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ROUTINE DAYS

I ran about four really routine days where I have not much to report and wondered how I could make then interesting reading in the blog!

TELL ME SOMETHING INTERESTING BUDDY!

Running out of Dabeiba last Sunday morning I was stopped by a lady who was probably in her eighties. She was outside her house sweeping the road. I greeted her with. ” It’s so kind of you to sweep the road for me ”

THANKS FOR CLEANING THE ROAD FOR ME!

We had a laugh and then the usual where are you going questions. She called out her husband to talk also.

They were a simple family and very typical of many of the Colombians I have met, very house proud and generally very tidy and clean. They are such decent people.

So far from what I have observed Colombia’s  roads are as clean as any I have run over in Canada or the USA and indeed with much of Europe. Since southern Mexico I have not seen any evidence of bleach or even disinfectant been used, except in a couple of places where gringos live. I wonder do hotels and restaurants consider this to be a waste of money.

On the bad potholed roads enterprising children still make a living filling in holes and then waiting for ‘ payment ‘ I often wonder if I were to run by here in a few years would they be still standing over the same holes, like some of the construction workers I know back in Dublin!

I think Colombia, though not as dangerous as it once was, still has a bad image abroad. After  all the negative press of the kidnappings and the drug cartels perhaps this bad publicity remains in peoples minds even during calmer times. Perhaps once an image is stained it may take many years for people to realize this. Much like Belfast in Northern Ireland. I get people, even now asking about ‘ the troubles ‘ and why we are killing ourselves almost two decades after the IRA declared a ceasefire.

That day I ran 26km and the next day 30 finishing just before a heavy rain downpour at a 24 hour restaurant, Rancho del Occident. I made a note of this place while travelling to my start location in South America as the bus stopped here for a meal break. I figured it would make a good place to stay the night as it has wi-fi. The very friendly staff let me sleep around the back on some cardboard under a sheltered area.

I saw this man climb this hill, a hidden trail that was barely visable. he climbed it at an incredible speed carrying a large drum of weed killer on his back.

Highlight of this day was stopping for some fruit at a fruit stall. I placed my two water bottles which I always carry in my hands on a wall. Next thing I know two snoozing terriers I awoke jumped off the wall and frightened the life out of me! As usual the owners just looked on saying… ” Ellos no van a tocar!”  or. They wont touch you!

It’s unreal the amount of dog encounters I have. Just about every journey runner or walker I know of have said to me that they never EVER have had a problem, and they usually say that’s because they don’t show fear!

But this is the bit I don’t get…. Sometimes dogs are the furthest thing from my mind and I am not afraid of them, I am running along having a lovely daydream and they come charging out, so it’s nothing about displaying fear!

I mentioned that my dog zapper, Dazer 2 got burnt out from all the use in the Central American rains, well Dazer are mailing me a new one.

For the moment I am using my ‘ Dirty Harry ‘ technique!

” Don’t even think about it PUNK! ” I shout!

Or. I sometimes shout….

” Hey this is the most powerful water bottle in town, a  Mangan 750 ml bottle,

” So what’s it gonna be punk, Do you feel lucky, come make my day, punk! ”

DO YOU FEEL LUCKY PUNK! I GOT THE MOST POWERFUL WATER BOTTLE IN TOWN, A MANGAN 750ML!

If they get a bit too close I squirt my water on them, which usually gives them  a surprise, followed by another…

” Don’t even think about it PUNK! ” I run on followed by a ” Wuf Wuf ”

And then the neighbouring dog comes out, and a chain reaction down the road.

CHAIN REACTION

 Dogs are the Latin American alarm system.

The next day was a lovely day, dull and overcast! I was comfortable all the way running the 35km all the way to a small village before Catvino. Some lovely mountain running with stunning vistas.

Just before I finished. I stopped for a snack at a shop and sat outside on the deck. The owner came out had a look around and I just knew by his actions he was looking for this mysterious bicycle everyone keeps asking me am I riding thru on.

Just as he was saying… ” ¿dónde está tu bicicleta? ”

I said. “ No tengo bicicleta! Estoy corriendo! ” I have no bicycle, I am running.

As I have mentioned before, people just can’t comphrend me running through. Even when I hand them the printed (in Spanish) cards I hand out, and even having talking to them for a few minutes about the run it always comes back to….

” Pero Tony…  ¿Dónde está tu bicicleta? ”

I guess half of it is my fault as I dress like a cyclist and not a runner as I find my own modified cycle top to be the most practical running attire.

COW DAY AFTERNOON

Then I had a decent day running 45km with the first 21km all uphill, I stopped in Santa Fe for lunch, well soda and a big bag of crisps!

In some rural areas a series of hoses are connected together with outlets to the various houses.

I even saw one home set up with a constant supply from a small waterfall. Simple, just a bucket collecting the water.

There have been a lot of mudslides in this area. Also parts of the roads are just closed off due to structural damage.

People are often surprised when they see me sprinkling salt into my water bottles. I tell them it’s a cheap electrolyte.

All the way thru Central America salt was for some strange reason rarely on the table. I always had to ask for it, sometimes they would come out with a spoonful, other times with a small amount on a piece of cardboard.

Here thankfully it’s always on the table.

I have never taken sugar in my tea or coffee before but now I do just to get the extra calories, I reckon I am not getting as many as I could so it’s an easy way to get more. Mind you most of the time one doesn’t have a choice as coffee often comes pre-sweetened.

I made it as far as San Jerinimo and got a nice discount on a nice hotel which Liam Mycroft kindly sponsored along with a nice meal.

Thank you very much Liam.  Anyone that wants to sponsor same via my Paypal, or bank account details on homepage will be mentioned in this blog!

Routine days, but happy days.

Oh! I almost forgot that I saw my very first snake movement (other than the coiled up rattler in Arizona)

It was just before San Jerinimo. I stopped for a pee near a roadside drain. In about a second flat the black  meter long and about one cm wide reptile slithered about 10 meters down a hill! I was amazed by it’s speed.

A PEE BREAK WITH A DIFFERENCE!

 I am sure this happens a lot, I am just unaware of it as I run down the road. They say, thankfully! snakes are fearful of humans.

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8 Responses to “ROUTINE DAYS”

  1. Ann Says:

    LUCKY your powerful 750ml water bottle is doing the trick while you are waiting on your new dog zapper. Plenty of animals and mind the snakes.

  2. Serena Salmon Says:

    Lucky Salmon would be jealous of all this mention of other dogs! Hopefully there are no more snake encounters! Take care! Serena

  3. Mam Says:

    Hi Tony, it was great speaking to you today, Enjoyed your blog and your writing is always so interesting, Ann usually prints it out for me. Glad you are doing well and lost the few pounds you put on over Christmas. Mind yourself, love and god bless Mam :)

  4. stewart cochrane Says:

    another great read tony…
    keep it up…
    ton of snow here over the wknd ( why can’t these things happen on a work day???)
    skied with katheryn yesterday…my knees are shot…but still great to spend time with her on the slopes at marble

    take care
    your friends in newfoundland

    stewart and bernie

  5. Paul Mahon Says:

    Hi Tony

    Great running!

    Traveling through Colombia at the min w mot so plan to find you for a jog, grub, etc later in the week – Prob thurs or so in Armenia or a bit north of that. We will find you

    Slan go dti sin!

    Pol y hilary

  6. Liam Mycroft Says:

    That last photograph speaks volumes in giving a reason as to why Run The World – Breathtaking….

  7. theworldjog Says:

    Hi Paul! Wow! wHAT A GREAT SURPRISE!I dont know where I will be then as I have not looked at map but prob half way between Medellin and Perierra, a little more than half way. Finished in Santa Barbara today and around La Pinta… Tomorrow.
    Best wishes and looking forward to meeting you,
    Tony

  8. John Salmon Says:

    That is great Tony meeting up with Paul for a run. A fantastic surprise.

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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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