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New Zealand, First day on the road – the helping hand begins.

Getting ready for a run with the Auckland Joggers. That's Alan beside me.

I had two lovely runs with the Auckland Jogging club in Auckland this week.

Outside the clubhouse with Alan

Can you believe they serve tea and biscuits to the runners after training! While drinking mine I got  talking to a Scottish woman who has been over here 43 years and still has a very thick Glaswegian accent,

My tea and biscuits please!

” Well Tony how could I lose my accent, I wasn’t going to give that away as you know us Scots give nothing away! ”

On Tuesday a dinner is also served in the club canteen after training! Their clubhouse is shared with famous All Black feeder rugby club called Carlton Grammar.

Now that's what I call a display

Over this meal a couple of the members of the running club sat down with me and my host Alan Knox to discuss my route through the North Island.

One of the lads Chuck is very enthusiastic, so much so that he gave me an invite to stay in his place on Saturday night near Hampton. Chuck also called his friend Craig who lives just past Drury and organized for me to stay the night with Craig and his wife Carlene and family.

So I began the day running out of a harbour on the Pacific touching the water as is my custom. My Auckland hosts Alan and Sue dropped me to that start location and off I went.

Alan and Sue for such a good time and wonderful help.

Thanks for such a wonderful time and vital logistic help. I am now running with my pack again and it took some getting used to again.  Craig and his young son Luke drove by to check on me, so I unloaded my pack with them for the last 20km! Wonderful people, the chain reaction as in North America is continuing here in Kiwi land :)

The run down New Zealand begins!

Things are a bit easier now that I have a NZ mobile number and Chuck as enthusiastic as ever even asked me to text him a house number I was running past so as he could check on his computer tell me how far to Craig’s place! 14km came the reply! Yes things can be much simpler in the west, well I guess everywhere is the west in comparison to somewhere else.

I was moving fairly well towards the end of today’s 38km and missed my left turn for Craig’s house, No worries Craig who had been following my progress ‘ watching your beacon ‘ as he called it dispatched his son Luke and daughter Lorraine to chase after me on their bicycles and re-direct me.

Craig right, Charlene left and family

The roads are a bit complicated in places and I need to be careful not to end up on a freeway. Craig offers to drive the 54km for tomorrows run to Huntley. Quick as a flash I load my pack into the car with the intention of stashing it somewhere at the finish, No pack tomorrow, free running :)   After 10km Craig decides to enlist the ‘ expert advice ‘ of a cyclist friend called Sherpa Pete.

Sherpa Pete

So called Sherpa because he works his butt off in the peloton! So we stop at Sherpa Pete’s place, his wife Sarah-Jane makes more tea, more route discussions and a lot more jokes and we are off again with Sherpa Pete. I see there are two stretches of 15 and 20km with no places to get water, so I will be prepared. We measure the distance as 54km for there are no km markers here.

In Huntley we stop at the Odd Spoon Cafe where we have another laugh with the two owners Toni and Denise Broster, they say minding my pack till I run into town on my world run is the strangest request they have ever had, even more unbelievable than an Irishman that doesn’t drink! On the way back we drop off Sherpa Pete who plans to run home. I am told that I have a new follower to the site, it’s starting to grow here in New Zealand.

Back at Craig’s house after a 120km reconnaissance trip I devour the most delicious dinner I have had in a long time, delicious tender lamb roast with crunchy vegetables. I spend a pleasant evening with the family. Meanwhile Chuck phones and tomorrows, Saturday’s arrangement is for me to run the 54km, texting him just before I get to the Odd Spoon Cafe in Huntley. He will drive out 25km from his home to pick me up to stay at his place and will of course return me to the same place on Sunday morning.

Yes readers, I think we are going to have a good time in the land down under. Here’s till tomorrow, and a lot more smileys :)

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5 Responses to “New Zealand, First day on the road – the helping hand begins.”

  1. Fergus Says:

    Good Man Tony, This sounds like it is all coming together very well – we all hope it will continue.

  2. Ann Says:

    Good read Tony, great to see you are getting so much support down under :)

  3. Mam Says:

    Hi Tony, glad to see you have settled back into your run so well and that the people of New Zealand are taking care of you and making your run so pleasurable. Mind yourself and enjoy the road ahead :)

  4. Frank Says:

    Hi Tony,I am Frank,from Xinjiang,China. I don’t know this time the weather in Ireland, but Xinjiang is very cold, Minimum temperature to 15 degrees below, should and Sweden this time climate about, you have to prepare in advance before you get here

  5. theworldjog Says:

    Thanks Frank, Preparation is my middle name!I look forward to seeing you next winter! Take care, 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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