  sleeping bag. I would run on on my own till I saw them.

Eventually I went around to the police stations small room. I slept on the table.There was an adjoining prison cell.

In the middle of the night 2 off duty officers came in for a document. I was relieved I could explain that I had permission!

Next morning I was leaving in the dark and just about every dog barked, I was glad I had my dog detterent device!

On the way I passed a grey Cascabele snake,which I am told is venemous. I blended in with the roads tarmac and I just saw it in the nick of time. Not sure if it was alive or dead, I didn`t wait to ask!




I was glad I had Rorlando and Juan Albertos help today as it was very hilly and hot.

I was told today was up around 40 C. It was slow progress but we made it to Santa Rosalina.

One again, you guessed it I was directed to the police station.

Last week I averaged 53km per day. The 9,000th km was clocked up today!

I am just getting

The tourism secretary emailed  me to say he was delighted that the Mexican peoples warmth towards me was as warm as the suns warmth!

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Thursday, July 7th, 2011

One of the locals in Catavina told me a bit more about the Italian man that went missing for 6 days. (Details in a previous posting) He had been staggering around aimlessly looking for his way back to the road after he got fatally lost looking for paintings in caves that Jesuit settlers had lived in hundreds of years ago.

I asked this person to take me up to the caves. I can´t understand why the 38 year old school teacher from Rome would have gotten lost in the first place. There is a clear trail from the parking area all the way to the caves. In fact you can see a clearly visible sign from the parking lot. It took me 5 minutes to walk up the trail.

My new friend told me that for $5 he could have hired a guide, but didn’t want to pay the money. Had he dropped into the police station I am sure the officers would have helped him.Either way, I cant understand how he could have gotten so easily lost and drifted 6km inland when the roar of the highway can be heard a long way off. It all sound of a classic case of panic to me. The third anniversary of this tragedy is today, 7th July.

Later I dropped around to the station. Like every police station I have been to in Mexico the police are doing a great job with their limited resources. Most stations barely have running water or a functioning toilet. Often they have limited communications, here no telephones, just radio.Much of this area has no power, so most buildings are fitted with solar panels, or just do without power.

We loaded up a large water tank and hose into the back of their patrol truck and drove over to a water well. Most of the towns folks get their water from here. Today we would be doing a community service to a very elderly couple that do not have the facilities to haul the water or pay the $5 a local entrepreneur charges for the service.

Francisco and his wife were delighted. They invited us inside their very basic house for coffee, much of our time there was spent chasing away the endless amount of nuisance flies. Over coffee Francisco told me he once  had it made trading precious stones all over the world. He had lived in London for 4 years in the seventies before being exposed to some very bad deals which results in him and his wife spending the rest of their lives living in squalor, but they seemed happy and contented to me.

I had given Jose Luis and Rafael my worn out 14th pair of running shoes as a souvenir. I even signed them.



 Their friend Sorrell and her assistant who run a restaurant had invited us over for breakfast and dinner that day. After dinner we filled up the patrol truck with petrol bought at the side of the road from a local man called Laley.

It is about 100km each way to the nearest petrol station so some people like Laley make a decent living selling it at a premium amount, about 50% above the normal rate. I would imagine even at such a price that the sight of one of these guys at the side of the road with their assortment of cans and tanks is a Godsent to out of fuel drivers. Laley has to obviously haul it himself and then stand out in the scorching sun all day but it seems many people are far from thankful, preferring to give him dogs abuse.

Next day, Monday, 4th July I wanted to run a big total and dedicate it to my many friends north of the border. Jose Luis and Rafael dropped me back to where I left off the day before my rest day.

I was feeling great as I ran on. It was just after 5am. A beautiful cool, fresh morning. After about 15km we met up with Martin and Pablo from the next district. They would take over escort services now. I had become very close to Jose Luis and Rafael, two wonderful people and once again, the hard part, the departure.

So I ran on another 10km with my two new friends Martin and Pablo driving about 10 meters behind me. We stopped at a restaurant owned by Eugenio, one of their friends. I could tell Eugenio enjoys company and conversation, he was very interested in my run and breakfast was on the house. I could only eat half of it so the other half was packed up for the road.

Out on the road, my arms and legs were pumping like super efficient pistons, I was really feeling strong. I was thinking of breaking my run record of 68km for my American friends.

Another 22km and it was still late morning. I had 47.2km in the bag when I stopped for lunch. It was warm that morning but I was managing well. I wonder if I am becoming accustomed to the heat now. So I sat out in the back of the patrol pick up for lunch of my left over breakfast and a thermos of delicious tortilla soup Poly the waiter of the Hotel Mison Catavina had saved for me.

Just then it started raining, slight at first, then thunder, lightening and eventually heavy rain.

We sat in the truck for a long time as the rain hardened. I had no inclination to go out running in this, even though I will surely be caught out in the rainy season, due soon. Even just getting to my next km marker to finish the day would have meant a terrible unnecessary soaking. I had 47.2k chalked up for the day. So with the whole afternoon ahead of me, 21km short of a certain record, I disappointingly called it a day. Martin bravely jumped out and stuck 2 empty cola bottles under a rock to mark my finish position which was just 200m beyond Km 266.

The lads commutted me back to their police station in Punta Priesta a little over 40km away.

I was introduced to Juan Manuel Torres-Arce, the Jefe, pronounced Hay-Fay, or boss. I signed a few autographs! No getting away easy here with just one or two names, everyone here proudly gives at least 4 names and no omissions are allowed!

Next to the station there was a half constructed house which was to be mine for the next two nights. There was a big table and a mattress inside the door and windowless building. I climbed up on that table at around 4pm and crashed out for almost 11 hours as I had not slept at all the night before due to the heat. This was Heaven.

Next day I was escorted in turn by Martin, Pablo and another officer called Jose.

After an enjoyable 42km I ran into Punta Prieta and waiting outside the station for me was the editor of the peninsulas only newspaper, El Vigia. He had just driven over 500km from Ensenada with a photographer and a journalist! Three of them when surely one would have been enough! I told them how much I was enjoying myself, how good the police, Green Angels and the Mexican people are. A few other basics and the just upped and left after taking 2 pictures of me running holding a copy of El Vigia! I ran on another 14km and was joined by Jaime who followed in his Green Angels truck. I finished with almost 56km today and was driven back to my house again.

Wednesday morning I made it out onto the road at 5.15am. I was a bit sluggish for the first couple of hours as it was a tough hilly morning.

Pablo was my escort, on the passenger seat he had placed his rifle. I ran with him for 35km, stopping in Rosarito to buy a gallon of orange juice, most of which I downed on the spot in half an hour. Yesterday I drank about 5 litres of soda and about the same amount in water.

We came to a military checkpoint, I ran right through once the commanding-officer spotted me he waved me on. He had obviously been informed as Alberto a police officer from Villa Jesus Maria department was waiting for me.

While we were transferring Nirvana and my vast collection of water bottles a kind man gave each of us a cold bottle of water. I ran up a couple of very steep hills before the road disintegrated. The surface was very bad for fast running and then it was gone as we were directed onto a sand trail for about 2km due to the road works.

Two motorbikers from Washington state had bike trouble in the sand. Ahead in the distance I spotted a Green Angels truck. The Angels are also expert mechanics and assisting broken down motorists is part of their remit. I reckon they were coming out to escort me but as I had Alberto I advised the driver about the broken down Americans.

About an hour later I got to km marker 80 which was 50 for my day. the bikers flew by and waved. The Angel told me they just needed a minor adjustment to their break which he was able to do.

Alberto commuted me to Villa Jesus Maria where I showered in a prison cell. My room for the night would be in the dining room, thankfully!

Alberto brought me down to a restaurant owned by a very nice lady called Paulina. One of the diners there, a truck driver hauling tyres bought me my steak dinner :)

I am back in the police station now typing this update on their computer. The officers are a nice bunch.

The adventure rolls on.. I can´t believe I am doing this, being escorted through Mexico and enjoying it so much. Today I looked back at Pablos patrol truck with its flashing beacons as I ran effortlessly up those hills. Never in my wildest of dreams did I expect to be having these kind of adventures, in travel books they were of someone else, now they are mine. I am living my dream and intend to hold onto it for every mile.



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Wednesday, July 6th, 2011


TOTAL FOR 198  ROAD DAYS = 8,735.9 KM  =  5,426 (Miles approx)

July 6th 2011. From km 30 to km 80, on Mex route 1. 50km run today. Commute to Villa Jesus Maria

July 5th 2011. From km 252.2 to km 30 on route 1. NOTE: km markers reset to zero on km 282, 55.8km run today. Commute to/from Ponta Prieta

July 4th 2011. From Km 209 to Km 256.2km on Mex Route 1, Total run = 47.2km

Commute to/from Ponta Prieta.

July 3rd 2011. Rest day in Hotel Mison Catavina.

July 2nd 2011. From Km marker 159 to 209 on Mex.Route 1,  50km Run Today.

Hot 37C Max. Commute to/from Catavina

July 1st 2011. Rancho el Descanso (km 108.1)  to Km marker 159.  50.9km run today,

V Hot! 36C Commute to Catavina.

June 30th 2011. El Rosario to Rancho el Descanso. (Km marker 108.1) 49.6km on route 1.

June 29th 2011. Palapa’s Tanto  to El Rosario. 27km on route 1.

El Rosario is the start of the Baja Desert. Early day to stock up on supplies and

take advantage of  tourism secretary Ramon’s kind offer of a motel :)

Also been promised a 40km escort tomorrow.

June 28th 2011. Vicente Guerrero to Palapa’s Tanto, 55.5km on route 1

Note on route 1: At km 196 (San Quintin) the km markers went back to zero!

So I started at km 172 and ended at km 31.5

June  27th 2011 Camalu to Vicente Guerrero, 15km on Mexico Route 1.

June 26th 2011. Colonel to Camalu, 30.4km on Route 1.

June 25th 2011. 5km north of San Vicinte (km marker 85.7) to Colonel, 41.6km on Route 1.

June 24th 2011. Acambaro  Restaurant to  5km north of San Vicinte, 45.5km on Route 1.

June 23rd 2011. San Antonio de las Minas to Acambaro Restaurant, 58.3km on Route 1.

June 22nd 2011. Testerazo to San Antonio de las Minas, 45km on Routes 3 and 1.

June 21st 2011. Tecate (Mexico) to Testerazo, 49km on Mexico Route 3.


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Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Breakfast in Hotel Mision Catavina I was thanking my lucky stars that Rafael turned up at 5am and not 4 as I had such a late night and needed the extra hour in bed. I munched a burrito on the way to yesterdays finish. So I was off and running at 5.25am. Nice and cool. It was easily a new record early start time, by a long shot. The 21km run into Catavina I felt so strong zipping along the road. There was very little traffic at that early hour. Soon the sun was up. By 6.30 it was already starting to heat up. It’s probably at San Diego levels by now. I can’t keep track of the days on this run, I guess it doesn’t really matter every day is the same to me. I thought it was Sunday morning and not Saturday. This run was glorious, It felt like a Sunday morning run with my running club MSB back in Dublin. Inevitably my thoughts turned to food. I thought of the wonderful breakfast I was missing back in Hotel Mison Catavina. Yes eggs benedict would really go down really well now. I shook my fist at the sun and shouted in my mind.. ” Shame on you making me miss my breakfast, You hot devil! ” Then I realised it was not the suns fault I missed my breakfast, This is a self imposed death sentence :( Then all the the planets and the stars aligned, a great flash of wisdom reached this part of Planet Baja! Of course I would be running past the hotel at 21km! Yes I will survive a stay of execution one more time. :) Ah yes, running on I left the Hotel Mison with eggs benedict lining my stomach. I felt strong, able and like a soldier going off to battle with the great enemy in the sky. I had, had a break for an hour and a half. Waiting outside for me were Jose Luis and Rafael. On I ran for another chunk of this desert peninsula. Baja is over 1,700km, over 1,000 miles long. The famous Baja 1,000 (mile) rally runs the length of the peninsula takes place every June. I was told that the rally drivers drive like Hell taking incredible risks. In fact, the roads are not closed, so deaths are inevitable. From what I can tell the northern and southern sections are the populous areas with the central area where I am now less so. As mentioned in my last blog this area also has much less traffic, about 300-350 vehicles while I am on the road. On the times that I ave run on my own I have also noticed that the drivers here are very courteous. A bit further on at km 33 for the day I stopped for about 20 minutes under a shady tree. It was now beginning to heat up and I was suffering. The lads joke saying with all the slow driving that they are more tired than me! An off duty police officer friend of the lads came out and gave us a couple of Cokes each. Jose Luis wrenched off the metal cap off the glass bottle with his Browning 9mm. He held the pistol pointing down to his groin area as he yanked the cap off the bottle, the thoughts of it! I was told that in the past this area had a bad name as there was no police force here. It was common for American people to get stopped on the highway and to be relieved of their luxury cars, rv’s, boats etc. Many people from all over Baja buy US vehicle, typically Californian and just leave the registration plates on them even though they are supposed to replace them with Mexican plates, very few do. I have seen plates with US registration dates as far back as 2006, presumably it was much easier for the ‘ commandeered vehicles ‘ to blend in with these in the past. Now in an effort to bring law and order to the place, police officers like Jose Luis and Rafael come in here from other towns for 7 day shifts. They are on call 24/7. The area has been cleaned up of a lot of it’s problems. Americans now drive at will up and down the peninsula. The road cut up due to road works. I ran a 10km section, most of it uphill covering my mouth and nose every time a vehicle went by. I stopped a couple of times, it was really brutal going. I pulled on all the reserves of my competitive career as an extreme runner that kept me going. Than at 49km with the lads gone on to wait for me at the finish a couple of cars stopped. I was told one was a Japanese, there were a couple of other nationalities that I didn’t get. One of the men came out to take my photo. I asked him did he have a soda. He said Root Beer soda or Coke. I said Root Beer. Then he said We got Root Beer, Coke or Sprite. Root Beer! I replied. Then he went on, We got Coke or Root beer! Then as in a race I snapped, for its very normal and expected for the crew person to take the stress from their runner. ” Anything! I am very tired. Can you give me the Root Beer please? ” A scurry was made for the cooler. I did not stop. I think it was the Jap that ran after me and gave me that delicious cool Root Beer soda. It tasted so good in the 37 degree heat. Then I told the lads if they wanted to talk about my run we could meet at the next km marker but advised them to put away their beers as my friends the cops will be there! I never did see them as I cantered up to today’s finish line. I fell into the patrol truck. Rafael had been doing the driving. I was in the middle between him and Jose Luis. And just like finishing one of those 48 hour races from years ago a sudden tiredness hit me at the finish. It was always funny then as the winners are called to the podium, dressed for the presentation in our hot tracksuits. As usual these occasions go on for an unbearable amount of time as the top 3 men and women stand close together, eyes closed, swaying around almost knocking each other off we would catch and hold each other before finally being allowed to sit on the podium. It was this sudden tiredness I felt as we drove back to the Hotel Mison Catavina. I was really scared I would fall against Rafael as he drove, so much so that I almost asked them to stop in order to trade places with Jose Luis. On the way Jose Luis told me that there is a huge interest in my run along the peninsula, news has spread like wild fire. Nobody has ever heard of anyone running the length of it before, especially at the hottest time of the year. He said that in the next town there are many people that want to welcome me. I am working on a rest day tomorrow. The difference in my expended effort for today’s first 21km in the relative coolness of the morning and the late morning and early afternoon was very evident to me. I promised myself I would start as early as possible each day. That’s a phenomenon of this sport of ultra running as most call it but I prefer the expression extreme running, is that no matter how shattered we are today we are generally confident we can do it all over the next day if we want to. My insatiable passion and desire to pull this world run off is the fuel that drives me forward Back in my room I needed a short nap of about 30 minutes before facing the shower. I did not want to crash out for the entire evening so to ensure I didn’t I played one my AC/DC albums on my ipods external speakers! It worked! Don’t know why I didn’t set my alarm, brain fry I guess!

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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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