This blog will be the Run all over the world blog of Tony Copeland-Parker. I will update on a regular basis as I start this on Jan 30, 2014.
Time Flies when you are having fun.
It also goes by pretty fast as you get older but I must admit that it really hauls ass when you retire.
I had hoped to have started this blog back in the end of January when I started this great adventure to run all over the world but I seemed to be so busy each and every day.
I would like to back up for a minute and bring you up to date on what has taken place in the last 2 months. I am using 2 months because that is the time when we sold our house and put everything in storage. We actually have a second 5 by 5 storage unit right at the ATL airport along with a mail box at the nearby UPS store so we can switch out clothes and get mail when we are passing thru.
Since we were now homeless and car less we started early on the whole run around the world idea.
Here is the run down in chronological order.
ATL, ST Maarten, eastern caribbean cruise which included,Farmouth Harbour, Antigua, Soper Hole, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke Great Harbour, B.V.I, Virgin Gorda Prickly Pear, B.V.I.,Basseterre, St. Kitts, and back to St. Maarteen. We did a lot of running at each stop. We then caught a puddle jumper back to St. Kitts where we met up with family for a week. Then back to SDF, MIA, SDF, SAN, LA, SAN, SDF, BNA, SDF, ATL, FLL where we were off on another Cruise in the eastern Caribbean with our favorite running group headed up by John “The Penguin” Bingham and Jenny Hadfield. The concept is to put around 150 runners/walkers and put them on a cruise ship and at each stop have the local running group put on a road/trail/beach race for the group. At the end of the cruise you would have put in the mileage of either a full or half marathon. You can get more information at runningcruise.com. In 2016 we will join up with the group with another river cruise this time in the south of France.
We have done 5 trips with them which include 2 to the Caribbean, Alaska, a river cruise along the Danube and a land base running event in Florence Italy. This cruise started in FLL and were out to sea for two days as we made our way to St. Maarten. The first event was a night deck run for 3 miles. The winds across the bow made for an interesting event since the winner was the one that predicted the time before hand and no timing devices were allowed during the run. I did say it was at night. When we made land on the third day we did a 6 mile run beside the beach. There was some actual beach running involved but mostly was along the walk path. The winner for this event was decided by who was the fastest. Not a problem for me so I just enjoyed the view.
A small group of us rented a catamaran for some sun and snorkeling. Much fun was had by all.
So much fun that we almost missed the cruise ship. Almost being the operative word. On our way now to St. Kitts where we met up with the Hash House Harriers. Best way to describe this group is that they are a running group with drinking problem or maybe it is the other way around. This was a six mile-ish, some what well marked trail run and parts was thru the rain forest. It was a very hilly course so not much running was done there. The winner got the ace in the deck. Pulled up anchor and off we were for San Juan.
There we mostly dressed up as Pirates and invaded the port area in a 6 mile amazing race type adventure. As always my costume was a tangent of the theme. A small group of us decided to turn it into a pub crawl near the end since it was obvious we were not going to win. Many of us met at Senior Frogs to celebrate. Early departure this day for our last run in Labadee Haiti. There we met up with a group of young men called Street Hearts. Many of us brought shoes and the like for them and we all ended up donating $10,000 to help fund a new home for them. They all joined in with the 8 mile relay race with once again a predicted time between you and your partner with no timing devices. I most mention that they also had a Zip line that is the longest over water zip line in the world. It is half a mile long and you start up at 500 feet and end down to the beach at over 60 miles an hours. Pretty abrupt stop I might add.
The overall winner on this 8 day cruise for each male and female was based on the closest total predicted time for all races that we had to give to them before hand.
Back to FLL where we then headed back to ATL, SDF, ATL, Athens Ga, ATL and then on to where we are now in Tokyo. I finished my 55th marathon yesterday and only need one more marathon in Boston to complete the top 6 world major marathon series. They consist of NY, which was my first, Chicago and Boston in the states and London, Berlin and Tokyo. There are two ways to get to run Boston. Most folks qualify, which means you must run another marathon within a certain time based on age and gender and I will never run fast enough to get in that way. The other way is to donate to selected charities and you are then given a charity spot. I have spent a pretty penny to get all the rest done so at least I will be giving to a good cause to complete the majors.
The race here in Tokyo was fantastic. It had to be great for me to think that after pulling my calf muscle at mile one and still wanted to keep running with all that pain. It was a vey organized event and there were 1 volunteer to every 3 runners. They cheered you on while doing what every job they were assigned. Never experienced anything like that at another marathon. They definitely wanted to leave a good impression with the Olympics coming here in 2020.
Tomorrow we leave for Kyoto for a leisurely 4 day tour there. After that we are off to Singapore/Malaysia for 9 days then on to Bangkok for 10 days then we meet up with Marathon Tours for the Rome Marathon. Hope to be healed up by then. I have never failed to start and finish a race that I have signed up for.
My last day at UPS is February 28th and at that time I hope to be soaking in the sun in Singapore. I must admit it has been a great ride at UPS and I am blessed to have had such a great career there. Got to do things only many dream of and at the same time was able to watch my kids grow into adults first hand. Few pilots can say that. At the same time it is easy for me to say that it was time for me to go and I truly do not miss it or flying airplanes at all. It served its purpose in my life and now it is time for me to enjoy the fruits of my labor.