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JALISCO FIASCO!

Just before the Jalisco state line two new Angeles Verdes men picked me up at my hotel. Jose the driver and Marco.  Also accompanying me as I ran to the line were a couple of Civil Protection guys and a Federali Police patrol vehicle. About 6 or 7 men in all. Once I got to the state line all this support dropped. Jose and Marco stayed in the same hotels as me and escorted me all the way across the state. I stopped running the first night near a town called Magdelena, so commuted there. It was a nice town, famous for it’s opals. The very friendly town tourism director, a woman called Christina first brought us to the town hall. The mayor wanted to meet me but unfortunately was delayed in Guadalajara. I agreed  to return at 6pm.

So we went off and ate in a restaurant provided by the town and then went back to our hotel. I took a couple of hours nap, today had been a routine 44.5km day but I was shattered. I made my way down to the town hall, it was locked up. Nobody had bothered to tell  me the mayor still hadn’t made it back, in fact the guards thought I was a bit off the wall.

Next day I ran just under 50km to a small town called Zapopan, finishing at a tequila distillery. I guess Zapopan is a suburb of Guadalajara, the 10th largest city in all of Latin America and Mexico’s second city.

Initially I was very impressed by this states overtures. They had an email list of about 10 people promising food and lodging to Senor Tony before he had even set foot in the state.

Somehow Jose managed to get hold of the Tourism Secretary on her office phone. I had not realised she was not on the email list either. The phone was handed to me and I was told they did not realise I was so close to town, despite an email sent out and the email list. Of course they wanted to know my route and as always another case of not checking the ROUTE page on my website, usually the first thing one does upon visiting a travel website. And nobody seems to pay any attention to my gps tracking device.

No worries, I am here and was told she would call back in half an hour. The boys knew better and we went back to their base for lunch.  She  would call back in a Mexican minute, I was to hear that so much in this state. Three hours later I called back and a wonderful hotel was provided but no food.

I said I would take a rest day Friday and run on Saturday. The Tourism Secretary said she would like to meet up with me and perhaps hold a press conference. I said I was available for this on my rest day and emailed same to the ‘ gang of ten ‘ ’

I never heard anything back.

We started out for Guadalajara about 4.30 in the morning. It was about 20km away. After a couple of km Marcos girlfriend met us on the road, actually one of his girlfriends as he has got children by (he thinks!) 5 women.

I thought we would have the road to ourselves at that early hour but it was bumper to bumper stuff for the last 12km on the 4 and sometimes 6 lane highway. As I ran on the / motorway in front of the guys patrol vehicle I thought to myself if I have had some hairy traffic experiences in the past, well Guadalajara was Grizzly Adams stuff. What will Mexico City be like in about ten days time I wondered.

 There were dozens of junctions and I had to be in 100 percent concentration mode as cars cut in front of us from the left and from the right and out of junctions on my right. I had to have Jose drive within a  meter and a half of me, total trust between the two of us. This is no time to trip or loose stride due to on of the many objects in my path. I motored on over a huge bridge, thru a tunnel and all the while Jose driving as close as possible to give me maximum protection. What a man! And Marcos too watching out for potential hazards. This high intense drama went on for about an hour and a half.

After about 4 hours we had the city behind us. I did not run downtown, just bypassed it. I ran about 33km past Guadalajara that day.

Jose and Marco told me they couldn’t get hold of the tourism secretary, she had gone home for the weekend and left no cell number. My emails were unanswered. We were abandoned. Somehow they managed to get hold of a super efficient lady called Eva, who I think just worked for tourist information and obliged us by ringing up some hotels to see if one would sponsor us. One of them Hotel del Sol said they would and I am not sure if I misunderstood, but I thought it was for two nights. No food included.

That’s up to the Tourism department if they want to get nights sponsored but my deal is with them and I should not have to wait 2 or 3 hours for them to find something. If they want me to help spread a good message, but I insist it has to be a truthful message, of correcting misconceptions of this country abroad, well they need to just pay up front, food included and not have me wait around after a long hard days run. I never could figure out why the phones only started ringing when I had finished running for the day.

Next day Sunday, the Tourism Department were still gone fishing while I ran over 47km. As I mentioned I thought we were returning to the same hotel and had left Nirvana in my room.

I bought the lads breakfast, as I didn’t think they should be out of pocket. I ran strongly that day. Luckily Eva was still on our case and had arranged a second hotel for us. When we arrived at the hotel, a wedding was going on. I was falling asleep on a comfortable sofa in the lobby. For some reason we had to wait another hour for our rooms. Four hours wait in all today.

A decision was made to feed us, lunch only, no dinner or breakfast. The bizarre thing was even though this hotel had a restaurant and the Tourism Department was paying for this one meal for each of us, we had to return 40km  to last nights hotels restaurant!  This was not as bad as it could have been as I had to pick up Nirvana anyway, which had been hastily packed up with all my belongings by the cleaning staff and pushed out to a lobby, as the hotel was now sold out. Well this lunch was an eat as much as you wanted lunch buffet, so I had a good fill of steaks and deserts! I was unusually slow in that I hadn’t got my tupperware dish with me.

Next morning after buying Jose and Marco breakfast I ran out of Fiasco State.

Imagine I ran right thru this state and despite the gang of tens great plans for El Marathonista da  Irlanda,  I never even had one official photo taken, or spoke to a single reporter! Not one run though a town, nobody knew about the world run and I wondered if I was still an animal as nobody reminded me!

Hey nobody ever said it would be all roses, I am 6 days closer to realising my ultimate dream, to run around the world and that’s all that matters. My commitment and focus are cast iron, cien percent.

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4 Responses to “JALISCO FIASCO!”

  1. Andrés Montero Says:

    My Dear Friend Tony;

    I want only to encourage you on your agenda, Yes, I agree with you about the bourocracy of some autorities in the Country, so I myself had been sending mails anouncing your prescence, because the important example to our youth….and in many other ways¡¡

    I dream running to your left side again¡¡

    I spects and awakeness of the ahead, but, specialy now focus your own success…….reach spirit and enjoy the race.

    regards

    Andrés Montero, your friend in Ahuacatlán Nayarit.

  2. Jerome Savage Says:

    Keep her lit !

  3. Ann Says:

    Hi Tony, Despite the fiasco the dream lives on. Keep up the good work and keep on running Ann :)

  4. Ruth & Chet Says:

    I am so sorry for lack of organization, but am glad for your protection. May God’s speed be with you.

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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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