Archive for September, 2013

Magnificent Malaysia

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Please periodically check back on this blog posting comments for texted updates..

First road day in Malaysia was a joy even if I had difficulty getting out of the built up Johor Bahru area of the deep south with its tangle of highways.After about 20.km it straightened out and I had a wide shoulder on a busy 6 lane divided highway. Not a single honk,gawk or attempt to run me off the road..Heaven  First impressions excite me, I could be in many places in Europe. Malaysia population -  just over 29 million.

61 percent of the country practise Islam. 19 percent of the country practises Buddhisim
The people are smart and futuristic.

Most popular sport in Malaysia is soccer , followed by badminton and hockey.  Running in Malaysia is also very popular as I will soon find out as many of the local runners are gathering to give me the great ‘ helping hand ‘ as I call it on my way north to Thailand.

 The hotels have hot showers,no bugs and are clean. No penny pinching as they usually include towels, soap, drinking water, toilet roll, functioning toilets and have mirrors. Yes I can remember women in Mexico and other central American hotels cutting small hotel size bars of soap in two and spending ages wrapping about ten sheets of toilet roll on pieces of cardboard for each room. They usually sat in the hotel reception doing this as they watched television!
34k for that first day, a slow start.

That night I stayed in the Impress Hotel in Sinai and ate a delicious stir fry dinner with 2 teas all this for just €12.
Of course this could go belly up in a few days but a great first impression.
Malaysia is an Islamic country with a great multi racial mix. The Chinese are very prominent. English is widely understood.

Malaysia continues to impress. I am almost a week here and after a three month torment on and off the road I am delighted by the place,as excited as a young lad smitten with a new girlfriend! The fun is back in the running,very much so:-)
Malaysia is working hard towards its goal to achieve developed world status by year 2020. Good luck I say as from what I have observed in these early days is quite impressive. No idiot driving,or people carrying factory gates,sheets of plywood on scooters with precarious attachments to their bikes. I actually see people taking driving lessons,others with learner signs and courtesy on the road.Ah! Yes the British influence,same with Singapore.
General signs are often in English,I guess to get people using the words more.There is also a huge Chinese community here and I often hear English words and phrases used between them.
2016 is the year when it will be compulsory for students to pass English in their exams.
Malaysian right-wing activist Ibrahim Ali president of Perkasa s group that champions Malay supremacy concedes that while the Bahasa Malay language must not be compromised as the main language and agrees with the governments policy of the advancement of English as its the real world language and ‘the language of knowledge.

Running on through tropical forests of rubber trees where farmers had had slit the tree bark with machetes to collect the white rubber gung as it drips into a can wired to the tree.
That day 54k and my 35,000km of the run I made it to a warung where the 2 young lads played music till 1am. Well it was Malaysias 50th anniversary. Malaysia became a country in 1963 gaining its independence from the UK.
Next day it rained heavily,so a long shelter and thanks to 3 lads who bought me lunch,48k on route 24 towards Maur. Because I took a bypass Taking me away from the city I was stuck for a place to stay till I came to a building site which had a freshly tiled floor. I put some cardboard down but didn’t sleep too well as Malay mosquitoe repellent ain’t as good as Indonesian. As always, exhausted from hours lying awake  I eventually fell asleep. Another short sleep, I will pay for it on the road tomorrow. And so I did pay for it as every one of that days 45km was tough for it was also hot with little water en route,so I had to hussle some water a couple of times from parked drivers.
Places are more spread out here than in Indonesia. I made it to an hotel just before Melaka. Ah! Yes I am due a comfy bed and a hot shower.
A very late start next morning because I could hear the rain pounding down outside, so it was easy to take a long snooze!
Eventually the sun broke through my sleep and I was off and running again, Well at least the 4km as far as Melaka till I came to Domino Pizza who were advertising a lunch time special. A quick check of my watch 12.08pm Yes! Just started. So a satisfied belly ran out of Melaka onto a delightful 4 lane divided highway with my own almost 3 meter shoulder, can it get any better than this I ask, Ah yes! I love running here,
Eventually I found my rhythm pushing on and on full of energy, not wanting to stop till I got about 2km before Rembau where I had a very pleasant experience at the Hotel Rembau. The very friendly owner fussed over me like I was a rare customer. Firstly this nice clean hotel at about 6 euro was almost half the price of the previous cheapest hotel. Only complaint was the shower was cold. He had a shop so I was able to buy satchels of tea and coffee also pot noodles, biscuits, crisps and chocolate, so that was dinner and breakfast sorted as he had a hot water machine for my beverages. He brought me to a separate building where these economy rooms were, just a mattress on the floor, no big deal. He then started pulling a second mattress up off the floor just to make room for my bike! As he said.
No bike mister, I am running around the world! I am so used to places not being cleaned out properly or neglected just because they are economy. So nice to meet a decent person like this, not a capitalist who upon learning of my mission he then brought me in a cable box for the satellite channels on the television, no worries, not going to watch it! He then left me larger spoons for my beverages and told me he respected what I was doing and offered me another night complimentary, which I declined. A magnificent 57km that day after such a late start, wish every day was this good, Funny how I assumed before the run even began that I would have my run finished every day around lunchtime and I would be spending my afternoons in Internet cafes!  Couldn’t have been further from the truth those days back in Ireland when running was all so easy and I day dreamt and day dreamt of life on the road.

Then another splendid 52km day from the hotel to Beranang. This days running was made easy by an early 6.20am start, out of the traps like a hungry rabbit I ran non stop for 4 and a half hours, a rarity for me, my rapid progress slowed down once I stopped in Seramban, a sprawling small city. I stopped for lunch then went down the road to an eye watering bakery and purchased a box of their delicious pastries, so it was a rare backtrack on the run, hate going backwards, but this time it was to the restaurant for coffee to wash down my goodies!
Eventually it was time to run on but the heart was knocked out of me when I seemed to have taken a wrong turn in a poorly marked construction zone and ran an almost complete circle around the city, an estimated 10km extra, so only 52km recorded for that days 62km effort :-(
Also another time killing Internet stop.

When I don’t finish in a town with an hotel it seems to be more difficult to find a place to stay than in Indonesia, I guess the more affluent Malaysians just don’t get it when I offer them a few dollars for a place to sleep. The lady that served me dinner in the warung in Beranang told me there was no hotel in their very small town and the next was just a little to far for me that day. Not true for next morning I ran by a motel just 6 kilometers away in Semenyih. So I just explained again what I was doing, showing her and a few patrons one of my Google translated home made Malaysian business cards.
One of the local lads, a truck driver  called Ahmad Nazmi checked out this website on his iPhone and offered me a place for the night. So before jumping into his truck to go to his house about 3km away I touched the door post of the warung for I will restart my run to the Malaysian capital from here in the morning.
Ahmad Nazmi shared a house with his twin brother who has an almost identical and confusing name for me, but not for anyone else it seemed for his twins name is Ahmad Nazim. Also present was their friend Zulpadli. Very respectfully the lads let me sort my gear in my pack and no mauling of my equipment as in Indonesia.
I had a really nice sleep on a floor mat and treated the twins to breakfast next morning.

I had a wonderful time on my run into Kuala Lumpar or KL as the Malaysian capital is often known as. A Frenchman called Thierry and Miyuki his Japanese wife who first contacted me a year ago when I was in Argentina just happened to be in KL now. They are both runners and are traveling permanently in their retirement. So thankfully they contacted me and joined me on the road for the last 27km of my 40km run into the city. They have rented an apartment and took me back for the night. We were joined on the road by some local runners. One of them Allan who recently ran the tough French mountain race UTMB or Ultra Trail Mont Blanc. Allan so used to running with a heavy pack was soon recruited to run with my pack

Other runners Jeff, Tey and Cally also members of the local running club F.R.I.M came out to greet us on the side of the motorway but as they had their vehicles with them unfortunately couldn’t run with us. We ran about 15km on the motorway without any problems with the police. Sometimes the shoulder was a bit tight so Allan ran on ahead waving the drivers to move out to make room for us! As always the so respectful drivers didn’t complain, honk or get angry unlike a certain other country whose drivers reminded me of a certain Jim Carey movie the more I ran there!
I have decided to take up Thierry and Miyuki’s kind offer of a rest day today Sunday. Thierry’s website is http://www.runningwithoutborders.com . We plan to start running north out of the city at 7am on Monday and hope more runners can join us. The FRIM running club, especially Tey are helping me find runners and contacts on my route towards the Thai border which is about 12 days away. Last night we all went out for a delicious dinner. Tey and Cally shot several videos including an interview which are already on YouTube. I plan to post them on this website soon… Thank you so much to everyone here for making my run into KL so,so memorable.

Total distance run in 816 road days is 35,255km. I am approx 20 marathons ahead of my bid to run 1,000 marathons in 1,000 road days.

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Singapore to Malaysia.

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Had a nice three day rest in Singapore, such a clean city very strict on littering. I am sure we have all heard of the no spitting rule and as a result with stiff penalties it is by and large observed. For locals to be charged with this or littering it would be a case of social stigma. Well done Singapore!

A couple of times I wanted to clear my throat but didn’t as I don’t want to be accused of being a hypocrite!

I did see some litter, drink bottles and wrappers left behind at bus shelter seats and picnic areas and was told that was perhaps the result of foreign immigrants which the government brings in here for it’s many construction projects. They use a huge amount of cheap labour for the trade unions are very weak here.

Singapore 50 years ago was just a small wasteland, an island at the end of the Asian peninsula. Now it’s a major world financial and business district with a population of around 4.5 million.

Most of the island is chopper blocked by high rise buildings. Low taxation on wages but very high on spending tax, for example a family car can cost $US 70,000 or about three times what it costs in expensive Ireland. If you want good services and want to live in the first world you got to pay for it.

My host Lyndon a runner himself decided to run me as far as the Malaysian border and in doing so became the first man to run an entire country with me, all 31km of it :)

Thanks Lyndon I enjoyed the company and wonder when I will have another runner to run with me. I hope I will not have to wait till I get to Europe! We made a couple of coffee stops for I was a bit rusty after my break. I have noticed that more than one day off the road that the rest is not totally beneficial.

I could have taken a ferry from Indonesia to Malaysia and totally skipped the lower end of this peninsula but really wanted to start the Asian mainland from Singapore, you see nobody has ever gone from Singapore to Europe by foot, so it will be nice to be the first!

An indication of how strict the Singaporean authorities are is that I saw signs just before the border with Malaysia saying that all Singapore vehicles must top up their petrol tanks three quarters full or face a S$500 fine, for the petrol is much cheaper in Malaysia than massively taxed Singapore. Many people work in Singapore, get the huge wages there and commute to the Malaysian border city of Johor Bahru where they can live in comfort for cheaper. As a result the cost of living in Johor Bahru I am told is more expensive than in other Malaysian cities.

After Lyndon left me I had a bit of a scare as I was told I could not run across the bridge as it was too dangerous. After an intensive plea to the official I was very fortunate that he let me take the motorcycle lane which was closed off from the main road. I was told I could run that way at my own risk. The motorcycle lane was narrow, windy and very busy. Perhaps these particular work commuters prefer to travel by bike, being the best way to make this commute practical  for there were long,long lines of cars which was surely time consuming. The motorcycle lane was really busy, narrow and windy, it was very dangerous but I made it. It was about 2km to the immigration office. I climbed over the barrier into the car lane and was escorted by a surprised immigration officer into the immigration building. Not used to seeing pedestrians he kindly showed me the way and in doing so we went in an elevator to the second floor. Then I realised I had broken my trail, is an elevator against the rules? Not really sure even though I was ascending and not going forward. I just explained and returned to the ground floor climbing the two flights of stairs!

I crossed into Malaysia. First impression, I am back in civilisation after Indonesia! And in this border city the drivers are very respectful. Same in Singapore as I just couldn’t get used to leisurely drivers not wanting to run me over at pedestrian crossings! Ah Yes, when the law is enforced

Let’s see what the rest of Malaysia is like.

In Singapore I did a lot of late night work on Lyndon’s computer and as a result got very little sleep. Sleep is important for me as the muscle and tendon beatings I get on the road are best repaired by sleep.

The runners best repairing is done during sleep. I was extremely tired on the road today and decided to find a hotel in Johor Bahru and take a rest day Friday, and sleep I did, a glorious 20 hour sleep getting up once for the bathroom.

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Road day 800 towards the equator – the dream is very much alive.

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

* You may have noticed there is some kind of a glitch on the Spot tracker at the moment as it says last day ran was 33 days ago when in fact it was 3 days ago. I hope it clears again when I start back on Thursday 12th.

My heart is always sad and heavy on this day, 9/11. My thoughts were with my many American friends today.

As mentioned before. Please read the comments regularly as I hope to continue texting to Ann to submit. Obviously I cant leave the backbone of the blog on the comments, so here I am moving them into the blog. I hope to have time to edit and picture before I start running from Singapore to Malaysia, my 23rd country on Thursday. Its 1,800km to Bangkok, Thailand where Nirvana is waiting for me! Singapore is the smallest country on the run, all 25km of it. I will have Lyndon my host here to run me out of town. Lyndon is originally from Maynooth, Co. Kildare, in Ireland. He has been working here for many years as an investments manager and is married to Li, a Malaysian he met in Trinity College many years ago.

After Singapore press HERE to see my immediate route through Malaysia and over the border into Hat Yai in Thailand. Mainland Asia begins on the Singapore Straight sea front with the next sea crossing in Calais France!

By the way almost forgot to mention that Thailand where I will be entering in about 3 weeks time only issues a 15 day visa on arrival = VOA for land border crossings. So it was looking like another costly and time consuming ‘ visa run ‘ So I applied for and picked up a 60 day Thai visa in their Singapore embassy today. Normally 3 days to process but they gave me a next day service when I told them what I was doing. So there is no problem visa wise for the next 3  countries as both Malaysia and Laos are VOA countries,. After that the fun begins with the big three China, Kazakhstan and Russia. These three are huge obstacles and are like three colossal jumps in a show jumping arena for me, one after the other. They have taken up a huge amount of my pillow time over the last three years. lets just say I hope to get help with the Chinese one, Kaz will be difficult as I need about 10 weeks. Until recently they were only issuing a double entry 30 visa, 30 days per entry that is. That was a bit tight for me and too little time as my route is about 3,000km. They have just started issuing triple 30 day visas which means I would have to leave twice only to return but fortunately the first 800km are very close to the Kyrgyzstan border. Kyrgyzstan since July 2012 have been a VOA country. There is a possibility I may include Kyrgyzstan in the run as this would minimise my disruption. This just makes the run 100km longer, so very much a plan there. I would then have to make an exit between my second and third Kazak entries. I have a decent plan for the Russian visa, so let’s see. After Russia it’s all plain sailing or even running because it’s visa Heaven in the Ukraine and the European Union all the way to Dublin :)

Many thanks to my hosts Lyndon and Li and their great maid Luz here in Singapore.

Many thanks to Luz, Katie, Li, Wes and Lyndon for a lovely time and hospitality in Singapore. I enjoyed the 3 day rest.

Yesterday I was thrilled to be asked to speak to about 10 staff at the Irish embassy, unfortunately Joe Hayes the ambassador was called away to the Philippines that very morning. Still his wife Deirdre and the staff made me so welcome.

Lyndon and I then went to the Tanglin Club to have dinner with some nice athlete friends of his.Friday and Saturday every time I got annoyed with Indonesian drivers, people gave me a boost with small offerings to restore my faith in the country. It’s not the peoples I feel like this,that is till the get behind a wheel or a scooter. They are the most dangerous drivers on the run,by a long shot. I honestly cannot even imagine how much more difficult it would be if I was pushing Nirvana my cart through all this. The gawkers,maulers and rubbernecks would have an eye opener,that’s for sure. Nirvana by the way was sent on ahead from Auckland to Bangkok. I can’t imagine doing this in rainy season either for I am told it rains all day every day. It’s now the dry or hot season,around 35C which is pretty hot with all this humidity. Nothing dries out fully overnight when hung out to dry. I forgot to mention this when I was talking about drying my socks which as you remember I slip over my water bottles while I run. My other clothes I just stick on my pack. As it hadn’t rained in two months I threw away my rain coat which I had cut down to size.I had cut off excess below the belt,sleeves and pockets. As soon as I threw it away the showers returned :-(

A couple of times they didn’t charge for tea or coffee and other snacks when I ran for cover to their shops and coffee shops. Just after a heavy half hour shower I saw a scooter skid off the road into a ditch,rider and passenger unhurt. I get to the top of a hill and two goats walk across the road,so there is a bit of bedlam for me to run around as the shoulder is muddy and full of puddles, I work hard to stay out of the worst of it.

On into the filthy town of Bayung Lencir and I see a man ride his scooter with a baby that’s surely only one year old standing on the base plate as he rides. He was constantly moving his legs to keep Infant in place. I check into a grubby hotel and the owner decides to burn all his plastic rubbish,not down the back of his large garden but at the steps of his hotel and the toxins are blowing into his hotel. I have done so much headshaking in Indonesia that I am afraid my head will fall off! 47km slugged out that day. No internet in town. Saturday pretty similar day but only 36km as I starred late,sheltered more and stopped early in Sungai Landai at a warung called Ojo Lali where the owner called Dwi Duys is letting me sleep. Tomorrow,Sunday will be road day 800 of the dream :-) total 34,470km

September 1st was Day 800 of my run around the world. I started at around latitude -1.85 degrees from the equator. I expect to be at the centre of the earth next weekend. Readers that don’t know you can check my location by clicking on my last Spot location. While I am at it I should mention you can see Googles pictures by dragging the yellow man on the + and – zoom over to the map to view.
The day ended with an uneventful 43km. For me the most eagerly awaited kilometre of the entire run will be km 42,195 I expect all marathon runners will quickly figure that is 1,000 marathons. My own personal challenge within the run is to run this in under 1,000 road days. This challenge has helped to keep me focused and motivated. At the moment I have 818 run, so am about 18 ahead. Ah yes I remember Terry Cleary back in Darwin say we ultra runners treat kilometres we run like they are ice lollies! I guess that means marathons too :-) I expect to run that kilometre, my 1,000th marathon in west China, near Urumqi in mid March. Now what other big Irish day is in Mid March.. Got me thinking :-) I am up for this challenge. For me the only worry will be progress during the short days of a cold Chinese winter. Obviously getting a bigger lead before then would be an enormous help. Let’s see how it goes. Being 18 marathons ahead of the average required is now 39.5km per road day. If I continue running as I am now this average required distance will keep dropping every month, then very dramatically in the last 2 or 3 months. A pleasant experience I remember only too well from the final hours of my world treadmill record attempts as with fantastic crewmen I was always so lucky to have I somehow always managed to stay ahead of record pace it was always an enjoyable canter near the end with the world record secured. When I get to the equator I will tick off two more requirements for a true circum navigation of the world. Briefly, besides the obvious stuff and documentation there are 5 criteria to be fulfilled. So far I have one, that is the minimum distance of 26,000km which has long since been passed. The next 2 I will achieve at the equator as I will be to recrossing it after having first crosses in Ecuador about 18 months and about 18,000km ago. At the same time I will be declaring my ‘ antipodes. ‘

A typical place I stop for a break at. it doesn't take long for the gawkers to gather! That's my 2 kilo satchel. I have a water proof bag inside.

Antipodes are directly opposite points in the world,in other words if you drill from one directly through the earth you will come out at the other. Not as easy as you may think to find 2 opposites as so much of the world is ocean and wilderness,inaccessible like in parts of Siberia. There is a tolerance here and my 2 antipodes are my 2 equators, the village where the marker was in Ecuador and the one here in Indonesia. Requirement 4 is to run a minimum of 4 continents. I am running number 4 now. Requirement 5 will be achieved with my final footstep outside number 6 Merrion Sq North which means I have to finish in the same place I started. Total for 800 road days 34,513km . I am currently at latitude -1.65184.Time here to mention my good friend Tom Denniss who in a few days time will be finishing his 26,000km+ almost 21 month run around the world in his native Sydney, Australia.  Good on ya matey, I knew you would do it. Follow Toms last few days on his website HERE

My celebration meal for road day 800 was a modest pot noodle meal followed by biscuits and a couple of cappuccinos! I had made it to a hotel which was between villages, so was even lucky to get that in the petrol station next door. Next day for some reason I didn’t feel like breakfast and my lunch was only an ice cream,a bar of chocolate and a cola so it was no surprise I ran out of fuel running on the hills that Monday afternoon. Sumatra is pretty hilly. Still I managed a respectable 44km. I made it to a beat up warung which as I mentioned before is a restaurant. It had no electricity but was quiet, just the owner and his wife there. There was a sheltered area outside for day napping so I asked if I could stay there and he agreed. I paid him a few dollars as is my custom and had a decent meal and a 12 hour rest for I put head to pillow around 7pm. As always mosquitoes are a pest. I use repellent which comes in sachets or small tubes as my experience is that aerosol cans leak out,they are also very bulky. I use sachet shampoo and buya couple at a time and disposable razors as I need them.

Bulk is also important to me. He offered me a wash down in the mandi bucket method. I refused as sometimes its healthiest to go unwashed for an extra day. For it was across a muddy field where I would have to strip off in a filthy mosquito filled shack under the light of my flash light. Then pour cold water over my body. No tonight I am camping just like in the Australian outback. There was one period when we didn’t have a camp site or road house for a week. One night I filled a squirt water bottle with warm soapy water and had a grand shower when I stood on a concrete slab in my jocks!

Tuesday morning this man set me up for a bad mood day when he seriously overcharged me for breakfast. The most expensive in all of Indonesia and a dump. Funny how the only problems I have had in this country,police. refusals,suspicion,overcharging has only been in Islamic Indonesia. Not a problem anywhere else in the country and I still remember the Iman in that mosque in Lombok who never even looked at me or offer a handshake or acknowledge my presence in anyway when a man was asking him if I could sleep on an adjoining sheltered area. I am not saying the Muslims are any less hospitable, far from it as what I am asking is a big ask, to stay in their home, even if they are poor and I am paying them. I just think they are more suspicious and harder to break the ice with in many cases.

Of the 5 or 6 live snakes on the run, not to mention the countless still or dead ones, three have been in Indonesia.

What with all lunatics on the road and the filth and dirt I will be glad to be gone in a few days time. Every where I cast my eye I see litter. No exaggeration for I have done my own unscientific test as I ran along. On 50 movements of my head I randomly focus my eyes and yes there is always litter, on all 50 occasions. Indonesia has significantly more dirt and filth than even Peru had. What is the government doing re collections and education I wonder.
The hills continued today along with some heavy rain, some of which I ran through for I finished strongly at another warung with 46km for my days work. Total 34,603km for 802 road days and about a degree and a quarter from the equator.

Had a couple hours internet today,Fri for first time in almost 2 weeks,so with rain showers and my usual slow start I did well to chalk up 39 ice lollies! Total 34,745 for 805 days. I made it to a cafe in Pangkalan Kasai as another downpour beat out of the sky so a rain shelter ended up being a nite shelter after a couple teas.

I settled down to sleep on the mat and pillow Succillo kindly provided for me. There has been some conflicting information the locals have given me about how far to the equator but to cut a long story short it seems my calculation of 100km from here to the equator line via Japura is correct,at least I hope it is. Another person told me they moved the monument!! I mean how do you move the equator,only in Indonesia!

So I plan to end Indonesia hopefully on Sunday,8th September at the equator. I will continue South East Asia from Singapore. I regret to say I did not make it there before my MSB clubmate Stafford Bagot went on holidays.Stafford lives there and has kindly sent my packages to Lyndon an Irish man who has offered to help,thanks lads and I am afraid there will not be a next time running through!

The traffic has been much lighter since leaving Palembang almost 2 weeks ago. Though the nutters are still there I can run more on the road.

I saw one man playing his guitar, he was the pillion passenger, a good laugh.

I stayed in their warung too, more great people.

Another day a man selling logs in a village I run through puts a log standing on the road, a good metre out onto the road to entice customers. This means Approaching traffic has to slow down or take a risk moving out when they are faced with an oncoming vehicle. The police just drive by and do nothing. Indonesia is a dysfunctional country, partly due to it’s corrupt government, Indonesia being one of the most corrupt nations in the world.

I am very tired of Indonesia to put it mildly. I am here to run across their country and they have ruined the experience with their stupidity. I love the people but so often the drivers are a different breed,when I am on the road I hate the country when I’m off it I love it, don’t want to come back.

Two days ago I ran 53k and sheltered from rain in poor peoples house,they had almost nothing. I wondered what do the people look forward to There will never be a rock concert or even a football game to go to. I stayed in the police station. Next day 50k and I stayed in a warung.

The day before I got to the equator I ran 59km which would leave a marathon the next day. The warung I stayed in there was nice, they gave me a mattress in my own room, someone was shifted out to make room for me, that often happens. The bathroom was fairly clean, so I had a decent wash as described before, but in this place they had fish in the large mandie tank! I washed my clothes, need to be clean for my flight to Singapore. Hopefully I can get a good early start.

I did get away early, but could have gotten away earlier as I was still tired from yesterdays big effort, I was also tired on the road and stopped a couple of times.

As mentioned before; in Javanese ' mangan ' means to eat! he loves himself, if he was food he would eat himself :)

Then I got to the equator, it was a bit of an anticlimax, still a great thrill.

The equator has been reached and Indonesia run :)  My run through the southern hemisphere all the way from the equator In Ecuador which I through in Feb 2012 is dedicated to my late step father John Foley whose birthday it is today, September 8th when I reached the centre of the world.

The equator at last!

Thanks to Abdul for taking photos I will post shortly. Hoping to catch flight to Singapore tonight.Staying with Irish people for couple days.

3,649km run in 88 road days in Indonesia. A distance almost identical to Melbourne to Darwin across Australia. Much of the world probably thinks of Indonesia as being a chain of small islands. Sumatra, part of the Indonesian Archipelago is the 5th largest island in the world after Australia, Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo, with a land mass of 473,481km2. With a population of over 40 million people.

It is made up of many different ethnic tribes speaking 52 different
languages including Indonesian, Achenese, Toba Batak, Karo Batak,
Melayu and Minangkabau amongst the many. The terrain on Sumatra is
mostly mountainous


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Java Traffic Videos

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Press HERE to view video 1.


Press HERE to view video 2.


Press HERE to view video 3.

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The Indonesian Equator Has Been Run Over!

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

The equator has been run to in Sumatra, Indonesia.







Thanks to Abdul on left for taking my photos. His family home is half in the northern and half in the southern hemisphere.

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Indonesian Photos I promised before

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

At long last I spot and get a photo of family of 6 on a bike!

One day just as I was preparing myself for another day at the start of my run. This man walked past me very quickly! The drivers were calling out ‘ Mister, Mister! ‘ to me!



A lot of poor people wander along the highways. They never begged from me.

Man fishing in a sewer


Toilet in a warung/restaurant which also doubles as a shower. You pour scoops of cold water over your body from the bucket or a tank called a 'mandie' Once I saw fish swim in a mandie!Monkey



Very few of the women and girls are shy to stop and talk


A lot of poor people wander along the highways. They never begged from me.


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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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Aware is The World Jog Charity.