'The Day of the Mountains!'
If it were the Tour de France, they would definitely not be handing me the King of the Mountains Jersey!
Sleeping has been difficult these last few days with the various aches and pains. I find it hard to nod off and stay asleep - which is rare for me. The Italian football fans didn't help last night either though as it sounded like they all found a car horn to lean on midway through the night. I think they eventually lost in a penalty shoot out to Germany..?
A huge thank you again to all the messages that have come in. They are just amazing. It was those very messages that got me out of bed this morning. I was struggling to get going but the inspiring words (and bad jokes) of my nearest and dearest made all the difference. Special thanks to my brother Daniel who managed to link in the movie theme and motivate me at the same time. I repeated those words a few times today Danno! Cheers mate.
WHAT GOES UP.
I wasn't hungry at dawn when I set off today so I made some wraps to pack for later. I'm really glad I did as they were delicious! You probably wouldn't feed them to your own dog but after 5 hours of running I would have eaten a potato and loved it!
The first 3 hours today went in one direction - Up! The only change was when the road switched back on itself, time and time again. I actually had to laugh a couple of times.
The next 2 hours were downhill and I managed to get up some good speed. The roads were quiet with plenty of motorbikes and cyclists enjoying the hills and tight turns. My shuffle although feeling pretty quick probably had the bike riders laughing too.
En route I was really taken aback by some little Italian villages nestled into the mountains. They were a throw-back to the days of old I imagine and it was like watching my nan sitting on a wooden bench in her old apron and my grandfather standing around talking nonsense with his pals. There was a real serenity and warmth to these villages.
One thing Italians do exceptionally well over here, much better than we do in Australia I think - is talk. Every street or town square has benches and benches of men just sitting around talking. Every village or town I've passed through, it's been the one constant - meaningful conversation. EVERYONE just sits around and talks, there's not a phone in sight! It's the most amazing sense of community.
MUST COME DOWN.
Being honest, today was a real roller coaster. It had its lovely scenic and memorable ups and it's had its emotional debilitating downs. It ended with me in tears again as I gave in to the distances, the fatigue and the heat.
I'm staying the night with a couple and their over fed dog 'Linda', who keeps licking me, on account of the salt I hope. They can't speak English and I can't speak Italian so it's been an interesting evening. Beautifully though, the old lady put me in her 'machine' and drove me the 2km to the pizza ristorante to grab some dinner. She then scooped me up as I was half way home. Just lovely people.
It's three days completed now and although the numbers tell me differently the finish line doesn't feel like it's getting any closer. Sarah has been absolutely brilliant, keeping my spirits up. Her patience, messages and attempted humour have been a blessing! She is one in a million!
Thank you again to everyone, for all of your support and messages! I'm filled with gratitude at how lucky I am. I know this run is not about me, and Im conscious not to make this a social media campaign. HBWR can be a really important way of helping students in the future and honouring the little champion Lucian Page. Thank you again everyone.
I will add a few photos and comment on them instead of dribbling on here.
Too late I hear you say!