Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Day 55

Day 55 started by the quarantine checkpoint for vehicles entering South Australia. It was an incredibly warm night and The WA Weather Group (@TheWAWG on twitter who have been very supportive and informative) suggested that storms may be on the way.

"There are now only 16 days left thankfully. I reckon another 7 days of damage limitation then attack."

"The feature of this run so far is how much rest I get. I have yet to run late into the night like I did often during the run across the USA."

"I've got my sights on a 70 miler sometime in the last week. There's an outside chance that this may happen."

"For today, the aim is to breach the 1800 mile barrier. Thunderstorms are forecast. As ever, nothing is EVER easy or straightforward."

After 3 miles Mark arrived at the Victoria border.  This was the final time zone change for the run across Australia, although this also meant that Mark instantly lost 30 minutes of his running day as a result.  The border also presented the rain.  Mark is always cautious out on the road but rain presents a whole new level of awareness.  The passing vehicles, especially road trucks, generate spray by the roadside.  Usually drivers see Mark heading towards them and courteously move into the middle of the road so to allow Mark sufficient space.  Not today.  Very few moved.

The rain became too much and Mark was becoming soaked through.  At 9.3 miles Mark made the call to postpone running for the day.  The conditions were too dangerous, the spray from these passing vehicles but also the threat to Mark's health.  Wet trainers could aggravate Mark's feet and wet clothing poses risks of hyperthermia etc.

Mark quickly changed out of his wet clothing, opting for a few layers to generate some heat.  Some hot soup followed by a snooze would hopefully see the downpour through.  

The downtime lasted 4 hours, 3 of which Mark spent sleeping.  This was essential for his recuperation and preparation for big miles to follow over the next 15 days.

Some of the sights of day 55…

"The #murraysunset #nationalpark. Beautiful even on an overcast day like today. #rgrdownunder"

"It's a #roadtrain race #victoria #sturthighway"

"A knitted tree. How strange! #sturthighway"

"This is the 1st solar powered #firedanger sign I've seen in #australia. #sturthighway #victoria" 

"Sound advice #powernap #tacticalsnooze I've had mine today. #victoria"

After just over 5 hours Mark finished running for day 55.  

"25.75 miles ran. That's all for today."

"I've got to make it to #mildura tomorrow or this run is over. That's going to require a record day. It's 50 miles away."

"Lights out. Half an hour lost today due to change to final time zone. It's now 21:05. Massive day tomorrow."

The alarm was set for 30 minutes earlier to account for the time zone change and in attempt to give Mark the best start for the massive day ahead of day 56.  50 miles to Mildura...