Just a little bit further

2018 in review


The year started with me drunkenly crumpled on the bitumen after spectacularly missing any cognition of a crossbar in a carpark and sumersaulting myself off my bike. Fortunately the rest of the year was less incompetent and bruising, and 2019 started with no hangover and an early run. Winning!


Our major improvement to our home this year was to finally act on having our bathroom replaced. We had the plans drawn up years ago - but had defered doing anything about it for a number of years. When work kicked of in mid August we expected we would be without our only bathroom for a few weeks. It turned into a couple of months; so we got well acquanted with our local public toilets. Despite everything the company doing the work did a quality job despite being shit communicators - and the layout, fitings and light filled room is now much betteror. That’s also the last major thing we had to do to our house - so we can get back to squirelling money away for a rainy day (or a holiday home).

I spent my second year on the Wybalena Grove Executive Committee. It’s been mosty fun - except for the bits involving a dispute with an owner and the protracted use of engineers and lawyers. One of the most succesful parts of the year was seeing the Grove finally getting a community garden. The garden beds have only been in for a couple of months but are already brimming with vegetables, fruit and brassica. Our tiny 1mx1m plot has already given us a fair swag of lettuce - and aside from some garlic bulbs tucked in there will lie dormant for the first half of 2019.

Trail Running

I set myself a goal of increasing my yearly mileage by another 500k this year to 3000km. That was going to require a pretty consistant 60+ km / week. As you can see below I’ve hit my target with a very consistant year, which I was pleased with.

I’ve only had one injury - a badly rolled ankle 12 days out from Ultra Trail Australia. That injury, along with my headspace caused my first DNF. A good learning experience - and a step on the path to completing my first 100k race later in the year - at the Hume and Hovell ultra.

I took part in three main races this year - plus a 3rd in the mixed team Sri Chinmoy Canberra 105 relay event.

I bought 3 pairs of shoes this year (*), my current stock on rotation is looking pretty good:

  • Inov-8 Trailroc 285 (1173 km)
  • Inov-8 Trailroc 245 #2 (1215 km)
  • La Sportiva Arkasha (784 km)
  • La Sportiva Mutant (340 km)
  • New Balance Vazee Summit * (313)
  • La Sportiva Lycan * (169)
  • Altra Lone Peak 4.0 * (13k)

Next year I should have plenty of time to lace up and explore new places on the trails (or roads where I have to). This should build up to the 5 day Dragons Back Race along the length of Wales, taking in all the mountains in late May. 315k, 15000m of climbing, and an unmarked course - should be epic and a real challenge.


Early in 2018 Dense and I took a few weeks to see her family, and our friends in Europe. The trip was excellent - despite Denise picking up a nasty flu that kept her in bed for a chunk of our time at the parents. A full write-up of our trip is here. We did realise during the trip that we should try to spend some more time closer to Denise’ parents for a while. This spurred on our always planned, but never enacted Australian privilege of taking Long Service Leave. We both locked in a mix of Long Service Leave and annual leave - at half pay - and locked in 6 months of travel in early 2019!

The trip is coming up fast now - with everything important booked for the first couple of months, with arrangements to visit Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, Norway, Stockholm planned. We then in mid March head to Peru for two full months of treking and touring around the whole country! On our return to the UK (post Brexit?!) in mid-May I then have my Dragons Back race. That just leaves June, and some milder weather where we will play it by ear. Should be grand. Expect more updates on here as I go.

Denise and I just got back from a long overdue trip down to Tassie over xmas. It was a terrific trip - we got in a lot of walking, relaxing, catching up, and obligitory food and drink. Of particular note we managed a couple of excellent walks out to Cape Huay and Cape Raoul.

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The only other travel of note this year was a work trip to Jakarta for 3 days and a couple of lovely weekends down the coast at our friends house at Lilli Pili.

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A brief glimpse of sun and sky

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A lot less reading this year for some reason. I’m sure I’ll rectify that with a lot of long bus rides, air travel and lounging at the in-laws. The virtual bookshelf this year consisted of the following (although I swear I’ve forgotten a book or two!)


Not many adventurous beers brewed this year - but my method is simple and the results are reliably good. I’ll need a new brew bag next year when I return - as my long standing one is now a bit clogged and slow to drain.

This year I brewed the following batches:


Very few tech purchases this year :( but the one I did acquire I am very pleased I did - the Garmin inReach mini. This tiny satellite based GPS and Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) also supports two way SMS/email communication with friends and family. Super useful when out on very long and remote missions - where a simple checkin can make a huge difference. If your interested - this is a great write up of it’s features.


Here’s some other awesome things I discovered in 2018:

  • CAMRA real ale festivals in the UK are brilliant. I should get to go back to the Manchester one again this year link
  • Dan Whitehead is worth following on youtube - brilliant quality videos, and takes in the best of good food, good trails and good coffee.
  • Dan put me onto Ciele hats - and I confess they are really good