Friday, November 25, 2011

Arriving in New Zealand

The flight from Japan was delayed by about half an hour, and with a relatively short connection in Gold Coast, Australia, I was a little concerned--both about me and my suitcase--making it. No problem though. Travel time was about 3 hours to the airport in Osaka, then about 8 hours overnight to Gold Coast, then a little over three hours to Auckland. Landing in Australia, and I'm suddenly among English speaking people--with cool accents!

New Zealand is probably my favorite country to visit. Kiwis have a great attitude, and it's pretty much the adrenaline capital of the world. If you want to bungy jump, sky dive, go whitewater rafting, jet boating, or just hiking the tracks and camping, it's a great place to be. I had one of the best Christmases ever in Queenstown back in 1999 on the Millennium Marathon trip. Wish I had a few more days to spend here, but duty calls!

Didn't sleep much on the way from Japan, but feel pretty good. I drove out to check out the race site first thing, then back closer to town to find a place to stay and get a good pre-race steak dinner. I didn't last long after that, but now I'm wide awake and it's about three hours before race time and I'm dressed, packed up and ready to roll.

We're 18 hours ahead of Michigan here. So at about 1:30 pm back home on Friday afternoon, we'll start the marathon here at 7:30 Saturday morning. It's my third marathon of the week, third continent. Still feeling real good. My mission today is to get through the 42.2K worth of trails, probably in about 7 hours, get cleaned up and get back to the airport. Total time in New Zealand will be about 31 hours.

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