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Iorwerth Arms Bar in Bryngwran, Wales

Phil, Paul and Wyn

Thursday 11th September 2014, Nine eleven I awake thinking of my American friends, supporters  and those that have helped me on the run. Today my heart is very much with America.

I have a late start, don’t know why I am so slack in the mornings, things will have to change in Ireland. Today I have a decision, it’s 51 kilometres to the end of Wales, the end of my last overseas country of the run, I am thinking one day or two days. My ferry from Holyhead departs at 9am on Saturday so I can run this in two days if I want, and that’s what I decided to do, I will have two easy days taking my time.
Ah yes decisions. I have been listening to the conversations in the cafes and bars in England and Wales these last two weeks. Everyone seems to have an opinion about the Scottish vote, will they vote for an independent Scotland or remain part of the UK. Many Scots have moaned not getting enough Scottish say, often they refer to their oil reserves as though they were a Gulf nation. Many people don’t realize that when the true geographical border is drawn that England will get more than they expect. I am reliably informed that with a yes vote Scotland will then cease to be part of the EU. Many people may think this is a blessing in disguise but who will bail them out if they become another basket case like Greece. Will mother England or the Eu? Just like they bailed out another non EU country, Iceland.
Personally I believe that anyone with a good steady job would be unwise to vote yes. How many of the multi-nationals will pull out if the September 18th vote is yes? Already Scottish companies are being hammered on the Stock exchange, notably Royal Bank of Scotland.
Eventually I ran out of Bethesda taking some back roads and trails on my gps avoiding the large town of Bangor. Over the Menai bridge and onto Anglesey island my next island will be Ireland. I got too much time to think, I wonder if an island is really an island if it has a land connection like a bridge? If not then surely the day the Euro Tunnel was opened between Calais, France and Dover England that by extension (pun intended!) means the UK ceased to be an island that day. Three of the world six continents are joined together in the shape of a jagged letter r. Europe to Asia and then Asia to Africa. North America is only separated from Asia by about 30 kilometres across the Bering Straights between the USA and Russia. South America though not joined by road to North America is joined by a jungle. The world is a lot closer to us than we realize I thought. I will never say it’s a small world, not after running it, that’s for sure!
Many times I stopped that day enjoying the fresh Welsh country air. Most of the highway A5 had little or no shoulder, far too many dangerous bends to enjoy. As in England local services cutbacks meant hedges, shrubbery and trees were overgrown hanging out onto the highway and at times blocking my view of oncoming traffic. Often I had to change sides because of this and the dangerous bends, slow progress on this busy stretch of road.
I stopped on the highway just past the village of Mona. A sign said stop when a highway light is red. It was at RAF base Mona. A hawk jet barely clearing the road is coming in to land. Later I was told this is a taking off and landing training centre.
I can’t help thinking about India. I remember how drivers refused to stop at an uncontrolled  railway crossing. A guard was frantically trying to get the trucks, buses and cars to stop. I watched for about three minutes. perhaps the train driver expected this for it had stopped. That is only one part of the mayhem, the uncivilized mess that is north India. I wondered what they would have done here, would they have stopped to let a jet land! I wouldn’t bet much on it.
On I ran to another village called Gwalchmai and stopped at the local bar of the same name. No pub grub so on I went another three or four kilometres down the road I stopped in Bryngwran and went into the Iorwerth Arms bar. Still no pub grub but what a welcome I received from the locals. Paul the barman made me about six cups of tea all free of charge over the course of a really pleasant evening. i wondered if this will be my last night on the road abroad for tomorrow I will be staying at my destination.
I was told the bar was not a commercial bar, it was bought for £100,000 by the community only four weeks ago. The locals take turns to bar tend, only pay is a pint at the end of their shift! There is a fundraising event featuring a live band is performing tomorrow night. A few men are putting up a marque for the band. I joke that I can sleep in the marque tonight, later I am given the keys to a changing room a football team use at the back of the bar. Another man called Phil gives me a foam mat to lie on and an electric kettle, mug and tea bags! Fast learner Phil :)
A man called Wyn takes publicity photos of me holding both the Welsh and Anglesea flags. Later he cooks me a huge dinner of sausages,rashers, beans, black pudding, chips and eggs.
I am a bit surprised when I am told to put my coat on and eat it out in the backyard. Then I am told it’s because they haven’t gotten their food licence yet.

Eating out!

I get talking to a woman who tells me many of the locals are in support of the Scot yes vote. I ask if she thinks Wales will follow suit. She doubts it as Wales has very little industry since Thatcher closed the mines as she said.
Before I could ask her why she drove off so later I caused a debate among six of the men in the bar. The reasons being according to the men was she was against unions and wanted to privatize the mines. Another man said in fairness coal was not selling well, it was no longer profitable. That’s when we went nuclear chipped in another, and nothing to do with any ‘ Greeny stuff ‘ as he put it.

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One Response to “Iorwerth Arms Bar in Bryngwran, Wales”

  1. Wilma Says:

    I told you: I will follow you to the end!
    Congratulations, you made it!!!

    Wilma from the gasstation in Holland

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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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