When I landed in Perth I was excited to be reunited with ‘Supertramp’, the original trailer that I set off with from Haytor back in July of last year. It has since been remodelled and sent out to me for this next part of my run, the entire 3950 mile width of Australia.
I took a few days in Perth to reassemble my trailer after it had been dismantled for transit, equip myself with any extra items of kit I needed, and arm myself with plenty of supplies before heading off. It is essential that I am well prepared for this leg of the journey as I will be crossing the famous Nullarbor Desert; the name comes from two Latin words ‘Nullus’ and ‘Arbo’ which literally means ‘no tree’. It stretches for 1200 kilometres across Southern Australia and I will need to be able to carry enough water to take me 200 kilometre stints with absolutely nothing in between.
Forty-two kilometres into my first night of running in Australia, I was hit by a car. I remarkably didn’t have a scratch on me although I was badly shaken and felt pretty dizzy having been tossed in the air and the trailer flying over me before slamming into the road below (quite amazing as it weighs over 60kg). Unlike me, ‘Supertramp’, was badly bruised; the front wheel had folded in half and one of the carbon fibre arms was split. Luckily I managed to find the only person in Western Australia who can fix carbon fibre only a few kilometres away! So after a day recovering from the shock, and essential repairs for the trailer, we were back on the road again. It could have been a lot worse, I try and block out the frightening image of the car hurtling towards me. The following day I made my way back on the road where I had been run over and slightly nervously carried on.
Whoever said Australia is as flat as a pancake hasn’t ever run the 13 kilometres uphill out of Southern Cross and definitely wasn’t pushing my cart which had 30 litres of water in it as well as my kit and a decent supply of food that was to keep me going for the next 120 miles of nothing! The following morning, having run 27 miles, I reached Yellowdine Roadhouse which I was expecting to be closed (as most roadhouses open at 10am) but amazingly it was open and the owners invited me in for a few hour’s kip as they were concerned about me running through the storm that was brewing.
The next day was tough, the electrical storm hadn’t subsided and there were strong head winds of 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph as well as rain, something I hadn’t felt on me for quite some time! I needed to carry on but didn’t do quite so many miles that day.
Thankfully a few days later I was rewarded for my efforts in the bad weather with a 41.2 mile day of running a gradual downhill stretch, it was much needed relief!
I am currently 355 miles outside of Perth, heading to Norseman, the last town before I embark on what is probably going to be the toughest part of my run…
I look forward to sharing this experience with you in my next blog.