Super Maro!

Good morning folks

I trust you had an almightily awesome weekend.
Here is the weekly wrap-up of the week in “La locura de Lima”…
A busy old week, monthly end of cycle exams clashing with two-monthly exams resulted in a “Perfect Storm” situation. On my third red pen already!
A bit of good news and a very, very difficult decision to make…
Super Maro!

MAROWorld class Physio Maro Piper, with one of her runners, Manuelito, who won the Paracas 100K (2015)

In 1987 I tore my hamstring playing football (the last time I disgraced myself trying to play). I went to a Physio at Leeds Carnegie who was so bad that it was untrue. Expensive, rude, rough and with the people skills of a Rottweiler (no disrespect to the dogs!)
Most runners will spend their hard-earned bra$$ on shoes and gear, but when their body starts playing up they never think about seeing a professional and just keep plugging on, until they grind to a halt.
THEN they go to see a Specialist, and their recovery takes forever (and probably costs a lot more than it would have, if they had gone earlier!)
Just before the RPP Marathon, in a block of very intense training, my body decided that I wasn´t 18 anymore and the wheels fell off, I tore my left hamstring, bugger!
I went to the first Physio that could fit me in and they managed to mis-diagnose my diagnosis and gave me all the wrong treatment/advice, resulting in me being even more crocked after 2 weeks, double bugger!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen, my mate Saucony Jhon put me on to his Physio (and Coach), an amazing lady called Maro. A Dutch Physiotherapist with 46 years of experience and 35 of those working with running related injuries, this remarkable lady really knows her stuff!
My first appointment was a relevation. Walking into her waiting room, the were absolutely chocker-full with photos of runners, Pro-surfers (including a World Champion) and other sportspeople, but mainly runners. Photos of athletes in races, where Maro had helped them to “get back on the road” and achieve their dreams! Unlike my previous (disastrous) Physio experience, Maro started our session with a lot of questions about my history, previous injuries and other details (which had not been asked at “Physios R us” down the road).
Several sessions of ultrasound treatment (I am definitely not pregnant), manipulation and stretching and Maro told me “Try it out!”
Which I did, and was amazed/overjoyed to discover that my leg felt brand new!
Not only did Maro get me back on the road again, but she gave me a unique insight into the world of Peruvian athletics and also her extensive knowledge of running.
Maro is the trainer of a small and exceptionally talented group of runners who have all had success here in Peru and further afield, on the road, on the trails and in the mountains. (My mate Jhon, is one of this elite team).
Racewise, all my plans had been scrapped anyway and I do have a long upward struggle to get back to where I was, but it just feels good to be out running again.All thanks to the miracle working of Maro :-) shorts(Barnsley 6 1987, shorts were short back then!)




In my street there are three blokes who are obsessed with tinkering with and washing their cars, every single day:

Señor Mark V Escort.
Señor Old Lada.
Señor Nissan Cherry.

The sum value of all fleabay bangers (with all respect to their owners) must be about £300.
(However, second hand cars here are ridiculously overpriced).

Señor Mark V Escort spends all his time washing his wheels and fixing a permanently flat front tyre.

Señor Old Lada washes his pre-war tank, whilst revving it to within an inch of its life.

Señor Nissan Cherry has an alarm that goes off every 2 minutes. Any noise/movement sets it off; motorbikes passing, cats, dogs, the Binmen, etc. He is up at 6:30am washing, cleaning, dusting and tickling it with a Ken Dodd style duster, whilst it is running, but (like most of the trio) never really drives it anywhere.

I noticed a lack of alarm noise one night and saw Señor Nissan Cherry in the Supermercado. Somebody had tail-ended him and he had crashed into a bus in front, (it is close quarters combat here, a bit like dominos). He told me he’d been quoted S/4000 (a whisker short of a Grand).
I said “You’re not going to pay that are you?”
He looked at me in contempt and said it was getting done right now!


(Image courtesy of
BG – Looking after their World…

For 12mths of 2007-2008 (including a rather harsh winter) Lina and I lived a romany lifestyle in a (static) caravan. We didn’t sell lucky heather, nor read folk’s palms, we just did it to save a bit of bra$$, as we were starting at zero. I was doing my first stint at the Brewery and we lived a fairly frugal lifestyle. It paid off as we saved up enough for a deposit for a diddy little house in Morley, Leeds, (home of Craiiiiig David).

bs(Image courtesy of

When I went to apply for a mortgage, it was a time when house prices were sky-high, but the banks/building societies were throwing money at the punters (Skipton Building Society offered me £155,000 on the back of one wage slip, when I was working as a Temp! There was no way in the world that I could pay a mortgage that big, that was one of the reasons the banks had “problems” soon after…)11511_10152742552790302_1986302346_n
Anyway, we lived in the house for quite a few years and then after the 2012 rally, we agreed on “one more adventure” then we would try and save some money (by renting our house out).dcThe week before we set off on our trans-European jaunt with the Dixie Chickens, we moved out of the house and back into the caravan. The day we got back, Lina discovered that she was expecting the Nipper!

We had already rented out our place and had a couple of good tenants in, then things started falling to pieces. The rent just covers the mortgage, but with “deductions” we lose money. (I’ll never be a rich man). Then the estate agent forgot to put 2mths rent in and I was being a bit slack in checking the account, so it went into meltdown, the start of our problems…
I had to transfer the best part of a month’s wages from here, to fill a gap, whilst the estate agents sorted their act out. This left us short here, and then the tenants moved out.
We got some new tenants in, but they started to have problems with the boiler (alarm bells). No problem, the famous gas company (first name: A nationality beginning with “B”, second name “Gas”) who had sold us their cover years back, who I’d been paying £40 a month, since time began and had promised “We will service and fix any boiler problems. If we can’t fix it, we’ll replace it!”

plubmer logo(Image taken from:

Then they changed the goalposts…
You need a Powerflush” I was told. £700+ and if BG don’t do it, the policy is invalid!
I asked around a few plumbers who said that a Powerflush probably wouldn’t fix it.
So now, we need a new boiler :-(
(Which does work out at a few bob!)
A difficult decision…
All of the above has put us in a predicament.26431586
Originally Peru was intended to be a 2 year plan. Then we’d review things.
Why 2 years? Because the Nipper is getting to the age when she needs to be getting an education (they start at 3yrs old here).
So, we have to decide; Peru or back to Blighty?
It is not as straightforward as that though, as Lina is studying (extremely hard) to be a Teacher, and her course lasts 5 years.

I work 6 days a week and we only just “get by”. (We did have a bit of a cushion, but all the above blew that). I do a job I like, but it’s not for the money.

(You show me an English Teacher who does it for the brass and I’ll show you a field full of unicorns, eating 4-leaved-clovers, in El Dorado!)

The city does drive me to despair, even on a good day, it is a classic case/example of unadulterated chaos! I’ve not been able to “escape” to the mountains on foot/the Clunk recently and it has made me:a) Very grumpy :-/

b) Realise that is what it is, an “escape”. You have to come back to reality straight afterwards and what a reality this place is!So, I’m left with limited options and no straightforward choices. Whatever I do, I’ll do wrong and will be judged accordingly. What does one do?
(Answers/suggestions on a postcard please!)

As always, watch this space…

v1(This is the face that the Wee One pulls at me most days!)

And finally!
There is a 30 year old cyclist from the Isle of Skye, who never fails to amaze, impress and inspire me in equally huge doses, you will have heard of him, he is Danny courtesy of
Sponsored by Red Bull and Inspired Cycles, the man has cojones bigger than a Brahma Bull.
He shot to fame in “Way Back Home” and a multitude of other incredible videos, including a traverse of the epic Cullin Skye ridge (no mean feat walking it!)
His latest offering is a really cool and well made film called “Wee Day Out” and it is well worth a watch. Check it out HERE!
(Obviously a man this incredible has a website, which you can peruse right HERE).
Happy pedalling!
Wishing you a week overflowing with awesomeness.
Johnny, Lina & the Nipperv2

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