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SOUTHERN MAN

Bienvenido a mis amigos mexicanos querido! Gracias por cuidar de mí tan grande aquí en México.
Mi sitio web tiene una traducción al español la posibilidad!
Por favor, sólo tiene que desplazarse hacia abajo y seleccione el idioma español en la herramienta de TRANSLATE en el lado derecho de mi página de blog. Espero verte en el camino!  Tony

I ran out of la Paz headed for route 19 about 30km away. This route would take me down the final stretch of the Baja Peninsula, the worlds third longest DETAILS . Many times over the last five weeks or so I didn’t study my map as it was so frustrating looking at the road as it snaked first west and then east without much southerly gain, probably adding another week onto my Baja run. As always, just like temperature, good or bad weather it still has to be run so best get on with it.
I had asked Silvestre, who was escorting me today to stop for lunch, so we stopped just outside a mans house. The man was called Raul was probably in his early forties. He  lived on a ranch called Rancho Carolina. He looked bored and lonely as he came out and invited us into his driveway to sit on a concrete slab wall under some  shady trees. The flies were a curse. Silvestre said it rained here recently, so a lot of mosquitoes and hundreds of flies were out.
Raul said he had no work and there was no sign of any.
On the way out Silvestre’s truck battery went flat so Raul gave it a jump start. Just then a cameraman for Azteca television tracked me down to his driveway. Raul ended up holding the microphone while the world runner gave a television interview in Spanish for the ten 0′clock news!

THE AZTECA SPORTS TV CAMERAMAN WITH RAUL

 Poor Raul, too much excitement for one day and all in an hour in his driveway.
He gave me an old pair of cool sunglasses and some sweets for the road.
The cameraman wanted to film my shoes but without a shoe sponsor I never allow that. He tried taking a sly shot and got a bit of a ticking off!
So he ended up jumping into Silvestre’s truck and filmed me as I ran down the nice new 4 lane highway towards Todos Santos.
I arrived at Chekos Restaurant with 57km up for the day.
Jose had asked if I could stay there and Sergio, the owner had thrown in dinner of burritos, rice and beans. He asked me if I wanted one or two burritos, so I said three! Sometimes people don’t realize how hungry a runner gets after a long day on the road. They don’t usually mind when I am honest like this as the ingredients are cheap.
I told him I would be departing at 5am and asked for some rice or something handy for the road. He said the restaurant opens at 5am and he would serve me breakfast then. So, my optimistic spirit takes over as I settle down to sleep in a side room off the restaurant.
No need to set an alarm I say as Sergio will probably be up at 4.30, lights on preparing to open and I will be out by 5.15.
Reality was Sergio slept late, Green Angel Antonio arrived at 5am, took me half an hour to get ready. I was starving, can’t face a day without food and where will the next stop be I wondered. I left 20 pesos on the counter and took some biscuits.
Two big dogs bark me out of the building and out the gate. We make it 2km down the road and stop in a cafe where a young woman called Liz, with a really cute smile serves me an omelet, I nibble on it and save it for later. She gives us apples and the coffee for free.

LIZ

It was hot today. I ran through a road works on the way. As I ran up a steep hill I spotted a young man sprint for his ice box.He was on the other side of the guard rails. He whipped out a small bottle of water and without saying a word ran towards me pushing the ice cold bottle into my grateful hand.
” Muchas Gracias Amigo! ”
Antonio had been driving today. After 54km we arrived at a small hamlet called Elias Calles. Tonight’s host was Juana, the elderly owner of La Pasadita restaurant. I fell into a chair, asking for 5 minutes before the torrent of questions. I took ten. Then a young boy probably around 13 or 14 years old asked me in flawless English if I was going to rest or eat.
” Eat! ” I said.
I asked Cabo where he learned English. He said his Father is American and married to a Mexican. His father talked to him in English all the time. They lived in a border town before his parents split up. And remember Pablo had said to me a few days ago that it was possible for a child to travel over the border to the States for a private education but not a public one. Well somehow Cabo’s father had managed the public education for him. In fact Cabo is still going to a middle school in San Diego, but down here helping his grandmother during school holidays.
He said it didn’t come easy that he had to work hard for it. An obviously bright kid I asked him how he was coping with the American imperial measurement system.
” It’s a big problem for me coming from a metric background even though my father spoke in Fahrenheit etc. “

JUANA AND HER DAUGHTER

Next morning July 28th I was joined by Jose a Green Angel from San Jose del Cabo. I was making my final run for the most southern point on the peninsula, Cabo San Lucas, some 49km away.
I ran through about another 20km of road works. Somehow over the last couple of days I missed a landmark of sorts, the Tropic of Cancer. I did not see a sign, perhaps there was none or taken down with all the road repairs.
Into the last five or six km before Cabo San Lucas. Much of it was downhill, I was flying. Then the last two km, up a big hill, escorted into town to the now very familiar words of encouragement. ” Animal! ”
I had been told to prepare for this. A little America at the end of the peninsula, with American prices, many items ice creams priced in $US.
And so it was.
I couldn’t help wondering if the next time I am running towards something like this, the most southern, it will be Tierra del Fuego at the very tip of South American continent.
I explained to Jose as best as I could that I needed to go to ‘ Lands End ‘ and run into the water. Something got lost in the translation as he brought me to a marina and said that was the spot. The marina did look like a beach but I really wasn’t sure if it was the most southern. We went to my hotel where the the general Manager Alfonso had set me up with a complimentary stay. Pablo had told me that at least 4 hotels were ‘ fighting over me! ‘
Thank you very much Alfonso and Los Cabo Golf Resort!
At the desk Alfonso showed me where I should have splashed into the Pacific for the most southern point. I was about a km short, indeed I had finished in a marina. Though it was not vital for me to make the most southern point as I will be continuing on from here further north on the Mexican mainland, I still wanted to do it, first runner to run Baja etc.
So I asked Jose could we go out and run that kilometer! As obliging as any of the Los Angeles Verdes I have met and as professional he said sure and drove me across town to where I had finished up about an hour before.
So I ran it and not without further headaches and hassle. As the tide was in and the official most southern point was behind a huge rock. After a half hour of talking to security guards in the blistering heat I was allowed access to get as close as I possibly could as it was close to private hotel property. Along the shoreline red flags warned me not to go as close as I actually did.
There was nothing I could do except settle for 20 to 30 meters short of the most southern point! And does that make me the first runner to run the whole of Baja? I think so, if not I am not too worried as I am after bigger fish!
So I got some enforced rest days before I can start running in Sinaloa state on the Mexican mainland next week. Pablo has managed to squeeze me onto the packed ferry to Mazatlan on Sunday. I am told I am being met there by the tourism officials for that state and being brought to my hotel on Monday morning. I think they assumed I would be too tired to run on Monday, but it was always my plan to run straight from the ferry port, but I guess some things can’t be helped.
It’s been a long tough run through Baja but a 1,663.3km beautiful surprise!
This month, the ninth month of the world run easily broke the monthly distance record with
1,378.5km run in 27 road days, more than 50km per day.
A runner called Eduardo had called my hotel here in Cabos and we made an arrangement for a short training run but after a messy, wasted day I could not make it to the place I suggested. I never got a message to him and felt bad and disappointed about it all.
Then after a massive dinner in the Los Cabos Golf Resort restaurant two other runners called Mario and Jorge arrived and almost kidnapped me. They were not taking no for an answer! My huge dinner was churning in my stomach as we ran around the marina.

CHURNING MY STOMACH OUT AROUND THE MARINA WITH MARIO AND JORGE

On the way back in Mario’s car he told me about his dream to cycle around Mexico. I will need about 10 years to save he told me.
I told him this sounded like an excuse as he was not committed to a woman, didn’t need any airfares and if your people were so good to me I am sure they will be good to you.
” Go young man, while you still got some youth! Don’t wait 20 years like me. “
Baja, What a great place for a holiday!
Finally on a very sad note. My friend, and great crew man during my competitive days, Alan Young has just informed me that his father Arthur has died. Anyone that knows Alan knows of the huge selfless effort he puts into the sport, his enthusiasm and  happy-go-lucky nature. It seems that after a tough upbringing that Alan is very proud and grateful for the principles his late father instilled in his strong character.  My thoughts are with Alan and his family at this very difficult time.
For you Alan, your Mother, Sister and of course Arthur, your Father I have dedicated my more than 1,000 mile run down through  Baja to you all. May he rest in peace. Take care and be good to yourself my buddy, the best crewman in the world :)

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2 Responses to “SOUTHERN MAN”

  1. stewart cochrane Says:

    hi tony…i’m still in nain labrador…we are finished our job here and our helicopter departed this morning.
    we are scheduled to depart tomorrow and hopefully arrive home tomorrow nite…if all goes well.
    katheryn is competeing in a triathlon tomorrow in corner brook…but….i won’t be at the finishline to cheer her on…but….her mother will be there ….
    so it will be a long day and a half for me here ….i’ll take a walk around the community later very scenic….we landed last nite before returning to nain at the west end of the fraser canyon WOW …2000′ cliffs on either side about 1 km apart …right out on national geographic…the students i have with me were totally blown away
    what luxury to climb aboard and fly along the canyon walls.
    any

    another great read tony
    enjoy cabo

    stewart and bernie cochrane
    newfoundalnd
    canada

  2. theworldjog Says:

    Wow that sounds wonderful Stewart! Good luck to Katheryn tomorrow she is running well at the moment and must be delighted! 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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