Archive for May, 2013

60 Day Indonesian Visa Has Been Approved! ‘ Terima Kasih! ‘ Mr. Ambassador

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Great news. I went along to the Indonesian embassy this morning and submitted my application for the all important 60 day visa which is renewable four times for up to 30 days a time. I also gave them a letter detailing the expedition with my proposed route etc.

The lovely lady at the first desk whom I spoke to yesterday seemed to be crossing her fingers and wishing this for me. She sent me over to two guys behind a counter to pay my $45 visa fee. They seemed to be a bit mystified asking for proof of the world run, so I asked them to check out the website. They did and still mystified sent me into the ‘ big boss ‘ for an interview! Not sure if this man was the Ambassador. He asked many questions mostly starting with ‘ But ‘ I felt this was not sounding good till he eventually asked….

” How many pairs of shoes have you used? ” :)

” 35 and I may use 20 more! ”

Then all the usual stuff before telling me to go back and pick it up tomorrow, which is a next day service special favour as normal processing time is three working days. As mentioned before I was going to run Timor-Leste and then return to pick up the visa when it was ready. Now its a lot easier for me to just wait, have the extra rest day, run this country and cross into Indonesia next week.

Before I left his office the Ambassador took my photo!!

Terima kasih Mr Duta! Maju ilook menjalankan indah Indonesia :)

Well thats one visa hurdle overcome in the visa nightmare that is Asia! I plan to travel to the south of Timor-Leste on Friday to a place called Betano and start running Asia from there more than likely on Saturday. I figured Betano to be a decent place to start as it’s the most realistic and closest place to Darwin, about 670km. It is part of my dream to match my route up as best as possible on a world map. From here I could easily have saved some days and gone straight from Dili to Indonesia or even from here north through north Indonesia to the Philippines and onto Hong Kong entering China 4 months earlier. That would have meant running China in the summer instead of a bitter winter, with 5,000km less meant a really easy last year. Instead, I got a tough time to the finish and an Asian winter. Already I am 5,000km beyond the 26,000km minimum distance required for a true ‘ world circumnavigation.’ And now this extra distance through South East Asia. Why? Because on a journey like this the dream is more important than any record. That’s what I meant before when I said that in many ways this run is in a way ‘ logically self ratifying ‘ In other words.. Because if I give myself all this what may seem unnecessary distance and bad weather  it would defy logic that I would cheat by taking a 5km lift and not returning to the route to run it! I choose this route because it’s the dream route.

Timor-Leste route from A to B on this map From B to C is the start of my Indonesian run. 4,000km through 6 islands. Press HERE to view

Terima kasih!

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In Timor-Leste

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013


Arriving in Dili, Capital of Timor-Leste. Sorry I looked away!

I arrived safely in Dili, Timo-Leste this morning. Known better as East Timor is one of the worlds newest countries celebrating its 11th anniversary as a democratic state  having won independence from from Indonesia . A former Portuguese colony, 98% Roman Catholic with a land mass of just 14,600km2, a population of just over a million. The official currency is the US Dollar.I very much feel like I am back in latin America, what with all the crazy traffic and motor bikes flying aound.

Tetum and Portuguese are the official languages, Indonesian and English are widely spoken.

Timor-Leste is the 20th country of the run, and the first country I feel a bit helpless with the language having a decent knowledge of Spanish.

My route here will be around 150km from Betano to Batuguede on the Indonesian border. I badly need a 60 day Indonesian visa. 60 day Indonesian visas are considered for ‘ special reasons ‘ I will submit a letter also explaining the run along with a business card printed in Indonesian, saying what I am doing. The same card I hand out to people all the time, I wrote it in Indonesian on Google translate and had 250 printed! And there are still people that think I don’t prepare!

These 60 day visas are also extendable. If I am granted a 30 day visa it will make things difficult for me as thes may not be extendable and it will be necessary for me to make an expensive exit and return to get another 30 day visa (called a visa run) I may need 3 months there as my route will be around 3,800km or same as Melbourne to Darwin

The problem is I have to go to the embassy on Thursday morning, submit my visa application and wait 3 business days, that is till next Monday or Tuesday. I may just lodge my visa application and run the country and then return to Dili from the border 100km town of Batuguede and then run across visa in hand.

By the way here in Timor-Leste it was a $20 visa on arrival.

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ABC Radio interview in Darwin

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Thanks to Dennis for the links below.
I haven’t had a chance to listen yet.
It was great to have a run with you Tony.
I hope you enjoyed you journey across Australia.
Keep smiling and have fun and the next 19,000Km.

Here’s a photo I took of Tony running into Darwin on Saturday 25 May 2013. Press >> HERE

Here’s an interview that Tony had with Stan Coombes on Territory Grandstand on ABC Local Radio across the NT.
Press >> HERE

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Many thanks to John Buckley Sports in Cork

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013


I am very grateful to John Buckley Sports in Cork,

John has been a great supporter of my running even before this world run began.

He has mentioned that if I ever needed help to contact him.

When I was in the Tennants Creek area I realized I needed another pair of shoes on my Indonesian route as my equipment has been shipped on ahead as very soon I will be back to running with my backpack. I had difficulty sorting it from that part of the Outback till John stepped in and mailed me a pair of shoes to my contact in Kuta, Indonesia :)

Thank you John Buckley. The place to get great shoes and bargains in Ireland!

Please visit his website.

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Centralian Advocate Article – Alice Springs

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Many thanks to editor Dale Fletcher of the Centralian Advocate in Alice Springs for sending on this article.

Please press on the link below to read.

cadv26APR13014X (1)

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Oceania And Australia Have Been Run

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Nightscliff Beach Darwin At Long Last! A Long Way From Queenscliff, Melbourne


Started on Australian mainland in Queenscliff, Melbourne on March 13th.

Distance run at the mainland start was 27,242km.

Finish Australian mainland in Nightscliff Beach, Darwin  (Nightscliff Pool) May 25th.

Distance run at finish was 31,019.

Distance run on the mainland was 3777km in 69 road days.

Average distance run per road day was 54.73km.

5 rest days taken. Average distance including rest days was 51km. for the 74 days

This has been declared as a new Melbourne to Darwin Trans Australian record by Phil Essam former Australian ultra running vice president, historian, statistician and author.

Hobart Airport to Burnie, Tasmania and including the mainland has also been declared a second Trans Australian record for Tasmania to Darwin.

Distance at start in Tasmania was 26,955km. Total Australian distance run 4,064km

Michael does his stuff in Terry's house before the last day in Australia.


We returned to Fridays finish location for the last day.



55km per day limit!


The traffic was very heavy for the run into Darwin. I ran all the way with Terry and for a while with Dennis, the president of the Darwin running club.

Running with Terry and Dennis.


So we took a break in Palmerston rest area so as I could take an ABC radio interview. There were a couple of caretakers emptying the bins there listening to the radio as they worked.

Chocolate, can this get any better!


Waiting for the interview call I ate and ate! Till.

Please no more!

I did the interview and ran on with Terry. While Michael was cleaning up our stuff the workers started talking about the interview. They were disappointed when Michael said.

” Yes he was sitting right here and has just run on! ”

I got to thank my new clothing sponsor UVU for sending me on some light comfortable and easy to wash running clothes for the hotter and more humid road ahead through South East Asia.

This UVU outfit has been tested in jungles around the world. UVU is especially suitable for ultra runners and stands for ‘ You Versus You ‘ WEBSITE

They rushed me this package from China on Monday arriving in Darwin on Thursday.

Thank you guys looking forward to running with you!

This was the closest I could get to a welcome to Darwin sign as my finish location was not in the city but in the ocean


We turned off just before the city centre and headed for the ocean running through some nice city parks. The earlier part of the morning had been tough having to get used to heavy traffic.

It was a surreal experience running into Darwin after almost two months in the Australian Outback.


At long, long last I saw it, the ocean...The end of the road for me in Oceania!


Except for one last thing.

The end of Australia and Oceania.

Oceania began in Suva, Fiji on January 9th 2013 at km 25,143 for the run. It comprised of Fiji, both New Zealand islands and Australia including Tasmania. My third continent finished 5,876km later in Nightscliff, Darwin after 117 road days which is an average of 50.22km per road day.

The average for the run so far is 43.5km per road day or 735 marathons for the 713 days.

Terry ran the whole day with me, showing me the way around the city to the ocean.

And yes, just like at the start of the mainland Michael my great crew man was there.

His days always began before mine as he quietly slipped out of his tent to prepare breakfast.

He would then give me a wake up call, clean up, wrap up the tents and follow me on down the road. He would then spend his whole day waiting by the side of the road, for so many days with the torment of the flies and busted air condition in his car. Every 30/40 minutes he would drive by swapping out my drinks bottle and a snack. Sometimes he would surprise me with an ice lolly or meat pie if we had passed by a roadhouse, that is after we had run through first having taken a break there. Sometimes I sent Michael on ahead to make a thermos of tea.

Most days I sent him on ahead when I had about an hour or two to run to find our campsite and cook dinner, he always managed, kind and free with his time.

A great conversationalist, addicted to striking up conversations with strangers, Always a great story to tell. One day he told me someone threw a plastic bottle at him from a car as he was waiting by the side of the road.

” The Outback attracts strange people here you know! ”

” Runners and crewmen. ” I quipped.

” N0, I read in the paper a few days ago about a male passenger who was heading this way with his girlfriend for a weekend break.

” They were overtaking a road train the man flashed his backside at the road train driver.

” He fell over onto his girlfriend who was driving, she crashed her car.

” While passing the road train driver managed to get a photograph of the mans backside which he was able to produce in court. ”

” And you read that a few days ago and are only telling me now! ”

Just proves we were never stuck for a conversation!

See story HERE

Also we had been getting reports about a couple of raw food vegans, Alan Murray and Janette Murray-Wakelin, originally from New Zealand,who have been running around Australia since January 1st. Their plan is to run a marathon a day for all of 2013 in Vibram 5 finger barefoot shoes. WEBSITE  Unfortunately they are a couple of days behind us.  One day I sent Michael on ahead about 15km to the picnic area where we would camp. I took two bottles of water with me and asked him to leave another one ten kilometres further up the road. Well I missed that bottle. He told me he had left an orange beside it. Days later he heard from a crew member for the vegan runners that they had been having problems getting fresh fruit and veg in the outback and how they had stumbled on that same orange and how the person who left it had saved their lives!

I had mentioned to Michael when he was dropping it that if someone else picked it up I would not be worried as they may need it more than me, how right. We hope to meet the raw vegan runners when they arrive in Darwin on Tuesday as they have organised a celebratory meal in a vegan restaurant which we have been invited to. Actually Terry met him on the road when he was returning to Darwin from his work in Katherine. He told them that they and their two crew could park their caravan in his garden, so we are going to have a full house as two Dutch backpackers are arriving on Saturday! Thank you for your great help Terry.

And what can I say, thanks for everything Michael, you were wonderful. I was so lucky to have you, free and so generous with your precious time. ‘ Adventure before dementia ‘  as is your favorite catchphrase. I will miss you when running through South East Asia!

Michael’s WEBSITE




End of the road

Then he presented me with a certificate which he had purchased in a roadhouse for crossing the Stuart Highway and the Outback. It had a box for method of travel which included RUNNING! We laughed at that as surely that was a joke category.

Michael had the choice for dinner that night, so we had fish and chips.

Before we went out to dinner that night we had a visit from one of Terry’s permanent lodgers.


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Two Trans Australian Records Will be Claimed In Darwin!

Friday, May 24th, 2013

Hi everyone.

Today, Friday I finished just before the 40km to Darwin sign. The extra distance to Nightcliff Beach, just down the road from my newest friend and host, Terry Cleary’s home should make up the marathon distance and over 31,000km run. Terry will run with me and hopefully some members of the Darwin Running Club.

I will set two new Trans Australian ultra running records.

Please see this link for details HERE

Many thanks to all those people mentioned and many more not mentioned also Phil Essam, but most of all thanks to Michael Gillan for making this possible with his wonderful crewing for me :) We had a laugh and every day always had great stories to share. Thanks Michael!

My flight to Dili, East Timor has been booked for Wednesday morning.

Press HERE to see my East Timor route. Point A being my starting location in Asia and the closest point to Darwin, my Oceania finish. Point B is the border crossing into Indonesia. Point C is Kupang the end of the road of  my first Indonesian island of about six. I will of course be running with my backpack again, new tactics, for a new challenge coming up

My route through Indonesia will be close to 4,000km, which is pretty similar to my Australian distance. Many people will be surprised to discover just how big Indonesia is. My East Timor and Indonesian routes are subject to change and local advice will be considered.




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Aboriginal Australians

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

The whole issue with the aboriginal communities as you well know is not easy, its complicated. many problems, but we also seem to forget that the white settlers introduced many of those problems. . Alcohol, drugs, modern lifestyle, splitting up aboriginal families. Unfortunately on my route I dont have the time for the tourist tours which I would love to do from time to time, or get the chance to visit the wonderful arts and crafts shops I have heard about, my main aim is to run around the world. I find it hard to research what is probably expected of me and as always I rely on the information I get from the people I meet. I hope the information I pass on is accurate, I have gotten some racist lines from people which I just ignore.

As I said I have had limited conversations with the indigenous people but when I have tried to talk to them I rarely get beyond the small talk stuff. They stop on the highway a few times a week to see if I am ok. Never has anyone asked me for money, they have such beautiful smiles and despite their battered spirits show an inner beauty they can be proud of.
Yesterday just outside Katherine I was stopped by a very nice couple to see if I was doing ok as the driver put it. Later it was suggested to me that this couldn’t possibly be an aboriginal family as they were driving a nice sports car and the passenger was on an ipad.
” Perhaps they were a successful aboriginal family? ” I suggested.
” No there are no successful families, nobody makes it from those communities. ” I was told.
I try to brush all this nonsense away but when I ask people all I get is stuff like this. There is more crap, believe me but lets just leave it to Wikipedia to give some background information about these wonderful people.
A friend has just reminded me about a very interesting and well written travelogue I read many years ago called Songlines by Bruce Chatwin. .From what I remember of Songlines every aboriginal tribe in the Outback and there are hundreds speaking countless languages, many not spoken anymore has their own unique songs in all of these languages which put together can be a map of sorts, depicting the areas for others to travel the huge vastness that is the Great Outback. It will be one of the first books I reread when this is all over, thanks for this comment lindie.

Aboriginal Australians, also referred to as Aboriginal people, are people whose ancestors were indigenous to the Australian Continent — that is, to mainland Australia or to the island of  Tasmania—before British colonization of the continent began in 1788.

Please Read More >>> Press >>>  HERE


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In Katherine

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

Hi Everyone,

I reached here yesterday with circa 30,700km behind me. I have been very busy trying to catch up on some 200 emails as it’s two weeks since I last had internet.

I will run into Darwin and touch the Timor Sea on Saturday 25th May. Today, Sunday is a rest day so I got six road days to run the 320km there.

Here in Katherine, Michael and I are the grateful guests of recently moved to Darwin runner Terry Cleary. Terry uses the luxurious Ibis Hotel when here on business. Thanking him so much for putting us up and feeding us here for two nights including our rest day. We will stay a few days in his new Darwin house by the ocean when I run into town with him on Saturday. I look forward to that as Michael does too as he has felt a prisoner of sorts in his car these last nine weeks!

I have not booked my flight for East Timor or Timor-Leste as it prefers to be known as. Timor-Leste is one of the worlds newest countries since it finally managed to get independence from Indonesia. It will be the start of Asia for me. I am thinking of flying on 29th and starting a couple days later for the long, long haul through the worlds most difficult and problematic continents.

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30,000km Have been run – Running down a dream!

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

30,000km run!


Sat/Sun 44km run.Total = 30,029km in 693 road days.


I hit the road last night with an extra spring in my step. I have been running nights for a week now and its great. Not much traffic, not a fly in sight and being able to run down the middle of the road to get away from the most severe road camber I have ever run on a road. Oh! And it’s a lot cooler too.
The heavenly skies are full of stars, more stars than I have ever seen in my life. I was running towards Tennants Creek some 44km away. We were staying in the youth hostel there which has an 11am check out, so if I was nifty we could even get back for a few hours sleep.
At 15km my 30,000th kilometre would be run. How to mark it for there are no kilometre markers on this Stuarts Highway. After 10 km I sent Michael on ahead to mark out the 30k with some rocks, he thought I was barmy!

3 Zero is 30,000! And here's to the next 30, sorry I mean only 20,000km!

Just as I was running on I shouted out to Michael.
” Hey Michael is that a kangaroo? ”
” Where? ”
“No it’s a dingo! ”
” Where? ”
” Ah Michael, I am only winding you up! Thanks for everything! ”


Running down a dream, bit by bit!

I ran on again, feeling strong. The tiredness seemed to be out of my legs from last week. My big push to Alice Springs had taken a lot out of me. Mentally and physically I felt like I was in recovery mode from running a competitive marathon, even if I run more now almost every day. The rest day, or rather rest night in Tennants Creek had been very beneficial to me for that old spring was back in my step and I was running well again, at least well by my tired standards!
I sent Michael on again to about 4 km before town to prepare the breakfast. That way he could eat his and I could eat my bowl of porridge on the run. That way we wont waste any time cooking when we get back to the hostel around 4am.
Just after I left him, bowl in hand three aborigines frightened the life out of me when they seemed to walk out of the dark towards me. They were friendly enough, just giving me a greeting in the dark, I purposely gave a mutter through my porridge not wanting to give my accent away or get into a conversation after dark which is my norm.
Michael too got the shock of his life as they stopped to ask for a cigarette as he was packing up the cooker and stuff. Of course he doesn’t smoke and the lads just gave him a friendly good night. He packed up so fast that he left the coffee behind for which he was to received a couple of grumps from me next morning! All this despite his great efforts to keep me in coffee every morning (now night as we are on a different time zone to everyone else!) His efforts included buying a brand new gas 3kg gas cylinder!
I feel very uncomfortable about all the negative stories people are telling me about the Aborigines. It seems nobody has a good word to say. Everyone I meet be they, liberal, conservative or God loving keeps talking about all the endless money the Australian government are pumping into work and retraining schemes which are not taken up. I hear all about the drinking, fighting, arguments, laziness, unemployment, substance abuse problems and how some bars no longer serve them after sunset.
Surely it’s not like this everywhere in this community.
So I was delighted to meet a nice friendly family of about six a few days ago just about 8km from my finish. I stopped, chatted about the run for a while and took their photo.

We stopped to help this Aborigine family

Their car had run out of petrol. We stopped to see if they were ok. There was a young child with flies crawling all over her face, she didn’t seem to be bothered. We gave them water, food and an umbrella for it was 9am and the sun was already baking high in the sky. One of the family had hitched a ride to the road house to get a can of petrol. As their old car chugged down the road they honked and waved.

I stood on a long thin strip of black tyre and got the shock of my life thinking it was a snake. I had noticed it on the road when we were commuting back this evening. I stopped to take a look, it was dark, not really sure, no Tony you don’t need to know if it was a snake, just keep on running. Then I played it on my ipod Running Down A Dream.   Press HERE

Well a 20,000km home stretch!

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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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