Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Day 42

I found it very difficult to get out of Chappie this morning. I felt very tired and I didn’t set off until 1000. I had a decent sleep and the spot that I chose to setup camp last night proved to be a good one. 

I wanted 29 - 32 miles today and straight away I felt under pressure due to the late start. 

The first few miles were long and straight and I made it to the 8 mile point in Lyubar in a pretty decent time. I stocked up on water and continued on my way. 

I took a left hand turn at the sign for Zhytomyr. I’m beginning to remember some of the Ukrainian alphabet which makes life a little easier. 

I stopped at a shop in Novyi Lyubar and had a look at what I could get to eat. I settled for some cheese and made a sandwich outside using the bread that Yuri had given me yesterday. I had a few conversations while I was eating with various people. The lady in the picture below was flabbergasted when I told her that I’d ran 1100 km from Belgrade over the last 42 days. 

I went back in the shop for a coffee and they wouldn’t accept my money, saying it was a gift. 

With some food and coffee inside me I decided to pick up the pace during the afternoon. As I ran along, I felt really strong. I thought that there was a possibility that today may be the quickest of the entire tour. 

I didn’t let the traffic in Yurivka slow me down too much! 

After Yurivka, there was a gradual climb that seemed to go on forever. I tried as hard as I could to keep up a quick pace and the miles seemed to fly by. 

The quality of the road surface was pretty good with only the occasional pothole. There were a few sections with protruding sharp stones. It was the kind of surface that ruined my feet in Australia. I had to concentrate hard on where I was stepping. 

A man stopped me in Krasnoselka to warn me of the dangerous road ahead. 5 minutes later I heard a lorry behind me sounding its horn. I looked around to see another lorry overtaking it. The first lorry obviously wanted me to pull over into the dirt at the side of the road. I stood my ground which meant the lorry had to slow down and stop until they could overtake. The horn continued sounding and I could see a very irate driver mouthing something at me as he passed. 

The running into the late afternoon was very pleasant with views of lakes, sunflowers and the many farmers fields. 

I made it to Chudniv and decided to call in at the local shop for a Coca Cola. When I came outside I got talking to a couple called Svitlana and Andrew. They had read about me in the local paper. I asked them if there were any safe places to sleep outside of Chudniv on the road to Zhytomyr. They were kind enough to offer me a place on their sofa bed for the night. Their Grandson, Daniel, accompanied me the 100 metres to their home. 

I was made a very nice cup of English tea and had some of their home made goats cheese. It wasn’t long until a journalist turned up at the house and I gave a very thorough interview. 

The mayor also arrived and presented me with 3 bottles of local spirits and a brochure explaining all about the history of Chudniv. 

I was also interested to learn that the world’s tallest man, Leonid Stadnyk, was from Chudniv. Sadly he passed away 4 years ago. 

Andrew called upon some neighbours to have a look at Chappie’s damaged break. They are still working on it outside in the dark as I sit here writing my blog. 

A huge thank you to Svitlana and Andrew for their kind hospitality. I didn’t think I’d be getting a shower until tomorrow in Zhytomyr. 

I’ll be setting off at 0700 tomorrow morning to ensure that I arrive in Zhytomyr at a decent time. I’ve just heard from Donna who has been looking at the stats that today was the quickest of the tour so far. I ran 28.6 miles today. It’s 32 miles to Zhytomyr so I’ll need another repeat of today’s performance. It won’t be easy but the prospect of a rest day after 11 consecutive days of running is a huge incentive. 

Finally today, thank you to those kind people who have sponsored me in aid of St Benedict’s Hospice. If you’d like to do so then please visit