the road goes ever on: a grand adventure


“The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can. Pursuing it with eager feet,until it joins some larger way, where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.”

~ from JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings ~

it was only a few days ago that i posted my crazy idea, to run from perth to brisbane. almost immediately ideas started to flow, people started to get in touch. the format, structure and purpose of the whole thing started to crystallise.

there’s a massive amount of stuff that needs to come together, but i’m adopting the approach that everything needed is out there, and it’s all coming together piece by piece… (law of attraction and all that!)

all the details of sponsorship, logistics, support crew etc. etc. aside, this weekend a few things really started to fall into place, particularly in relation to three key areas; personal preparation, a very high level timetable/schedule/plan, and the key message/mission of this grand adventure.

training, preparation and some solid advice

a few names were given to me. people who it might be worth contacting. individuals with experience of long-distance adventures on varying scales.

ALREADY this has led to conversations that have provided me with great insight into the preparation that will be required. while i have built my fitness up considerably in the last 21 months, i will need to ramp it up exponentially.

i basically have a task ahead of me at least as big as the original marathon goal represented.

lots of running, double workouts (twice a day). long runs of 4, 5 or 6 hours, 200kms per week.

sorting out nutrition – all that effort is going to suck nutrients and energy from my body. it will need replenishing on an ongoing basis!

these are the sorts of things in my fairly near future. every ounce of passion and obsession that i have for this idea is going to be needed to see me through for sure!

my short-term focus will remain a sub-5 hour marathon in july 2014, with training being ramped up thereafter. however, i’m already thinking in bigger picture terms. even the sub-5 marathon is a step on the way to running across australia!

a sort of broad overall schedule

it became clear, rather quickly in fact, that the original idea of doing this in august/september 2014 was a bit ambituous. not least because of how much preparation my body will need.

so this quickly changed to roughly the middle of 2015. may, june, july are cooler months in australia and the extra time will allow me to more fully prepare.

it also gives a more realistic timeframe to put together the crew, the necessary support, find sponsors and so on.

some initial chats on facebook have led to thinking that this could be achieved by running 5 sections of 15km per day.

that would yield 75km per day, and with the route now going perth -> adelaide -> melbourne -> sydney -> gold coast -> brisbane -> ipswich the total distance is about 5100km.

this would give a theoretical timeframe of 68 days – throw in some leeway for rest days and other matters and it can easily be 80 days (very jules verne-esque) or even 90 days (3 months).

personally i am liking the idea of the jule-verne-style 80 days – it has a ring to it 🙂

as you will have noted, this run is now (by popular demand) intending to take in a series of capital cities – this is to help generate interest and support, because it will make the run more interesting, and because it will assist in delivering the overall message behind this “grand adventure”.

so here it is, the mission and the message

it’s essentially the NMMFG message – that “running changes lives”.

a massive project that really is all about telling my story in an impactful way. that you don’t have to sit there on your backside, you don’t have to wish that life had given you better opportunities, you don’t have to look at what other people are doing with envious eyes.

you can simply switch your thinking, sort your sh*t out and create the amazing life you always dreamed of!

and for me that all came about through running, and the more runners i talk to, the more i am finding that this elegantly simple activity is having major impacts on the lives of others.

running is accessible. running tests you. running gives you a sense of achievement. running really can help you sort yout sh*t out.

already there is massive interest in this run, amongst the aussie-based runners on facebook. people saying they will join me for sections of the run, as and when i pass through their area.

highly motivated people who love running, have seen changes in their own lives because of running, people who share my passion for running. awesome people!

so this is the mission – let’s get australia running! perhaps even get the world running!

as the run works its way through this great land, other runners will join in, perhaps even with small local events being held. events to encourage locals to get active, events perhaps to raise awareness of charitable causes.

a whole series of things, a whole army of people running at different points – all connected by the single thread of me running across australia, with the message that “running changes lives”.

and by doing that, we can ALL prove it to be true and change the world for the better.


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