ANZAC Ultra Marathon – 450km of Joy and Light

May 9, 2015

290running teamThe air frizzed and hissed and for a moment I was forced to a stop as the air vanished in a flash bulb pulse of white light. Stopped in lashing rain straight out of God’s freezer as the accompanying crack and boom erupted around me and my eyes readjusted to the light. Not that there was much of that, my headlamp not seeming to make much of an impression through the wall of water I had fancied I could run through. The flashing sky that had rolled up and over the Bullen Range as the late evening folded into night had warned me of what might come, but as the storm smashed over me I had the briefest moment of wonder – should I really have committed to this bush track? I was convinced I was going to run this section in the dark. After all, my time down to Kambah Pool has been extraordinary in my view and I was feeling very good. Very very good. But it wasn’t long before I had fallen. Once, twice, then a third time. And then in one of those white out flashes I plunged into a hole in the track I couldn’t see, and hyper extended my left knee. Damn. But in the interests of making sure I was good for the whole race, and loath to have to call on other team members to cover me because of injury I resigned myself to walking the next eight kilometres. Just as fast as I could. Read more

Kittyhawk P40 – Australian War Memorial

September 20, 2009

kittyhawk291.jpgThe worst thing that can be said about the AWM if you live in Canberra is that it is used on wet weekends by locals as a place to entertain the kids. Of which I confess to being very guilty, though a five year old son who confused his story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem with Simpson and his donkey one damp Easter provided no end of mirth. It still does. The best thing that can be said about the War Memorial is that it is not a museum first but a memorial to our veterans, living and dead. How they manage to fuse memorial and museum mystifies most and for that reason alone it is always worth a visit. With our thoughts turning to walking the Kokoda Track, on which the Japanese were first fought to a standstill, then pushed back (“Advance to the rear”, not “retreat”) the presentation of the P40 caught my eye, the diorama showing a ground crew working on the aircraft as it might have been at one of the many Papua New Guinea airstrips hastily built in the face of the impending Japanese onslaught. The aviation hall is world class  – indeed the whole place is of a remarkably high standard. If you have a spare damp Canberra day up your sleeve get lost in the aviation hall at least. You won’t regret it, even it you are in the company of Canberra parents looking for some cheap daycare.

Australian War Memorial Me109

August 23, 2007

And chasing G for George (see previous post) is this Me109. Still working on those Canberra highlights!