Archive for July, 2013

Seeing the world frame by frame

Sunday, July 21st, 2013


Looking back over the last month its been a tough grind. Perhaps the toughest segment of the entire run.

In Timor, Flores, Sumbawa the people were so friendly they drove me into the ground,I was mentally harassed by their friendliness is all I can call it. This was to be by far the poorest part of Indonesia. As in much of Indonesia so many people walk around barefooted or wear cheap shower sandals, more so here.

Kids stand in large groups shouting out Mister,Mister..I say hi but they all want their own individual acknowledgement..Then.. ” Where you going mister? ” And another round from each child or adult. I estimate around 3,000 greetings a day.

Very wearisome as the sun bakes me alive in this high humidity..

I am told temp is between 30 and 35. It seems Indonesia is made up of villages all connected up about 2 to 3km apart. One day it rained when I was running between another two villages. It was sudden and very hard.I had my camera in my arm sling, so when it rained I stupidly just pushed it under my sleeve and kept running.

Well that stretch was one of only two areas that had villages 5km apart in my first two weeks in the country.

I arrived at that place,Ngora Kego absolutely soaked,also my camera is now rain damaged. The people at a roadside eatery there let me stay the night under a roadside shelter.They were popping garlic from  nuts putting the garlic nut into a leaf whip which they had tied a slot into and then whipping it against a stone, cracking the garlic nut..Very time consuming but there were five of them and they didn’t seem to have much else to do.The lady put my wet socks  up against the fire to dry but the nosy dog knocked them into the fire..disaster as I am down to my last pair..Gotta give Bob at Drymax Socks a mail,he is so good.

Indonesia is a very poor country people and companies can’t afford expensive equipment and they gotta improvise. Everything from old tyre strips picked up off the road which are then used for door hinges as they are nailed into the door frame. I have rarely seen a screw usedwhere it should be, same as in Latin America – everything nailed to bits!

I have seen scaffolding made from bamboo canes also men working on roadworks with no shoes using pick axes too close to their feet for my liking.

Also several times I have seen barefoot workers mixing concrete with the concrete all over their feet .Do they not get concrete burn I wondered.

No health and safety standards enforced here.

Cheap and effective water tanks made from wooden structures with a tarp tied inside to hold the water.Indonesia has 80% of the worlds forests and yet only Brazil has more deforestation. This is a startling statistic when one considers the vastness of Amazonas.

I see people chopping down trees at will and even carpenters with large stocks of the raw material in their workshops. More than 50% of the population survive on less than $2 a day. The country reminds me of Latin America,men sitting around while the women do the work.

“Get Tony a coffee,Get him a pen” or whatever, I often feel like telling the men to get up of their backsides as you wouldn’t order a western woman around like that!

Women fetch the firewood and water while many of the men stand around in smoking groups. 75% of the male population smokes I am told. I rarely see women smoke. To my mind the cigareete companies are irresponsible with their huge banners at the side of the road, often up to ten on each side of the road welcoming visitors to a town, a bit like the finish line of the Tour de France with all the bunting. To my mind the government should not allow this. I also think the warnings on the cigarette advertisements don’t go far enough as they warn of impotency, and not cancer as far as I can see.

One woman told me it’s a womans job to look after the house, children, cook etc and a mans job to bring in the money, yet most women have to work till the day they die, no social security here. I see old men and women scaveging the dumps at the side of the road for waste, old plastic bottles to sell to the recycler. In fact I have even been asked for the plastic water bottles I carry in my hands as I run.

Everyone smokes in public places,even young kids and people standing over food they are serving. Nobody puts their hand to their mouth when coughing or sneezing. I cannot remember ever seeing a woman spit in my life in over 80 countries till I came to Indonesia where it is very common.

I continue to make decent progress.There are often no hotels in the small towns and villages,unlike in Latin America so I got to keep finding places to sleep in peoples homes giving them my few dollars. I notice the poorest of people often try handing back my money but I always insist on them taking it. I don’t know why I didn’t use this tactic in Latin America as I am sure it would have worked just as well and would have saved me all that time-consuming commuting.

I have been told not to wild camp in the forest because of the snakes.The worlds longest snake ever measured was at just under 10metres. It was found here in Indonesia.Imagine that crawling over you.The advice is to stay calm :(

One man told me that many people have been bitten and not known about it, as so many snake bites vary. Some snakes bite in rapid motion, you can get bitten five times and think you just got one bite, other times you will not be aware of it. The worst thing anyone can do is to run around after getting a bite!! Just because you stand on one one you wont necessarily get bitten,a bit like me standing on your toe,you may not punch me! I know I go on a bit too much about snakes in the blog, I just find them to be facinating creatures, yet baffling as one of lifes great mysteries to me is why oh why they venture out onto the road (that’s for the warmth of the tarmac which retains its warmth before they go hunting at night) when they navigate by vibrations due to being deaf. An Indonesian road, vibrates like no place on earth I can tell you. Oh! for the stillness of running in the Australian Outback at night and all of it’s ten vechicles on average, here that would take 5/10 seconds! There is no such thing as a rural countryside here in Indonesia, traffic wise as 24 hours a day it’s a constant heavy flow, like Dublin City on the last day of shopping before Christmas, that is wherever you are in Indonesia!

So I stopped at a shop one day before it rained. Again the people were nice to me as they pulled out a spare matress in a storeroom,prepared a thermos of coffee and bread for me for my breakfast obviously assuming I would be up before the lark next morning! Then they came back with a small paint can filled with kerosene and a paint brush made from the end of an old rope which was used to spread the kerosene around the edges of the walls and doorway, they worked as I looked on from my bed. This was to keep insects out, they told me. When they were finished they put the rope paintbrush into the can and used it as a wick to light a lamp, yes, on foot is the only real way to see a country frame by frame, just like the 50 frames a second in a movie, I have my frame by frame image of the world as I run it, any other means of travel is just to see the movie trailer. How else would I be in a house like this, very few people stop in places like this, cyclist perhaps the nearest but they, just like backpackers tend to go from town to town, city to city.


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Thanks to the North Pole Marathon for their continued support!

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Many thanks to Richard Donovan my great friend for his continued and much needed support of the run :)

His company, The North Pole Marathon is my major sponsor of the world run,

Richard organises many exciting races around the world including the North Pole Marathon, the Antarctica Marathon and 100km, Patagonia and other exotic locations.

Please check out his website HERE

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The sidewinder sleeps tonight

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

In Bali, My progress has been very slow as the roads are very busy and its hot/humid so lots of stops. Thanks for support Tony

Staying In my hotel in Ende on the island of Flores there was a woman called Yvonne. She arrived there late at night all guns blazing screaming because the bemo, scooter taxi driver had attempted to rip her off! She sounded like a Dubliner so I went outside to introduce myself. journalist she specializes in diving resort reviews.As Laban Bajo was Ind new diving hotspot she was on her way to do.a.story. But early next morning she came screaming over to.my room as apparently a rat had come in through her bedroom window and onto her face. Only badly shook up she told me she moving next door to the Safari Hotel and would I pop in for an interview and endless mugs of Barry ‘s tea! So i was very late that Sunday afternoon setting out for the start of my run across Flores island.Those first few days were hot humid hilly also some rain and evening fog. I saw a live snake in the gravel shoulder about 2 m in front of me. I had just stepped off the road for traffic was heavy. It just seemed to.roll away as I approached..sidewinder?There were many others, at least 20 a day thankfully dead snakes on the road. A couple days later as I was running through a village a man called me over to take a break sitting under a welcoming shady tree It had been a hot morning.Soon a group of about 20 kids arrived all so cherry and welcoming smiles.Everywhere people stare..right up into.my face. l call them the Gawkers! A few ran with me out of the village where we saw a large snake on the road. One boy went over to it and when I shouted NO!!  they laughed.

They seem to treat snakes like a pet dogs here!

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Thanks Michael for these kind words!

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

New post on Runner.com

Literally Running the World

by Emily


Tony Mangan in Kittery, Maine USA January 2, 2011Tony Mangan in Kittery, Maine USA
January 2, 2011

In 2010, Tony Mangan set out to run around the world for Aware, a charity helping to defeat depression. Tony’s world run, known as the ‘World Jog‘, began with his run in the Dublin Marathon on October 25, 2010 and has continued from east to west, from Ireland to North America, then to Central and South America and on to Australia, Asia and Europe with his expected completion, back in Dublin on October 27, 2014, at 2:05 pm.

Mangan’s goal is to complete a distance of approximately 50,000 km over a four-year period of near-continuous travel. This involves running roughly the distance of a marathon per day.

Thanks To Michael Gillan my support driver for the Australian leg of the run for posting this! Good luck Michael..You are a true pro, lovely working and traveling with you Tony :)


Our first guest feature is written by Michael Gillan, Tony’s trainer for the Australian leg of his run.



by Michael Gillan

World jog was special not only for the number of flies I was on intimate terms with but also because of the spectacular sunrises and sunsets out there which made it worthwhile getting up early in the morning and getting running motivation for the day


Michael Gillan (Tony Mangan's Trainer through Australia)Michael Gillan
(Tony Mangan’s Trainer through Australia)

For many runners getting up and getting motivated becomes a chore, something that has to be done and this makes it hard on the body and to be honest if your heart is not in it you are not going to get any benefit so may just as well stay in bed for all the good it will do for you.

I have worked at many ultra marathon events with many top runners all over the world and learned from them, they do have down days and difficulties being motivated sometimes, but the one thing they have in common is focus, they concentrate on the big picture of why they are doing it.

When you are trying to get the motivation, sometimes the small things of the moment, the rain, the cold, the feelings of self doubt can creep in and spoil the enjoyment of it all, but the greats never let self doubt creep into them-they keep the big picture in their mind and everything else becomes mainly a minor irritant.

Every day you go out training or running and the challenges you meet while doing it should be treated as a new day and not a continuation of the previous one-the two of us got through 2 and half months together because in spite of the problems we met that day, we learned by our mistakes and just kept the good memories of it-and moved on.

Anyway when you look at the day to come life takes on new meaning and if you get up to go out training and it is becoming a chore, try to look at with fresh eyes and you may just see something that you had previously missed that would make you anticipate the run not dread it.

by Michael Gillan of http://www.theworldjog.com


Tony Mangan's route through AustraliaTony Mangan’s route through Australia

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since Tony began his World Run on 25th October 2010

Please sponsor a world walk hotel night or a meal etc!You do not need a Paypal account, just a bank card! Press Paypal link below. Thank You :)

Donate to Aware

Text WORLDJOG to 50300 to donate €4.

100% of text cost goes to Aware across most network providers. Some providers apply VAT which means a minimum of €3.26 will go to Aware. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 01 4433890.


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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Aware is The World Jog Charity.