Irish man on track to run around world

GWYNETH HYNDMAN
Last updated 05:00 25/02/2013
Tony Mangan
GWYNETH HYNDMAN/Fairfax NZ
LONG JOG: World-runner Tony Mangan, of Ireland, arrived in Bluff on Sunday afternoon, marking the end of his New Zealand journey.

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Irish runner Tony Mangan was hardly out of breath after a roughly 48-kilometre jog from Dacre to Bluff yesterday, marking the end of his New Zealand journey and exactly two years and five months since he began his jog around the world.

The former photocopier repairman and carpenter described running on average a marathon a day as "a bit like hitting yourself with a hammer" but said the end result was satisfying: "I'm living my dream every day."

Mr Mangan, 55, began running 10km and half marathons after moving to Colorado and excelled in competitive running. He became a record holder for running 426 km in 48 hours in 2007 and again for a 405km run in 48 hours in 2008.

Running around the world was naturally the next step, he said.

Mr Mangan had already cycled around the world at the age of 21, he said. While travelling through Pakistan he realised he was going too fast to absorb the territory. He resolved to someday return and do a world tour on foot.

He began his world run in his hometown of Dublin on October 25, 2010.

New Zealand is country number 18. He leaves on Wednesday for Tasmania and planned to start jogging straight from the Hobart airport, he said.

From there it is on to Australia, Thailand, Russia and through Europe, arriving back in Dublin in time for the 2014 marathon, the event that started him off on his journey.

During his five-week run down the length of New Zealand, Mr Mangan had opted not to have the usual small trailer with him. He ran with a small backpack carrying a summer sleeping bag, a log book and a cell phone and sent items like vitamins on ahead.

While the running network was wide, and housing arrangements were made through his Facebook page, Mr Mangan said there were plenty of evenings when he slept in parks and playgrounds.

Sometimes he would approach farms and ask farmers if he could sleep in their barns - much of the time he was invited inside and given an evening meal.

"I have always made great friends. When we part sometimes they will say ‘I'm lucky to meet you' and I'll tell them that's how I feel, too."

To follow Mr Mangan's journey, go to theworldjog.com/blog

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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