The RunRunLive 4.0 Podcast Episode 4-339 – The World Walk – Tony Mangan

 (Audio: link) [audio:]
Link epi4339.mp3

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -

Hello and welcome to episode 4-339 of the RunRunLive Podcast. 

It’s been an interesting week but we managed to rise above and pull off an interesting and compelling show for you.  This week I’ve got an interview with Tony Mangan who, last time I checked facebook,.was in Russia some 2000 odd kilometers into his walk around the world. 

Tony is/was an accomplished ultra runner and then decided to run around the world.  He did.  It took him 4 years.  But when he got home he was still restless so he has set off again, this time at a slower pace and on an alternate route.  This is basically his life now.  Perambulation of the globe.

I was asked last week what I’d do if I didn’t have to work.  My answer was probably just start running.  Run across the US or something.  There’s something about it that appeals to me.  Not the effort or the accomplishment or the challenge.  What appeals to me is the monastic clarity of it.

How’s my running going?  Well I actually took 7 days off.  What? Shocked? Yeah, I said it had been an interesting week. 

It started 2 weeks ago.  On that Thursday I got a cold sore and a slight fever.  I thought ‘Ok, it’s some of those seasonal allergy symptoms’ and really didn’t think more about it because, as you know, I don’t get sick.  Big waste of time getting sick.  No reason for it.

It didn’t get any worse and Saturday I spent a fabulous long day working on my yard and got so much done.  I was on a roll.  Sunday I woke up to get my long run in and noticed that my heart rate was pretty high and I didn’t feel so hot.  I went out and knocked out a couple low-energy hours anyhow but knew something was going on. 

I felt progressively worse all day Sunday and when the early alarm went off to jump on a plane Monday morning I couldn’t do it.  I was too sick.  Which kills me.  I usually go to work if I can still fog a mirror.  I ended up sitting in on 3 days of 10 hour-long meetings by phone.  It was the right decision.

Monday night I had the chills and fever sweats.  I was awake coughing all night most nights. I slept on the couch all week sitting up to let the rest of my family get some sleep.   

By the end of the week it had moved into my sinus and I was in some discomfort.  My wife and daughter told me to go see the doctor.  I hesitated because, hey it’s just a cold, all they’re going to do is tell me to go home, sleep and take fluids.  Why waste my time and theirs?

I relented Saturday morning – more than a week into it by then.  The nice nurse practitioner Duncan took my vitals and was giggly at how good shape I’m in for an old guy. But, he said, “Given your baseline this is totally out of whack.  You either have acute sinusitis or pneumonia and we need to get you on antibiotics.”

Oh, ok…So I’m 4 days into the drugs and it’s clearing up. 

Meanwhile I’m supposed to be speaking at a conference in New Orleans on Monday.  I was speaking as a favor to an old friend of mine Dan who lives in Chicago.  We chewed some dirt together back in the 90’s career-wise and always got along.  I ghost wrote some of his first book.  We were peers from the same cadre, he was about my age.

Last time I talked to Dan he was pretty sick.  He had some problems with Diabetes and had to get a couple toes removed.  I asked him, “Jeez Buddy, how does something like that happen?” and he joked back to me “Too much rich food.  Bad lifestyle decisions.”

Much to my shock last week, I got a note from the conference Friday morning that Dan had passed away.  This week, while I was speaking at his conference in New Orleans they were having services for him in Chicago.

So summary: Weird couple weeks.

I’m going to give you something a bit different today format-wise.  We’ll drop right into the chat with Tony and then I’ll lay my Boston Marathon story on the backside of that. I’ll hit you with some closing comments on the back end.  Fair warning, last time I checked my Boston story was over 5,000 words.  I recorded a draft of it last week, but I’ll re-record because my voice was just painful to listen to.

Remember there is now a membership option for the RunRunLive podcast with special members only content.  My goal is to get one piece of unique audio every week.  This past week members were treated to my uncomfortably contorted sick voice rendition of the business podcasts that I listen to and why.

So, yes, for the price of one Czechoslovakian hockey puck you can sign up to be a member of the RunRunLive podcast and get further access to the audio bestiary. 

When you have a weird week like the one I had it can cause you to take pause.  If you’ve got unfinished business to attend to in your life, for heaven’s sake get to it.  Don’t put it off.  Don’t put off the things you need to do and the things you need to say. 

The small decisions you make on your healthy lifestyle add up over time.  Don’t put those off either.

I’ll share a less dramatic story from a couple weeks ago after Boston.

I’m in my office the week after the marathon.  Coach has me not running much but has me doing yoga.  I work out of a remote office and many times I’m the only one in there.  I have a real, old style office with walls and a solid door that locks.  I’m an executive!

I decided to do the yoga in my office.  No one is there and it saves me from having to walk over to the gym and I can use the WiFi in the office to play Bonnie’s videos on my tablet.  It’s all good.  So I change into my workout stuff which just happens to be short shorts and a singlet. 

I’m sitting on the floor in my approximation of the lotus position and there’s a knock on the door.  It’s some unfortunate young guy who has come to service our water cooler.  There I am like some strange half-naked yogi on the floor of my office. I explained to him what was going on and he got a kick out of it and was interested in all my hardware and running paraphernalia. 

All in good fun. 

Oh, yeah, I shaved my beard last week too. 

On with the show.


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Voices of reason – the conversation

Tony Mangan – the World Walk

On Saturday February 27th, 2016 I began a walk around the world!

I will be walking the world with a cancer awareness message;

        Life is precious, early checking saves lives.

Starting from Run Logic's running store in Dublin’s Temple Bar, we will meet at two pm February 27th, 2016 and leave at three pm. Please follow my new blog for the walk ( Click Here )  or my Facebookpage!

After I first got the idea to run around the world I didn’t see how I could do it without a support vehicle. As running is more problematic than walking I decided instead of running the world that I would walk it! In 1998, I was living in Lake City, Colorado.  I returned to Ireland  I decided that one day I would find a way to live my ultimate dream, to run around the world ( As many of you know I achieved that in Oct 2014)

So, this world walk is my other long cherished dream  :-)

Last Monday I was welcomed by The Lord Mayor of Dublin, this is becoming a habit! Thank you Lord Mayor Criona Ni Dhalaigh for my latest Magic Letter! I will be walking the world with a cancer awareness message; life is precious, early checking saves lives.

In 1977 I read Dervla Murphys book Full Tilt: Ireland to India on a bicycle. I put the book down and read it again immediately. I was gobsmacked. She cycled across Europe in winter continued across the Turkish mountains,across Afghanistan,Pakistan and into India on terrible roads and with a 3 speed bicycle. So I started planning my own trip to India. I bought a 5 speed Raleigh Corsa bicycle and told everyone in work what my plans were..I got in so deep there was no way out! Then someone asked me what I was going to do when I got to India! Cycle back Tony? It occured to me in a flash..No of course not...I'm going to just keep going.

In August '78 I set out to cycle around the world. I couldn't even fix a puncture. My heavily laden bicycle got about 8 in the 160km to Rosslare Harbor. I had to cycle late into the night to catch the ferry to France.I ditched some of my baggage and cycled myself fit. I returned 15 months later severely bitten by the travel bug. For the next 15 years I continued taking extended vacations often on my bicycle in (at that time) exotic locations such as Iceland, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Liechtenstein, Andorra and Egypt, as well as hitch-hiking around the middle-east and taking a year out in 1983 to cycle and hitch in South America.

Other than kicking a football around Dublin's streets I don't think I would consider myself from a sporting background. It just kinda grew on me.I used to run to football training and then run home later to improve my stamina.The penny dropped when I got a very bad ankle injury and missed running more than football.That was almost 25 years ago and I haven't kicked a competitive ball since.

I was going out with a girl whose boss was on my now running club's committee.She suggested I join MSB A.C. I ran the marathon within 5 weeks of first serious lacing of my running shoes.I I did my one and only long run of 35km just 7 days before. In the marathon I ran 3.09 and was hooked. Gradually I got my time down to 2.38.

In 1994 I obtained a green card and emigrated to Colorado,USA. There I discovered the wonders of mountain ultra running.I more or less drifted away from the cycling at this stage..Gradually I progressed to running 24 hour races...I was obsessed by 24's and in an attempt to try to make them 'shorter in my mind' I entered a few 48 hour races only to find I was more competitive with these! In 2002 I returned to Ireland after getting a bad foot injury. Around this time world record attempts were very popular on treadmills. I had a couple of shots and in 2003 managed to get both the 24 and 48 hour world records at the Dublin marathon expo.

I was working in construction as a snagger and used to run in and out of work.Everyone used to sneer and say I musn't be working hard if I still had the energy to run home after a long hard day on my feet. I used to say that it was my running training that made me fitter to work hard and when I stepped in the door I was well warmed up! I always found construction work to be an excellent way to maintain exceptional fitness,especially when I was injured and couldn't train,I rarely lost any. I don't think the dust helped me much though.

I used to run everywhere.I had a small blue satchel and if I needed a magazine in the city or needed to post a letter I usually just ran. I made a few appearances for Ireland for 100km and 24 hours and seemed to be able to run a very consistently reliable 24 hour distance.

In March 2007 I booked a Ryanair flight to Brno,Czech Rep. for a 48 hour indoor race.I really had no expectations as I was just going for the experience. I was wearing my race shoes on the plane and was traveling with just a small amount of carry on baggage.I didn't even bother bringing much race food..During that race I ate the candy I had bought for my niece and nephews..It seemed to hit the spot...I ran like a man possessed and often wonder if I received some form of divine intervention as I broke the world indoor 48 hour record with 426.178km running for 47 of the hours and walked just 750 meters.

This was also the first occasion that a runner ran 2 consecutive days of 200km plus.. Three years later a committee of ultra running researchers and ultra running historians awarded me with a world first for 48 hour running. My splits were 223 and 203km...I was staggered and shocked by this race of my life. Due to this performance I received an invitation to run the prestigious invite only Surgeres 48 hour race in France.

Before accepting I thought long and hard about competing as clearly 8 weeks would not be enough time to recover from a world record performance in Brno. I went against the advice I was given and in Surgeres I surprised myself again by running 401km to finish second. Those 8 weeks were the greatest weeks of my running life. I have never reached those lofty heights since,save for a 405km to regain my world 48 hour treadmill record in Longford Ireland. Getting that record back was so important to me..I was injured having not run much in the previous two months. it was pure determination running through the pain and fatigue barriers that won me that record back.You see the man who took it off me skirted the rules and was holding the treadmill bars as he was running...Yes amazingly its not against the rules to run on a treadmill while holding the bars! Just try it in your gym...If you hold hard enough you can even almost fly above the this running?? No athlete worth his salt would 'run' in this chicken fashion!He actually has records for coach surfing watching mind-boggling daytime tv watching Judge Judy and Seinfeld for weeks on end and thinks running on a treadmill should allow him to hang onto the rails like he was holding onto a zimmer frame for dear life!

So because of cock-ups I do not recognize the authority of a so called record compiler. I endeavor to put my efforts under the the even greater scrutiny of my fellow athletes and a newly formed committee made up of experienced athletes because they understand athletes and athletics. I ran a couple of 3 day races in Arizona,winning one and finishing second in the other. I am now officially retired from competitive athletics and will only compete for fun in the future..I have had a great time.Thanks for the memories,wonderful help and encouragement...

I now look forward to a new career as a journey runner.

Section two

Boston 2016 -


Well my friends that’s it you have done the painful death shuffle to the end of Episode 4-339 of the RunRunLive podcast.  Hope you enjoyed that.  Feel free to send me feedback.  All this stuff is posted on my website and you can leave comments.  If you dig what we’re doing here, feel free to repost the show post or share with a friend.

Well.  I’ve decided to pivot.  I was going to go up and double down at the Vermont City race.  I signed up for it.  But, I think I’ve lost too much fitness.  The sick kept me from training and it will probably take a couple weeks to totally get over it.  I’m basically out of runway for a May 30 race.  I’ll probably just skip it.

I got a new project though.  (Like I don’t have a new project every week…) but seriously, the people from Spartan races contacted me.  I’m angling to interview Joe the owner.  I didn’t know they were based out of Boston, which is cool.  In general I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to racing but these guys actually keep score unlike a lot of the other obstacle events. 

If I do it I’m going to take it seriously and compete. 

They gave me a freebie.  I figure it will take some time to beat my skinny-ass runner upper body into something that can compete at flipping tires and climbing walls, but it will be good for me.  It’s just what I need.  There are two races at the end of July.  One south of Montreal that is only a 3-4 hour drive for me and one in Edinburg which is an interesting thought. 

Then maybe spin up a serious race in the fall. 

I’m out to Phoenix next week and I’m dragging my newly minted college grad with me and we’re going to sneak off and do the canyon at the end of the week. 

Closing comments

It’s strange my life.  While I was writing that Boston report I looked back through the inventory of life events over the past 5 years and it’s really amazing.  I always feel like I’m falling behind and not doing enough but when you lay it all end to end it’s something. 

I’m happy I’ve been able to make choices and decisions that have brought me adventure and challenge and health.  I think about the roads not taken and I wonder how much different my life, the quality of my life and the quality of life for those in my life might be on a different path. 

I’m not one to preach, but like my coach says, “Die with great stories, not regrets.”

Don’t put off ‘til tomorrow.  Don’t sacrifice your now for some unfortunate future and thanks to antibiotics and clean living I’ll see you out there.

MarathonBQ – How to Qualify for the Boston Marathon in 14 Weeks -


Direct download: epi4339.mp3
Category:Running -- posted at: 9:53pm EDT





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