Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10/10/10 Melbourne Australia!

One of the BEST vacations we have had thus far! It had absolutely everything! Motorcycle riding along scenic ocean views, running a marathon, seeing the Twelve Apostles, petting a Koala, feeding kangaroos, watching a great Moto GP motorcycle race at Phillip Island, climbing a bridge in Sydney, and enjoying the company of the friendliest people in the world!

This is the "before we rode 3,000 kilometers" photo.
You really don't want to see the "after" photo.
 Once we landed in Melbourne and crammed two weeks worth of necessities into the rented motorcycle, we drove down to the Phillip Island motorcycle race track to stock up on souvenirs and gifts for friends before the Moto GP race. Along the way, we saw a sign for a wildlife preserve so we had to stop and visit.
Even though Mr. Koala was not quite as excited to see me, this was still quite a thrill!

I heart wallabies!

This is the "magic spot" on a kangaroo because they can't reach it themselves.

More please!!

They are all so adorable, and hungry!

The Nobbies at Phillip Island Nature Park.

Practicing our podium positions.
 Then we got settled into our Melbourne hotel, thanks to a generous gift from our friends Sean & Sheena. We wanted to take just a quick nap and then see some sights, but woke up eight hours later! Oh well, at least I had plenty of rest before the marathon!

Three super heros in front of Rod Lever tennis arena. 

Perfect running weather, 12.78 degrees Celsius! (55F)

Marathon finish at MCG - Melbourne Cricket Garden.

Final few yards to the finish line!

On the road from Melbourne to Sydney.

Our Couchsurfing buddy Wally and his place of employment, the Sydney Opera House!

Once we were in Sydney, we took a quick ferry ride to Watsons Bay. Crystal clear water and great view looking back at the city!

Lorenzo & Wally hike at park in Watsons Bay.

Opera House and Sydney Bridge in the background.

We didn't just admire the Sydney Bridge, we CLIMBED it! (the blue route)
View from the top!
After our time in Sydney, it took two days of riding to return back to Phillip Island for the Moto GP. Unfortunately, we encountered some rain... Both days.
Keeping the driver's hands waterproof AND ready to wash dishes or perform surgery too!

Drying out the gear.

10/17/10 Great racing weather at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit!

Watching the racers!

Turn 1 - like watching people fight with knives inside a phone booth, on motos!

The track was right next to the ocean!

Now for some exciting riding of our own on a world famous road!

Very useful reminder sign!

Passenger's perspective.

Here's your chance to experience without going to Australia or even getting on a motorcycle.

Stayed at a terrific bed and breakfast - with a pony!

The Twelve Apostles - how come this isn't one of the 7 Wonders of the World?

Another useful reminder.
Another friendly Aussie!

The Otway Treetop Walk was really cool!

On our last ride before leaving, it was a special treat to see wild Koalas!

Stop bugging me!

Our silhouette. 

Sunday, June 06, 2010

06/10/10 San Diego Rock-n-Roll Marathon

New title: San Diego Robs-your-Soul Marathon

If you think that the third time would be a charm, you'd be incorrect. After doing this race in 1999 and 2000, in hindsight, I now realize that it took exactly one full decade to erase the misery and suffering. If my long term memory had been better, there is no question that I would not have signed up for this event. Now I remember that there is not a single musical act in the world capable of striking the perfect chords to ease the pain of this event. I'm not sure who exactly was supposed to be entertained by the twenty six bands along the course, but it definitely wasn't the runners. Even if my favorite band had been on the course at mile 17, it would've sounded like animals being tortured. I'm not sure anyone actually likes mariachi music, but at mile 18, I guarantee you everyone despises it. Music along a marathon route doesn't alleviate the suffering, it just adds a soundtrack to the ridiculousness of the whole experience.

I not only matched the local flowers, I moved about as fast as they did.
The start... I've got a bad feeling about this!

Let's climb aboard and sail to the finish!
Meanwhile up near the front, the really strong runners were still smiling!

See how the road was higher on the right, lower on the left?
This is less-than-ideal for running, especially for SIX miles.

Finally, a decent running surface!
Once the herds of people thinned out and there weren't as many bands playing, it was downright peaceful.

And scenic too.

Mile 25 on "Fiesta Island" was very much not a fiesta.

Now I understand the phrase "Lucky Dog!"

Getting this one engraved with "Never Again."
Finish time: 3:29:18. Exactly 6 seconds slower than LA Marathon just three months ago, but much more musical and brutal.
As always, thanks Lorenzo for photos, support, and love!