Halstead Road Runner Andy Owen has just returned from a 4 month trip to Australia and New Zealand. A regular on the local race scene around Essex and Suffolk, Andy, 25 years, decided that his trip wouldn’t mean a break from his running so he ensured his running trainers and his yellow Halstead Road Runner club shirt were the first items packed in his suitcase during his adventure.

Touring the country from East to West, Andy, took full advantage of the various races the country has to offer, culminating in one of the toughest marathons going, the Australian Outback Marathon on the 30th July.

Using the phenomena that is parkrun, Andy used these as not only an opportunity to keep his training miles up, but also an opportunity to see some fantastic sights along the way as he completed the Woodbridge Riverside parkrun, Western Australia. The Parkville parkrun, Melbourne and the Curl Curl parkrun, New South Wales, always finishing within the first few runners.

Hopping over to New Zealand, Andy of course didn’t miss this opportunity to completed one of the most easterly races on the planet as he completed the Paihia Half Marathon, in Waitangi. Finishing an incredible 12th place overall in a time of 1:38:12.

The toughest race of the trip was the Autralian Outback Marathon. Run on unsealed dust roads, bush trails and tracks in the searing outback heat. Passing the iconic Ayres Rock along the 26.2 mile route. Andy finished in an incredible time of 3:50:50.

Running wasn’t the only activity Andy completed, add to that scuba diving, sailing, surfing, canoeing, pony trekking and even sheep sheering, however Andy’s final race was the 14km Sydney City 2 Surf race on his last day before heading back to the UK. Ensuring he finished with a good run Andy made light work of the course finishing in 1:11:30.

Speaking upon his return, Andy said “I’ve had an incredible 4 months away and I’ve been happy that I can use running as a way of meeting new people from the other side of the world and forming friendships. I’m already planning and saving for my next adventure”.