Archive for August, 2013

Abdul’s After Falling!

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Hi everyone pls check back to comments for more regular blog updates. thanks to Ann for posting my texts. This is the only way I can keep up to date on the blog. So when I do get to putting it into the blog I will try to edit, but as always time, keeps on slipping away! “I still got to write the Java blog but don’t want to fall further behind. Ah yes, you can see how much I rely on spell check but it’s not all my fault as I am usually typing on a small mobile keypad, tired and in the dark! Ah! excuses!

Today I pinched myself for the first time in a long time,guess I must be getting an old hand at this, or rather an old leg! Why me selected for this crazy dream..No you need not answer that:-)Yes this run is going to happen.This time next year I will be in the Germany area! And with just over 14 months to my finish line in Dublin I figured 14 months ago I was crossing from Peru to Bolivia.

I slept here

Think I can do all that again and more:-) Moving up a gear now,today Aug 17th 50km on this busy road,though in the afternoon the road did widen. Am in danger of becoming the Litter Angel as I spotted a man throwing  junk out of his pickup,so I picked some stuff up and threw it into the back of his pickup,and then I took his photo.


He got a bit of a shock.Yesterday an astonished man picked up his wrapper when I asked him why he threw it on the ground even though he was beside a bin.He put it in his pocket and then took it out when I showed him the bin:-) Yes I know,I need to back off as I am not on an environment crusade! 33,855km for 785 road days.

And here

Another tough 48km day and as always busy busy. Btw the record for a family is now 6 on a motorbike.really a scooter as they are only about 100cc. I saw this family,husband and wife and 4 kids last week in Java and they proud as punch to have their photo taken! Anyway these scooters are all over the road coming from all directions.even behind as I run in the rocky shoulder,so I got to run like John Nguggi, ie arms out waving all over the place for my protection hoping they will give me a wider passing. A friend fittingly calls these bikes Japanese Dogs!

And with these people

Now the road is 2 lane and like Silverstone race track. Added to this is a huge volume of trucks,buses and cars. Everyone is in a mad rush,and its a mystery to me how well it flows,They take the most dangerous risks,often with just milliseconds to spare on dangerous bends.narrow bridges, you name it.

Amazingly they are so patient in the convenience stores,which are slow slow,Typically 2 tellers but always one that stands on duty wrapping everything even a small Snickers bar or the great IQ tester an ice cream on a 35 degree day! Today I passed a poor man picking up rubbish,he was almost naked except for a skimpy cloth around his waste,still his private was showing.I called him but he ignored me,I ran back 50mts and offered him some money but with a tear in his eve he refused.They are so proud,nobody has ever begged from me. Then at rush hour when traffic was so busy with my head in a spin from all the crazy activity,a buffalo cart with another on tow pulls out onto the road! I kid you not! I laughed my head off while the man posed for my photo.I could still see the tail end of the traffic he made a buffalo of 10 minutes later :-)

Just a bit more on today Sunday and firstly thanks so much to Fergus for his kind donation to the run which effectively sponsored my recent visa run to Singapore.Good man Fergus. The day got off to a terrible start with a long breakfast and a 2hr internet stop.

Snack stop

Got an email from Andre who reminded me he was the ‘young French cyclist ‘ I met in the Australian Outback.. Isn’t it great to young and be able to write from young French cyclist :-) to the old Irish runner :-) ) Andre tells me he is in Flores and met the Philosophical Member of Parliament I mentioned in blog. I often laugh and think about our chat about me running on the road as he says illegally, I can see him standing up in parliament saying Indonesia’s stupid law of walking with your back to traffic is the countries answer to population growth.Many scooters carry huge loads like rolls of bared wire,rebar,planks which hug the shoulder.Andre says he agrees with much of my observations. I notice here in Sumatra that the signage on the police stations is sponsored by a cigarette company and one of the logos is ‘ break the limit ‘ is that for smoking or driving, either way to my mind Indonesia is in bed with the tobacco industry.

Tonight I am staying with a family who own a petrol station. Last night I stopped at the Honda factory for the area Or Japanese Dog factory! I spotted a likely sheltered area there and the security guards made me coffee and cooked my noodles while they watched English football. Many people ask about Irish footballers Robbie and Roy Keane.. I bet they would get a lot of ‘ hey mister! ‘ here :-) Am told no Indonesian player plays abroad yet I saw in paper Liverpool did a player exchange and one lucky Indonesian is literally escaping the rat race, I pity poor Brendan Foster on his way to Jakarta :-) .Monday morning blues hit on the double when a rain shower hit after only 4km today.

I tend not run in the rain so I took shelter in a cafe where I had breakfast. I think I need to put a decent distance in before taking my first break of the day.This place robbed me charging at least twice normal.What I sometimes do is go into a place and hand them the normal amount asking for rice and whatever. Indonesia,and much of Asia is very like Latin America,no imagination,rice and chicken.

No chicken supreme or anything like that or pasta but here at least you can get noodles.The rice is prepared in a rice making appliance,unlike Peru where all cooking was a stick fire or gas cooker.Today I saw a school bus,a mini bus which was crammed and even had 7 young boys,about 8 y old on the roof! And then the next one had a boy hanging out the door smoking! That bus stopped and he even offered me a drag!

Can you imagine the bus driver saying to his helper..” Hey Ali toss Abdul up there beside the other 6 lads. But Ibrahim should we not put the smokers up there? Dont be silly,let them smoke inside,just like at home. Later that day. ” Hi Mr Raf San Jani I got good news and bad news for you says Ibrahim. The bad news is Abdul fell off the bus. “Ah well I got plenty more where he came from as you know we are a baby factory here in Indonesia..You know I lost another one last year? “Ah sorry for your trouble Mr Raf. “No Ibrahim, I said I lost him but we got him back. You see we were in Jakarta and there were so many on the back of my scooter that I didn’t notice that Mo fell off and we didn’t know till we got home to Palembang. But Raf that’s a thousand km away,you didn’t notice. “No I only noticed when I finished my box of fags and went looking for his but he made it home after 3 weeks as he won a gold medal for backwards walking in the Mosque Olympics. ” Raf I think you mean Moscow Olympics? “No the Palembang mosque has a yearly sports day and Mo won gold, you see with backwards walking he can be obeying our silly law of walking on left side and watching the traffic! Thats what Mangan should be doing backwards running! But he is! He is going back to Dublin:-) “It wasnt my fault Raf,I studied all the Mika Hakinen race videos.I know Ibrahim,How many you say were up on top of the school bus..you want a drink? “Ta Raf, I’m parched. A 7 up, No I’ll have a coke! There you go Mo and now tell me the good news? “Raf I have a full box of smokes that fell out of Abdul’s pocket!:-) I write a lot of sketches like this in my head as I am running around but as always..Time. That night I finished in Astra Ksetra and made the mistake of asking if I could sleep beside the guard hut in the Commando base.They said yes, then later no.It was too late to go back on the road.Then yes again,asked for my passport,general hassle and then at midnight the cops came out from next town 10km away.There was no hotel where I was. More showing of passport,hassle. One officer spoke English so I said “look I know the police here in Sumatra are sponsored by a cigarette company but your friend doesn’t have to advertise them too so can you ask him to put out his cigarette and give me a bit of respect! They wanted me to go to the police station to sleep but I didn’t want to and said I would rather sit on a wall all night outside the base! They let me stay! That day 47km next day I was thinking of Pete Townsend’s song Nowhere to Run:-)) Fitting for Indonesia,well they did push me into the Shoulder the whole day for 44km. I stopped and asked a young woman that served me in a roadside cafe if she thinks Islam considers women to be equal to men in Indonesia.She said they are equal, so I asked her why the men and boys pray inside the mosque while the women and girls pray outside under a veranda. Her reply was that the women must follow the men in Islam. I asked her did she ever question this or why women wear head scarfs. No that’s Islam she said. Just then a convoy of buses and trucks sped by so I asked if it was possible for a woman to drive a bus or truck here. No she replied. I made it to a hotel in Tulang Bawang tonight,Tuesday. The man there gave me dinner! Thanks. Only 6km required for 34,000! In 788 road days.

Aug 21st Firstly happy birthday to my nephew Gary, a quarter of a century old today:-) A tasty breakfast of rice,egg and lots of coffee before setting out to the madness on the road. I was in great form as after 6km I clocked up my 34,000th km of the run.Recently I did an interview for the Norwegian Financial Times,so I guess word of the run is spreading. Sometimes the traffic comes in heavy waves lasting about half an hour of sheer chaos,as mentioned before so many drivers taking the most dangerous risks. The shoulder was poor, non existent in places. As the sun beamed on me and I plodded along as if in a drunken stagger,stepping on and off the road as vehicles whizzed by from behind.I have to keep looking back,for they come in waves bullying approaching vehicles to move over.

A few weeks ago a car that was just 10m in front of me was bullied into the ditch almost where I was running. Scooters too are just ignored as they move out to overtake,they get pushed towards me.Today during all this I thought I saw a snake it turned out to be just a broken scooter chain! My progress was slow but steady. On the way I saw an old lady sitting in the gravel,she seemed to be in a bad way so I pulled out a larger donation than normal. As I handed her the money I noticed she had a large wad of banknotes with elastic bands around them,I figured she had just finished in her cafe and was waiting for a lift!

Ah well at least I got a laugh out of it:-) I finished in a village called Wira Bangun. I didn’t have much choice but to stop at the police station.There was nobody there so I just pulled out my sheet bag and rested playing music. A couple of hours later a nice police officer came by and gave me a bed inside.He said the hectic driving is cultural and in the villages the police have no power to stop them.

Aug 22nd Routine but tough 40km day Total 34,080km. 790 days. Wanted 50km plus but finished early when I stopped at a warung to eat and the lovely family took me to their hearts and asked me to stay. I want to arrive in Palembang early Monday morning to go to immigration for my visa extension.Its 158km away,so no easy weekend ahead! I have long since lost that “weekend feeling”as all days feel the same to me. As I speak the children here are looking at my Indonesian photos on my camera. There was a huge snigger when they came to one of a naked man who was walking down the highway in Java! In Java I saw 3 or 4 such sightings, including one young woman,so obviously a lot of untreated mental health issues there. That will be in the Java blog.And btw what you think the drivers were shouting? “Hi Mister!” That is to me! The two convenience stores here are a large chain (not in E Indonesia) and are in most large villages. I pass at least 10 stores a day. They have toilet facilities with the possibility to shower:-) Toilets are the foot hole in the floor job. The etiquette is to throw a few scoops of water down.They have a bricked and tiled water tank called a Mandie or just a bucket.

Bikes and scooters sometimes carry loads, including such items as factory gates,sheets of plywood etc on modified carriers. This man lost his balance and fell into a ditch just before a bridge, so he was lucky not to fall into the river!I helped him out.

This means a shower can be taken as showers are just scoops from the mandie,I cant understand why Asians like Latinos have a huge problem with toilets,showers and plumbing. I think they just break things and couldn’t be bothered with the maintenance,or don’t have the skills.I don’t find this hygienic because if you throw the water down the toilet foot hole guess what pops out onto the floor and the next shower user may not have a clean floor:-)) I change my socks every day often washing them on these visits.They dry out fast as I stick them on my 2 water bottles while I run for goodness sake put a real toilet in and at least a short hose coming out the wall from up above! Just like Latinos hanging doors and locks are a mystery!



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In Jakarta.

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Hi All. A very brief update as I am very tired.

I got here on Sunday and am staying in the Sunny Days Hostel, which is a beautiful place in the middle of gated off tower block community with even a real shower and toilet. It has a nice swimming pool, but as always I am too busy. The run into the city was hair- raising to say the least. It’s 2.15am, and have been very busy working on some logistics. On Monday I go to the Irish Honory Council here to pick up my next pair of running shoes and it’s with them I will show a cleaan pair of heels to Java, literally!

Total 33,634km for 779 road days. My latest estimation is that the run will be over 51,500km, so thats 14 and a half months for 18,000km! I’m loving it, :) sorry I stopped and had two breakfasts in McDonalds on the way this morning as I couldn’t make up my mind if I wanted the so called big breakfast or the pancake breakfast, I just love solving these problems :)

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In Cirebon

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Hi Everyone, In Cirebon about 250km from Jakarta. The traffic in the run up to Ramadan which is in a few days time is just crazy!

I expect to reach Jakarta, the Indonesian capital on Monday 12th with the help of a marathon a day… No easy job here! I tried to upload a traffic video but it’s taking too long, so don’t think I can at this time. In Jakarta I will pick up my next pair of shoes waiting for me at the Irish Consul. I will be there on Monday morning. From there its about 130km to the ferry port for Sumatra, and silence! :) I just know anything will be peaceful after here. I did get a very mild case of athletes foot, but have treated it with cream and seems to be ok, that was what the blister stuff was in the blog, as it was so mild it didn’t seem so obvious! All well now, and 40km so far today before this time consuming stop.

Sorry, Gotta rush!


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The Philosophical Member Of Parliament.

Thursday, August 1st, 2013
This is very rushed, sorry for any mistakes! I have since gotten a new camera but yet a new problem is that it seems no internet has a USB connection which functions for me to download, always something. Special thanks to my sister Ann for some important behind the scenes help for me!
To finish off Flores Island I put two great days of 56 and 53km together. One of those days I was stopped by an M.P. Ignas Uran who made coffee for me outside his house. Soon 23 gawkers gathered. I didn’t take to him too much, he seemed a bit shallow,talking about him being an educated man and he learnt English through his love for philosophy.He stumbled when I questioned him on his philosophical Influences. I asked him if he was influenced by Aristotle who spoke of great persons with great minds sharing their wisdom with others once they reached enlightenment or Monty Python who ” always look on the bright side of life! ”   :)
He confirmed the 2 children policy where peoples free rice allowance is cut should they have more than two children and said rural people have big families because they feel blessed! He then lectured me on running on right side of road. You must obey the laws of the road here in Indonesia. I left and a few mins later there he was going up to a shop on his scooter with 3 children and none of the 4 had a helmet. So I shouted out Hey Ignas You must obey the rules of the road in Indonesia :-) Its a difficult country to control what with 17k islands of which 14k are inhabited. In all there are 33 provinces and even the smallest is bigger than Holland. Its difficult for the police and even when the Dutch colonized it they never had full control.The Dutch brought Chinese slaves over and and they stayed.
 I had breakfast in a cafe across from the harbor while waiting for ferry from Flores to Sumbaya. When I went outback to the toilet there was a goat inside,he shit all over it! On the ferry I got talking to Swiss man called Ben, a Councillor who says he is living his dream as he is doing the same work here but helping more needy people and only need a couple of hundred euro a month for food and his scooter. He says he camps a lot in the forests but because of the snakes always uses a small fold up hammock. I had a brand new one, more of a bivy with a mosquito net  but as it was too heavy, so I left it with Terry Cleary in Darwin. The roads in Sumbaya are thankfully wider.People in Indonesia never ask me where my bicycle is as presumably they are unaccustomed to cyclists,They ask me where my motor is!
That first week on Sumbaya my distance was down mainly due to the rain showers and some brutish hills. Monkeys were all over the road,I got some photos before the damn camera failed.Missed a classic photo when a monkey got chased out restaurant.Timor island was mostly protestant. Flores Catholic and I saw a lot of Sacred Heart and Virgin Mary effigies in the towns and villages I ran through.also many pigs. Now I am running through mostly Islamic areas.gone are pigs.enter the wailing mosques in the run up to Ramadan.My first encounter with an Islamic family was perhaps a misunderstanding for at the end of a hilly day Abdul signaled me to stop for a rest at his house. Jameang his wife wearing no headscarf fed me with rice,sardines and tea. I can no longer sit cross legged such are my weary joints so I had to lie down face up as I ate. I had the impression they were letting me sleep in an outside hut where I was first requested to rest, but after the meal Abdul said he was going to take me to a picnic area. I was not too pleased about this as otherwise I would not have stopped.
So I ran the two kilometres while Abdul rode behind me in the shoulder. When he dropped me at the picnic area I felt vulnerable, what if someone comes along?
I was assured it would be ok and then settled down under the covered resting area in the picnic area. I  rolled out my sleeping sheet bag on a kind of propped up platform with a thatched roof. About two hours later three men came along on two scooters. They were obviously fishermen. They greeted me, I was terrified but could hardly run, a kind of a sitting duck, I don’t really understand why they lit a fire where I was instead of at another site, but once they lit the fire, I felt their intentions were not harmful. unless they planned to eat me!
I could see one of the men split a springy branch of a tree with his machete. He then pushed six small fish in through the splits and bar b qued them, yes that’s how good was my view. Terrified I refused a share they offered me, saying I was so tired. Eventually they packed up and left.
Next morning Abdul came by and could see I was not too pleased with him!
  The days are getting hotter and hotter now with less rain. I am running pure west till I get to Java which will take me northwest till I get to Sumatra and its north full steam ahead till the equator.
 I trimmed away the bottom of my running top for ventilation reasons for as always in high humidity chaffing is a problem. Couldn’t get Vaseline so Johnson’s baby cream will have to do! The problem I had with my socks burning has come back to haunt me as I got a bad blister after buying new socks and not washing them before wearing them, ultra runners don’t do that or even break in shoes! The stories are legendary of runners sending out their helpers to buy brand new shoes in races like 6 day races! As I said, I must be getting soft!
Now the traffic is getting heavier and heavier and I am pushed into the rocky joint aching gravel.With my blister under my left forefoot I can feel every rock and stone.Its painful running.so painful I got to walk some.Now its also slow. I notice there are not many dogs but a lot of wild horses running loose along the highway. Though the people continue to pester and gawk, its not so intense. I am told that the ratio of women wearing head scarfs is about 50 50 and one month after being told that, having run through more of Indonesia I have got to agree.
My second Islamic family brought me in after I paid my usual offering and after dinner called the police to have me checked out.I told the officer off!The police officers name was Harris. He sat beside me smoking as did another officer with a machine gun strapped across his back.I had given my nightly performance to about ten of the villages best gawkers. They had kindly left when the family brought me in a tasty meal of rice,noodles,chicken and tea.Now the intermission was over,word had gotten around,a bench was brought in and my audience had stretched to 20.That was in the village of Sepayol. My people are simple village people.They don’t understand what you are doing and are afraid. I got a job to do,to protect them said Harris.So why did he take my 50000 rupiahs then? I asked. He paid you Harris asked Matasum, my host and the simple villager just nodded his head. I am sure Harris wondered why he called in fact this was to happen twice more over the next month. I wonder about my arms wide open reception in Christian Indonesia as opposed to what I was to receive in the Islamic areas. Many nights I was to have 2 or 3 refusals and I wondered if my offering money just made them more suspicious. I refused to show my passport to Harris and pointed out that this is normal in N.Korea but not in the democratic Rep of Indonesia.To me he was a classic example of a police officer acting the big shot.He spoke very good English and then I got to usual false modesty apologizing for his bad English.The best answer to that is always..Yes I know you speak poor English,but don’t worry because I understand you :-) Next day a decent 40km to the village of Lape. I stopped at a rice factory where I was greeted by Yasser and his father in law, Mohamed the factory owner.Guess what was on the menu! After dinner and a shower another couple of smoking cops came over to interview me.Once again I held my ground, politely answered their questions.
Officer Ibrahim also backed down on his passport request, think I will get the details page of it copied which will be a compromise, I guess. It just irritates me having to take it out for them, for I know half the time its just curiosity,and a fascination for any gawkers around for they wont back off! Actually Mohammad had called for he was worried about my limp as he put it. My blister had worsened that day, guess I am softening up as many ultra runners answer “the what do you do when you get injured question” with.. I run till I get better!:-) Perhaps it was just too much for Mohammad when I sat in his office lancing the blister as I talked. He told me he called because he was concerned, I asked why he didn’t call a doctor! Down the road there is a penguinapan as cheap hotels are known as.
So because of the blister,diarrhea and internet in town I took a rest day. On way down to internet cafe I stopped to top up phone credit.The man there made me coffee and in the internet cafe mid session I was brought inside to have dinner with the family! Then when I was finished I was grateful when the mans son in law dropped me back to my hotel on the back of his scooter, for it would have been a long and dark two kilometres.
So you can see my confusion with the peoples hospitality here as I just don’t get the simple villager line or that they are afraid as I am being told. Why is it so different here? On the road the calling,the hissing,the greetings and of course the gawking continues all day every day as I run from village to village. In many ways I feel I know what it must be like to be leading the New York marathon what with all this attention. Always when I stop at a shop its a quiet place bit usually not for long for all it takes is for one gawker to spot me and out comes the mobile phone or a shout across the road,for I know what they say! Sometimes I just don’t stop,too many. The next couple of days the blister healed  I made hot and steady progress across west Sumbaya, I am now very tired of Indonesia, all of it’s hectic traffic, smog, burning of rubbish by the side of the road. Sighting like a tyre repair man burning old tyres and inner tubes are routine.
The rain damage finally kicked in and my camera stopped working, will have to get a new one in Bali for it seems cameras are not sold anywhere outside of large cities.
A couple of decent days took.me to Poto Tano. On the way a man stopped me in the smoggy village of Utan for a coffee. He works for a govt. rice distribution company so he was the perfect man to confirm the Indonesian govt policy of less or no rice allowance for families with more than two children.The free allowance 15 is kilos a month per qualifying family. I know its sad but you still have to laugh at it ” whats wrong with you tonight dear? “not tonight! We need the rice!”:-)) I heard from a man about some Chinese gangs which sometimes take land and houses by force but without weapons from peasant people living in remote mountain areas. This man told me the Chinese make the claim as its ‘their land’ as their descendants were brought here as slaves by the Dutch. I imagine many of the poor people cant fight this but those that can hire a lawyer usually win as they can show a property tax record. Sometimes people write down whole sentences in Indonesian and figure if I don’t speak it perhaps I can read it and one man even went over to my ear and shouted his question into my ear! Ah! Yes if only it was that easy :-) I took the evening ferry from Poto Tano to Labuhan Kayangan in Lombok,my 4th island,about same distance from Dublin to Kilkenny,about 110km and can you imagine about 3 or 4 million people living in that area! The first day I knocked out 44km. It was a hot,tough day as my salt stained running top did testify. I was in a place called Bila Sundung,across from a wailing mosque. After a refusal for a place to sleep around the back of a shop under a veranda which in west Indonesia would have been a certainty a man brought me over to the mosque. The service had just ended and the Iman was bidding a good night to the faithful. So the man explains I was looking for a place to sleep,he had mentioned a construction area to the side as renovation was going on. To my astonishment the Iman didn’t even look at me,offer his hand he just said no and walked away.Talk about making me feel like an infidel:-))
The mans friend,a taxi scooter man took me to a penguipan about 4k away,tomorrow I will start from the mosque. The place was nice and clean and run by Radiah and his wife Sannah who are listed in Famed travel log Lonely Planet.In this area the people are Susak, a different form of Islam About 90% are Susak and rest Balianese, mainly Hindu.The Susaks are definitely the poorer relations.
Then a couple of low distance days due mainly to heavy traffic. The first day I stayed with a Hindu family who were very warm and friendly once they figured out what I was about. As mentioned before there are not many hotels and they often come too early in my day or are just a tad too far. This family Inahyu.his wife Sliarni and his brother Augussutamat sat outside with me in the coolness of that evening and we chatted as best we could before they gave me a nice comfortable mattress inside to sleep on. Next day I made it to Lembar for a 5 hour ferry crossing to Padang Bai in Bali. The ferries are very cheap,only a couple dollars but just like the airlines here many companies have a bad safety record.There have been a few sinking s over the last few years. That night I slept in the ferry terminal office which had a corner full of old broken pulman seats. The security guards were asleep or didnt seem ti care.so I just settled down to sleep before setting across Bali. Indonesia’s most famous tourist destination.especially for the Aussies. In the aftermath of the tragic 2002 Bali terrorist bombings in which dozens of tourists lost their lives Bali’s tourism and as a laid back innocent holiday destination suffered and has only recently recovered to its previous claim to being South East Asias premier resort.That first day I had a glorious 4 lane divided to run on and was able to run most of my 46km on the road.no worries about overtaking vehicles from behind.except for the odd scooter going the wrong way to make a right turn. I made it to Denpasar. Bali’s capital. It is a huge sprawling dirty mess.which would have been at home in Latin America.Huge growth.growing faster than it’s infastructure can cope with.Bali island is about the same size and population of around 4 million as Lombok island, primarily Hindu.The pavements are falling apart and one has to walk around
It was late when I got into Denpasar. It then started to rain heavily so I took shelter in a Chinese warung,as restaurants are called here. I emerged from the warung totally satisfied,for the Chinese rarely disappoint. Where to stay next was a problem for there were no budget hotels to be seen. I aimlessly wandered around the streets of this large city for a while. I saw a young girl of about 20 years of age wheeling her scooter through the gate of a very nice fancy house,so I asked her.She gave me directions to some place,it sounded complicated. In the fuss her father came out,they both spoke decent English and were very friendly,so I told them about the run and offered my usual $5 equivalent if they would let me sleep under their porch. Ketut was his name,a water meter inspector and collector from 10,699 meters from the surrounding villages. He invited me inside to sleep on the sofa! His daughter Wanda works in the airport. His wife Made works in the market selling the delicious pastries she bakes in the evening and I can testify they are delicious :-) They each earn about US$200 a month. Ketut showed me some figures im a book and I noted one village had 36 water metres with the average usage at $6 a month. Then he showed me one village which had 177 metres on his computer but only got 176 readings. He suspects fraud and will investigate the next day.

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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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Dry Max Sports
John Buckley


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Aware is The World Jog Charity.