Two Fruits

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Historical, not Hysterical

Distance:  Garmin said - 11.7 km
Time:  63' 42"
Rate: 5' 27" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 19 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week:  20.8 km, July:  114.7 km,  Year:  1345.95 km

Ran 23 laps of the Caboolture Historical Village with Race Director Geoff Williams, a chance to chat about recent happenings both running & travelling events.
After reading the reports on Trevor Jacobs's Facebook page about his remarkable swim & how his GPS measured where he went, I doubt the accuracy of anything Garmin now produce.
Geoff has measured the track here to perfection to qualify the track for the Australian 48 hour championships, and the Qld 24 hour champs.
Somehow, running inside line of the track, the Garmin has measured an extra 200 metres over the 23 laps, some error rate. That would make any record set subject to challenge. Martin Fryer is attempting to break a world record for 48 hours in his age group. I hope he doesn't have to run too much further to get close.
It all starts on Friday morning at 9 am.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Strawberry Fields Forever

Distance:  9.1 km
Time: 46' 41"
Rate: 5' 07" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 22 degrees, humidity 35%, wind calm
Week:  9.1 km, July: 103.00 km, Year:  1334.25 k

Moved to Caboolture to assist at the 48/24/12 hour event at the Historical Village this weekend.
I have known the Race Director, Geoff Williams for a decade from the time I started running ultra trail events in the Glasshouse Mountains. Just my chance to give something back to the running community in this area, a place I really like.
We moved to the Caboolture showgrounds, next door to the village, so no distance to travel. We will move the van & set inside the grounds, it's going to be a continuous helping few days, may be not much sleep for both of us. I will know doubt be doing plenty of lap scoring, Mrs TF will probably be doing a bit in the kitchen.
Yesterday we drove to the Gowinta strawberry farm, a very large production area of strawbs. The packing shed is big, plenty of workers from youngsters in the field to the " grey nomad" looking to supplement their income. I know there is plenty of money to be made picking strawberries.
We bought around 5 kgs of jam strawbs for $10 which Mrs TF has made into jam already. We will buy some more before we leave the area.
An easy 5 laps around the showgrounds today, dodging between horses, floats and other caravan stayers. Nice place to stay, we may come back after the weekend of running.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Last Day at Hervey Bay

Distance:  12.25  km
Time:  63'  55"
Rate:  5' 13" per km
Weather:  sunny, temp 21 degrees, humidity 35%, wind light SE 10 kmph
Week:  53.55  km,  July:  93.9  km,  Year:  1325.15 km

We leave here tomorrow to get to Caboolture by Thursday morning for the 48/24/12 hour runs at the Historical Village. Only assisting as I'm totally not fit enough to enter the 3 hour run, let alone get any more done.
Hervey Bay is a lovely place, this being our 2nd stay during this trip. The town is good, it has all the shops, the weather has been very kind. Unfortunately there are no hills, so the beach has been a perfect place to run.
It's about 4 kms up to Point Vernon rocks from the van park, so an up and back with a swim at the finish is good.
Today the tide was almost full when I ran, so the slow pace was a result of either being in the water to run or on the soft sand. Good training when there are no hills for resistance.
Another near perfect day here, really has been prefect for plain enjoyment running. Of course, other attractions on the sand have made the scenery a pleasure, basically the other users have been really nice. As the only runner on the beach, I only once heard the " Run Forrest Run" call from the sidelines.
Cadel did well at Tour de France, I have been lucky enough to watch nearly all of TV coverage, even if I don't get to sleep until 1:30 am, sleep ins are welcome.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Another Interesting Day

Distance:  12.3  km
Time:  60' 56"
Rate: 4' 57" per km
Weather: sunny, 23 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm, sea temp 21 degrees
Week:  41.3 km,  July: 81.65 km,  Year:  1312.9 km

Most of our immediate neighbours left this morning, including the kids on tour and a mighty big bus towing a large boat with mum driving a Jeep Wrangler as the daily runabout.
Plenty of people on the beach enjoying a nice sunny afternoon, the same to continue for the near future.
Cadel is racing Tour de France as I type this with a big chance for victory. Go Cadel !!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

Distance:  6.45 km
Time: 31' 48"
Rate:  4' 56" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 21 degrees, humidity 35%, wind SW 15 kmph
Week:  29.00 km,  July: 69.35 km, Year: 1290.6 km

We have been very lucky in many areas while on the trip.
The weather has, except for Tasmania, been very kind. Mostly little or a following wind when travelling or running, may be 3 rainy days in 4 months, and surrounded by few others vans when staying in caravan parks.
Yesterday, the lack of neighbours came to an end. A tour bus with 35 french speaking teenagers arrived in the park and set up 14 tents near us. The kids are really well behaved, and behave just like kids being kids.
Funniest part one morning was the sight of 10 or more either mobile phones or " i gadgets" all plugged in to recharge in the amenities block. Seems all kids can't get by without modern technology.
Having said that, they play lots of card games the old fashioned way, with playing cards.
They are going whale watching tomorrow morning, but I gather there are not many in this area yet to see.
Ran easy on the beach today, bit quicker than last couple of outings, nice afternoon.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tough Day on the Beach

Distance:  9.0 km
Time:  46' 45"
Rate:  5' 11" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 21 degrees, humidity 30%, wind west 20 kmph
Week:  22.55 km, July:  62.9 km,  Year:  1284.15 km

A sunny afternoon but the wind was cool and testing.
More on the beach today than there has been, some even being active rather than just chasing the sun's rays.
Nothing to report, tide out, able to run at water's edge, bare feet. Finished with 10 minutes in the sea to cool off, easy jog back to the park.
Fish & chips for lunch tomorrow, that's a change.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Near perfect Running Day

Distance:  13.55 km
Time:  70' 58"
Rate:  5' 14" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 70%, wind calm, tide out, sea temp 21 degrees
Week:  13.55 km,  July: 53.9 km, Year:  1275.15 km

Beaut winter day in Hervey Bay today and good enough to up the distance for the first time in many weeks. A real struggle the last few kms, time on feet has been lacking.
Ran bare feet along the beach to the rocks at Point Vernon, back to Torquay, stopped for a quick swim then back to the park.
Only two people in the sea and one was wearing a wet suit, the other one was me. The locals are soft, the cool water great for a couple of tired legs, and to wash off the sweat.
This will be a resting week, we are going to extend our stay here until next Monday before heading to Caboolture for the 12/24/48 hour event at the Historical Village at the end of the month.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Urangan Pier

Distance:  7.5 km
Time: 39' 52"
Rate:  5' 19" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 17 degrees, humidity 90%, wind SE 15 kmph
Week:  16.5 km,  July:  40.35 km, Year: 1261.6 km

The rain started late yesterday and continued for 24 hours, not heavy just persistent, dropping 30 mils over the time.
Apart from a few drops at Birdsville, we haven't had clouds let alone rain for a couple of months.
Everyone seemed to be out this afternoon as soon as the blue sky appeared. It was nice, but not nice enough to hit the beach, so I ran down to the esplanade, along to the Urangan Pier & out to sea.
The pier was once well over a km long, now it's 860 metres long. A few people fishing, but the tide was out, so not much water & I think very few fish. Plenty of others enjoying the great outdoors.
The weather will improve from now on, so hopefully a chance to get some more running done.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Return to Hervey Bay

Distance:  9.00 km
Time: 43' 41"
Rate:  4' 51" per km
Weather, sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 40%, wind ESE 15 km, sea temp 21 degrees
Week: 9.00 km, July:  32.85 km, Year:  1254.1 km

After a few weeks in the outback, we are back on the coast at Hervey Bay. We were here in early June but is was much quieter then before the southern tourists descended on this nice area.
We need somewhere to settle for a while until the end of the month. I have volunteered to help out for 3 days at the Caboolture 48 hour run. I believe Martin Fryer has a plan to break a World Record for his age group, so I would like to see the champ in action. Mostly I just see the back of him as he whizzes by.
The track is 500 metres around, packed dirt with a slight rise and fall. I like it as a venue, hopefully the events will attract good fields over all the events during the 2 days of running.
Today, a very nice day here, enabling a run bare feet along the beach, tide out. Very few on the beach, even less in the water, so I felt like a real southern tourist going for a swim after running.
While the time for the distance is Ok, that would be my limit at that pace at present, so unfit. Consistency is now the key to getting back to training and racing shape for a return in Canberra at the end of August.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Horse Racing at Charleville

Running;  Nil

We are staying next to the race course. As I mentioned yesterday, there was activity over there so I ran elsewhere.
Today was race day on the red dirt circuit.The image is the finish of race 3 over 1000 metres, field of 10 horses. The start line is on the opposite side of the track, track distance about 1.8 kms.
A crowd off about 100 race goers included bookies, the jockeys, others that help with the races, the ambulance, a 2 piece band singing country songs, a fashion on the field parade for the ladies, field of four.
 It was quite exciting for a non race person like me, although I have been to a few meetings including a Melbourne Cup years ago.
Caravan park will be fully packed again tonight, the " no vacancies" sign will be out due mainly to interstate travellers heading directly north from Victoria to north Qld.
Cold overnight again, -1 degrees, looking for warmer nights soon when we get closer to the coast, leave here on Monday.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Circuit de Charlie

Distance:  6.45 km
Time: 33' 47"
Rate:  5' 14" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 17 degrees, humidity 25%, wind SW 15 km
Week: 12.65 km,  July:  23.85 km, Year: 1245.1 km

The race course & showgrounds were being used by horses today, so I had to explore the township. There is not a lot to see, a few main streets, almost empty being a Saturday.
I did find some soft dirt trails along the banks of the Warrego River, almost dry, so that was fun. Not much else to report, except it took a couple of hours this morning to wash the red dirt off the van.
Although the temp out running was only 17 degrees, it felt much warmer than that. Especially after a -1 degree start to the day.
We can head towards the coast on Monday, Qld school holidays are over, but NSW has holidays now, so may be a few extra tourists on the road.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Racing at Charleville

Distance:  6.2 km
Time: 32' 50"
Rate:  5' 18" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 18 degrees, humidity 25%, wind west 15 kmph
Week:  6.2 km,  July: 17.4 km, Year:  1238.65 km

We have moved from Birdsville to Charleville, still in outback but more central western Queensland. A couple of nights free camping on the road, met some great fellow travellers, some on the road permanently, some just taking a few years of ambling along at snail's pace.
Birdsville was quite some place, really enjoyed to isolation, dust and the desert. Left town with light drizzle in the sky, not good on roads recently closed due to water. There is so much out there, so green.
But it makes travelling a hazard. We crossed thru 4 mud holes, the car & van are now brown instead of white. Tomorrow is vehicle cleaning day. Luckily, there are no water restrictions in Charleville however dry the ground is at the present.
Like Birdsville the water comes out of the ground from the Great Artesian basin at around 85 degrees, very hot. It is then cooled, 4 times in Birdsville to be usable.
Here, not quite cooled as much, so the water in the cold tap is still warm, good enough to shower & wash up with adding hot water. And still good enough to drink straight from the tap.
The image shows I ran around the race track, twice, starting at the van park, the a bit extra at the finish.
It's not Melbourne Cup standard, in fact not grass, just flattened & graded rich brown dirt, and soft. No race records would be set too often. Next time, I'll run bare feet, that will make the shower worth while.
We will stay until next Monday, washing, cleaning & sightseeing. But also just resting, too much travelling is tiring. It looks a nice town, dry & cool now it's winter, but in summer it would be very hot.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Outback Australia - Desert Country

Where: Birdsville, Qld
Dist: 5.1 km in 25'40" at 5'02"
Weather: sunny, temp 28 degrees, humidity 30%, wind NW 20 km
Last Friday:
Where: Winton-Boulia Road, Qld
Dist: 6.1 km in 31'36" at 5'11"
Weather: cool, morning, temp 15 degrees, humidity 80%, wind calm
Week: 11.2 km, July: 11.2 km,  Year: 1232.05 km

We left Charters Towers last Wednesday heading to Winton. Rain during the previous week had closed some roads so our plans had to be flexible. Last option was to head north to Mt Isa, then back to Cloncurry, Longreach and head to the east coast.
However, as we neared Winton the sun and wind were drying out the roads and countryside so road were reopening slowly. There has been a lot of rain out here so even sealed roads are closed due to the narrow road, the soft edges and some water still over the road. Those open were 4WD only.
We chanced getting from Winton to Boulia through mud in road works, the car & van covered in outback dirt. A free camp on the road with 2 other travellers was a friendly night with plenty of info flowing as to conditions and directions. It was here in the morning I ran along the road with no chance of seeing another vehicle, it was remote but a nice place. That was Friday.
We stopped at Boulia for fuel and information as the road from Bedourie, next town south had it's road closed due to water. Luckily, a road report was good and we continued to free camp again outside Bedourie. Then after refueling, south to Birdsville, a town of 100 locals, a famous hotel, bakery and horse race track.
It also has a very famous road heading south past Lake Eyre in South Australia. But that's another story and trip as the road is flooded and the ferry can't take caravans, a very long detour through Innaminka.
Today we headed out to " Big Red". a sand dune in the Simpson Desert that requires good 4WDriving skills, most I which I don't have.
But to get to " Big Red", there is a detour due to flooding, so much water about in the outback. The detour requires lowering the tyre pressures, correct gearing, holding on and having fun.
We were very lucky to have 3 other 4WDs on the road at the same time to give us enough info and confidence that we could make the sandy trip. With no tyre gauge or air compressor of my own, these fellow travellers were the best mates you could find.
We made it through the dunes on the detour, a road that is next to a fence that separates Queensland and South Australia. So much fun here and more to come from getting up and down "Big Red".
It's big for a sand dune, may be 50 metres high up a slope of 40 degrees in very soft sand. Tyre pressure at 18 psi, low range high, leave vehicle in 1st, but not too many revs.
Made it up "wimps way", the straight up the front too much for me, but not 2 of the other vehicles, so I caught a ride with one just for the fun of it.
The view from the top is unbelievable looking out across the desert, one side flooded  from cyclone and monsoon activity during the summer. Looking west towards the Northern Territory, 1100 more sand dunes to climb before getting to Dalhousie Springs on the French Line track. However, part of that is also closed due to water.
An hour on the top of "Big Red", we headed back to town, took photo of the pub, called in to the bakery for a curried camel pie, good, a photo of the race track, down to the South Australia border to visit another state and back to camp.
A short 5 km run, quick shower and dinner at the pub with our day trip companions. A couple of schooners of beer topping off a brilliant day,almost best 1 day of my life.
Travel tomorrow towards Windorah so out of contact range for nearly a week before we get phone and Internet reception again.