Archive for October, 2013

Thanks to Nakhon Sawan area running clubs

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

The last few days have been a bit of a slugging out contest as I have found the heat and humidity to be a problem. I am making lots of stops and some of these are LOOOONNNNGGGGG!! stops. I just find it easier and more pleasant running in the evening, so my days and evenings have been long.

People continue to be kind towards me, yesterday I arrived at a shop which had almost nothing to eat except noodles, so I asked them to mix up the noodles and had a bag of crisps, they didn’t charge. I didn’t feel comfortable about this but they insisted. Everyday people make nice small gestures like giving me a bottle of water or a piece of fruit.

I like Thailand very much, the only down is the standard of English is very bad, few people speak it well. So Tuesday I finished with 62km and slept on a bed at a restaurant beside a petrol station. Finding places to sleep is still a bit of a problem. I made a stupid impulsive buy of a small hammock, don’t think I will use it. I was all set to run another long 60km+ when runners from the Bang Khunthaian and also the Suaeto running club jumped out of a car at km 30 and ran the last 6km to town with me where they put me up in a nice hotel. I chose a delicious American breakfast for dinner and will be ordering the same in the morning.

Thank you so much guys, it was lovely running with you, I needed an early day. So it looks like I will finish running Thailand on Monday, 263km I figure. I will then return to Bangkok for my Indian visa which I mentioned before takes 6/8 days to process.

A quick word on my upcoming country, Myanmar the 25th country of the run,

I have no intention in getting involved by way of comment on the political situation there. I just want to run the country. I applaud the country on its recent efforts to bring democracy to the country. I look forward to meeting some wonderful people in Myanmar.

Press HERE for my Myanmar route beginning on November with just a 28 day visa, so busy days ahead. When I get through I will ease back on the daily distances!

So it was a short 36k today, a day in which I clocked up my 37,000th kilometre :)

Total 37,027km for 849 road days. I looks like the 1,000 marathons in 1,000 road days is going to be a done deal now that I wont have bad Chinese weather to cope with. Much to my surprise I see I a couple of days ago I passed my great friend Jesper Olsens longest run distance of 36,917km. I didn’t realise this as I somehow thought it was 38,000km!

Nice to hear an Irishman won Mondays Dublin marathon, well done Sean Heiher the first Irish mens winner of the Dublin Marathon in 20 years! I will see you next year Sean! However we will be at opposite ends of the field, you wearing your race number 1 and me probably 52,000 for my likely finishing distance. In the womens race well done also to Ireland’s Maria Mc Cambridge first Irish winner since the glory days of Sonia O Sullivan You both did Ireland proud and a much needed shot in the arm for Irish athletics. Belated congrats also to Rob Heffernan who won gold in the 50km race walk in the Moscow world athletics Championships a couple of months ago.

Press HERE for very rough route through India and Nepal after Myanmar, this is only a proposed route to New Delhi

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The Bangkok To New Delhi Plan

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Had a nice rest in Bangkok thanks to Danny and Sooki who despite their very busy schedules still made me so welcome.


Danny, Sooki and Molly.

Due to my new route change and a ton of emails and added research part of which is explained below. Whereas this Asian plan B has always been there, fine tuning it is a time-consuming affair. Many thanks yet again to Portland, Oregon man Greg Havely for easing my work load.


Unfortunately this has put paid to my other plan, I didn’t managed to catch up on the blog as hoped, sorry. LATER>>> Just churned out 2 very long rough at the edges unedited blogs based on the texts I sent to the blog over the last month. Please check the comments regularly for updates on the run.

The plan going forward is complicated, very complicated, so the decision I have made is to leave Nirvana here in Bangkok. You see it appears the borders are closed between Myanmar/Bangladesh.  I did consider running Bangladesh for a while but as it’s a longer route and the  closed borders but paid to that idea.

Also the Myanmar/India border is reportedly  closed. Closed borders means I have to run as far as I can, touch the border post then backtrack to a city and fly over the border, returning on a bus, touch the border from the other side and start running again. It has not happened yet on the run.

Not much I can do about any no mans land. I will still be running every possible metre put in front of me. I guess I have to treat it like I did when the road ran out in Central  America at the Darien Gap jungle.

This segment has been so tough and complicated to plan. So here is that plan from Bangkok to New Delhi, 4,500 kilometres.

I figure that as my Myanmar visa is only valid for 28 days and my route there is a hefty 1,350km an what with the closed border meaning the need to back track to Mandalay, some 500 km for my afternoon flight, this effectively is only 26 days, a tall order. Also I am unsure what the roads are like there, if there will be any delays.

I just want to run across Myanmar, I have no political interest.

Lets just say there is no template for running this area. I will just have to run the hand that has been dealt to me as best as I can!

And you know what….  I am not even one little bit disappointed or missing not running China!

And they can keep  all that snow and Siberian temperatures! Danny told me it was already -20C in the Chengdu area! He said that the people here if they don’t have work just sit around for there is fruit everywhere, they just pick some fruit to eat and laze around… But in China, if you don’t work, you die.

I plan on arriving at the Thai/Myanmar border 500km away from Bangkok to cross on the 5th November. I will also have to make up the lost day to return to Bangkok for my Indian visa.

Tomorrow,Sat the 26th begins the fourth and thankfully the last year of the run! For its three years today since this great fun all began! :) :) :)

I restart from where I finished last Sunday at Saint Peter Thonburi School way out in a Bangkok suburb at around 9am.

Many thanks to Narumol despite being in Japan for an extended break has helped and encouraged me a lot, He has also been contacting other people to run or assist me.. Tomorrow he will have a driver pick me up at 8am to return me to the route.

From the school it is almost 500km to the Mai Sot Myanmar border crossing. I wanted to cross at Mai Sai which is a  more northern border crossing and a lesser distance across the country formerly known as Burma. However some of my research found that just past that border there are restrictions and no go areas near a place called Keng Tung.

The problem is things can change for the better or worse at any time and its very hard to get any real reliable and up to date information.

I thought it best to book my flight out of Myanmar in advance, just in case of any problems with time or access to internet, After all I am unlikely to get ahead of my tough schedule here. It will also work as a carrot. If I fall short I will just take the flight and return on another flight for a fresh 28 days VOA, visa on arrival. The only flight I could find over the border to India took about 24 hours including a 5 hour lay over in China! Not having the time to research Chinese transit visas or if I even needed one I declined, sorry lads, you had your chance :) Besides it was 260 euro and I only want to get over the border and remember it could even be open when I get there!

I was also worried about pushing Nirvana my cart with my gear what with a ticking clock to get out before my visa runs out before I run out. And then have to transport her on a bus back, no idea how difficult that would be, and wrap her up for the flight. As mentioned before, now that China is gone she is a bit of a burden to me. I have posted home all my serious winter gear and excess baggage. When I run with a pack my only luxury is a couple of sd cards for playing my music in my phone, gone is the ipod, no extras. There was a time when a phone was a luxury, now it is a vital tool for this run.

So I booked my flight out of Myanmar for the 3rd December back here to Bangkok, 54 euro. Danny says he will mind her for me. She is packed and taped up in a tarp. I arrive back here at 3pm and noticed there is a flight to Calcutta that same night at 11pm, so definitely doable. The trouble is Calcutta is 1,500km away from where I will finish up. That flight costs about 140 euro including Nirvana’s excess charge with Air Asia. The nearest Indian city to where I finish up at the Myanmar/Indian border is called Imphal which is marked ‘ E ‘  on my proposed route from Bangkok to New Delhi.

However the good news is that Air India have a connection from New Delhi to Imphal for about 70 euro, perfect and now I am thinking of dropping her in New Delhi and running all the way there from Bangkok with just my pack. I ran this idea by with Greg and we both reckon this will be just like my run through the Andes last winter when I ran with amy two kilo pack, no tent and only a summer sleeping bag. Now I have just a sheet bag, I regret giving that summer bag away in Timor-Leste, I should have sent it here. Over the Andes there were only a couple of scary times in Peru when I had difficulty finding places to stay, but I did and will again. Not as tough as China, that’s for sure!!

So all I need is a contact in New Delhi to mind Nirvana for a couple of months, Perhaps the Irish embassy will.  I plan to send them a mail.

If I can swing this it will be a good idea I should enter India in New Delhi. Air India have a flight from Bangkok to there for roughly the same cost as the Calcutta flight.

As mentioned in the comments I got approval for a triple entry Indian visa here in Bangkok. The only problem is it will take 6/8 working days to process, so I will have to return for that before crossing to Myanmar, a day lost there. With the triple entry I have the option of running in Nepal, what a blast, running in the Himalayas :)


Press HERE to view my next proposed route . Point A is my restart location at Saint Peter Thonburi School near Bangkok,

Point B is the Thai/Myanmar border crossing at Mai Sot. This border is open. Point C is Mandalay City where I have to exit Myanmar from at the end of my run across the country. If the Myanmar/Indian border at point D is open I will gladly run across and forfeit the flight! From Imphal, at point E as you can see is just a short 100km bus ride back  to the Indian border so as I can start running across the subcontinent! Yeee- Ha!

At point F in Kathmandu, Nepal, the Himalayas  I think I will surely be in Heaven! I understand Nepal is a free VOA country. They are actively encouraging tourism and scrapped their visa but I need to confirm this. I will then re-enter India and run to their great capital,New Delhi. If my ambitious plan works out I will be there by the end of January/beginning February.

Please read 2 new postings below.


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Thai….riffic time in Thailand!

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Sorry folks another rapid churning out of this blog, and no time to edit, gotta go to bed!

First day in Thailand Kittipop my local contact arrives at my hotel, well McDonald’s which was the first sign I saw when I crossed over last night!. He lives in Hat Yai some 57km away. He drove over this morning to welcome me to Thailand and take my pack. He says he will cycle out later and pace me into town.

And so he did with 20k to go. With 9k to go he got off his bike and ran.With 3k to go I stopped in a 7~11 store and when I came out there was a group of about 10 Hat Yay running club members waiting for me.:-)
I am certain they took me the long way around town and reckon I did their regular training session on top of my official 57k. Still it was fun especially the stadium finish,which is their clubhouse,then we had to run a lap of their synthetic 400m running track! Now there were about 50 members. What a reception,thanks for a memorable first day in Thailand.Two delicious plates of Thai food and I am on the way back to Kittipop’s.
Captain Crap means thank you phonetically in Thai!and.

Hat Yai Running Club gave me aa wonderful welcome.


Some readers with a good memory may wonder why I am running up the west coast of the Malay Peninsula   when I said I would be running on the east coast.

So when I researched it further and I asked a contact who lived there for his opinion.

This is what he said.

A quick look … your route  takes you through Narathiwat, but south of Pattani, not close to Yala, and in between Songkhla & Hatyai.


It so happens the route will pass close to my house (4 km)… a place to stay if the timing suits you.

You are heading into the bad lands as you cross into Thailand until around point 136.  I don’t know what to advise you over this area … Embassy advice perhaps but I have known of folks proceeding through these areas on bicycles or in cars with nothing more than the inconvenience of being stopped at the many military check points.

Answering your previous note re XXXXXX’s answer, we’re talking Islam bandits.  Will try to find a link to give you more detail however for many years now the Thai provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, Ghana have been influenced by several groups including Islamic groups in an attempt to break away from Thailand.  There are daily roadside bombings and ‘executions’ (military, police, government workers, teachers, etc., being the target).

Dogs, yes there are dogs but a stick normally makes them scatter.

I note you have chosen, whenever possible, isolated roads … good on you.  (Not true) But am not sure if this is wise or otherwise throughout the area indicated… silly question, but do you have any company with you?

I will try to make some enquirers for you and advise further.

Re the isolated roads, I am going to drive a couple of these in this area to ensure bridges are in place in a couple of areas where they weren’t about ten years ago. ”

So I decided to run the west coast, think I made a good decision there! A couple of days later I heard of a policeman being killed.

By now 36,000km have been run, then had lunch with SCG Running Club and had a lovely day despite the rain I had a nice run with them. The bossman went off and got some ointment for a cut on my leg, nice thoughtful people. Already I love Thailand I am having a great time. Thanks to Tey in KL for sorting contacts here and many others.

I have been putting in some big days since that first day in Thailand when I ran a 57. A couple of 50km days, a 55 and a lazy 41! Today I ran 61km and had huge support from local runners who joined me at about 6 different places!! many thanks to the Surat Thani running club for putting me up in a 5 star hotel!! I really enjoyed the run today, thanks to all runners!! Also on Monday I got to run with the CSG running club They are a concrete company and a couple runners were so enthused by my run that the boss gave them time off and he did support himself, still wearing his hard hat!
Also thanks to Sumpun from a few days ago for coming out to me, taking my bag some 30km forward! he couldn’t run as he had a 10km next morning. Sorry this is an express update as it’s 1.30 and I got to be up for 6am breakfast, need more time as they gave me two breakfast tickets, and then we all run again, the Surat Thani running club that is.
By the way there were over a dozen members with me tonight, 4 runners and other club members in 2 cars that drove behind us in the hard shoulder lighting up the way.
The roads are as good as in Malaysia, 4 lane divided highway with a 2/3 metre paved shoulder! I thought this whole coast was going to be hassle, but in fact its a breeze! lots of rain though as its the rainy season.

Thanks to all involved for such wonderful help and especially to Tey the ‘ Godfather of running contacts ‘ for putting this together with the help of so many, I cant even imagine how many.
Thanks to Danny in Bangkok for picking up Nirvana my cart from the Irish Embassy and thanks to Supara there also for her patience! i am going to put my head or rather my feet on the block here. I am going to make a massive effort to get to Bangkok on the 20th as that’s Sunday and I want to run with local runners :) it had been looking like the 22nd An added advantage is that I can make up some of the time I need in Bangkok to get Nirvana back in action and some other chores i need done… So that’s  it, almost 60km per day for 11 days!!

A bit like the Aussie Outback but I had the wonderful help of  Michael Gillan as crew driver there! hope this wonderful local support continues!! yawn, Its bed time, thanks for stopping by.
Distance update 36,135km for 833 road days. By the way I am about 23.4 marathons ahead of the 1,000 marathons in 1,000 road days and the average now required every time I lace up my shoes is now around 36.5km!!

Thailand continues to be wonderful to run in except for the dogs :(

Thanks to Sir Richard Beresford-Wylie owner and inventor of my favorite gadget right now, he  sent me on a Dazer. I have zapped many ugly sharp tooted dogs. The road continues to be exceptional,perhaps the best on the whole run, divided 4 lane and my own 2 to 3 meter paved shoulder. They pave the shoulder to encourage the motorbikes off the road. There are not too many bikes and I can see them coming as I run towards them,save for the odd one zooming up from behind frightening the bejasus out of me! The signage is first class,in the Thai script as well as in English. With the Thai script I have had some problems,from laptop keypad, yes that was fun! Also finding hotels as it rarely says hotel and as in many languages there are about 5 different words for a hotel. The letters “SNOSIN” kinda stands out of the script on one so I call it a snooze in,very fitting.
thanks again to the Surat Tanei Jogging club for their wonderful hospitality and for a great 7km run out of town before all returned late to work. Friday a runner came and took my satchel for 41 of my 51km. Thank you for I never got your name. Saturday,I feel like a dead dogs eye.An untidy 54k were slugged out and thankfully I found a Snosin as I did tonight after a most enjoyable 64km.and mostly easy effort. It has not rained in a few days.But hot!

With Bryan an American living in Bangkok and his friend Danny on right.

The following Monday was a great 65km day on the road.The lovely Thai’s don’t gawk only respect my space,intelligent people.In 2 weeks I have not witnessed any littering.
I find a snooze in but as its 650m down a lane its a bit of a killer as its off my route.Tuesday off to a flyer but slow up after 30km,its hot so I stop a lot.At 58k and knowing there is no hotel for another 15k.I stop at a shop and ask to sleep under their gazebo. A man brings me across the road to a monastery.Two monks Sopan and Nopie brought me bedding to put on an outside table.They spoke of a peaceful, meditative life without women.In the morning the barefooted orange~robed Buddhist monks will walk the streets collecting food from the faithful. Next Morning I sit beside the altar while Nopie dishes me out some breakfast he has gathered from the community. The has a small rice urn and a canvas shopping bag for the generous supplies the community have given him. The two monks are smoking in the temple, they tell me this is not considered disrespectful, so long as it’s not pot or cocaine.

They have tattoos and scars from previous fights before they became monks. He tells me the monks only eat breakfast and lunch, no dinner as Buddha says it makes them lazy and they will get horny and start going to sex shops and touching women in their private places. What a character, I never know what he is going to come out with next, I thought I was hearing things when he made those last comments!

Then Nopie tells me he has been to Europe several times. He has had more girlfriends than I have it seems, even has a child from a German woman who wont let him have any kind of a relationship with the child.
Some how this is not what I expected from Buddhist Monks!

I met Gosh one of the Bangkok Running club members. He stopped his car to tell me they are planning a major escort on Sunday when I run in to Thailand’s capital. He phoned Uruphong or Uru who also says they are going to throw me a party! Some will come out on Saturday to run.Am on schedule. I think its about 275km from today’s finish, so perhaps three or four more sixties and an easy Sunday. I committed to 3pm on Sunday.
thank you everyone :-)

I haven’t had any runners or helpers in 8 days and a few come out to run with me on Saturday, they keep coming and going, my head is in a spin, can’t keep up with names, Almost nobody speaks English. One man does his name is Uru, he was to prove to be a vital contact helping me with some of my own planning for he has a vast network of important contacts

Sunday morning there  about 20 runners turn up at the police station where I was sleeping.

The runners were told I would start at 7am, but they showed up at 5.30am all bright-eyed and bushy tailed!!!!

I enjoyed running with the runners but unfortunately they decided on a finish location way out of the city and off my route and didn’t even communicate with me or other runners about the change from the city centre. I know their hearts were in the right place however it was a bit annoying that they didn’t even communicate to tell runners that the route was changed one runner phoned me to say she was disappointed as she didn’t know,I was annoyed as now I got to return to a remote location to continue the run and find a way to get my cart there. I am annoyed also with myself for I lost control of my run for the very first time. All the time when I left the highway they kept insisting we were still running to Bangkok, all be it the greater Bangkok area. To me it looked more like running down the Cabra road and then into Glasnevin Convent, surely not Bangkok!

The party was attended by about 6 of us, a catered meal,  I was told the original place was booked out, thats why they made the route change.
You know even after explaining this several times, they still don’t get it and understand why I now got to return to that remote location and after all my hard days with 60km days to arrive on Sunday.I have been asked why I don’t restart from the city and not the remote school!!
Yes there were about 20 runners and we even got a police escort for the last 15km. The director of police for Bangkok is a runner. He told me he took the day off work to run 15km with me.

An officer drove the pickup while another dished out bottles of waster.

We stopped at a nice park with swings and slides for a break. Of course I got on the swing and as I was sitting on it fell over onto my back! The police chief rushed over, wouldn’t do to have me killed under his nose.

When we arrive at Saint Peter Thonburi School I talk and shower and after a substantial meal get a taxi and subway back to Bangkok and meet Danny a Dubliner married to Sooki his South Korean born wife. How time flies, I stayed with them for six nights getting ready for the run west. I have run 36,765km since Dublin three years ago today.

With Uru

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The Helping Hand Through Malaysia

Friday, October 25th, 2013

HI. I just churned out this rough unedited posting from the comments I texted back to Ann. Sorry for the mistakes, mostly due to tapping a small keypad while trying to stay awake late at night. A big black mark in the middle of the screen doesn’t help either!

Please check comments for updates. Sorry but time has beaten me despite 5 days here in Bangkok and still no pictures.


Running out of KL was not as bad as the run in.We started where we left off on Saturday close to the twin towers the tallest towers in the world 88 floors high. Sunday I took a rest day to try and make a hole in my backlog of work but for various reasons I only got a fraction of it done. I was feeling a bit groggy for last night I was out cheering on Dublin as they scrapped a narrow one point win against Mayo in the All-Ireland Gaelic football final. I watched it in a pretty lifeless Irish pub where none of the Irish expats seemed to want to communicate, each having their own corner and all against Dublin,of course,whats new! As my American friends would say ” Dublin the new World Champions! ” :-) My hosts Thierry and Mauiki ran the first 15km with me as far as a Buddhist temple, the BT Temple with about 250 steep steps to the top. Also with us was Tey, a local runner who just cant do enough it seems for he was up till 1am loading over 350 Facebook photos and dozens of videos of my arrival into KL. Tey is well connected with the running scene here and says he has 2 Facebook accounts as there are almost 10,000 runners in Malaysia and you can only have 5,000 on a single account. He is going to spread the word up north to get me runners to run with and help. Tey ran 35k with me and I was delighted by my progress that day finishing with 56k I made it to a Shell petrol station in Rawa where the people there let me sleep on a couch outside the staff housing. Am afraid to say I frightened the life out of an old hunch back lady there! Next day a tired 52 to finish at an hotel in Slim River followed by a very strong 47km day.I ran some very fast K’s at the end. Another hotel,I got company for a big 57km  run to Ipoh tomorrow.

Had a great 56km day to finish in Ipoh. An early start with the mostly 4 lane still divided and a great shoulder most of the way. I ran fairly hard in the morning. Just Before Kampar Ray and Moses came out to run with me most of the 15km till Gopeng. It is always nice having local runners. They are both business students and graduate in May. The Kuala Lumpur marathon is on this Sunday, start time 5am, yes 5am!
Today was really hot and humid,so we made lots of short stops, funny it seems to be heating up the more I run away from the equator! In the afternoon I ran on by myself, a bit ragged by the oppressive heat, till I got my second legs. I was met by Foo Wu Chuan about 7km before the town of Ipoh. Chuan will be my host tonight. And as it was going to lash rain we ran really hard through the drizzle for about an hour till we got to his house. I have just spent a very pleasant evening with Chuang, his father and mother Choon and Leng. They are Buddhists of Chinese descent, several generations back, yet they tell me they speak Chinese more fluently than Malay. Interesting one that, even though they have lived here all their lives. Leng cooked a delicious dinner of cabbage with garlic, pork, rice and omelette. I still have not mastered chop sticks but am trying! Thanks to everyone pulling for me, all the runners making calls on my behalf, very much appreciated. 35,469km for 820 road days is my distance from memory, need to check logbook. It’s about 1,300km to Bangkok where Nirvana, my cart is waiting for me. I will need her for China. From Bangkok it,s roughly 1,000km to the Chinese border.
Malaysia is my 23rd country of the run. My current shoes are my 39th pair or a little over 900km per pair, cant think of anything else. Thanks again to to tonight’s hosts the Foo family.

Had a great day today Friday. Exactly 50km from Ipoh to Kuala Kangsar,a small kinda neat and well maintained town of about 20,000. Most restaurants in Malaysia unlike Indonesia are smoke free. The people smoke less here,nobody in my face. My dying memory of Indonesia will be my final breakfast where 10 men sat down around my large table,and none of the 9 smokers asked if I minded,actually not one person in 3 months.
Thanks to Chun I got off to a good thumping start as he ran me the first 6k as far as Ipoh’s city limits. Another 4k and I had to make a McD stop:-)
Tey,KC and others were working on a place for me tonight. Wonderful people but so many calls and texts I sometimes got to turn my phone off and answer them on my breaks.
After a rain shelter once again I was motoring on all 4 cylinders :-) Ah! Yes I am enjoying my release from the shackles of dangerous traffic and being able to hammer out a few fast km’s. My renewed speed came back mysteriously 3 days ago. I don’t want to sound corny but after a long lay off for various reasons from Michael Gillan’s recovery techniques I started doing them again 3 days ago! Michael says he will email a manual free of charge to anyone interested. These techniques served me so well setting a trans-Australia record when he crewed for me so well. You should be able to dig out his email in the Mar,Apr,May blog. So onto the finish and a 50k with hours of daylight,a rarity for me!

My host tonight is Anna who works in a studio above the Avon Cosmetics business. She letting me stay there. The studio is owned by Mdm. Ang Soh Kim.

Coward that I am I boiled up hot water for my scoop shower.  Anna of Chinese origin told me to go downstairs at 8pm for dinner.So after a nice call home-a 17min landline call costs just €1.
Well,thinking I am going to her apartment I am embarrassed when she takes me shopping for my breakfast and then out to dinner and I didn’t have a penny in my pocket as I just thought I was going downstairs! I couldn’t walk either as I was wearing my shower shoes which are hardly any more than insoles with a bit of material sown on for support,incredibly lightweight and easy to pack. A delicious meal but I was only disappointed I could not treat her and her friend Mdm.  Ang Soh Kim to dinner.

A bit of a sluggish start got me out of Kuala Kansgor. A big hitting 60km day with a late finish.just as I was picking up the pace a runner called NG Bak Klong texted me to say I could stay in his brother in laws place that night as the local running club NTCRC wanted to join me on the road next morning. Ong and Ng drove out to greet me into Parit Buntar,a neat looking place.
Out on the road with the club next morning at 7am no sooner did we start when a torrential,soaked to the skin we had a lovely 14km run on the highway to a small village where the club lad laid on a delicious brunch in a warung. I did an interview for a local Chinese language paper.
The north of Malaysia is more heavily populated by the Chinese. It is said that the Malaysians may control government but the Chinese the economy.
Arriving in Perai with another 50km behind me Jerry a local runner texted me to find me. After serious hassle he eventually tracks me down and I spend a pleasant night in his home. He tells me he works 6 days a week in a hardware store from 10am to 10pm. Later I realize he had to get off work to help me out. Tey back in Kuala Lumpar, master of contacts is co coordinating all this. I learn Jerry’s work place is in Kapala Batas 20km up the road on my route and ask him to take it there and I would pick it up when I run through. In my haste I forgot to take the Spot out and only realize it when I am about to restart, so there was no tracking that morning. I am barely up the road after having lunch in KFC with Jerry when Chan Kong Tiong pulls up. Chan is his family name which the Chinese put first. Kong Tiong a runner himself who doesn’t let running get in the way of having a cigarette, he told me when he broken his marathon personal best he had a couple of smokes in the race! He took time off work to crew for me today and Tomorrow.these last few days the weather has cooled off but lots of rain showers.
A few people have told me that the people are not happy with the government and its the same government since the founding of the state 50 years ago. The people cant get rid of them as they literally buy their way into power when there is an election. $50 is what I have hears from 2 different people. I am told politicians go around with suitcases of $50 bills handing them out to poor people who will vote foe them on the spot. Cant help wondering what the international community is doing..no election scrutinizing. Hong Tiong looked after me well that day with a 49km finish about 11k past Sungei Petani. I stayed in his home that night and next day we returned to my finishing location. A nice steady days running took me to the clock tower in Alor Star and another 50 under my shoes. KT came out to help crew. Thanks lads for a great time! In Alor Star we had dinner with Eugene who will crew me to the Thailand border on Thursday. We on Ireland know the name Eugene is a typical Irish name bur I am told its a typical Chinese name!
Eugene also paid for my hotel here. Am having terrible trouble getting people to take any cash from me,such generous people. Total 35,725km for 825 road days \ 846.7 marathons
Many thanks to so many people so numerous to mention all making it a great ” Ole Malay! ” Special thanks to Tey,Hong Tiong and Eugene.. All others you know who you are please take a bow.

In the past I got run out of towns,Now I get run out of countries,Singapore and now Malaysia! Eugene,Calvin and Andy took turns driving and running the last 48km of Malaysia.We were heading to the Thailand border at Sonoa. Three of their friends join in later.It was a tough but happy day,new horizons even a bit sad to be leaving Malaysia.
malaysia has 9 provinces,each has a sultan.The provinces take it in turns to be king of Malaysia for a 5 year term,that is after a 45 year wait. Andy who is well connected with the royals got a good luck message from the princess for me!
I was delighted when Eugene told me my research,stats and opinions I have gleaned from people are accurate in this blog.
Just to make sure I left Eugene and Calvin went over the border with me helping me find a Thai sim and a hotel. This border town is pretty seedy,a red light district with cheap booze. Alcohol is heavily taxed in Malaysia. Many Muslim men end up here but as the border closes at midnight they got to get a hotel.


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Plan B Is Activated – China Is Out – Myanmar Is In!

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Well the news from here is I have been refused my China visa. There has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes, a lot of people like Tey passing on contacts to friends in China who kindly issued invite letters. Also thanks to certain other very helpful people who I know would rather not be mentioned here. I say refused, not really they never say no, just give the run around and ask people who are running across their wonderful country to provide an accommodation confirmation slip for each night of the run!

So you see this is the way of refusing a visa without actually saying no. Last week I read an article where the USA and China have bilateral tourist visa agreements. While the US was abiding by the agreement the Chinese have to be constantly reminded of their part of the agreement for they were reneging on it.

I rarely use the word ‘impossible’ but some things are because even a millionaire would not be able to book places online,  besides many westerners I have met on the run have told me they are often refused accommodation in hotels.  I have been told the hotels have to register them, so they just would rather do without the business.

It was very complicated even if I was successful as they have tightened up a lot in China, issuing mostly 30 day visas so I would have to leave and come back after say 27 so as not to overstay as I would need travel time in and out. Foreigners are not allowed to use GPS devices, including my Spot. They are also forbidden to drive their own vehicles without a guide costing around $10,000/$20,000 for a car crossing.

Motorcyclists that want to cross wait till they have a large group and split the cost.

In the Australian Outback a German woman gave me a book by an Australian ABC radio presenter who drove from Sydney to Paris. I had been joking to my support driver there, Michael Gillan that he could get his car on a ferry to Indonesia and crew me from there through South East Asia and across China. (Bet he is delighted he didn’t after reading the Indo blog!)

Well he never refused, we joked that shopping in China would be easy, just a 50kg bag of rice and some tea, for Michael usually never got enough supplies!

Then we read the book and that was the end of that conversation. The book was called ‘ From Here To There ‘

Michael if you are reading this what was that guys name? He actually drove it with his teenage son whose music drove him nuts in the car all the way across Asia!

I was also informed that there would be areas I would need ‘special permits ‘ for and there was still a big danger they would pull me off the road as the Chinese authorities are a pretty humorless bunch. After there it was more visa hassle with Kazakhstan and then Russia.

Some of the readers to the blog may remember Alexander the Swiss skater I met several times in Patagonia this time last year. Well we discussed this and his reply was…

” I wont go to those countries, after all you wouldn’t beg an old girlfriend to have you back if she didn’t want to be with you, would you!? ”

Well I have done that, but never again!

So the new route, plan B ready to go at the drop of a hat and yet there are many that say I don’t prepare and would surely die in Australia. Yes I had a chuckle there when I touched the ocean in Darwin with a record crossing time across Australia, south to north.

The new route will be Thailand to Myanmar formerly known as Burma. I got my Myanmar 28 day visa today in only 5 hours. Many people like my great friend and seasoned world traveler Greg Havely knows of the difficulties of previously visiting Burma as it was then, almost entirely closed off to the west except for a 7 day stopover which could be had in the capital Rangoon with special almost impossible to get permits need for other travel.

Well he will tell you himself as I asked him to help me with this Plan B over a year ago… It gradually bit by bit it got easier because when we started discussing it, it was still not possible to cross from Thailand to Myanmar but there was a 28 day VOA, Visa On Arrival at a couple of airports. So the best option was to run to the border double back to Bangkok fly to Yangon and return to the same border but on the Myanmar side missing just a small piece of the route in a so called ‘no mans land’  which would be the first land gap on the run. Then I heard of a border town that allowed 4 hour day trips from Thailand and considered taking it to finish a day at some marker to finish that day and then returning to that same spot in the Myanmar village after a VOA flight there for at that time there was no VOA at the land borders.

To digress I had considered making a so called ‘visa run ‘ to that Myanmar day border crossing as the Thai land border crossing are only 15 day visas (30  days at airports) So that’s why I got the 60 day visa at the Thai embassy in Singapore. I ran by that village used for the day trips and visa runs  last week.

15 days would not have been enough time or me to get to Bangkok to make that visa run to get the extra month I require.

To be honest it is unclear about any remaining restrictive areas, I could be pulled off the road, but all I can do is live in hope as there is no template here. Today at the embassy there was a sign listing 4 new opened Thai/Myanmar border crossings, so you see, there is so much to keep up in an ever changing and bureaucratic world. That’s why I asked Greg to help me with this plan B last year, thanks Greg, Great work.

I could add a lot more now.. Lets just say it was suggested we approach a certain International Organisation for help. But I declined as I didn’t want to be seen to be jumping on the bandwagon.. Readers would be astonished by that one, we gotta keep a bit of interest for the book!

No I am not talking about the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, they let me down, Ah yes, great Irish support!

From Myanmar to India. I am in the process of applying for the Indian visa now, perhaps this posting is a little premature. It would be smarter to wait till I had my visa in hand but I would not expect this one to be refused although it is much to my surprise no piece of cake and some very strange questions were asked on the form.

From India to Pakistan. This visa is possible but is necessary to apply in ones own country, so a bit of hassle there. It may be possible to courier my passport to a visa agent in Dublin and perhaps get the Iranian one also at the same time. Next up will be Turkey, a country with aspirations to join the European Union and we still need a visa but not a worry just a surprise.

This means that my eastern European route will change radically as I wont be running into Europe from Russia to the Ukraine as planned.

Press HERE for my most likely new route from Bangkok to Calais,France. From there I plan to cross on the ferry to Dover,England run to Scotland, ferry to Northern Ireland and then a little tour around Ireland :)

To be honest I could probably do the rest of the run as I have been with a small backpack as its going to be chilly and nothing like the cold Siberian winter I was facing. And closer villages and towns.

So now I got all my cold weather clothes,sleeping bag etc and don’t really need them! Ah yes, always a problem.

Many thanks to my great hosts here Danny and Sookie, his South Korean wife for their wonderful hospitality an helping me with the Indian online visa application as I made a mess of it.

Also to Danny’s personal assistant a very helpful woman called Cake who made many phone calls, printed my print outs and translated my addresses into the Thai script for the taxi drivers to read

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Big Bangkok Welcome Promised on Sunday

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Hi everyone, Yes it’s about time I made a new posting or even a quick update.Things as always so, so hectic.

Today Saturday I had a lovely run, all 48km of it with the Samutsongkham Running Club who ran with me for about 24km, Thanks to Mr Narong and all the runners and crew. Then later Uru came by to crew for me. We couldn’t find an hotel on my arrival in this small town.So Uru stopped at the police station to ask and the nice policeman, Mr U Thong Nokyim offered me a bed and hospitality for the night.I type this on the police computer. Thanks lads!

Tomorrow I plan to start running at 7am with the Samutsakorn Running club for the final 34km to Bangkok. They will be calling to the police station.

It has been a tough run these last 10 days or so. I mentioned before in the comments that I had to run an average of 60km a day for about 10 days to get here tomorrow and have the weekend running with the runners that have treated me so well. Also a party is planned, so really I had to run hard to arrive at the weekend and not Tues or Wed when everyone is working. Thanks to everyone that has helped me.It was a bit runner lonely last week, but am back in the company I love.

Yesterday, 65km run, Thursday 60k. Today after the runners departed it all caught up with me, the fatigue that is! I look forward to the run tomorrow, short as it is, always nice running with new runners.

In Bangkok I will be the guest of fellow Dubliner, Danny Corrigan of the Irish Chamber of Commerce. Danny has kindly picked up my six packages from the Irish Embassy. Thanks there to Supara for your patience as the first one was sent last Christmas.

It will take me a couple of days to sort ‘ Nirvana ‘ my Chariot Carrier cart which I will use to push my winter gear as I run through China. I have other stuff to get sorted here, so it will be a delay/rest of sorts. Thanks again Danny for the bed and use of your office and other help, phone calls on my behalf. I tell you if the readers only knew the effort that goes into keeping this run on the road without a support crew! Many thanks also to Greg Havely for checking and rechecking research I have done over the years but now don’t have the time to keep my Plan B and Plan C as viable alternates with the latest information. He must wonder and scratch his head sometimes when I ask him to check the daylight hours between March and June for Kazakhstan! Do people still transport cars from one city to another on trucks because the roads are so bad, is there a risk of flooding and mud from the winter snow melt there causing all kinds of problems for Nirvana, Ah yes, the lads that went through there on their big bikes and support crew had it so easy!Funny enough I am not too concerned about Kazakhstan, to me China will be the last big challenge of the run, a challenge I am up to. I kinda view Kaz as a bit like Patagonia

I hope I can do a major blog update from Bangkok. I should be able to do more anyway now that I will have my laptop back.

Sorry to the German reader who posted his concern re: my lack of updates. As I have said before,I never know who is reading the blog till I hear from you, thanks for your support in Germany, I hope to be passing through there in Aug/September next,

Yes this time next year I will be nearly finished, and am planning a 800/900km run around Ireland. That is the dream route and should take the total up to 51,800km. I can get a finish without the tour of Ireland and less in the UK with 50,500km but am not thinking of that, I am dreaming big!

Today when I was out with the runners I was thinking it would be nice if some of my own MSB club members or any other runner in Ireland could join in for as little or as much running as they wanted as I run through Ireland.

So that is almost exactly 15,000km in 12 months or 41km per day, really a marathon as I need to do a bit more to keep ahead of any unforeseen delays.

So as I approach China, just a little over a 1,000km away I have my own plan, 3 years of the run completed, I plan on running 5,000km for each 4 month period, I just checked the records for the last 4 months and it reads around 5,100km for that period, with some delays also poor days in Indonesia, not bad I say.

Finally best wishes to all Dublin City marathon runners running next weekend.

I waited 3 years to say this…

See you all next year, I am confident, nothings going to stop me now, that’s for sure! :)

Thanks for your support!

Total distance run is 36,727km for 843 road days.

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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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