Archive for February, 2014

India – Assam and West Bengal

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Assam state surprised me with it’s roads. A four lane divided highway, just like in Thailand this is going to be great I thought….

Then…. Verooom!!

How wrong can you get… A divided highway means two parallel roads in India! Can you believe that sometimes a truck, bus or car would drive the wrong way against the traffic up the highway, even in rush hour or at night and not even get a honk, whereas I am constantly honked off the shoulder, that is when there is a shoulder.

Confusingly restaurants are called hotels here, even though they don’t offer accommodation. Hotels as we know them are called Lodges, Guest houses or Residential.. Enough problems and hassles I have i will just call a hotel as we know it as a hotel.

It took me a while to figure this out, even after many people laughing at me when I asked if I could sleep in the restaurants. Ironically many of these restaurants out on the highway do allow the traveller to sleep on rope beds, called a ‘  Charpoy ’ which are used for sitting on or eating off in the day time. A bit further west thankfully about 50% of the so called hotels started being called ‘ Dhaba ’

The people all eat with their fingers, picking up rice and even messy curries with their fingers in a fast mixing motion stirring the food first with their fingers in a rapid motion before picking it up with their hands. Nobody uses any form of utensil.

People come in and pick jugs of water off tables drinking from the spout, admittedly never making contact with their lips, just pouring the water into their mouths

Even though I don’t see them washing their hands I am assured Indians, like many people from poor countries, where as they may live around dirt and thrash the roadside when it comes to personal hygene they are more hygienic than us westerners. It has been pointed out to me on more than one occasion that we keep our streets clean but they keep their bodies clean, something many of us have in reverse.At least that is what I am told. One man also told me that when it comes to trash that Indians are blind. I spoke with one seemingly intelligent boy who assumed that every country in the world is equally as dirty as India. India is the dirtiest country I have ever set foot in. He asked me why I was looking for a litter bin, a rarity!


I miss the great food from Myanmar, this part of India the food is poor, many times it is slop. However it was soon to get better over the next couple of weeks. Up to now when asked what was my favourite Indian dish I would answer Chicken Chow Mein! Gradually the curries got tastier. However it seems everything in India, that is except the population, (1,2 billion) is small. Even tea comes in a small shot glass which can take 10-15 minutes to prepare as its made with milk and sugar and stewed away. Giving some of the stuff they serve to an Irishman, and Ireland being the worlds greatest tea drinkers, is akin to serving up a bottle of Moldovan plonk on the Champs Elyse in Paris. If you want a decent amount of tea you have to ask for a full glass and even then they just pour a half glass calling it full, all 100ml of it. Indians seem to be nervous about filling up containers, I have often held the kettle down when they try to pull it away! I discovered why the coffee is often tasteless, because many places just spoon out a quarter spoon of coffee! It’s hard to get coffee as Indians don’t seem to drink it. I often just pour in my own sachets of Nescafe and use my own plastic beaker. I am told the reason for the small portions of everything is because people can’t afford larger. One morning I waited patiently at a shop while four men had the shopkeeper weigh out four portions of Bombay Mix out of a 100gram bag. Each portion was wrapped up in a piece of newspaper.  That image will stay with me for a long time.


I ran on through Assam State clocking up some big days, a 47 followed by a 55km day. That day I had three incidents of harassment on the road, the worst when a man came charging after me on his bicycle telling me he was going to call the police. It was now dark and I wouldn’t want this since the very next question from them would have been where I was sleeping and perhaps try pulling me off the road.. This man was persistent, probably thinking I was up to no good. Eventually I gently pushed him into a ditch when we both stopped! He then cycled away.

I slept in a field in my bivy that night, it was a cold night, I picked up a bad cough.

The coldness had me up before 6am the next morning. I warmed up at a restaurants fireplace where they would boil the water and cook the food  for the day. I sat outside and had a pleasant time talking to the family as I warmed up for the day, all 50km of it.

A few more heavy mileage days followed. I ran through an area called Bodoland where yet more people are looking for separation from the Assasm state, India doesn’t seem to be a country at peace. As one police officer said to me.. We got too many people, religions, cultures and beliefs… Too many people wanting too many different things, we are not a happy country.

I was told by many people that the areas I had run through over the last couple of weeks were a bit on the dodgy side and I was lucky to get through. However another man told me the kidnap targets for the insurgents are usually people that own large factories.

20th January day 900 on the road and my log book recorded that was 937 marathons run. Out of Assam and into my 4th Indian state West Bengal and you guessed it they are not happy either, That’s four states all the same.  Here graffiti with their demand statements painted on the roads, government and private buildings, anywhere there was a place to vandalised, they painted their demand messages. Anyone that asked me where I was from that day my reply was….

” I am from Sundrive an enclave in Dublin! We want independence from Dublin but want a special relationship as we still want to be the world champions of Gaelic Football…  ”

Hey Perhaps my doctor back in Dublin as mentioned in my previous blog posting has a point!

People from some La La land place want their own kingdom! So ridiculous they were they had a road blockade, which I enjoyed. giving me a traffic free day.  But I did not enjoy it when some buffoon vigilantes ran after me, I shouted my head off at some poor idiot until a cop came over and escorted me to the towns only hotel, thank goodness for that!

41km the next day but I ran out of energy as I hadn’t had a dinner last night due to the hassle with the dorks, only a small breakfast and then no lunch. The road was very bad here and no shoulder, just clumps of weeds and roots making it difficult and dangerous to run on a tired mind and body, so I stopped early, sleeping in  a field. Thought I heard some strange animal noises, just what is Bengal famous for… Oh! Yes Tigers!

No I don’t think it was a tiger. It was a very, very cold night and I did not sleep too well.

Then a very good 49km which got off to a very slow start as I spent too long over breakfast. Before I got into a proper stride two men on a motorcycle got very abusive and aggressive when I told them the road was too narrow, busy and dangerous to chat with them. I didn’t want to stop, I could spend a whole day talking to people here. I find so many people to be very demanding, only interested in themselves and not caring about my concerns.

Then at lunchtime when I stopped at a photocopier shop to have a couple of copies of my passport and Indian visa a crowd followed me into the shop. They are needed for some hotels, once I was asked to go out and make a copy so I learnt that lesson to have a ready supply very fast. One man started examining my copied documents I had put on the table. Then he wondered why I gave him a hard slap on the wrist!

Next door in a restaurant I shaved over at a sink in the corner while waiting for my chicken curry to arrive. As usual a large crowd gathered. The mirror over the sink was an old truck mirror. Smiling to myself I read the inscription  ” Objects in a mirror may be closer than they appear! ” Very true in India, I wonder if there is a word for privacy in the Hindi language, as Indians certainly don’t respect it.

Two more tough days, 59km and 42 took me to Siliguri where my next pair of OC running shoes have been mailed to my host Paul. Paul’s family have a sports centre which has a couple of guest rooms, so he kindly gave me one for the night. We went out to dinner with two French women who were also his guests. I contacted Paul through Couch Surfing.org an organisation where people can either host  a traveller.  Or travellers, usually backpackers can request a stay. Many host have not travelled themselves but love to host foreigners for a bit of variety to their lives. Paul is only the fourth host I have stayed with. It’s also a good way to find a local contact out of basically thin air for sending on running shoes or whatever.

I got a nice send off out of Siliguri as many people showed up at the Siliguri Club that Saturday morning. One of the lads gave me a data sim as I have been having trouble getting internet on my new smart phone, it worked a treat.. Thanks Mate!

There are many runners in the area but due to race commitments only one of the runners ran with me. They had the Siliguri marathon only last weekend, so some were still in recovery mode. Still it was nice to have one runner run even if only for a couple of kilometres with me.

Almost every village, small town and even city have ongoing daily power cuts. They seem to survive by running generators, candles or solar lanterns.I have been told the reason is because the power sub-stations are too small and cannot cope with the huge power demand. Another man told me that all over India corruption is a huge problem, it’s hard to get anything done without offering a bribe. I have been told by many people that one of the reasons for power shortages is that factories pay illegal bribes for an uninterrupted power supply.

This man was a journalist and when I asked him if all local government officials are corrupt he said yes, they don’t understand any other way, it’s normal for them. Our police force is corrupt too.

Then I asked him about the Parliament, the Senate,

” Yes they are all corrupt too! ”

So I asked about the President and the Prime Minister. Lets just keep his opinion off the blog!

Many people are hoping and are confident BNP Prime Ministerial candidate called Narendra Modi will win the next election. He is seen by just about everyone I talk to as India’s future saviour, a man unscrupulously honest, who seems to have the respect of everyone, Except for the American government who denied him a visitors visa as he has had a previous background for his involvement in demonstrations which turned into riots.

That night I stayed in a filthy lodge, got robbed really as I was told the only room was a large room with two beds. I would have to share the managers room! 500 rupees for this, when 200 would have been about right for a regular room in such a place. I just didn’t want to go further that night so reluctantly agreed.

Over my bed hung one of the workers laundry! He was surely kicked out for the night onto a couch. Then the manager came in and lit up a cigarette! I told him to put it out, for I was annoyed. I didn’t sign any register here, so you can guess where my 500 rupees are going, they actually tried to stitch me up for 1,000, Clearly people think foreigners are walking atm’s!

The Irish Foreign Office have been trying to put pressure on me not to run in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I have been hearing a lot of stories lately about NGO’s, K2 mountain climbers, aid workers, travellers being targeted in kidnap attempts.

Then the Foreign Office sent me a copy of an article printed in the Irish Times in which a Spanish round the world cyclist was ambushed in the Baluchistan area of Pakistan, near Quetta.

The cyclist had a police escort. They were ambushed and in the resulting shootout six police officers killed, five wounded, the Spaniard had a minor wound and was detained and later discharged from hospital.

Because of this and the other incidents I have decided not run Pakistan and Afghanistan. After finishing my across India I will fly to Iran and continue the run from Mashad, close to the Iran Afghanistan border. This is very disappointing for me but what can I do. I have at least three people scrutinizing my route. All three have sent  me messages of support.


This will be the second road gap in the run, all be it the first was only 1km at the Myanmar/India border.I am obviously not happy about this, but what can I do as I got a duty to finish the expedition safely.

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India – Manipur and Nagland states

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Sorry for the exceptionally late posting of this blog. .

Friday 21st February I am taking another rest day in an effort to catch up on my backlog. Thanks so much to my kind host Thaps for putting me up in the lap of luxury these last three days!


On December 1st last I had arrived at the Myanmar/Indian border and was not allowed to run across to India as I didn’t have a so called ‘ border area ‘ permit for the sensitive border area in India. The reality is such Indian permits are next to impossible  to obtain outside India. I knew this but what could I do only keep going and see what would happen. That is what the Myanmar immigration insisted was the case and they were legally obliged to prevent me from crossing to india. Not really knowing what to do and knowing these permits are gradually been relaxed I decided to take a break for Christmas in Ireland. If I cant cross the land border I would have to fly over and return to this same border but on the Indian side.

It had been a very tough year, 13,500km run in 11 months with three big efforts, through the Australian Outback having set a South /North Australian record with many run days of over 70km a day. Then a big effort to reach Bangkok,Thailand on a particular Sunday in October, where local runners wanted to run with me. That effort to facilitate the runners was over 60km a day for about 12 days. And finally a huge push through Myanmar with my police escort in which I ran 900km in two weeks on sometimes very bad unsurfaced mountain roads. I needed a mental break as well as a physical break as running India will require a lot of mental strength when I eventually start my run across the sub continent.
So from Myanmar I returned to Bangkok where Nirvana my Chariot cart  that I sometimes push my gear in was being minded by Danny Cummings, an Irish man living there. A couple of days later I flew to New Delhi, India and took a taxi straight to the Irish embassy  where Irish ambassador Gerry Kelly kindly agreed to mind Nirvana till I finished running India. It seems now that she is a liability to me as I don’t need her now as I am not running through China in the winter. I was tempted to take her back to Ireland and leave her there but my route across Central Asia had yet to be determined and there may be many a barren, foodless,waterless road where I would be so glad to have a facility for pushing all my requirements. As tougher as it is going with a backpack I prefer it for it is purer running. With my 2kg pack which includes a bivy for basic, if chilly shelter I can run from town to town, village to village picking up my food and drinks as I go, as India, just as in Indonesia and Latin America villages are rarely more than a few kilometres apart.
So after depositing her at the embassy I went to a restaurant with my laptop and booked a flight home using my frequent flier miles.
It was a wonderful Christmas I had, so nice to be back with family and friends again. :)

Christmas with sister Ann and Mam

My plan was to check out this permit back in Ireland at the Indian embassy.
At the Indian embassy they told me they didn’t know as nobody had ever looked for such permits before and advised I check in the govt offices in New Delhi upon my return.The two protected states Manipur and Nagaland.
That I can tell you was a real run around in New Delhi, as I had to go to four different offices before I was eventually told to just fly to Imphal, state capital of Manipur. The following day was New Years eve, and off the record I was told that the easing of the restrictions was to be extended another year. Easing of the restrictions seemed to mean that groups of a minimum of four must travel together to avoid the need for a guide, but from what I could ascertain the ‘ group of four ‘ rule seemed to be ignored by even the officials talking to me, never the less best to get there before years end.
So I flew from New Delhi to Imphal about 2,500km away. (Many thanks to Fergus for effectively sponsoring this flight) On my arrival had my passport stamped by the foreigner registration officer at the airport.
He told me I could stay as long as I wished and as it was in the region of 250km through the state to Nagaland, the next restricted state I figured about a week. Not really sure what will happen when I get to Nagaland, Hey I can only deal with one problem at a time!
Back at the Indian/Myanmar border in the town of Moreh that New Years day. I went as far as I was allowed to towards the Myanmar immigration office where I finished running Myanmar in December. Then I began my run across India. It seems the Myanmar and Indian immigration are on different wavelengths, not communicating properly if they were I would surely have been allowed to cross. This estimated 1 kilometre gap will be the first land gap in the run in almost 39,000km.
There was a serious military presence in this area, I noted vehicle checks for presumably drug and weapons, The zealous officers even pulling out car seats out of buses, cars and trucks and checking inside the seat upholstery.
I was in very poor peoples territory, many signs had signs warning about the dangers of Aids. Signs are in both Hindi and English, for India has certainly embarrassed the English language, much to my delight.
The terrain was hilly and I was feeling the effort after my one month break from the road. It was also hot, humid and hilly.
After about 22km I stopped for water in a village called Tuipi Mate. The people are from the Koki tribe.
Soon I found myself invited to stay the night, that first night of 2014.
A delicious vegetable and beef soup, yes eating beef in India, don’t think this is going to happen too often in the coming months! Also bread and tea was served to me over at the families friends house where many of the villagers had gathered for the meal which we ate in the front garden. As always I was the latest curiosity, a couple of students spoke a little English, so I was able to talk about the run as best as they could understand, but I could see the question as always was but why do you bother, why not just get in a car or a bus.
Next day I managed a marathon and got another invitation to stay with a family. And there was another night when I stopped at a church, a Baptist church with the ceremony in full swing. It was a bitterly cold evening and some youths had a fire lighting in the church grounds while the service went on inside. So I just went inside and sat on the straw floor. The congregation was mostly children with about 20 elders seated at the back. Everyone stared at me it seemed, top marks to the pastor for hardly missing a beat as I sat there with my turned off flashlight still resting on my head.
The service went on for a long, long time. I was there to mooch a place to sleep. Eventually two of the ushers, one a man called Joseph came in and invited me outside to the fire. I accepted! After a nice heat Joseph told me I could stay that night with his family, So there it was the ushers abandoned their post and ushered me to the family home. So I went to bed a 9pm and could still hear the service. Joseph andd his friend returned for the end and then music went on all of the night. I was told that at New Year there are two long days of church service to celebrate!
It seems Manipur, Nagaland, Assam and many of the border areas have problems with civil unrest. For fear of insurgent sabotage of the areas economy trucks and oil tankards are escorted to their destinations by the military.
The chief enforcer of law and order in the area is by the Assam Rifles who are the elite military force.
It seems even the insurgents cant seem to agree as some of them want a separate state for Manipur, others want unity with Nagaland.
The Indian army have been accused of many human rights violations in the region, rarely if ever they are charged or prosecuted  even though the Indian Government has admitted to these atrocities.
It is also a mostly Christian area. The people are often described as ‘ hill people ‘ Many foreign tourists actually pay money to gawk at these hill people, yes I read that in Lonely Planet travel book, LP the bible for travellers. I have spent many nights with and slept in their homes. Many hill people have told me they have little interest in working for a living. I have been told the Indian government family allowance is based on the size of the village but is usually in the region of US$60 a month. Many people I met in the weeks after my run through here seemed to look down upon the hill people. I have heard some phrases like  ” …. Those people are no good, lazy, uneducated ” etc. One or two even laughed at me when I askd them if they were working.
On the road I get tormented by people following me, asking silly questions when the road is dangerously busy, for it is a poorly kept and narrow highway I am running on at the moment.
I have to separate my frustration  from these tormentors from the nice people I meet on the sidelines or in shops, the shack eateries they have here. They are not the ones hassling me, well not in this region but further west when I did stop in these places it was to become a nightmare.
I have to separate my frustrations just like a hockey player getting whacked, shoulder charged into an arenas hoardings, After all a hockey player wouldn’t  take it out on the supporters, or a towns natives.
That’s the way I have to think as otherwise what with crazy drivers etc I could end up hating everyone, hate being such a cancerous emotion. I spend too much time on my own, too much thinking time that I have to be careful where my head goes. It’s  the dangerous drivers I don’t like.
I remembered my doctors words back in his office in Dublin just before Christmas.
” Tony you have to be careful of your nutrition, as a trip like this with a poor diet can mentally disturb a person. “
Then he added. .. ” I have many many questions about what you are doing to your body and mind but the science does not have the answers! “
Reassuring stuff!
There was another day just before I crossed to Nagaland. I had started late that day as I had some errants to do in Imphal, the state capital, so I was finishing late. I didnt know where I was going to sleep that night so just kept on running. Some people stopped in a car to talk to me, I refused to converse as I have a no talk after dark rule. A few minutes later another car stopped.
Instinct told me these people were ok, just a couple of harmless students called Seigun and Kailen.They spoke some English, I told them what I was doing, they  were very interested and said they lived about 3km up the road in the next village. So I just asked them straight out if they had a place I could lay my head that night! A bit taken aback they agreed. I suggested I would run on for the 3km and perhaps they could come out and watch for me. Instead they just said they would drive on slowly, so I ran in front of their headlights till we got to the family home. Funny enough my instinct didn’t go as far as unloading my pack as they drove and I ran!
At the family house an uncle called out the police officer called Sub inspector Kipgen and a couple of others were armed to the hilt. They told me they were concerned about my well being, so I said if that was so please send me out an officer on a motor bike to crew for me in the morning. he said he would try but I didn’t believe him as he never asked me my start time.
Uncle Hahado called the police just to have me checked out, for their security as he put it, I was a bit disappointed by that, but a really lovely family. They told me the Brits had a huge arsenal here during the war. It was so larged they called it a super mine and then named the village Sapar Maina, for weeks later I was calling everything, food drink etc SAPAR one of just a couple of Hindi words I could remember.
Then I had a delightful 45km day in the Kabur mountains at altitudes of about 2,500 metres, the views were stunning perhaps the only pretty landscape I was to see in my first 2,000km in India.
A 60km day took me across the state line to Nagaland, no passport inspection or registering, just a couple of questions from the cops and I was off. The village at the stateline was full of military, I was to find a much lesser presence in this state. Many locals told me Nagaland is less oppressive than Manipur, whatever that means,
I thought I saw an Irish motor biker with an Irish tri-colour flag flying from an aerial. I managed to catch up with him when he stopped and much to my embarrassment discovered it was the Indian flag as we share the same colours. I lost interest immediately, like many westerners I seem to be mostly interested in travellers from the west.
Eventually I made it to Kohima after a tough slog. Kohima had a filthy hotel but I felt I was lucky to get it. Just like in the Andes mountains of Peru the days are very warm but when the sun goes down it’s chilly, very chilly.
This hotel was a dive, filthy, alcohol bottles everywhere and the staff seemed drunk, too drunk to bother signing me in, just took the money – that happens a fair bit. The kinda place you wash your face before going to bed in case the mice or rats lick it clean for you.
In the morning I went to the Superintendent of Police office to register and was left waiting for about two hours, dont’ think many foreigners pass through this terrible town. I could have actually gotten out of this state without registering, for I was not stopped.
A couple more days took me to Manja, took me across the state line to oil richer Assam and 39,000km have been run.
Thanks to a man called J.S. Singh-Crowe for listening in to my conversation in a cafe. I had told the people there I was looking for a place to stay. He went around the village telling people until someone tracked me down and brought me to what seemed to be a private lodge as there was no sign outside and the price was good too.

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Updated… Plan going west

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014


Hi again and thanks to everyone helping out at this busy time. Thanks also for all your very welcome comments. Am in Gorakhpur in an hotel Tuesday night which was kindly sponsored by Kevin Moore Thanks Kevin :) .

I have had bad luck finding one in the last week. As grateful as I am to be able to stay in the Dhaba’s (as the restaurants are called on the highway) and sometimes I have to pay.. They are almost always noisy and I don’t get my quality sleep.
Anyway just over 40,400km have been run in 921 road days.
Here is my current thinking. Where to end India. Firstly I am aware it’s not advisable or even permitted to run all the way to the Pakistani border just beyond Amritsar, home of the Golden Temple, as an escort is mandatory and perhaps not allowed to run. This route takes me away from Agra where the Taj Mahal is located This is where I want to do my first sightseeing since Peru almost two years ago. So by running through Agra the city of Bikaner is perhaps a good place to finish India About 1,100km away from where I am tonight.

My Iran visa application is in progress at the moment. This can take over two weeks to process. The Iranian visa is crucial. I very much want to run Iran as I have so many wonderful memories from my cycle through there many years ago. The Iranian people made a huge impression on me and is one one of my favourite countries in the world.

As mentioned before my 6 month Indian visa qualifies me for a Russian visa. Normally a three month residence, including a tourist visa, much to my surprise allows me to apply. This I will believe when I have it in my hand!

Forgot to mention after I finish running India I will fly to Tehran,Iran and return to the Iran/ Afghanistan border at Mashhad. I will then run to Tehran to Tabriz. I will need a 30 day Iranian visa extension which I believe is easy enough to get.

India is  a tough country to run mentally. Many people continue to torment me on the road and make so many of my rest breaks so miserable. I remember having similar experiences on my world cycle, so many people meddling and interfering. They uses to pull the gear lever thinking it was a brake! India does not seemed to have progressed in these last 35 years, it seems.to me.the country has stood still. I’m relieved I am not pushing Nirvana through here! I also read about the Irish cyclist Dean as mentioned in the Sunday Times article. On his website he talks of huge crowds gathering when he was assembling his bicycle in an Indian airport, They were also interfering with his bicycle parts. When I say interfering I don’t mean stealing, I mean mauling, poking, prodding and kicking tyres etc. He got angry and cycled away bicycle incomplete.

Every day I meet so many irritating people, many even stalk me on the road just to gawk.

They all say that they don’t meet many foreigners, well this is one reason many people don’t come to India, because of the harassment. They all say they want to help and that they are different to other Indians but I still can’t get rid of them.

I have started ignoring many greetings as it is best not to engage in small talk as this only encourages  them. So you can imagine it is not very nice on the nice people and I sometimes feel a bit mean spirited when I enter a restaurant and look for a table in a corner facing the wall. Often this works as there are many decent people that can take a hint!

Thank goodness.for the lovely decent and considerate people I have met here. They make it a bit more bearable!

I look forward getting to. A sane country like Iran, a country very much misunderstood and often confused with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

From Tabriz to either Armenia or Azerbaijan but the latter has a prohibited $100 visa fee. And from there to Georgia to Russia.and into Europe. And the Ukraine. In Europe it’s a must I return to Brno and the stadium where I spent the most memorable two days of my life setting that 48 hour world record back in 2007. Calais,France is where mainland Europe ends for me.. So that’s my latest thinking.

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately as I have been swamped down.
I tell you one thing, India is not an easy country to run in or travel in! Crazy place. Food also very disappointing and they can’t make tea!
Thanks again, talk soon. Tony


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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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