September Round Up: 421 km

Back on it! After a quiet August, having spent most of it abroad, September turned out to not just be a return to serious training, but one of the best months of the year.

Anto Map

The best part for me is that this has also been the most evenly spread month so far, with a good split between the various triathlon disciplines. As well as completing the Eton Dorney Olympic distance race (in a new personal best time) I did 195 km on the bike, 45 km swimming and amazingly 131 km on foot – which even with the inflators I mentioned in a previous post is far more than I have ever done.

The main driver for this has been the switch in training for triathlons to gearing up for the Birmingham Half Marathon, and as much as I hate to say it I am enjoying the worlds oldest sport (possibly, I just guessed there but what else could it be?). It has helped that September turned out to be the warmest / driest / sunniest ever, which has meant it has been much more fun running around town than sweating away in the gym – plenty of time for that to come as winter draws in…

In terms of year to date distance I am now over 3300 km, so well past three-quarters of the way through the challenge: at this rate I might even have a Christmas break…

Anto 1

In respect of Chile, the long desert trail leads through the mountains, with long hours on empty roads and banking hot sun. The lack of people and artificial light makes for an amazingly clear sky, and I was fortunate enough to pass by Cerro Paranal, formerly the world’s largest telescope array, and more famously as the spectacular setting for the showdown in Quantum of Solace Less fortunately I was not actually allowed in, as apparently you have to be a real scientist (or Bond), but I did get to spend some time with a real life Zorro – or desert fox – who was surprisingly friendly and posed for plenty of pictures.

PaneralBond PaneralZorro

By the end of the month I had reached the port city of Antofagasta, which whilst not exactly number one on most people’s tourist trail, is my kind of place: an industrial town built on a mining and fishing heritage, just like much of Cornwall over here. Yes, it may not be the prettiest setting – although La Portada monument is fantastic natural wonder – but there is loads to see and few tourists. There is a great walk along the waterside, starting off with the Lobos Marinos (sea wolves) by the harbour, and taking you past the only Rugby Club I have seen in Chile – and any rugby town is a good one by me!

Anto PortadaSea Lobo

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