Connor the Wheelbarrow Superman

Day 43

12 May 2009

Mt Ebenezer to 70km from Uluru

131.83km

Total Riding Time:6hours 23minutes 49seconds

Today would be the day whereby we’ll attempt to bite off a big chunk of kilometers in order to get as close as possible to Uluru.

Breakfast was on a piece of ice cold concrete with some hot tea.

The 10L water bladder is very versatile. Here it is working like a tap providing water to us. A must have for any desert/long distance cyclist.

The Red Center Way is predominantly a highway that links to the Big 3 attraction in Central Australia. There are Uluru, The Olgas and Kings Canyon. Throughout the day there were many tour buses and vans that passes by us all loaded with tourist inside em.

Tran & Goku trying to navigate which side of the straight road to take. Good effort guys!

Got to love the Red Dirt here!

The Giants of Central Australia

As we approach the Kings Canyon turn off, we bid goodbye to Goku as he head towards King’s Canyon. We continue to pedal straight ahead towards Uluru. The monkey shot before the farewell!

Not long after that, we spotted a 4WD from afar parked on the roadside under a tree shade. On top of the 4WD, there was a wheelbarrow. Then there appears a man in a fluorescent suite pushing something in front of him.

Well at first it was obvious there was another road works. But it’s very odd because there is almost nothing from here no town just red dirt and a sealed road. There was only this person on the road. Usually if there is road works there would be a couple of guys on it.

As we cycled pass we saw this person pushing a wheelbarrow in a fluorescent suite. We stared at him he stared at us all through the fly net veil. After we had pass him, about 300m down the road we stopped next to the 4WD. We read the banner on the vehicle and had a chat with Jo the lady standing next to the vehicle. She explained to us what was going on. The guy with the wheelbarrow was David Baird. David is a marathon man and holds multiple world record running with a wheelbarrow.

He ran across Australia a year back with a wheelbarrow. About 5000km running with a wheelbarrow. Champion with a huge amount of guts, passion and most of all ‘insanity’ good on ya!

After knowing what was actually happening, I rode back the other way to catch up with David. Must have a word with a gutsy man like this. We had a good chat. David was having a really bad patch at this point in time. He was having severe anterior shin pain. What he was attempting to do this time was to run with a wheelbarrow from Alice Springs to Uluru and back (about  920km in total). Imagine running an ultra marathon a day (50km) in about 10-12 hours everyday all made more difficult with a wheelbarrow that’s pretty heavy (it prevents the runner from swinging his arm while running) under the hot outback sun.

However because of the debilitating shin pain, he is reduced to a crawling walking pace taking every single step with some amount of pain. Still because he is fueled by his passion and dream he presses on. Faithfully he logged in 50km a day even if it takes him about 12 hours to complete it and repeating it all over again the very next day.

He is doing the Outback challenge for the love of running, taking up  the call  to pursue his dreams and create awareness for Prostate and Breast Cancer Foundation. His website can be found here.

As he was running 50km a day on the average for the next 17 days, his feet swelled tremendously in his running shoe. Here David showed us how he get away with wearing a heavily ‘modified’ running shoe. A very interesting observation for myself personally.

The running shoe with a ‘big mouth’. That’s the only way he could keep running with some comfort in his runners day in day out throughout the whole challenge.

We wrap up the conversation with a word of prayer for healing for his legs and committed our individual outback challenges to the Lord. It was really an insightful chat in the middle of nowhere with a total stranger a while ago but now because of something in common we felt we have made a new friend. Good on you David you truly are wonderfully and fearfully made by Him. Live life to the fullest every single day and pursue your dreams!

Meanwhile we went back our way and caught up with  Jo. Jo is supporting David every single day in all his challenges and endeavors. She would be his support crew  handing out water and drinks for 12 hours a day every day from as early as 4am when David starts his run till about 6-7pm in the evening when he finishes for the day. Truly an Ironwoman!

After a pretty eventful morning, we decided to have lunch on top of a sand dune. We tried pushing our bikes up the super soft dirt. Honestly is not quite possible unless we have a Pugsley (A 4 inch tire ice/desert bicycle). Almost snapped our back doing this effort!

A good relaxing ‘cool’ lunch under some desert shrubs.

From the sand dune we could spot what people call ‘The first sight of ‘Uluru’. It really is a treat getting a glimpse of this massive rock from afar. However, Uluru is still about 100km away. Could it be a false alarm?

A very multilingual highway

After double checking our maps, The ‘Uluru’ Rock is actually Mt Connor. It is a huge rock probably bigger than Uluru that is often mistaken for Uluru. In other words it’s Uluru less famous cousin/brother. Well still a cause to be excited about as we will be getting a double dose of Uluru.

Got to enjoy Mt Connor is really is awesome too!

We continue to pedal on trying to get as close to Uluru as possible. We did a short rest stop at Curtin Springs Roadhouse for some cold drinks.

Unique tree alive yet looks quite dead

Well it was a day to remember meeting  inspiring characters on the road in the desert. Also a great way to end the day with some Coke and dinner. We need the sugars!

Some star gazing and being overwhelmed by the milky way and stars in the skies! Tomorrow is Uluru showdown time!

2 Responses to “Connor the Wheelbarrow Superman”

  1. 🙂 continue writing

  2. harydial Says:

    ok till day 55!

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