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Goto: 12005-02-10 12005-02-12 1Australia

2005-02-11: Pictures27
Distance today: 12.0 km (Accumulated: 17916.0 km)
Country: Australia

2005.02.11 51 and Highway 72, central Perth > - Highway 72: Indian Ocean coast >.
(Route: Highway 72 until its finish at Floreat/City Beach)

12km, 1:06:49h. Excl. food, water, road-finding, toilet etc. stops.
Total 17.875km.

Start: 11:35am.
Finish: 12:56pm.
Time GMT + 8 hours

+28c, half overcast, humid & light wind at start. Same at finish.

The finish points of the Australian part of the world run :-)

.. Getting the running shoes slightly wet in a wave of the Indian Ocean
concludes more than 3 months and 4000km of running across Australia.

- A run which has brought numerous positive experiences; and highest
amongst them the hospitality, friendship and enthusiasm towards the world
run by the many people I met here !

Australia certainly have an amazing nature - crossing the huge barren
Nullabor, running up the delightful green Snowy Mountains, and down
through the subtropical rainforests, and the 40c hot dusty gold fields of
west Australia - but the straightforwardness and helpful nature of the
people in Australia is in my view by far the highest wealth of this
country. People with such human resource has much to be proud of !!

Especially in East and South Australia I became positively spoiled with
friendship and volunteer crews, helping out from Sydney all the way to
Melbourne and beyond, passing me from one crew to the next.

In the Nullabor I had the little bit horrifying aspect of running the
desert unsupported - yet two extraordinary teams decided to show up: the
"desert experts" by John Pav and family, and Mr. Peter Gray who out of
enthusiasm and understanding of the challenge at hand crewed for almost 1
month of not so easy desert crossing. An effort, that probably will
continue to amaze me for the rest of the run.

Indeed there are many to thank for the opportunity they gave me to succeed
in this part of the world run. I trust that Phil Essam, vice pres. of the
Australian Ultra runners Association, will know to forward my thanks :-)

Phil has been the main coordinator of the Australian part, so you can
probably guess who made all the networking to make this outstanding
experience possible.. !!

A story that has been almost fairy-tale comes to mind:

- while running in Siberia, during the 7months of (very) hard running, I
was often in contact with Phil, planning the Australian run via the mobile
phone. At a point in Eastern Siberia things looked grim: the runner that
had been my company all the way from Greenwich, London, Alexander
Korotkov, had broken down due to running conditions beyond words that I
know. I was hanging in there by, probably, the last grip at a strange
surreal level of exhaustion. Planning for an aussie part of the run seemed
very far fetched.

Since the start, 11 000km earlier, we had planned that I should try be in
Colac, just West of Melbourne, the 21. November in order to participate in
the edition of the International Australian 6 day Race as part of
my run from Sydney to Perth. A race which that year also was Australian

And for some reason, out there on a Siberian gravel road, dusty, hungry
and long since washed, I decided that I wanted to be there, to race those
guys, to meet "the best in the game" and mainly: to be part of that party
and friendship which races on the ultra distance tend to be - due to its
difficulty !
In order to do that, I had to keep myself running the last 2500km out to
Vladivostock. No cutting of corners.

The short end of the story is: Phil, Alexander and myself got me
motivated to carry on, reach Vladivostock, run through a typhoon in Japan
and finally run into Colac the 20. November.

- What happened there still amazes me: after 3 days of racing I took the
lead and stayed there until the finish, getting the first place and a
national record (754km) as result. And a good bit of finance as well, to
go into the budget that the sponsors and I try to keep together.

Sometimes the run has been that stunning way: that things work out far
beyond what I could imagine.
Australia has certainly been that way !



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