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MEXICO, THE WRAP UP.

Next day in Oaxaca City,I went along to the Angeles Verdes office to meet with the chief who is called Jorge. It took about an hour and a half for him to realise the significance of my world run. I sat there explaining with another runner also called Jorge that I was running around the world and all other Angeles Verdes have helped me.

Then I mentioned to Jorge I would be leaving from in front of his office at 10am next morning as that’s where I finished last night. His eyes lit up.

” So Tony does that mean you want journalist there? ”

The thought never crossed my mind and to be honest I couldn’t be bothered. As I said I finished there and other runners were interested in running with me.

Suddenly everything seemed much easier. They would transport Nirvana to the Chiapas state line via Tehuantepec. An email and phone calls would be made to Angeles Verdes in Tapachula, Chiapas where I requested her to be sent. A detailed route was written out, we shook hands and I said ‘ Hasta Manyana! ”

Next morning I sauntered up bang on ten 0′clock. To be honest I was lucky my hotel was very close otherwise I would have been much later.

Waiting outside the Angeles Verdes office which was also shared with the Secretario de Turismo, were several journalists, a television crew from Azteca Tv, about 4 Angeles Verdes vehicles all with their drivers and assistants standing beside their vehicles like it was a show.

After the interviews and having thanked everyone I took Jorge aside and asked if he was going to have a vehicle with me today to carry my pack.

” Ah we can’t do that Tony, No gasoline, this is Mexico! We will give you about 10km. ”

” No Jorge, this is not Mexico! This is you. ” I responded.

I HAD A LOVELY RUN WITH JORGE AND MIGUEL OUT OF OAXACA CITY.

For the run out of Oaxaca I was joined by Jorge the runner and his friend Miguel. They both like to compete in triathlons. I ended up leaving my backpack in his car as his friend Juan was driving behind so as to take them home.

Jorge the chief was busy running back and forward from the vehicle he was traveling in to take photos. He was even snapping away as he sat on the open window frame of his car door as it drove along. I was praying the door wouldn’t open.

I ran on another bit with the lads so as they could get a half marathon.

That night I made it to a junction just outside Mitla which had a store and a gas station.

I asked the very nice lady if I could sleep on the quiet porch that night and in the morning if I could leave my pack there as I would return after my days running for it in one of the dozens of buses tearing up this road.

It seemed like a great plan till I lost the whole morning due to poor signposting at this complicated junction.

You see there was a road that veered off the highway towards Agua something or other. Often when this happens the highway number amazingly does not change for the shoot off. Even the kilometer signs continue with the same count as though it had not left the highway. Is this dumb or what!

I had been a bit suspicious most of the way and it was only after 10km when I came to a sign that said the road was closed ahead (just as well as I could still be running up there!) I stopped to ask a friendly driver and he pointed back the way I came, telling me to make a left turn after the junction I finished last night. I should have remembered that turn but was to eager to get to the goodies in the gas station!

So the whole morning was wasted. I didn’t count these kilometers and ended up with just over 36 ‘ official kilometers. ‘

My commute plan worked a dream as I returned to the junction gas station in a bus, costing just a couple of dollars.

I probably could have stayed there on the porch outside but on the road today in a town called Matalan I spotted a nice hotel wiith wifi so headed there in another bus. Tomorrow I will return to today’s finish at the military checkpoint at km 79.3.

Before I could leave the gas station I noticed a man moving around very slowly on a Zimmer-Frame. He had been there last night and tonight he was behind the counter.

Tonight as I sat at the table inside the service station drinking some juice I had thought I had heard a frail voice saying,

” Tony, Tony Mangan. ”

I started to take notice and realised it was the old man.

He was calling from behind the counter, from a vantage which I couldn’t see.

He was holding up today’s paper opened at the athletics section. A whole page detailing my run and all the while calling out…

” Tony, Tony Mangan! ” And the amazing thing was he was pronouncing my name perfectly.

His name is Victor. He told me he is 95 years old. He got me to sign and date his copy, then the lady made me a photocopy.

VICTOR, MY MEXICAN FAN!

 

On I went to the hotel where the young lad gave me free internet access, as the hotel also runs a ciber shop. He told me it was his way to support my expedition. He sat there reading the blog for the hour I was on. I could have done with an other hour but felt guilty as it was late and he had to be up early for university.

He and his mom and family lived in the states for many years.

Next day Eduardo came out to  take some more photos in his friend Eliezer Ramirez’s car. I understand Elizer has won some prestigious award for services to sport. He kindly sponsored me for a couple of nights in hotels. Thank you so much Eliezer and also to Jorge who I was running with yesterday. Jorge owns a sports shop and kindly gave me a huge discount.

Running with Eliezer Ramirez a winner of many awards for his services to sports. Thanks you Eliezer for sponsoring me my next pair of shoes!

I was a bit disappointed  when an attendant in a gas station store near La Ventosa told me to take my charger out of the wall socket. I said I just needed a quick 5 minute charge to send a very important text message. And then a second attendant also asked me to remove it.

I never got to send that thank you message to the mayor of Juchitan, Daniel Gurrion who kindly put me up for two nights in a hotel. I lost his card since.

On the left the mayor of Juchitan, Daniel Gurrion and his assistant. Mayor Daniel kindly put me up in a lovely hotel for two nights.

One man did slowed down on his scooter when I was a couple of days away from the Guatemala border. He said he wanted to help me. It was a hot day and I was out of water. I asked him could he take my water bottle to the next town or house and fill it up. He just drove away not thinking this was the help I really needed.


I got my first water refusal from a man in a store that sold motor oil two villages after the town of La Reforma. He had it alright, just couldn`t be bothered. A water refusal is a significant occurance, often there is  just one refusal on an entire world trip to a cyclist or walker in the travel books I have read.

On I ran into Chiapas State which many people warned me, especially Mexicans that it was a very dangerous place.  That’s not what I found. I found the people to be genuinely very friendly wishing me a Buenos Dias and a Buenna Viaje almost every time I met them on the road as they walked back and forward from the fields from their daily errants. Not once was I scared by the fact so many people carry machetes for cutting wood and even the grass. I have seen attendants mowing their lawns in blistering heat with a machete…Now that’s hard work. Import a lawnmower and you would be friends with the neighbours for life, till it ultimately broke like everything else around here. Of course the really smart people just tie a cow or a pig to a post and let them eat the grass down. I saw one pig that had eaten it all away and the poor thing was eating mud, all over his face.

It was a hell of an experience, 4,000km of a run with all its bureaucracyl and thanks to the Angeles Verdes, The various police forces, Civil Defence or Protection Civil as it is called here, government agencies, hotels, restaurants and those people that helped me, especially runners than ran with me. Thanks so much, you  have all played a huge part in the dream.

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2 Responses to “MEXICO, THE WRAP UP.”

  1. Ann Says:

    Sounds like Mexico has many memories for you both good and bad. It will take a lot to beat the hospitality of Newfoundland and USA. Anyway its all in a days running. Take care Ann :)

  2. stewart cochrane Says:

    hi tony…another great read… thanks for the comments on newfoundland…i’ve been here for over 30 yrs and never once had a hitch!!!

    katheryn finished toronto marathon in 3hrs.51 min!!!she had a major hassle trying to get her gear at the finish took 1.5 hrs….she was pissed at that…

    she returns home tomorrow tuesday

    hope all is well with you …i have loaded up jump drive and will mail when i get back home on friday…

    take care

    your friends in newfoundland

    stewart and bernie cochrane

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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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