Game over – Cusco-a-no-go :-(


Good morning folks

I trust you had a mightily fine weekend and that this finds you in tiptop form.
Here is your weekly wrap-up of Lima news and goings-on:

- Home alone with the Nipper!
- The ex-president and his wife have been jailed!
– A mini-Ibiza foam party in our street.
– 2017 running plans in tatters after a freak accident/incident/mishap…

Home alone…


Lina is away all week on a course so the bairn and I are home alone.
I think the Wee One is just entering the “no” stage, so as long as she gets her own way in everything, all the time, we are fine!
We have been wearing a trail to the park, not a local one, one a way away, which the Nipper prefers. Still trying to work out a routine which actually works, we’ll get there.


1Her favourite song right now is “I am the music man”, which she insists on me dancing to.
As we were cutting through the dodgy bit of the neighbourhood, (where I tell her to keep her voice down), she started shouting “Oggy-oggy-oggy, oi-oi-oi!”
I am worried that she is turning into a hooligan, but she does make me laugh :-)


Banged up!

Ollanta Humala was the Peruvian president between 2011-2016.

He was replaced by PPK (not the James Bond gun) last July.
Ollanta and his missus, Nadine Heredia, didn’t quite run a completely straight operation and have been detained prior to their money laundering case (for fear that they flee the country, which is just what ex-president Toledo has done, who is on a bribery charge).
The Brasilian ex-president, Silva, who is currently doing 9.5 years time in the same sorry mess of a case, the infamous “Car Wash” operation, in which an ex-judge died in a mysterious plane crash, (just before the case began).


Conicidentally Ollanta’s brother, Antauro, is also serving a 25-year sentence for a siege in 2005, he is in the same Nick as Abimael Guzmán (ex Sendero Luminoso/Shining Path leader) and ]Víctor Polay, leader of the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (Japanese Embassy siege crisis, 1996), and, ironically, Vladimiro Montesinos, the former head of the National Intelligence Service who supervised the construction of the prison and served under the (also imprisoned) ex-President Alberto Fujimori. It must be a bit awkward at breakfast time if they’re all in the same queue for porridge.
It is indeed a complicated web that is weaved in Latin American politics!


(p.s.  Don’t feel too sorry for Humala, his “cell” is 190m² and has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room, TV, computer and a patio. He’s not exactly sharing a 6′x8′ with Grossberger!)



At dinnertime on Saturday the Nipper was invited to a party (that afternoon at 4pm), so we had work to do! (Not one to miss a knees-up is the Wee One!)

First we had to go and buy a pressie at Jockey Plaza, which with one pair of hands is a handful.
Gift selected, back home, got washed, spruced up and to the party for 4pm, nobody there!
(Punctuality is not a big thing here).

The party was for a neighbour’s son, Valentina doesn’t really know the lad and didn’t know anybody else there, so she was cagey at first but then got on the trampoline and loved it so much that she didn’t want to get off!


I am still new to the world of kid’s parties, I have a lot to learn (and I still haven’t seen Frozen nor been to a Frozen party, so I’m doing well!)


Here, there is always an entertainer/show of some shape or form. Hard to explain, but it’s normally a young lass with an unfeasibly high voice who appears to have consumed excssive sugar, e-numbers (or drugs!)


They seem to have an ability to whip their crowds into a frenzy and all was going well until three separate people suddenly got out aerosols. “Silly string”, I thought, not seen that for ages, but no it appeared to be shaving foam! The Nipper wasn’t too impressed.
They sprayed me with shampoo!” she complained.


At the end we got a goodie bag with 10,000 calories of sugary tucker and some Playdo, which the bairn has been putting all around the house, I’ve given up trying to keep up with the tidying up, so it’ll have to be a marathon clean on Friday (when Lina is back!)

Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours…

I may have mentioned the fact that I don’t get on with my “vecinos”. I don’t know if I have just copped for a bunch of duffers, or if this is normal?


The block of flats I live in seems to have been built from candy floss, sound is carried perfectly.
Our delightful neighbours upstairs row like cat and dog, slam doors and appear to be moving heavy furniture from 10am to about midnight. They do appear to sleep a while before starting cooking, banging and crashing around 5am. (They have a liquidiser which sounds like it would crush rocks, it is my 5:15am alarm. I don’t get up ’til 5:30am!)
A drill seems to be the tool of choice for any DIY job and these are generally used from about 6am to midnight.
Along with three (soon to be four) blocks of flats being built on the block, any chance of sleep is purely dream material.
Oh well, it could be worse…


Cusco-a-no-go :-(


If this was purely a running blog, it would make for grim reading. I love running, it has been a big part of my life since I was 11 years old. I’ve never been especially good, but if you train hard you can get good results. On top of that, it is my escape from the madness of Lima chaos.
The surrounding fells are not glamourous by any stretch of imagination, but they beat the busy streets.

At the start of the year I was allocated my holidays. Here you are given a month (no ad-hoc days) off and mine was August. I quickly filled an empty calendar with races revolving around THE ANDES RACE. A 100km mega climbathon in the Andes at the end of August.
(Lina is working and the Nipper is at school, as it is winter here there are no holidays for them, but they do get 3mths off in the New Year).

All my races and training have been planned round this, but it has been a year of injuries, accidents and illnesses (plus the usual clumsy mishaps that I am good at). My last race “Ultra Trail 69″ was a disastrous mix of really bad guts and lack of acclimatisation.

August did have more days on the calendar at altitudes above 10000ft than at sea level, I had it all planned.

A plan comes before a fall” is my reluctant motto!

steeple hit

After a hip problem, I had literally just started training again. I have done all of my training on the hills recently, but thought I’d best take it steady and was out for a pedestrian plod down to “El Pentagonito”, a stretch of pavement circuiting the Military Intelligence base. I was in my own little world when I rounded a blind corner to find a gardener had strung up a hosepipe (enclosed in plastic piping) about 2.5ft above the ground, in between two bankings, so it was invisible until I was upon it. No time to stop, so I instinctively hurdled it…


Not being Colin Jackson, Saif Saaeed Shaheen nor Desert Orchid, (although I have run the 100m hurdles once, 3000m steeplechase once and a pony gymkhana, twice), my legs got a bit of a shock and a twinge, turned into an ache, which turned into a pain that meant I could barely walk 2 hours later.


A stupid, innocuous little thing that has sidelined me at a bad time. It is not a showstopper, more like a wheel falling off with two other slow punctures. The timing is incredible.
6 weeks before the Andes Race and 3 weeks before altitude training was due to start.

Super Maro, my Physio, has  been trying her best to get me moving again and has confirmed that it is a torn “soleus”, the quiet muscle behind the calf that does all the graft in longer distance/hilly stuff. Rest is the only cure and this will leave me with insufficient time to get fit again, so it’s all fallen to pieces :-(

(The last time I tore my calf was 3 days before the 1988 English Schools National Cross Country championships, again perfect timing!)

I’m not an Olympic athlete, nor do it for a job (nor am I much cop!)
However, I had put a lot of graft in.
Talk about falling at the final hurdle.
It all needs a rethink and a new plan now, as Cusco is crossed off the calendar with a marker pen :-(


And finally…


This weekend sees the 5th anniversary of our little jaunt from Morley to Mongolia. The 2012 Mongol Rally.
It was a life changing trip and one I think/daydream about every day.

tra4 tra5

Just in case you sidestepped our MONGOL RALLY WORLD PREMIERE, here is our film, (for which I am forever indebted to our rally guru, Matthew P, who magically stitched 5000 hours of footage into 15 minutes):


It is only 15 minutes long, but if you only have 100 seconds spare right now, watch THIS!

Watch this and try not be tempted :-)

tra1 tra2 tra3

That’s all for now folks!

Have a superbly awesome week.

Johnny & the Nipper




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