Archive for February, 2013
Country number 18 New Zealand has been run
52km today. Unofficial total 26,955km in 637 road days. NZ circa 1,600km in 37 road days.
Many thanks to my hosts Brian and Rose for last couple of days of fun and tonight to Paul and Grace in Invercargill.
They are an Irish couple from Leixlip who have been living here for three years. I don’t think they could have moved further from Ireland to any other place in the world, well other than Bluff 30km away.
Paul is working as an engineer on some of the Christchurch earthquake rebuild projects and regularly flies there from Invercargill on standby flights which cost less than the bus fare. So as I fly from Christchurch to Tasmania on Wednesday evening I have decided to take a standby flight with him on Monday morning which he says are so frequent that we are almost guaranteed to get away easily. In Christchurch he will be picking up a hired car and dropping me back to my friends Valmai, Dave and Phil’s house. I tell you Irish construction workers get over here, there is heaps of work on the 20 year rebuild project.
At the South Islands and New Zealands so called ‘ Lands End ‘ in Stirling Point just beyond Bluff I touched the ocean by falling on my backside on the slippery rocks. Well the Rolling Stones did unfairly call this area ‘ the arse-hole of the world ‘ when they rocked through here 50 years ago.
There at the bottom of the country I did an interview for the Southland Times. Taking my cue from Brian’s breakfast time joke I jokingly answered the question of what it feels like to be running more than a marathon a day with…
” It’s a bit like hitting your head with a hammer, It hurts like Hell when you are doing it and great when you stop ”
Actually today was a very enjoyable 52km day due to my very early start, so early I was hanging back on the run a lot so as not to be too early for my 5pm media commitments.
The television cameraman drove by set up his gear and got some really decent ‘ action shots ‘ at several locations on the highway. Then everyone drove on and left me wondering were they were on the long, winding picturesque and deceptive run towards and then through Bluff. The town looked so close but was so spread out to the far end that I was half an hour late for the interviews! I had hung back too much thinking I was closer than I actually was.
Then the actual interview for the local CUE television station a subsidiary of SKY 110 tv which can also be seen on Freeview ch 23 on Monday at 5.30 and repeated at 9.pm.
The interviewer having heard the newspaper interview asked me to answer in brief couple of sentence answers. Well that was ok for the first few answers but as regular readers can well believe it didn’t take long for Motormouth Mangan to warm up!
A lot of people were sightseeing in the Lands End area and were wondering what was all the media fuss about before I arrived.
Quick as a flash Brian told them.. ” They are looking for some Irishman who took a wrong turn in Dublin… Back in October….2010! ”
Then I ran up with a big smile.
On the way to Paul and Grace’s house Brian attempted to show me the local sights…
” Hey Brian show me the yellow arches! ” That was after we were thrown out of a closing pub that Brian told me we would get free coffee from. Well the hot chick there did give me free fish ‘n chips first!
On the way again Brian told me he has been living with Rose for 40 years and only proposed to her 4 years ago,
” You guys going on a honeymoon? ” I asked.
” I guess so, I gotta get to know her! ”
Thanks again to all the wonderful people of both island for making New Zealand so successful and an enjoyable running experience
Then I had one last thing to do.. Touch the water.
26,903km in 636 road days.
Hi All I finished in Dacre today with a 52km day, Thurs 54km and a couple of lazy 42 and 43km days before that! It was starting to look like 4 days to finish NZ on Wednesday night complexed by my Saturday night Invercargill hosts Paul and Grace going away for the weekend. So I decided to run three big days that is two down and a 52km last day still to come. That is running the four days in three days instead. Because of this I wont be at a loose end on Saturday night, so I decided to avail of an offer from my kind hosts Brian and Rose Railton of a rest/office day on Saturday (first in 36 days!) Brian is Alan Knox’s cousin. I stayed with Alan in Auckland at the start of my run down the country. They live in Wyndham and picked me up at the end of today’s run where I will return to as early as possible on Sunday morning. A television crew will be coming out to film and interview my last – and am sure – tired steps in Kiwi land on Sunday! Sunday night I will stay with Paul and Grace in Invercargill before returning to Christchurch for my Wednesday evening flight to Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. I am thinking of running straight out of the airport when I arrive around 9am Thursday! My flight has a layover in Melbourne for a few hours so my Michael Gillan my Australian mainland support driver will be coming out to meet me in the airport during this lay over for a chat. We take on the great wide open, right through the middle of Australia around 11/12 March. I can hardly wait for this segment!
Any area runners that want to run with me on Sunday you are more than welcome. It is best to check my location on this blog - you will see my location once I start running – join in where convenient for you.
Sundays route HERE
Wednesday night 27 Feb I fly to Tasmania, Australia via Melbourne. I meet my mainland support driver Michael Gillan in Melbourne airport during my layover there.
Only a few hours before my arrival for the great Australian adventure… I can hardly wait
To view my Tasmanian and Australian mainland routes please press HERE
Many thanks to Valmai here in Christchurch for her wonderful hospitality and permanent use of her computer these last three days. One night she had to get up at 2am to use it!
After reading this posting please click back a few postings by the backtrack arrows to see my eventual picture updating. Sorry to all the people involved for this very long delay.
Also check these three old postings which are even further back for photo updates, just click on the following numbers.
I still got lots of picture updating for New Zealand in my previous posts. Here is my last report from The North Island. I have finished my blog text for the South Island also.
One of those glorious days on the North Island I ran 46km. The last 20km with Kiwi ultra running tough man Perry Newburn who recently circumnavigated New Zealand, all 5,000km of it in an astonishing 10 weeks of running along the perimeter of both islands! Averaging about 70km a day with no rest day. 70km seems to be a number Perry.
He put some much needed zip into my legs! see his website www.perrysruns.co.nz
924km to be run on the south island as my flight has been booked from Christchurch to Hobart, Tasmania, Australia on Feb 27th. New Zealand’s immigration required me to have an onward ticket when before I could get on the plane from Fiji to Auckland.
After that a very early start to run a decent 38km, a shortish distance as I wanted to return to Perry’s house early am for an office day of sorts. It was another wonderful run! I felt great as I ran out from the house very early as yesterday we finished on his doorstep.
Perry drove on ahead a few km at a time and then after parking his car. He then kept running back to me to run on towards the car and so on till I finished at 10am as I need to do a lot of work today. I was delighted by my mornings run, thanks PerryMany thanks to Perry and Kathy for putting me up these last three also I a Radio New Zealand interview over the telephone from their house.
I mentioned during the radio interview I was looking for a place to stay in Otaki the following night, nothing happened.
I ran a wonderful 55km today, such spectacular views along the coast road then over Mt Cargill pass, though only 400 mts the climb was still a toughie! It was worth it as the descent was… C’est magnifique! Before that and after my host from last night Andrew dropped me back to yesterdays finish in Palmerston I stopped for breakfast in his house with his wife Cherie. Andrew took my pack onto Dunedin where he is a teacher. Heidi who is Andrew’s colleague in the school and her husband Derek are spoiling me tonight here in Dunedin. I appreciate this so much as they have their hands full with 3 month old Luca! At km 54 of today’s 55 I ran by the foot of the ‘ worlds steepest street ‘ aka Baldwin Street. 135 metres long it has a 1 in 3.5 gradient and at it’s steepest section is a 1 in 2.5 gradient. During the towns festival there is a race up and down the hill called the ‘ gut burster ‘ Remember this was at km 54 of 55, did I run up and down the gut buster? Well wait till I eventually get caught up with the blog proper to find out. Total: 26,712km for 632 road days. 32 consecutive since Auckland.
My route for the rest of the South Island press HERE
Tonight Friday I am staying on Geoff and Glenda’s farm. Nice people they took me inside for a bed for the night, fed me a delicious dinner when I stopped by just before a rain shower to ask if I could sleep in their barn.
Also on Wednesday I stopped in the Chequered Flag Cafe Bar in Rangitata just for a snack. The Dutch and English owners Cor and Linda offered me a bed for the night. Many thanks to all and also thanks to all those helping move my pack along the road.. Friday 43km, Thursday 53km Total 26,566km for 629 road days. Thanks to Alan Knox’s cousin Brian for his invite in Wyndham, Andrew in Waikouaiti, Paul and Grace for offer in Invercargill. Roughly 370km left to run on the South Island, I expect to have NZ run by the 23/24th Feb without a rest day!
Tomorrow Sat will be a new record 30 days straight on the run, Everyday is like Christmas Day, even if I sometimes get tired of the ham and turkey! I’m loving it like…. a huge whopper
I still got some blogging on the north island to catch up on in addition to my first week on the south island, in addition to adding the photos.
I just churned this entry out tonight when I had a rare internet opportunity.
It took me a while to clear Christchurch. I ran with a bit of sadness having just visited the center of the city to see what looked like a war zone. The devastation from the fallout of the February 2011 earthquake in which some 160 people lost their lives, homes, business not to mention all the jobs and economic losses. It was a surreal scene walking through the devastation through a city center ripped apart at the seams. Many people were walking around with cameras, last time I experienced such a sadness was when I visited the scene of New York’s former Twin Towers.
It seems the only winner is surely the construction industry which have a 20 year rebuild time frame. Many elderly have upped and left, they obviously cant wait for services as many young are prepared. I read that many construction firms cant get enough workers and rely on backpackers to fill the many vacancies. These construction agencies are advertising in Ireland and the UK at employment expos. I have been told there is a huge Irish community here working on the rebuild.
That night I made it to Rolleston 28km run after such a late start. I slept behind the BP petrol station on their picnic bench. I left my pack in the office just in case.
The next morning I was having a casual conversation with a very nice couple who said the were going to Ashburton on business, 50km away they said and after I asked them to drop my pack off at the BP station there I realized it was 61!
I always carry my summer sleeping bag in a waterproof bag slung around my shoulder, just in case I don’t make my destination. People may wonder at me handing over my possessions to strangers. Well I dont have many valuables in the pack, more the inconvenience of replacing them should I make a mistake. I usually ask someone who I have already been talking to and say how much I appreciate their help, photo them saying its for the blog with registration number of the vehicle if possible. I usually ask them to text me the drop off location and have them ring my phone there and then so as I can save their number, just in case I have a problem. Having said that I don’t always do all this, it depends on the situation but I have become an astute judge of character and am finding people only too delighted to help when I tell them what I am doing. After I get their drop off text I reply saying they have done more than their bit to help me run around the world
That days run to Asdhburton was a tough slogger of a day. After about 32km I came to the Rakaia river which meant I had to run over New Zealands longest bridge, a very narrow 2km bridge which had me sprinting between the gaps of heavy traffic. This was pretty scary stuff as often I had to jump off the bridge and onto the half meter pedestrian footpath whenever a vehicle approached. The fun started when trucks came from the front as well as the back. Everyone was in good spirits, the only honk I got was a ‘ good on ya matey ‘ honk from a trucker that held back from behind to let an advancing truck pass. I couldn’t help reflecting on those terrible drivers of southern Peru. Had this been there I would have been blasted off the bridge!
Over the bridge and into a cafe I went for a double one, no not whiskey, an ice cream which I felt I deserved. I had been fairly worried about this bridge and many others in New Zealand, this one in particular and this was the reason I did not take Nirvana with me across New Zealand.
That night I slept under fir trees in a park in Ashburton, shattered!
Thanks to my very kind host Valmai here for putting me up and accepting my 3 packages sent here including running shoes number 32 as last pair were run into the ground right up to Valmai’s door last night with a hole in the heel!
Christchurch has suffered a lot due to 2 relatively recent earthquakes in recent years. In September 2010 a 10 minute rattle of the city caused much damage but as it occurred in the middle of the night miraculously nobody was killed. A second earthquake occurred in February 2011 in the afternoon which unfortunately took the lives of around 160 people. This lasted just 18 seconds and caused significant damage to the cities infrastructure and peoples homes.
So obviously people are still dealing with these issues. I saw much of the damage on the run into the city, a city in rebuild mode. I understand there are significant as these tradespeople can’t find work back in Ireland.
I do not have internet service on the run as I cant be bothered with the constant hassle of keeping an Iphone charged up not to mention the many stops to keep checking it and am not going to have a second phone because of the lack of charging up facilities, so please, please if anyone is offering me a place to stay or wants to meet for a chat or run on my route south towards Bluff please TEXT me 021 08437842
I got a place in Invercargill, thanks Paul and Grace!
I got so many emails after 9 days and with a slow internet connection cant respond, or even open many important ones, sorry for this!
Anyway I expect to have NZ run within another 2 weeks all 610km of it. So far I have run around 26,045km in 624 road days. The last 24 without a rest day all the way from Auckland, I may just continue that streak all the way to Bluff. I have a flight to catch to Tasmania on 27th, so far so good
since Tony began his World Run on 25th October 2010
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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...