You see, on Wednesday I spent much of the day running. I played my usual morning netball game and attended my regular evening run, but in between I had the opportunity to participate - albeit briefly - in something truly remarkable: the first mainland Australian leg of a run around the world.
This run is being undertaken by Tony Mangan, an ultramarathon running Irishman from Dublin who, on 25th October, 2010 embarked on his dream of 20 years to run around the world.
|Jo with world runner Tony Mangan|
After a short break at home for Christmas, Tony was back on the road, this time in Fiji. By the 18th of January he was in New Zealand, running from Auckland in the north to Invercargill at the bottom of the south island. That done, he arrived in Hobart, Tasmania and headed to Burnie where he spent a few days before catching a flight to Melbourne.
Anyone interested in reading the blog of Tony's ongoing adventure can do so here: The World Jog. It is well worth the read.
Then, on Wednesday morning 13th March, 2013, in the company of Michael Gillan who will act as his crew across mainland Australia, Tony hit the beach at Queenscliff...and that is where we come into the picture.
"We" in this instance was myself, Joe and Zdenko, all members of Joe's "Geelong Runners". Being otherwise occupied, I did not join the three guys until about midday when Joe took a quick trip back to Geelong to collect me (thanks Joe!). He and Zdenko had taken turns running with Tony out of Queenscliff and along the Bellarine Highway.
|Zdenko and Tony|
|Running with Tony and Joe, heading for Leopold|
|Every time we stopped for a drinks break, Tony would take a few sips and|
disappear into the distance, forcing us to play catch up
I believe it had been Tony's original intention to run through the centre of town and out towards Fyansford and beyond that day, which would have given me the perfect excuse to expound upon the many fascinating aspects of the Barwon. Of course, in view of the fact that the Deviation Road is a no-go zone for pedestrians (a fact which I suspect was not known to the rest of the group), our international guest may even have found himself running along the track beside the river as he headed out of town. Now that would have been handy for a blog pic or two!
However, it was not to be and as it turned out, Tony decided to call it a day upon reaching the hotel. So, after a quick photo shoot for the Geelong Advertiser, we headed off to get ready for our own run before reconvening with Tony and some of our other runners at the Boat House for dinner and an impromptu demonstration of Michael Gillan's recovery techniques.
The next morning saw Tony hit the road again with Michael in tow, heading out of town on the Midland Highway. This provided me with my one and only photo opportunity in which to place Tony in the setting of the Barwon River system. Fortunately he had been provided with a free breakfast and as a result did not get off to a super early start which worked to my advantage. By 9am I was on the road and spotted Tony just clearing the outskirts of Bell Post Hill. This gave me the chance to take up position on the west bank of the Moorabool River, camera in hand.
I would like to be able to say I was able to snap a pretty shot of Tony crossing the historic bluestone bridge at Batesford:
|Historic bluestone bridge at Batesford|
|Tony crossing the Moorabool River at Batesford|
|Over the Moorabool...|
|...and out of the Valley...|
|And the journey continues...|
As I write this post, Tony has reached a point a few kilometres outside the town of Beaufort between Ararat and Ballarat, heading for the South Australian border.
Good luck with the rest of the world Tony!!!