Archive for July, 2012

In Argentina… At Last!

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Update…. 1 Aug. 500 road days on Tuesday :)   Total is 20,789km I know a lot of people are looking at the 1,000  marathons in 1,000 days!

Not bad to be only 7 or so behind at the halfwasy mark, what with 6,000 plus km in the Andes for over 6 months! I admid to having one eye on it but have to be careful about injury or fatigue etc, so lets see!

My Spot tracker did not update last two days.. I am sick of its poor performance. I am in Humahuaca and expect to arrive in San Salvador de Jujuy on Friday. I am still in the mountains but at a lower altitude, around 3,400 metres. I expect to have them totally behind me in about a week.. I am no longer a mountain lover these days!  :)

Sorry for the lack of updates but I have so much going on when I do get online it is overwhelming me. I am late starting today due to more urgent work required… Anyway thanks for the support and I will keep plugging away for the next 500 road days:¡Hi all.. I arived in Argentina this morning, Friday and took a rest day/preparation day for my run to the end of South America and the worlds most southern city of Ushuaia, another 4,800km away.
Many years ago.. 1983 to be exact I spent 5 months cycling and hitch-hiking in this country.
The people were so wonderful having many asados = The finest steaks in the world bar-b-q´s in my honour :) I had such a wonderful time and ever since have called it my fav country in the world.. Supporting them in world cups etc! I still remember a song that was in the charts here at that time called ” Tranquillo ”
Many readers know I lived in Colorado for 8 years and that in many ways is my second home.. Well Argentina is my third home of sorts!
I have to admit as they say one should not return to a place one has had such a great time in, just in case it dissapoints the second time.. On this run countries are under greater scrutiny, more than ever.. So lets see… I am so happy to be back here after a long 29 year wait!
Its great to be back in the first world with a bit more luxury.. Like hot showers, to be able to buy a map from of all places the Argentine Autmobile Club! air condition, not that I have been a fan of it, expresso coffee makers, doors that close and lock, French bread with olive oil and the last thing I expected in my hotel was a bidet!
Not to mention proper steaks, chocolate ( in Bolivia they gave me chocolate biscuits!!)

I was decimated by the lack of internet service in Bolivia but I have my notes and a lot of writing up to do for there.

I dont have my logbook here but roughly 20,680km for 496 road days. Yesterday was my 27th day in a row without a rest day and equals that record.
53km yesterday, Wed 38km, Tues, 66 and a very late finish Mon was about 40

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Argentine Route

Friday, July 20th, 2012

In Potosi after having no internet in 5 days. May be same on way to Tupiza. Expect to cross to Argentina in about 9/10 days..Can hardly wait :)

Am getting stronger, well relitively! as I am coming towards end of Andes. 44km today,Thurs and mostly uphill to here with only a short break 48km Wed. Total 20,291km.

Thanks to Fionnuala O Mara and Ed Bateman for their wonderful support!

For my Argentine route and details as far as Tierra del Fuego island press HERE

My finishing point in the Americas is Ushuaia, the most southern town in the world. Ushuaia is on an island, Tierra del Fuego just like Newfoundland and it will be necessary to get a ferry there. Click HERE for my Tierra del Fuego route and details. I plan to be there by mid November and will need to average a marathon a day with very few rest days! After that its New Zealand, south island first.

I have changed to this new route from the one on the ROUTE page.

Please note I am not running into Buenos Aires as its an extra 500km. But I will be making a side trip to pick up Nirvana from John Boyle who has been kindly minding her. I also look forward to meeting the great Irish community there. I will need Nirvana for the tough serviceless stretches of Patagonia.


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Saturday, July 14th, 2012



 Press HERE to view my video shot as I approached my 20,000th km of the world run

Km 251 on the Bolivian Pan American highway, high up on the altiplano was my 20,000th kilometre!

Hi all.. Sorry for lack of internet service, Bolivia is very bad for it. I will be running in remote locations towards Villazon and the Argentina border and expect some more poor service areas.


The big news is that 20,000km was reached on Thursday and am now at 20,094 for 484 road days. I expect to be in Argentina in less than 2 weeks. I am zooming through Bolivia now. Some days I want to run more but I am limited without a support vehicle and have stopped early on a few occasions. I am in great form! Got a huge amount to report but as always am time poor!

I also am not forgetting about the last few days in Peru and the first week in Bolivia but am submitting this report first.

More details and hopefully if the connection is good tonight I will upload the video I shot as I approached the 20,000 km marker along with the interview I gave myself!!  :)

Thanks everyone for your support and heres to the next 20 and 30 thousand!!





All week I was looking forward to running the 20,000th kilometre of the run. It was a bit surreal as I approached km marker 251, I just couldn´t believe that this was happening, after all the years dreaming and planning. And then as I finally approached it I even forgot to jump for joy and celebrate, instead I just took off my pack and shot a video!

I had promised myself a big steak and immediately laughed as the food has been terrible since leaving Colombia last February. Yes the food in Ecuador, Peru and here in Bolivia is appalling peasant food which is cold about 90 percent of the time. Amazingly the locals think its hot and think I am mad! Many times there is just a scrap of meat, ice cubed sized or chicken claws in the soup or rings of the claw mushed into rice.

 Imagine French fries left on a plate for an hour, well that’s what they call hot here and a kettle of once hot water left on a chair all day in a restaurant is called hot too!

In Peru I went the whole country without seeing an electric kettle being boiled, I was later told that is due to the expense, an electric kettle is used only as a last resort, most of the time I had to wait about 15 minutes for my coffee, I missed the great North American service of being greeted at the door with a coffee! Here everything is boiled on gas stoves in huge saucepans of water when you just want a cup!

I ran another 10km and finished earlier than expected in the village of Machacamarca, only a lazy 34km today out of the 20,010km run so far!

This may sound corny, and I am not very religious but I have often felt that something is guiding me through this run, like I am meant to do this run. I have not had a single setback and things always seem to work out, no matter how grim they look, I don’t worry about things anymore, they work out.

In this village I was told that the re was just one hospedaje and I had a tough job tracking it down to a restaurant called Parador Restaurant. I banged on the locked garage gate and two maids came out. They phoned the owner, a grey-haired lady with the unlatino sounding name of Donna Tallon.

When Donna came over she assured me that her family were 100 percent Bolivian.

Then she showed me the menu and I couldn’t believe it, llama steaks were on it and big steaks there were too! Not surprisingly llama tastes like tender lamb.


What luck! As I said, I longed for that steak and I got it, its amazing how these things are working out for me, sometimes I feel I am the luckiest person in the world.

After dinner I went down the lane to Donna’s shop and she showed me my room. I was sure it was a room in her house and a boys room as there were WWF posters on the wall and clothes everywhere, did I care – no not at all – another night safe off the road as lately accommodations are getting harder and harder to get.


Next day out on the road I am running happily towards Poopo when I get stopped by a cyclist whose father hails from England but he lives in Barcelona as his mother is Spanish. His name is Mateo and we stop for lunch in town. He is an English language teacher in Barcelona and every year goes off on a 2 month cycle, this year it is Bolivia.


On I run and a couple of hours later I get stopped by Italian cyclist Pablo.

Later that day after a 49km canter I stop for the night in a village called Pazna. Pablo is in the room next to me. I tease him by saying 4 nil! He thinks I am referring to the drubbing the Italians gave Ireland in the Euro 2012 soccer championships, in fact I am referring to the hammering Italy got by the same score in the final to Spain! We laugh and he cooks pasta, tuna, egg bread and coffee for dinner.


Next morning he makes me coffee and bread and jam. That tasted so good, it´s a long time since I had bread and jam. Foods I miss are an Irish fry up with rashers,sausages, drippy eggs, black and white pudding, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans and heavily buttered toast with a nice strong cup of Irish tea!

I run about 14km and stop for a snack in a village with the embarrassing name of Huancane.

I go down a laneway

And get a nice greeting from the Huancers.

I think these bowler hats age the women… I often wonder if they wear them in bed!

Inside the shop a man shakes my hand and asks me why my  hand is cold. I tell him my left isn’t as I was running with the sun at that side but the whole right side of my body is cold in that early morning cold spell.


In the shop I spot my first non-alcohol beer in over a year in Latin America. I guess Latinos are too macho for this. I don´t drink regular alcohol but enjoy the taste of non-alcohol beers. I can´t resist it, so I polish it off quickly.

Many people here are amazed that I am not interested in the world famous salt mine here. It seems tourists come from all over to view the largest salt mine in the world. I tell them I have no interest, that I am not a tourist and besides I have never heard of Bolivian salt before.

I have heard of 2 million year old sea salt with a best before date. So what will happen if you take a pinch of it a day after it´s expiration and after 2 million years!

The salt fields ran along the highway and attracted many llamas. All hunters know how game is attracted to illegal salt blocks.


It took a  bit of an effort to get going again but eventually I did, only to be stopped by three men who gave me a 2 litre bottle of cola. I fill up my almost empty water bottle and give them a world jog business card. I haven´t been giving many out in the last few months,  it´s best to keep a low profile, well as best as I can!

Approaching the small town of Challapata I suddenly realised that something was amiss.

There was a protest on the road, in fact it was a traffic blockade. Some of the protesters told me it was a protest for better roads. At first I applauded them and then was horrified to see that some of the protesters had catapults and were slinging rocks at vehicles that had broken the blockade.


I was horrified and told them so after I took a risk of taking a photo. I was a bit frightened I would be attacked and robbed in the mayhem and ran on. It seemed that many buses just turned around and dumped their passengers, invalids and all with heavy loads on the road. The innocent suffering it seemed to me and not the smartest of protests.

The protesters had blocked the road with rocks as traffic took dirt roads around the blockade.

35km today.


I got so many people to thank. It is not possible for me to draw up a list of all the wonderful supportive people that have helped in their own way by either giving me just water or a roof over my head for the night. You know who you are, thanks so much for helping and continuing to share this dream with me.

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Friday, July 6th, 2012



Many thanks to The North Pole Marathon for their continued support and commitment to the run :)

Please check out The North Pole Marathons website HERE

” By competing in the world’s coolest marathon, the North Pole Marathon, you can become one of a truly select few to race at the top of the world – at the Geographic North Pole. And you will feel on top of the world when you manage to overcome the extreme sub-zero temperatures to finish 26.2 miles in one of the remotest parts of the planet. ”

“I’ve been at the Pole before but this was pleasantly different in that I didn’t have to haul a sled there! The race is a unique combination of two things I enjoy: polar challenges and marathon running. It’s a great test of fitness and stamina. Well done.”
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, UK (Polar Explorer)





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Monday, July 2nd, 2012


Many Thanks to Marie-France Chabert for sponsoring my last couple of days in Peru!

Hi All. Things are very hectic for me at the moment!

On July 3rd I crossed into Bolivia, the 14th country of the run!

Latest: 19,750km for 475 road days.

4/7/2012 From Desaguadero (border ) to Tiwanaku,  = 42km Route from border to Pan American highway = 2km to km 112  and then to km 72.

5/7/2012. From km 72 to toll booth at km 37 in Laja = 35km today, tough run as was yesterday in the Bolivan Altiplano, short of breath sometimes and slow progress. Commute to La Paz tonight to send Heavy Bag south , as far as the Argentina border. Staying in The Adventure Brew Backpackers hostel and expect a late  start from todays  finish location in Laja tomorrow.


For my Bolivia route and details please click HERE

Latest: Sunday 1st July in Ilave about 92km from the Bolivian border. I now expect to cross on Tuesday.
I shot a video of my arrival in town today but due to a very bad connection have not been able to upload it yet. I will upload it as soon as possible. This was my first attempt at shooting a video. It was very exciting! I promise to do this more often.
I am in an area where Aymara Indians live. They have their own language and culture. Please press HERE   for more information on the Aymara people.
1/7/2012 From Chucuito at km 1,376 to Ilave at km 1,412. = 36km today.
30/6/2012  From Puno, km 1,359 to Chucuito at km 1,376 = 17km today. Late start as I couldn´t get out of bed till almost noon as I was shattered after two nights talking to Joss in Arequipa till 3am and 2 nights travelling!
27-29/6 travelling to and from and 2 nights in Arequipa for a short side trip to see my friend Joss and family.
26/6 From Juliaca at km 1,312 to Puno at km 1,359 = 47km today.

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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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