RacingThePlanet Ultramarathon Blogs 2019

View All Posts 2019 From : Duncan Read

Duncan Read
Stage 6 - The finish line

10 March 2019 04:49 am (GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Planet, consider yourself raced. 

What an awesome journey. On foot it was 250km of the most gruelling and mostly up tracks I have ever trod, but there were some amazing descents too. 

Mentally the journey was equally breathtaking. It had challenges of its own, up and down.

This was more than a foot race.

Each day had it’s breaking points. Points on the course (usually steep and up) where I was crushed and broken, empty points where the next step seemed impossible. Points that broke my body and mind into tiny pieces and I just wanted to be lifted  out.

What makes the finish line of this race special is the way you get there. It is not physical strength or training that’s get you there, you can never train enough. Instead, it is your internal spirit and energy from other competitors that lifts you. To overcome those lows and stitch each tiny piece of my broken body and mind back together took courage. But what I found was that through that crushing process each small piece had been forged a bit stronger and made a bit bigger. 

So today, when I got to the finish line and my gorgeous wife and kids were there to greet me, I was standing very tired, but a little bit taller and a little bit stronger than I’ve ever been. It was my mind not my legs that got me there.

I can’t remember much of the final stage. It was hard, it was up and it was only about 15km. But the finish was hard and couldn’t come soon enough; until it arrived. Seeing Justine, Will and Henry and the other competitors, race crew and their families at the finish was special. So very, very special.

I may have forgotten the route, many of the steps and some of the pain, but I won’t forget this experience or the friends Ivemade. Unforgettable.

I’ll provide another wrap when my mind and heart has cleared, but THANKS everyone that has been right behind me.


For kids and young adults dealing with diabetes for the first time there are days when normal things crush you; when eating and insulin and blood glucose levels go wrong. Unlike the race there are few if any highs, and sometimes it’s not easy to see a path to being fitter and stronger. I should know I’ve been there. I ran this race mostly for me, but also to show us all we can be #fitterforhavingit


Comments: Total (1) comments

Ian Read

Posted On: 10 Mar 2019 11:39 am

Amazing; fantastic; you've done it again! How many times have you been up Sunshine Mountain now? And more to the point, how many young and old type 1's are following you on their way to being - #fitterforhavingit
Duncan Read
Stage 5 The Long March

08 March 2019 09:21 am (GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

A few things broke on this stage but not me, I was ready.

First, the heavens broke – it rained and rained, but rainy conditions suited me and I carried on

Next, one of my insulin delivery cannulas failed, just before checkpoint 2, but I fitted a spare and carried on

Third, my GPS watch gave up, it didn’t break it ran out of battery, not surprising as it was tracking me for nine hours and 68km before it threw in the towel

I never broke, I was prepared and ready. In the zone, step after step and stride after stride. In fact I accelerated and ran my strongest stage. I was lifted by fantastic messages of support I’ve been getting. Thank you it means a lot.

Stage 5 was a Thursday, but it felt like a Friday, so on the long march these are the things I miss and didn’t miss:

Things I missed:

- Bacon and eggs on Kent St with Jas and Paul – next week my friends

- A beer on the ferry home with Squadge – next week my friend

- A stand up meeting around Lady Macquaries Chair and the Domain with my old boss, next month, perhaps!

- Checkpoint Six, but that’s another story, and was all to do with testing conditions

- Soup – I wish I had packed a cuppa soup or two for the very cold, very welcome, and very wet end

Things I didn’t miss:

- An audience, for most of the run I was solo and singing loud channelling Jagger, Mercury, Bowie, Macklemore, I even sang the Manly Warringah Junior Cricket Club ‘U12 days of Christmas’ for Will and his Rep buddies

- Company, for a few km I had company with competitors on Monday that are friends by Thursday, we saw lots of faces today because of switchbacks and I smiled and waved on everyone. It kept me going, especially Avi, Markus, Chris and Paul who shared my guiding light home

- Support, for the volunteers, checkpoint staff and road marshalls all had their work cut out in very challenging conditions. We had a tough day, but moving the course, setting up camp, toiles and medical tents in the pouring rain.

- The rest day, which we all need tomorrow!

I’ve broken the back of this. It hasn’t broken me.

I will break down in a flood of emotion when Juz, Henry and Will see me at the finish…. (don’t tell anyone, but I’ve already had a quiet blubber to myself in the tent)

Proving I am #fitterforhavingit


Comments: Total (3) comments

Justine Read

Posted On: 09 Mar 2019 02:44 am

Indeed I did cry Chris. And it was pure magic. He’s finished and finished a brutal race with such great form. Particularly proud of how other competitors told me what a help he was to them. Amazing effort by Duncs and all the competitors.

Chris Peskett

Posted On: 08 Mar 2019 12:51 pm

Home stretch now, Duncs. Power home! Think of those smiling faces of Will and Henry (Juz will probably be crying) at the finish line. The Gallipoli steps are missing you. You clearly are #strongerforhavingit!

Jennifer Read

Posted On: 08 Mar 2019 10:52 am

Wow..only the last stage to go bro. What en epic week, so good to see you are getting stronger by the stage. Last one now. Keep it going. Wish I could be there on the finish line for a hug and blunt or two! There in spirit! With you every last step of the way. #fitterforhavingit
Duncan Read
Stage 4 – Be Persistent

06 March 2019 08:18 am (GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Four down, two to go. This race is unsupported. That means the organisers, crew and volunteers cant give you anything; instead with their smiles, cheers, words of encouragement they give you everything. Despite that there are still a few things I am missing and not missing after finishing today.

What I’m missing:

- Juzzy, but not long now!

- Seaforth O35 soccer training, but I’m sure AB7 is there with cones, Cormac of course and I hope Peskeet is taking penalties and practicing his shooting. Squadge will be doing the whole session with a rucksack full of granite. Go lads

- Elevators, I dreamt of elevators last night each time the lift door opened there was a check point, or some fresh veggies

- Flushable toilets, thanks camp team for moving and cleaning portaloos every night!

- Baxter, who’s cleaning up his poop!

- A swim… Juz I think I’ve cracked on the pool

What I’m not missing

- Spectacular views, Roy’s and Mt Alpha truly spectacular

- The spurs results against Arsenal and Dortmund, thanks James

- Precarious mountain passes – literally breathtaking

- Going up!

- The taste of freeze dried food and electrolytes in everything

- Cow sh!t, last night’s campsite was full of it and the tent team did an awesome job pitching tents between patties

- Blood glucose results, because my T:Slim and Dexcom CGM is holding up as well as me, thanks AMSL

- Positivity, strength of mind and determination, see you in Queenstown

By the way if the O35 team are not training and in the RSL planning tactics, have a beer for me and I think we can move on from 4-4-2, to 4-1-5…. I’ll take the mid-field once my feet have recovered. I’ve run enough.

Someone rattle the tin for JDRF too, thanks


Comments: Total (3) comments

Ian Read

Posted On: 07 Mar 2019 10:49 am

Nearly there!!! You must be incredibly tired but I have no doubt that you will see it through. To help you along we have come up with a cunning plan to draw you towards the finishing post and help you through the bad times. Whenever you are feeling rough just try to focus on the waving branches of trees and bushes by the side of the track 500m ahead. As you get closer you will see that its not a trees or bushes, its Juz and the boys and Jennifer, E and O waving to encourage you to keep going. Just before you reach them they will move down towards the finishing line to encourage you over another part of your run. If you look a bit further down the track you will see lots of what seem to be different coloured rocks half buried in the track. When you reach the rocks you will see that Jasper, Smudge, Shella, Dhillon, Sadie and Baxter are waiting to join you over the next few sections of your run. With the dogs running with you, you will need some pooh bags, so keep an eye on that person standing by the fence or gatepost a couple of hundred metres away as they seem to be holding some small black bags. As you get closer to the person you might think that it looks a bit like your Dad. As he gives you some pooh bags you notice he is crying. You ask him why the tears and he tells you - Because I am so very, very proud of you!!!

Sai Man

Posted On: 06 Mar 2019 05:11 pm

the next stage is the big one! Deep breath!

Jennifer Read

Posted On: 06 Mar 2019 12:34 pm

Not just #fitterforhavingit, you are #aninspirationforhavingit Go for it Uncle Duncs. Keep the drive, power and love ... next stage and only one to go. Xxx
Duncan Read
Stage 3

05 March 2019 09:55 am (GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Feeling good today. These races push you to your limits but today I felt the strength of everyone behind me and was strong all day.

I haven’t listed to music on the course but I was channelling some Rolling Stones ‘Sympathy for the devil’ lyrics. I must have sung it over and over for 20km. The meaning I’m taking from it is that there is always a little voice – a naysaying voice or disruptive force telling you that ‘you cant’. It’s everywhere in everyone, but having it makes us stronger. On the previous two stages the devil had almost stopped me, several times on each stage I wanted to crawl into a hole and sleep; give up. But not today. I used Jagger’s Devil and embraced it. 

Feeling great at camp, thanks to a cold river which was todays ice bath!

What I’m missing:

  • My playlist
  • Mum, Dad and Aunty Jen
  • Fresh food and veggies – the only good thing about eating a freeze dried meal is that my pack gets lighter
  • Young Henry’s cider, Gin and Tonic or a lager-top, just like they used to serve at Harrow on the Hill
  • My sunglasses which fell off in a river crossing and barring a miracle have been swept away
  • Juz, Will, Henry and Baxter

What I’m not missing

  • Support, thanks for emails and blog comments, I’m getting them
  • Care, thanks runners, checkpoint staff and medical team – you are awesome
  • Pink flags which mark the course, thanks course setting team you are legends running the course in the dark before us so we don’t get lost
  • Motivation, thanks Garry Mabbutt kids with type 1 need to know this type of adventure is awesome and possible
  • The sound of the volunteers and welcome drum as the finish for each stage looms near, it is better than Jagger and Richards


Comments: Total (3) comments

Justine Read

Posted On: 05 Mar 2019 09:03 pm

Hi dad. When you get back I'll make you a giant scrambled eggs. Love Henry. Hi dad. I think I did really well at rep trials. We are thinking of your a lot. Love Will. PS mum says she will give you lots of G&T and YH.

Jennifer Read

Posted On: 05 Mar 2019 08:31 pm

You’re half way there bro! Keep it going, keep that energy, keep our love with you. All the way.. xxx

Chris Peskett

Posted On: 05 Mar 2019 10:06 am

Hump day/night! Half way. Glad you had a good day. The finish line is getting closer and look at how far you’ve already come. Keep singing and channeling that energy.
Duncan Read
Stage 2 Show willing

05 March 2019 09:33 am (GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

The race directors names this stage after the Maori words for ‘bewilling’. Kia Maia.

We all needed that be willing – hammer to the heart inspiration today as it was going to be tough backing up from Stage 1 and running another marathon with some huge climbs. However, I think after completing the stage if the Maoris had named it themselves and as custodians of the land we ran across, they would have used their word for ‘up’. It was a relentless climb.

Several times I wanted to give up, but that’s why we are here. I will look back on this for a long time as potentially the best stage, because is was so dreadfully challenging. It is why we are all here afterall.

Things I’m missing

  • Family and friends, but your blog comments are inspiring thanks
  • A shower
  • Henry’s scrambled eggs
  • My work family day out at Luna Park – hope you had some ups and downs too CG
  • Elevators

Things I’m not missing

  • My spork, thanks Chris from Canada for giving me your spare when mine broke
  • Motivation, thanks Sam B to my ‘hammer to the heart’
  • Views, they are still awesome
  • My pack, it feels like it weights a ton!

Will, make sure you take Baxter for another long run

Comments: Total (0) comments

Duncan Read
Stage 1

03 March 2019 08:27 am (GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

Stage One – Not a marathon or a sprint

This is a long race and its not a sprint. But its not a marathon either, Todays stage was longer than a marathon and I felt every step. But we are not yet one fifth through. I was thinking about the things I missed and did not miss today.

Things I missed

  • Wills Rep cricket trial, hope it wet well buddy
  • A soft bed, the ground here is hard
  • Camp fires, its fun here but complete fire ban
  • Enough food before stage 3 check point, so I hit the wall but after a good feed finished well
  • My running partner ‘Baxter’
  • My super wife Juzzy

Things I didn’t miss

  • Pink tape markers or hot and cold water, thanks so much volunteers and course setters
  • Positivity, thanks Zac B it was in my veins and myhead today
  • Views, thanksWill R I ran with my head up and sawsomeawesome moutains
  • State and Federal politics, no thanks to Canberra and Macquarie St
  • A super hero cape, thnks Henry it was with me on every step
  • My second drinks bottle whick was found by Jas, whose company I enjoyed for part of the last leg

Tomorrows another stage


Comments: Total (6) comments

Sai Man

Posted On: 05 Mar 2019 12:15 am

Dig deep. Pace yourself today and soak it all in. Keep plenty in the tank for the Long March mate!!

Lisa Skarott

Posted On: 04 Mar 2019 11:53 am

Wow Duncan - you're incredible!! What an inspiration - best of luck xx

Jay Longville

Posted On: 03 Mar 2019 09:15 pm

Good work Duncs, keep it up, you'll crush it!

Megan Kinniburgh

Posted On: 03 Mar 2019 07:44 pm

Great work Duncan, one foot in front of the other. Truly inspiring. Best of luck from the Kinniburgh’s.

Chris Peskett

Posted On: 03 Mar 2019 11:00 am

Fantastic start matey. Step by step, goal by goal. Immense.

Justine Read

Posted On: 03 Mar 2019 10:37 am

Love the update. Bit concerned that Baxter features higher in the list than me. :) A massive well done on day one. Hope you sleep well. x
Duncan Read
Camp 1

02 March 2019 09:23 am (GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

One sleep to go

Nervous energy is high, and so are we. I’m most of the way up a mountain waiting for tomorrow to come.

Thanks for all of your messages of support. It’s time to go.

Comments: Total (1) comments

Justine Read

Posted On: 03 Mar 2019 06:18 am

First stage down. Super excited to see you finish. Hope you sleep well tonight. xx
Duncan Read
One step at a time

23 February 2019 05:21 am (GMT+10:00) Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

One week to go

A 250km trail run is a long way, even over seven days and six stages. Virtually six marathons in a week seems incredibly challenging. So, when I put my foot up against the start line in one week, I won’t be thinking about the finish line. I’ll be thinking about the things that will motivate me to take my first step and each step after that. 

Some of the ‘things’ I'll be thinking about are practical things. Quite boring things like the kit I’ve packed, the months of training I’ve done, my strategies to avoid blisters or manage the pain that might stop me before the end. I’ll try and limit my thoughts on the boring stuff. Instead I’ll be focusing on the things that inspired me to challenge myself again. These are the people I love and the people that have helped me along the way, and all of their messages of encouragement. I’ll carry these thoughts with me from my very first step to the last. In fact, at times these thoughts will carry me.

I’ll be at the start line next week because I love exciting adventures and I thrive on the sense of achievement that comes from completing a challenge. I’ll also be at the start because I have diabetes, not in spite of it.

Many people, including me, find life with diabetes can at times be a very big challenge in itself. JDRF do great work raising awareness and supporting research for people living with type 1. I'm running to share positive messages about living life with diabetes and being #fitterforhavingit 

Please help by donating to JDRF here

Comments: Total (2) comments

Jennifer Read

Posted On: 01 Mar 2019 03:01 pm

Go Bro. With you every step of the way. You are my inspiration and your advice and support (and Read determination) got me round the London Marathon!

Lyn Atkin

Posted On: 25 Feb 2019 04:27 am

Looking forward to meeting another fellow Aussie in Wanaka!! See you Saturday :-)