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2nd Attempt: Day 274. Our Christmas. Saturday 25th December 2010, 39.9km, Steps 46696 (12/25/2010)


D and I slept in a little, it was my Christmas present to her but as soon as she was awake she was on the Bureau of Meteorology website to check the weather as it had rained very heavily last night and it was still pouring down. The news was that Tropical Cyclone Tasha crossed the coast at 5am this morning just south of Cairns which meant that it was doing to be a very wet day with the already flooded land receiving more water. This meant that flood warnings were starting to be announced and roads were being closed around us. 
We quickly got ourselves ready and drove back to Alligator Creek (yesterday’s GPS spot) where we meet D’s brother – in –law for a quick Christmas breakfast of ham and cheese croissants with orange juice and champagne. 
Even though it was running heavily D was anxious to get going as there were several flooded roads ahead of us and D wanted to get through them before the water level rose too high and they closed the roads. I got myself prepared to start running but D told me a firm NO! I looked at her and told her I wanted to support her on this horribly wet Christmas day but she said that all the lagoons and rivers surrounding the roads that we are running on today are croc infested and as this roads are flooded the crocs can be in the water and she just didn’t want me to end up some crocs Christmas lunch. My concern for myself wavered as D would be running the roads I asked her “How about you? What are you going to do?” She told me that the rules state you need to run EVERY         step around Australia and she WOULD run through flooded river and lagoon crossing even thought there were crocs around.   I tell you folks for the rest of the day every time we came to flooded roads that D ran through I just held my breath and hoped that some croc didn’t think D would make a good piece of Christmas lunch.
After a very stressful run where D even managed to get in two national radio interviews we managed to get to Giru our designated location for the day. We were meet there by Mr Gazziola from the Giru lions who presented us with a $300 donation and helped us set up at the Giru Arts Centre with power so we could finally have a bit of Christmas celebrations. D had GPS off and taken off her running shoes, unstrapped her feet and was having a beer and talking to her mum who was starting the preparations to cook our Christmas dinner when a local Giru resident drove up. We all thought he was doing to wish us a Merry Christmas and we all said hello with big smiles on our faces. Our smiles soon turned to looks of concern as unfortunately he wasn’t there to give us Christmas cheer but to tell us that we need to get out of Giru as the Haughtons River will be in flood by the morning and Giru has been issued with a flood warning and if we didn’t get past the river we would be flooded in and D wouldn’t be able to continue forward. The local told us if we went an extra 10kms to Greenacres which was on higher ground we should be safe so in extreme pouring rain and approaching dark D put her running shoes back on and ran like the wind (well as fast as D could run) to Greenacres. It was lucky that she did as when we crossed the Haughtons River it was ready to break its banks and there would be no way we would be crossing that river in the morning. 
We finally got to Greenacres Roadhouse at about 7pm, it had been a very stressful and emotional day not only because of the cyclone, running through croc infested flooded roads, or having to run extra in very dangerous road conditions but also it would have been D’s nanna’s 92nd birthday today (she having died just 5 days ago on the 20th) so D was totally whipped and all she wanted to do was go to bed. But D’s mum, the trooper she is said that we were going to have our Christmas no matter what and she cooked a beautiful traditional German roast Christmas meal of duck and turkey with potato dumplings and kale.  Soul food to help heal all our soul. As D and her family finally sat down at 9.30pm to eat and celebrate Christmas D turned to me and said. “We are the lucky ones Maggie here we are safe and surrounded by our loved ones, what more could a girl and her dog ask for on this day.”
Running with you soon.
Maggie (Director of Greeting)
Total steps: 15,623,372          Total kms: 12456.7km
Recorded from D’s GPS that is always on her as she runs, recording the record.
GPS co-ords start: S 19 23.468’ E 146 57.812’
GPS co-ords finish: S 19 33.794’ E 147 09.268’

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