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2nd Attempt: Day 201. Honesty is the best policy. Wednesday 13th October 2010, 51.7km, Steps 63572 (10/13/2010)

We left Pine Creek at dawn as we were heading out of town a man we had spoken to last night at the pub gave us, a $50 donation he told D he was giving her $10 for each time she had run/walked the Darwin to Katherine road.  We thanked him and proceed towards the highway just before the turnoff we noticed a nice dirt track that ran parallel to the highway so D decided to run along that for a while. Lucky for D that she wears her GPS watch so we can travel on such tracks, as D is always conscious of her feet and taking care of them due to her surgery and running on the dirt is softer on the feet than pounding the pavement all the time. 

As I trotted along with D I thought about last year as we ran up this road and D had her yet un-diagnosed broken feet. I wondered how on earth did D travel that 857kms from Elliot to Darwin and back down 99kms to the point without succumbing to driving in the car or just having a day off, after all, who would know if you didn’t do the whole run out here in the middle of nowhere? I told D my thoughts and she replied “I would know, Maggie and I would have to live with the fact that I cheated”.
But how do people know you haven’t cheated I asked “That’s why I wear a GPS whilst I run, it records all our distance, time, speed etc and downloads this and a map showing where we have run everyday. That way you can’t really get into a car and drive a distance”, she chuckled “as I think people would notice our pink trucks driving down the hwy at about 8 kilometres and hour without a runner in front of it”.
D then told me about a few so call record attempts when the solo long distance runners have not done what they said they did. I asked how they got away with it?  In the past,  she explained, before GPS technology, a car odometer was usually the main source of recording distance for a days run/walks and it was is quite easy to just drive the distance and say you have run/walked it, who’s to know. I said to D that we also record the odometer readings why’s that? She told me that we record the record in 4 different ways, odometer in lead car, GPS in lead car, GPS on D’s wrist and a pedometer, that way she said that we can truly prove we have done every step and kilometre. She did go on to say that after all one could probably cheat all these methods but at the end of the day the honesty of the person doing the record and the openness to show people what you are doing counts.
As a storm hit us in the afternoon, I asked D what on earth possessed her at the time to continue running last year on broken feet and she said her usual answer: the solo – distance continuous ultra marathon rules state that you cannot us a car for any distance, you must run everyday with no days off and you must run a minimum of 20 kms a day and due to these rules and her desire to finish the run and raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation she just keep running even though the pain was incredible. 
Besides D said “If you don’t follow the rules you really haven’t achieved the goal and it would be cheating”.  Of course my D would never cheat it’s just not in her. One of D’s values in life is to be a role model for the next generation and as D says “How could I look into the eyes of the kids I speak with knowing that I have cheated on the run, I just couldn’t live with myself, and besides you can never truly come across as an honest person if you are not one inside and somehow kids just know this.”
After talking all day about records, running and honesty before I knew it we had done our daily distance and the crew had found a nice bush camp at the 40kms to Katherine sign. I sighed as bush camping meant there would be no air-con tonight but luckily the afternoon rain had brought a little relief from the high humidity and there was a slight breeze so I might get some sleep tonight.


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