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I’m now walking around the world!

I’m now walking around the world! Please see my Tony Mangan Facebook page and also press ‘like ‘ to myworldwalk Facebook community page. Below is a recent blog posted on my world walk website:  www.myworldwalk.com

Thank you, New Zealand!

New Zealand has been walked! Despite heavy rain, my spirits were not dampened on the final day of my walk across the land of the long white cloud.

I was delighted when my fabulous host’s Alan Knox, a retired editor for the National Radio station and Sue, his wife, an IT software trainer specialist came out to accompany me for my last 18 kilometres in the country. Our route was from Papatoetoe to Mechanics Bay. In the end, Alan did the driving and Sue the walking with me. It’s always such a joy when people can walk with me. Alan wondered if he would finish his book: War and Peace before I finished walking across New Zealand.

There was also a double-delight when two Irishmen who both live here and who had separately been communicating with me also came out to brazen the elements. Bizarrely,  both men had recent accidents and were bandaged up, as was Alan.
Belfast man John Mcalister picked up a painful rib and neck injury after a freak fall and Dubliner, Sean Nolan a wrist injury when he slipped while out for a run.
John who works for a gas contractor walked the first half hour with us. We laughed when he told us that like many Kiwi companies, his job doesn’t expect their workers to work in the rain.  In Ireland, because of our constant downpours, not much work would be done! He would have liked to walk the entire distance but had to be careful not to aggravate his injury. Unfortunately, his Kiwi wife took him home. We made an arrangement to meet in his house for tea on Monday morning.
I walked along with Sue and we dodged puddles and splashes from passing vehicles. Luckily, it was a warm rain, 23 degrees Celsius according to my smartphone but it sure didn’t feel that warm.
As we walked we had an interesting conversation about the amazing properties of the inside of banana skins! Next time you run out of shoe polish just rub the inside of a skin on a shoe and then buff it with a white cloth. Teeth whitener: After you eat your next banana rub the inside of the skin on your teeth to whiten them. Apparently, the magnesium and potassium help whiten the enamel of your teeth. Wart Cure: It only takes 1-2 weeks to remove a wart with a banana peel. Other uses include cures for acne, dry skin, itching, insect bites and many other uses.
I had planned for us to walk on the back roads which led through housing estates and ran parallel to the highway, called the Great South Road. Due to the rain wetting my phone when I checked my phone map I decided it was easier to stay on the highway which thankfully had decent footpaths. We walked down Broadway, Parnell Road and eventually down Gladstone Road. At that point, Sue and I were joined by Sean who had been delayed by a business appointment arrived in time to walk the last kilometre. Thrilled to bits, I walked right up to the ocean, Mechanics Bay. The same spot where I began the Kiwi leg of my world run five years ago. For my reward, Sean presented me with two products that so many Irish abroad salivate for; a box of Barry’s tea and a couple of packets of our much-loved Tayto crisps.

Alan who has a bandaged up face from a recent melanoma operation parked his car also walked that final kilometre. I have also picked up a foot injury. So, that day it was a case of the four walking wounded males!
Naturally, Sean and I wanted to chat and we were grateful when my hosts invited him back to their house for tea, Barry’s tea of course!
We laughed at the weird introduction we got! A year and a half ago I had a strange request for my friend Avril Conroy who works in Moscow. She is a go-getter who gets things done. I was walking in central Russia and marching towards what I expected to be a cold Mongolia and China. I got a strange notion to equip myself with a pair of (waterproof) neoprene socks as I expected a lot of snow and dampness. Where to get them. I asked Avril and to cut a long story short she emailed Sean who was in Canada at the time. He went to an outdoors store, picked them up along with a compass and even made Facebook friends with the store owner for me! As he was on the way to Ireland he just got them to Avril’s husband who just happened to be in Ireland on a business trip. Next day he returned to Avril in Moscow who posted them on to me!
Sean is a high achieving entrepreneur who fills a gap in the shortage of New Zealand’s social housing market. He sources high-quality prefab houses from a factory near Moscow. They are then shipped to New Zealand. He also does this business in several countries which involves a lot of travel.
Thank you, New Zealand for such a wonderful time. It was pure joy, hospitality, friendship and beautiful scenery all the way from Slope Point to Auckland. I will never be able to repay your great kindness and humanity.
My immediate plans are to fly back to Australia soon. After a short break, I want to continue walking from where I left my Australian route almost three months ago: That is in Toowoomba City  (near Brisbane) I will walk to Mt Isa and then continue on to Darwin. Depending on my exact route it will be in the region of 3,600 kilometres. See last map below for rough route plans. This is all extra walking on the Oceanic continent. Before that, I will take a short rest break and use that time to catch up on some other commitments.
After Darwin, I will return to East Asia for more extra walking (I have also walked Asia.) That’s a long, long way ahead for someone who likes to live in the moment. All I know is it will be shortly before my six-month Australian visa expires on August 14th. Another reason I’m taking this short break as it’s still hot in Queensland and besides I have so much time on the Aussie visa. I will wait a bit before rushing back to my route.

New Zealand stats: 1,603 kilometres walked in 60 road days. Please see my last two maps which Benjamin, my map man in Berlin kindly provided.
Total: 20,088 kilometres in 558 road days.

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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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