The Magic Letter.

At times of hassle or when looking for some kind of assistance or courtesy I will be using what around the world cyclist Alistair Humphrey’s calls his MAGIC LETTER.

My own experience of a Magic Letter (which deserves to be capitalized) of introduction from the Lord Mayor of Dublin on a previous bicycle trip around the world was extraordinary to say the least. I encountered many bureaucrats and illiterate border officials in developing world countries who were most impressed by the mayoral seal of office!

By far the biggest use I had of it was when I applied for my US visa in New Delhi. At first I was refused and had my passport stamped ‘ Visa Application Denied ‘This put my world bicycle trip in jepordary.

The very next day I returned to the US embassy armed with my letter of introduction from the then Dublin Lord Mayor Paddy Belton. The same official looked at the letter, smiled and marked his previous days stamp: ” VISA DENIAL CANCELLED WITHOUT PREDACIOUS. ” He then gave me a multiple-entry indefinite visitors visa.

Upon my arrival at the US border I produced my Magic Letter. The immigration officer asked me how much time I needed. As I planned to cycle up the west coast from LA to Canada I decided not to push my luck, I said 3 months. I will never forget his reply. ” Here’s 6 months in case you get a puncture! ”

If I had to choose a name for this letter of introduction I couldn’t have chosen a better one, and apologize to Alistair for ripping of it’s name!

My (laminated) Magic Letter.

Mangan Family 017


30th September 2010.


As Lord Mayor of Dublin, I wish to commend to you Mr. Tony Mangan, a fellow Dubliner and Irishman and an extraordinary adventurer and fundraiser.

Tony will set out from Dublin on October 25th 2010 on his ” World Jog ” to raise funds for an Irish charity called ” AWARE ” whose mission is ” to create a society where people with depression and their families are understood ” and supported, are free from stigma and have access to a broad range of appropriate therapies to enable them to reach their full potential. ”

Tony’s run around the world, will take him through many villages, towns and cities and he invites any runner/observer to come, announced or unannounced to run alongside him or observe him at any time anywhere in the world.

Any support or courtesy you can offer Tony on his journey would be very much appreciated.

Gerry Breen,

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ireland.

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3 Responses to “The Magic Letter.”

  1. theworldjog Says:

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  2. theworldjog.com – blog » Blog Archive » Eddy’s Restaurant And Motel, South Brook, Newfoundland Gives A Massive Help Out To The World Jog! Says:

    [...] Here Lisa can you please show Wallace my Magic Letter… I just happen to have it here in my hand and it explains things better? [...]

  3. theworldjog.com – blog » Blog Archive » The Junction Inn, Baie Verte Junction, Newfoundland Comes To The Rescue For A tired World Runner :) Says:

    [...] The sign on the door says they got wi-fi so I pull out my netbook computer, logbook bag and instinct tells me the Magic Letter [...]

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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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