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May « 2009 « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog


Archive for May, 2009

2007 IAAF Cross-Country World Championships.

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Well training has been nothing compelling to blog about this week, I’ll go ver some nostaligia and share the weekend I spent in Mombassa Kenya of which was prior to my MT Kili accent.

The 2007 IAAF Cross Country World Championships where to be in Kenya and I had to be there since I was in country! I knew a few Kenyas that where racing so I was able to bum a ride down to the Malindi coast.

After a long journey I arrived and in town where we saw this huge banner that sayed “CROSS-COUNTRY COMES HOME” Very bold and very true statement I though.

Race day was hot and humid and for the first time since 1997, they would only hold the long course race! 8km for the woman and 12km for the men.


Both junior races where dominated by Kenyans!

The crowds keep screaming,




Since they had the podium! I even think top 4…


Then it was time for the woman!

The start was fast and my friend Lornah Kiplagat wasted no time setting her pace. She led the group on the first lap with Dibaba on her heels! But like she had trained, she increased the pace gradually and won with a big enuff lead that allowed her to grab a Dutch flag and wrap herself in it for the last 100m or so.

The Japaness woman ran as a group, from start to almost finish!


Heres me and Lornah some time after her race!


She did get booed a lot! But those booooers are poorly informed.

Lornah was born in Kenya, married her Ducth coach/manager and got very good funding and sponsors in Holland! Now, she has a training centre in Iten, where I stayed for many months. She has a program that assist young female kenyan runners to acheive good grades through home schooling at the training center all the while working part time for the mizugu tourist (White people) and with the ultimate outcome to send these un-privilidge girls to american university for equald life oppertunities… When I was there 2 years ago, they had already sent about 30 girls over the spand of 5 years to shcools like MIT, Harvart, UCLA, ect. All on running schoolarships! Woah!

So, to the mens race.

Ready, steady, START!


First group was Kenya/Etheiopoa/Eritria/Quatar

Second group was Tanzania/Uganda/RSA/Marocco.

Third group was Japan/North America/Europe

And then a string of miscelanious nations.


I was mezmorized by the running technik and bio mechanics of the first group.

-Tight arms against their core, pumping furiously.

-They did use their entire feet to run.

-When going slow, then landed flat footed

-When in cruize control, almost overstriding they would landed on their heel and rooling onto their arch and off their toes.

-And then, when attacking or finishing, they would go up up on their tipy toes!


Some drama at the end, while Bekele of Ethiopia was in a breakaway with Tadese from Eritria, Bekele would put in a seiours and impressive accelaration to go for the win but to only to be counter attacked and then passed and dropped! This is the present 5000m and 10 000m world record holder and going for his 6th strait x-country title!!


Moments later, a few meters away from me, Bekele would go off course and start walking with his head looking at the grass…His skin was shinning from all the sweat and his little quads where full of veins.

At that very moment, the entire crowd started to celebrate because a Kenyan was in 4th and now is in 3rd position.

2nd position was also a Kenyan.

As I tried to get an upclose picture of him, the Kenyan spectators would start to throw whatever rubbish they could get their hands on. Rocks/soda cans/wood whatever!

No picture since he ran away really fast…

Long distance………………..

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Long distance is a vivid part of my present career. Now the exaustion of a long distance relationship is really kicking in…We have been together for about 6 months now —-> source—>facebook marital status setion.

It’s not like where maried or have kids or live together or been in this for years now and a brake to get some space feels good.

Even then we would only see each other on weekends or at races daily with phone calls every night at 8pm sharp! I will take this moment to thank the Sun Phone Network for allowing free Sun to Sun calls :)

Thanx god for SKYPE






My birthday cake!


Look closely at the straw ;)

Valentines day XOXOXOXOXO





My MT Kilimanjaro Climb!

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Training has been nothing interesting to blog about this week so I will share my trip to MT Kilimanjaro in March 2007.

After a strip to the Nalindi coast of Kenya to watch the IAAF x-country worlds I decided to go and climb the highest mountain in Africa. I wasn’t able to find any body else who wanted to go and trek with me so I headed off solo.

In Mombasa, I boarded a bus towards Moshi, which is the down that divides Kenya and Tanzania. Mt Kili is actually on the very border of Kenya and Tanzania.

The journey was loong hot and pumpy! Except for a few indians that spoke fluent Swahili, I was the only white guy on the bus and thats when I was sporting the “Jesus” look.

Once in Moishi, I got off the bus, immediatly I was swarmed by a dozen men screaming “Mt Kili Mt Kili Mt Kili Mt Kili” They where typical east Africans with dark skin and big white smiles. It was starting to get dark so after a very very quick evaluation of my options, I decided to go with a porter whos name was Jasper!

Just because I think its a cool name and there Jasper National park of which I visited when I worked on the rigs because I gave a ride to my driller Gary, to his home in Jasper town!

Anyway, I check in a hotel and gave an advance payment to my porter so he could get things started. I felt un-easy about this but he insisted. He sayed he had to buy the treking food at the morning market!

Next day things went fast, my porter woke me up in my room and he had a the food ready and taxi! WOW!

So after atking out some money from the ATM, changing it into US dollars (thats all they take for the license to climb the Mountain” very strange eh!

We rented some climbing equipement, got a map and we where SET!


The base camp is located at 1600m . I had been living at 8000 feet for about 2 months at that point so I felt fresh to attack the mountain!


Busy camp Mandara Huts at 2720m during mid-day.


The walk from base camp was about 15km uphill, we did it quick, so we agreed to head to camp 2 since we still had some day lite!


1400m higher and 12 more km and we got there. Inside the cabins where we sleep:


Sunset above the clouds…Priceless!


Next day, last water stop! Oh, and at this point, wearing sungalsses is very important!

Camp 3, Kibo huts, 4700m… Into thin air and my lungs can feel it!


After a terrible sleep, with howling winds, cold beds and other making noises, I got up at 1am to get ready so I can climb in the peace of night and watch the sunset from the top of Afrika!


The final push to the top wa sthe hardest…I packed to much food and water and extra clothing, I was gasping to air…and I was too cheap to buy some bottle oxygen from base camp….Extra wait I convinced myself! We had to do switchbacks to get to the crest and take many breaks, well I had to take the brakes, my porter was fine! We passed others that had left earlier in the morning because there would climb at a lesser pace…


A picture is worth a million words! But I was too early for the sun rise…


On the way down, I crossed Gilmans point…


The way down was much harched on my legs than the way up!! OUCH my hip flexors and quads! Form the top to the bottom in about 14 hours! That 40 km downhill!! Possibly good for running up here eh?


This is me and my porter Jasper at the bottom, undulging in a Kilimanjaro brew!


Just after this picture, I got very sick for 3 days… I went up and down the mountain in about 60 hours! The average is 5 days…But my proter got to go bakc up the mountain with other clients, so we wasn’t holdind me back and I was my usual impatient self think, the world record for the up and down is 8 hours. I only took 60 hours??

But to Sum up the trip, this was a great experience that I would recommend to anybody who goes to East Afrika, the climb is quite easy. I think Elton John is the most famous person to go up!

Trip 2 Borneo Island.

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

2 weekends ago me and my girlfriend traveled to the Malaysian part of Borneo Island…

Borneo is the 3rd largest island in the world and is the host to 3 countries: Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. And is only a 1:50 min flight for the Philippine Islands. Actually, Borneo is closer to the Philippines than mainland East Malaysia!

The goal of this trip is to do some canvasing towards a possible new living and heat training base for me and my girl :)

From me research on the web and word to mouth, I knew that this is a mellow prospering town, in between the beach and jungle, with some very modern training facilities and roads to the inland interconnecting the many outdoor adventure attractions!

Here are some photos:

My sunburnt back after IM Chna!

Local swim pools @ Likas Sports Complex.


Me with a million questions to ask!


Quiet track and local univeristy.

Sunset @ beach close to airport.


Inside bus 1rm bus from downtown to 1Borneo hypermall


My escort for the trip ;)


The goodness of the food impressed me! Miscelanious cultures living on the island like chinesse-malay-indians-philipinnos-australians-europeens-indonesian have you something different to taste each day of the week!


Mt Kinabalu, the higest mountain in South East Asia standing 4095m or 13 455 feet above seas levels.

File:MtKinabalu view from kundasan.jpg

Finally going back home!

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Well its been 2 years and 4 months since I was last in Canada. I did not reach my initial objective of competing at the 2008 Olympics, but if I put the bigger picture in perspective, I gained much more, than Olympic Rings…

The journey started on a drilling rig in Northern Alberta, where I could save some ca$h to fund my journey.

Then, Kenya/Tanzania/Uganda/ Ethipioa/France/Italie/Holland/Switzerland/Singapore/Thailand/Malaysia/Philipinnes/Burma/China/Japan/Borneo…

This might sound clichee, that I learn’t more about myself than the rest of the open world.

3 things I need to be happy:


-Good Food

-Shower everyday

3 things that I DONT need to be happy:




I also learned from the world how first impressions are so important, especialy when in a position of minority or just transiting through.

And of course how I good I have it in Canada. Duuuuhhhhhh!

The most painfull though, is always leaving a place I have settled down for a few months, or a year. Saying good bye, see ya next time I see ya, has been by far, the most unpleasant moments of the journey…