Iran In Pictures

July 18th update: In Bratislava, Slovakia my 32nd country. Was met on the road half way through my easy 28km day by local contact Josef who took Nirvana so as I could run between the very heavy rain showers without pushing her! Total 46,418km for 1,061 road days.

1,370 kilometres to Calais, the end of mainland Europe. I plan running this in a little over five weeks. The date I got in mind for crossing from Calais to Dover, England is Aug 25th. Then another 540km to Dublin! :)

Am meeting the Irish ambassador to Slovakia H.E. Anne-Marie Callan at 9am Saturday morning. She is coming around to the hotel at 9am on her day off, so this is very much appreciated. Also appreciated is her contacting the Hotel Tatra who have kindly sponsored my two night stay here in their wonderful downtown hotel.

Two nights as I will be taking only my third rest day in 3,850kilometres which was run in 92 road days, all the way from the Iranian desert.

I will give a proper mention to all concerned tomorrow with the hotel website and pictures with Ambassador Callan.

So you know how I think, I got to be up early for the buffet breakfast :)

I also hope to meet Fergus Desmond a Shamrock Rovers supporter at the hotel before I start running on Sunday morning. Fergus who happens to read this blog! sent me an email saying he will be here by coincidence flying in on Sunday morning and will come straight from the airport to Hotel Tatra to buy me a steak lunch! I tell you I am mixing with royalty these days :)



Now to my catchup Iran picture blog.


Another breakfast picnic invite after this family gave me a bed for the night.

I know if I go back and picture to blogs the readers probably wont go back and check them, so for now the best way to catch up is with a picture blog.


After shot glass sized portions of tea in India it was great to be able to drink as much as I wanted in Iran. Most shops and restaurants provided a burco of hot water for travelers to fill their thermos flasks with or for world runners to fill their beakers with. One man called my bowl a dog dish!

 The Iranian desert. My sixth and final desert of the run.

An Iranian weather forecaster.

With Mr. Alireza the Irish Honary consul to Iran and his wife.


I just loved reading this on his desk!

Mr. Alireza kindly treated me to a delicious meal in a very posh restaurant. We had a most interesting conversation talking about world affairs.


I use my smart phone to find my way and check routes on Google maps. I was not a great believer in them at the start of the run. But then when it saved me time taking more direct routes I became a believer! Here I photographed my route and could check my camera if needed.

To be honest I really don’t know how I would have survived the last six months without it especially when applying for my Iran visa I needed to send about a dozen emails including obtaining  the invitation letter.

There was a story there too. If anyone knows Richard Donovan and wants a good laugh, Just ask Richard who ‘ Mr. Porsche ‘ is!

There have been too few internet cafes on my route and many readers will remember I often spent half a day in them when I did come across one in places like Indonesia.

This man is called Mohammed, an English teacher. He stopped me on the road the afternoon before my birthday and kindly invited me to spend the night in his family home when I ran into his town.

Always time for tea in Iran!

Another place to stay

Settling down to sleep in a mosque, this time with permission!

You can seen the women section in the back.

Readers may remember I often snuck in there as womens prayer section was rarely checked before locking up. Men often rested in the womens area as it was quieter but never women in the men’s location.

The women were not always shy to talk.

A beautiful country

And beautiful people

The Iranians know how to picnic that is for sure. I got an invite to lunch from this three family party celebrating Friday, the holy day.

Another tea break in western Iran. I discover Turkish and Azerbaijani are the main languages in this region.


I stopped to ask was there a cafe or shop in this village and was invited to eat with the family.



In six weeks running through Iran the woman in the background was the only woman I saw without a head covering.

This was the amazing breakfast that family served me that morning. I have never heard a traveler say a bad word about the Iranian people after a visit to this wonderful country. believe me this is only a small part of the story.Iran along with the USA my joint favourite country of the run.


My last two nights in Iran were with the Iranian Red Crescent as they prefer to call the Red Cross, Here in Marganlar and then in Maku. Hot showers, dinner, bed, breakfast and endless tea, what else!



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4 Responses to “Iran In Pictures”

  1. kevin scanlon Says:

    tony. great photos. it looks and sounds like a wonderful country. talk soon. kevin

  2. Ann Says:

    Fantastic photos Tony and I know how much you looked forward to returning to Iran since your 1979 world cycle visit. So glad it lived up to your expectations -:)

  3. Ed Bourke Says:

    Keep up the good work tony, the pictures look amazing.

  4. Serena Says:

    You really capture the beauty of a country that is so often overshadowed by unrest. Great to see you were welcomed by so many and treated so well. “Tea father?” Perhaps mrs Doyle has Iranian ancestors!!!

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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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