My Tunis Loop

February 25, 2015
Carthago, Tunisia

I’m feeling a bit better about my Tunis marathon a couple of weeks ago when the weather was much better than it is this week. It rains buckets all day and clears up at night when I go out running. When it’s not raining, it’s very windy. That might be why I’m the only one in the hotel, I think.

Waiting until night to run isn’t so bad, even though I’m a bit worried about the characters I might run past. It turns out to be mostly cats, with a few people who talk to me in French as I ignore them.

Tonight I’d run a loop through the Sidi Bou Saïd by taking the brick road down the hill then run up the road along the park like I did a couple of days ago.


On the first part of the run, it’s mostly me trying not to fall on my ass by slipping on the smooth pavé slick with rain. That’s okay; I don’t feel like hard running because I still have some shin pain from all that concrete running in Punta Arenas.


Throughout this neighborhood there’s a wonderful mix of lights.


And cats, some of whom are friendly.


At the bottom of the hill is the park for the horny cats who were literally caterwauling. They didn’t pay much attention to me as they were getting busy.


At the bottom of the hill I went by the mosque and ran back up the hill on the other side. Last time I had some guards yell at me for taking a picture. As I ran by them this time, they blew some whistles. Again, I didn’t know if they were complaining about me so I kept running without reacting. If I heard them run up on me, I’d stop, but otherwise I’d just keep going. I was thinking that at that range, they’d probably miss if they tried to shoot. I speak from experience; it’s dark and I’m moving uphill and there’s more not-me to hit than me. I would be more worried about ricochets hitting me in the calf. I wasn’t wearing adventure scarf, so I wasn’t bulletproof at the moment. But, there’s another thing I know; the guys with the submachine guns probably are afraid to fire them. IF they have pistols they would more likely be someone who is allowed to exercise initiative.

And, just up the road is the residence for the European Union presence. I stopped a moment to look at their nameplate, noticing big holes in their security camera coverage. Not that I want to jump over their wall.

Later, I walked much of the route to get to the Fatburger that we kept passing during the marathon and to which I wished I could buy some food. Now that’s off my to do list.


Back to Tunis

February 23, 2015
Carthago, Tunisia

I’ve come back to Tunis to de-compress after my Triple 7 quest. After living in such close quarters with a bunch of highly motivated, mostly Type A types, for two weeks of airplanes and marathons, I need to hole up in some secluded hotel room to transition to civilian life. Read more »

Triple 7 Africa: The Carthage Race

February 11, 2015
Carthago, Tunisia
Event website

The Carthage Race is the fourth race in the Triple 7 Quest and what I think of as the first big test of the idea of this adventure. Less than 12 hours ago, I had finished the third race, in Paris. A short flight to Tunis put us in town about an hour before we’d start the next marathon at 1 AM. This is our tightest race; our flight to New York leaves around noon. We’re catching up for some long flights and banking a bit for future longer flights. Read more »

Triple 7: Linked group practice

It’s the final day of sanity. Tomorrow at 1100h we take the first step of the Triple 7 Challenge, and we start thinking in Chilean time since that’s where we will end up. We have 168 hours to run seven marathons on seven continents.

The running isn’t going to be the tough part. Sitting on planes afterward is going to hurt, but the linch pin in all of this is a tight 50 minute connection in Rome to go from Tunis to New York. That’s get off the plane, go through immigration, and get on another plane. But, since that’s something we can’t control, I’m not worried about it. Read more »

Triple 7: Too Damn Hot


It’s a hot day in Melbourne. Much too hot for a marathon or even my daily run, which I cut short due to the heat. I got in my daily mile but I didn’t make it the two miles around Princes Park. With a marathon in two days, I don’t need to prove anything today. The weather is supposed to cool off significantly by then, but it will still be quite warm. Read more »

Triple 7: Tim Tams

I’m starting to see marathoners around the hotel; Triple 7 Questers are showing up early to get some rest before the grueling week starts. Although I’m taking it easy today, I have a few errands to run.

Screw carbo-loading. I need to find some Tim Tams. This is my cheat week, so I can eat as many as these as I like. And I will.


Read more »

Triple 7: Melbourne

February 4, 2015
Parkville, Australia

I made my way from Canberra to Melbourne today with a pleasant trip on a bus then a train. Canberra, the capital of the country, apparently doesn’t have direct train service to Melbourne.

The tickets are decidedly low-tech, but also much nicer. The New South Wales TrainLink recommends buying tickets ahead of time. At the station they printed out a simple itinerary on normal paper. I could have created that myself, but it wouldn’t have helped. The driver had a list of everyone on his bus and where they were going. How cool is that? He simply checks off my name and tells me to sit anywhere. Not many people are taking this trip. Read more »

Triple 7: Canberra

February 2, 2015
Kingston, Australia

I landed in Australia fresh and ready to go. My flight from LAX to Brisbane was over 13 hours, not that I would know it as I slept in my lie-flat business class seat I got with Delta miles on an incredibly good deal. With a full nights sleep and the time zone change, I’m awake at 7am. Amazing. It was well worth the miles.

Brisbane, however, was amazingly warm. Tropic even. It was 24 C and the sun was still coming up. I walked off the airplane into a muggy shower. But, I’m only there for an hour before I fly south to Canberra, which I still can’t say correctly. Read more »

Triple 7: Santa Monica

January 29, 2015
Santa Monica, CA

I’m off on my Triple 7 Quest, but before the first marathon I have some travels. My first stop is Los Angeles while I wait for my flight to Australia. I have 12 hours to waste so I have too things in mind: In ‘n’ Out Burgers and the Santa Monica Pier. It’s not that far from the airport. Read more »

2014 NYRR Midnight Run

January 1, 2015
New York, NY
Event website

The NYRR lists this as a 2014 run, but I’m counting it in 2015 since we started at midnight. All those poor saps freezing all day in their animal pens in Times Square didn’t get to see the fireworks set off from The Lake.

I convinced one of my friends to run with me by cooking a five-spice duck for dinner. If we were going to run in sub-freezing temperatures, we needed to get some of that delicious duck fat in there. I’ve had such good luck cooking whole birds this season that I thought I’d try something that is all dark meat. Eventually I’ll make actual duck soup. Read more »