Monday, 12 February 2018

Chapter 89 : the Queens Domain (Part 3)


Other areas of interest on the Domain

Government House. 

Built in 1855-8 and regarded as one of the best Vice-Regal residences in the Commonwealth.
Government house is a picturesque building of brown and white sandstone surrounded by extensive gardens next to the botanical gardens.

Royal Botanical Gardens

Crops including wheat, corn, barley and vegetables were grown on the site from 1806. The Royal Botanical Gardens were begun officially in 1818.
The gardens have many plant collections, significant trees and the world’s only sub-Antarctic house.
A productive area is regularly seen on Gardening Australia.

Domain Athletic Centre

An Olympic standard 400 meter oval track with all the facilities for all standard track and field events.

Hobart Aquatic Centre

Built about 20 years ago. Has hosted many major events and provides aquatic and gym facilities for the locals. 

Domain Tennis Centre

The leading tennis centre in Tasmania currently hosting a leading women’s tournament in January every year.
Began in 1964 with an exhibition match between Margret Court and Billie-Jean King who were two of the best female players in the world. Today it has a variety of courts with synthetic or artificial clay or grass. Also a bar and a string lab to repair rackets.

Soldiers Memorial Avenue

The first trees were planted in 1918. Since 2002 the avenue has been restored with new bronze plaques.
The avenue commemorates 520 Tasmanians who died serving in WW1. In 1914 Tasmania’s population was 200,000.  Extrapolate that and today we would have 1,300 Tasmanians dying overseas in a military conflict.

Beaumaris Zoo

Beaumaris Zoo was relocated from Battery Point in 1923. It was constructed in an old quarry which had been rehabilitated. The zoo featured tea rooms and band concerts on Sundays.

The zoo was where the haunting video of a Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) pacing his cage was taken. That tiger died in 1936. It was the last known thylacine. The zoo closed in 1937 but a lot of the enclosures remain.

Powder Magazine

The powder magazine was built in 1851. Its guard house was built at the same time and a short, safe distance away.  The powder magazine was used to store gunpowder for military and civil purposes. The magazine was closed in 1970.

Hobart TCA Ground

This cricket ground with picket fence and historical grandstands (built from 1880-1950) is worth a look.  It is not the cricket ground immediately below the parkrun.  It is further on down the Domain.

Colvin Stand

The Hobart regatta has been going since 1838. The Colvin stand was built in 1919-1920.

Cenotaph

A monument commemorating people who died on service in various conflicts from 1914 to today. 
A major event is held here on ANZAC DAY each year.

Boer War Memorial

A bronze statue of a soldier erected in 1905 to commemorate Tasmanians who died in Southern Africa is situated in front of the Aquatic Centre.

An estimated 860 Tasmanians and 800 Tasmanian horses served in South Africa. An estimated 39 Tasmanians lost their lives during the conflict.

The statue is in a very prominent position. It tells us two things. In 1905 the Domain was an important place in Tasmania and the Boer war was a major event in Tasmanian society. 

Chapter 88 : the Queens Domain (Part 2)


During or after your parkrun on the Queens Domain you may glimpse something of interest. I will attempt to answer the question, “What is that?”





WWII DEFENSE FORCE SITE  

Between 1939-1945 a number of defense force installations were built on the Domain. These included workshops, camps, training facilities, searchlight batteries and air raid shelters. All that remains are some concrete slabs on the east side of the hill.

Building of a searchlight and air raid shelters in Hobart shows us the way the people of Hobart at the time were thinking.



BLUESTONE CULVERTS


Roads on the Domain are present on a map from 1887. The culverts present today are of a hybrid nature. The earliest components may relate to the 19th C.

QUARRIES


There have been at least ten quarries on the Domain. Now they are visible as hollows with rock faces or rock walls.
One quarry was turned into Beaumaris Zoo.  Another became the site for the Hobart Aquatic Center. The quarries provided sandstone for construction of buildings in Hobart and dolerite for road building.  Government House, buildings in Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens and the powder magazine were all built with sandstone from quarries on the Domain.

A notable quarry is located near Clearys Gates and is now used by the council as a depot. This quarry began in the 1850s and 1860s.


WIRELESS STATION

On top of the hill are a number of sheds. Douglas Mawson erected a 184 foot high radio mast with the aim of radio communication with Macquarie Island. In 1911 after erecting his radio mast Douglas Mawson went to the Antarctic.
The radio operated as part of the maritime safety network until 1946. 

Cleary Gates Road

In 1853 Malcolm or Martin Cleary was transported as a convict. For stealing a watch and clothes in Ireland. In 1856 he was given a conditional pardon.  In 1865 he was appointed as policeman on the Domain.
While working on the Domain he assisted in the catching of several smugglers.  Along with most police of that time he had an extra life. In his case it involved keeping a flock of goats on the Domain, which was fenced and had a number of gates. He had the first angora goats in Tasmania. In 1884 Cleary resigned to run a hotel in Melbourne.

Max’s Infinity Loop

The official name for the parkrun track. Named after Max Cherry. He was widely respected as an athletic coach and coached for over 50 years.  He passed away in 2008. 
Max talked about a circle having no start or finish and going on forever. A circle was infinite. Max talked about how your dreams should be infinite like a circle. 



The oak tree

Is visible from the bush track part of the parkrun. It guards the top of the track to the botanical gardens. It is a magnificent specimen containing magical and mystical qualities. Something mysterious most have happened here at some time in the past.  Perhaps under a full moon.





chapter 87 : the Queens Domain (Part 1)


In 1860 the Governor (the Queen’s representative) handed the land to the people of Tasmania. There was no big announcement or handover ceremony. The people of Hobart did not change their attitude or behavior towards the Domain. They had always looked on the domain as being land owned by everyone for the benefit of everyone.

It was years later that the Governor is credited with saying, “The Queens Domain belongs to the people of Hobart.” 

We know one thing for certain.  The Queen mentioned in the name Queens Domain, Queen Victoria, never saw her Domain. It is unlikely she knew much about her Domain.

The Domain is an area of degraded native bush.  Native animals such as bandicoots, wallabies and possums have been seen but no snakes. Plants on the threatened species’ lists grow there.

It was originally inhabited by the Mouheneenner aboriginal people. Their traditional area was from here up the Derwent River. The Domain was a popular area because it was protected from extreme weather, provided plenty of game and was close to shellfish. There are many middens below the Domain along the Derwent River.

In the 19th Century the main activities on the Domain were cricket and strolling. It was also busy at regatta time.
The main public debate was how to get rid of its wild state and show it was under the control of a civilized community.  There was a lot of talk about drives, avenues, planting trees and formal gardens. The main reason we missed out on acres of formal gardens is because nobody could work out a way to pay for the landscaping.

The Domain was always seen as a place for recreation.  In the 19th C the main physical activities by the people of Hobart on the Domain were strolling or promenading.  Running on the Domain as a recreational activity was not considered.  

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Chapter 85 : I love Parkrun

I loved the fact that 400 people ran on The Queens Domain at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.

They were all at the launch of the Queens Domain Parkrun.

Parkrun is a 5 kay running event held around the world on Saturday morning on a local course. It is free and open to everybody.  Park Run is held around the world with the same basic format and local variations. Once you have registered you can run in any Parkrun around Australia or around the world. 

There is a lot to love about Parkruns. I love the way everybody does the same thing.  And everybody is different.  Everybody runs or walks 5 kays.  And everybody is a different shape or size and wearing different shorts, shirts and shoes. Everybody has a different story about why they were there. About what they are trying to achieve. What obstacles they had to overcome.  There were people there who had had hip replacements, medical problems, mental health problems, intellectual handicaps. People were there who were losing weight, stopping smoking or ceasing some drug habit.  Every possible handicap that had to be overcome existed.  And every story was unique. What they shared was an ambition to run or walk 5 kays. And in every case the significance of successfully finishing 5 kays varied.

With Parkruns I love the way there is no prize for coming first. All the competition is personal. My aim was to improve my physical, emotional and social health.  My running time is a guide to how I’m doing. My running time is only of interest to me.

Some people have the aim of reaching certain milestones. Special shirts are given to people who run 50,100,250 or 500 runs.

I love the way Parkruns improve the health of the local community. Not just physical health. Also the social and emotional health of the local community.  I love the social side to Parkrun. At the Parkrun I met people I know. The other people I plan on getting to know as we share our runs.

I love the way it has become a part of tourism. Parkruns have become are a part of our travels. We have done Parkruns in England and South Africa. The Parkruns in South Africa taught us more about South Africa than seeing a rhino or hippo. We met some of the locals, with similar interests, and experienced the local way they managed park runs.  Park Runs are similar around the world. The same recognizable procedures with local variations.  As in Tasmania your result will be put up the clouds hours after the run. You can then view all your times and so can others.

Parkrun tourism also involves welcoming visitors to our Parkruns. A lot of tourists to Tasmania make going to one of our local Parkruns a part of their Tasmanian holiday.

I love the way I have done every Parkrun with a member of my family. Either wife, child, grandchild, brother-in-law, son-in-law or else. In South Africa I met relatives I hadn’t seen for years. We celebrated by going for a park run together.  Us men bonded via sweat. The women bonded by the drink afterwards.

I love the way Parkrun is free. No fiddling around looking for a few dollars. You pay in two ways. Everybody is expected or encouraged to volunteer occasionally. When you do volunteer it gives you a different view of the event which better helps you understand it. When not volunteering it helps you become a more considerate runner.
The second way you pay is with sponsors for the event. They sponsor the event in exchange for the opportunity to tell you about what they sell. A reasonable deal. 

I love the way Parkrun makes the best of modern technology. When you register you are given an individual bar code which you have to print out. This bar code is scanned when you finish. Your result in then uploaded. You can see your result and compare it to your previous runs, other runners around the world, and other runner of the same age.  Parkrun uses this technology without being a slave to it. The run is more important than the technology.

How did Parkrun begin?

The history of Parkruns is that they began in London in 2004. They have spread throughout England and around the world. The first Parkrun in Australia was on the Gold Coast in 2011.  There are now about 270 Parkruns in Australia and 400,000 Parkrunners in Australia.  There are about 1,300 Parkruns globally and about 3,000,000 Parkrunners globally. It is impossible to give exact figures because new Parkruns and Parkrunners are being added continuously.

In 2017 the most popular Parkrun countries were the United Kingdom 484, Australia 261, South Africa (including Swaziland and Namibia) 114, Ireland 72, Poland 51, Russia 31, New Zealand 18, United States 15, Canada 12,France 8,Denmark 7, Italy 6, Germany 6,Sweden 5.  The numbers give you some idea of which countries have taken quicker to Park Run and are all now out of date. 


.



Sunday, 7 January 2018

Chapter 84: Umhlanga Parkrun (F)


The day after Umhlanga Park Run South Africa

Run along road by the beach. Every 50 meters there is a runner. Coming or going. What is it about South Africans? Why do they love to run? If I understood them and if I could see into their soul I might find out why they love to run.  And I might find something out about myself. I might find out why I love to run.

At the moment I will just get out there and enjoy running.  

Happy running.



Park Run Statistics

Umhlanga Park run         23.12.2017           293 females 386 males                   679 finishers

Hobie beach Park run     16.12 2017           372 females 506 males                   878 finishers

Chapter 84: Umhlanga Parkrun (E)







Umhlanga Park Run South Africa (the finish)

I find myself running alongside another man and I attempt to talk to him about the run.
Him, “It’s a very scenic course.”
Me, “That’s the positive.”
Him, “And very flat.”
Me, “And it’s way too crowded.”

I have made a mistake. He slips behind and never speaks to me again and he dreams of Robben Island being reopened as a prison for foreigners who come over telling us what to do.
We can see in the distance the whale bone pier where the finish line is. Scanned in the usual fashion and then a table with water provides partial relief. And then a new experience. The sweat starts to sting my eyes. Many of the runners are lying lounging on grass under palm trees.

Chapter 83 : Umhlanga Parkrun (D)






Umhlanga Park Run South Africa

I hear one man beside me say, “It’s a screamer.”
I say, “You mean it’s hot.”
Him,”Yah”
Me, “How do you beat the heat?”
Him, “Drink lots of water.”
Me, “And then go for a swim.”
Him,”Yah, that’s right.”

Chapter 82 : Umhlanga Parkrun (C)






Umhlanga Park Run South Africa

The crowd becomes bigger and thicker. The start means us back runners start to walk. We walk for over a minute and I peer looking for signs of people ahead of me running. A walk morphs into halted jogging and eventually running. We are sharing a public footpath in the middle of holiday season with swimmers, surfers, walkers, prams and dogs. One lady yells to herself, “This is a public footpath. Stick to the left.”
After less than two kays we share the footpath with fast runners approaching us on the right side of the footpath.
I dodge, dawdle and intermittently run depending on what is ahead on the footpath.

Chapter 81 Umhlanga Parkrun (B)





Umhlanga Park Run South Africa (the start)

Wake to warm humid heat. I will need to carry water. I don’t want mishaps. The run feels reassuring but my time will be slow.
At Umhlanga we drive around until suddenly we win with a parking spot a short walk to whale-bone pier. The start is a short road off the main promenade.  A man is nailing up starting times to palm trees.
I say to a runner, “That’s good.”
She says, “But people don’t follow the times. They just go anywhere.”
To me the signs are beautifully laid out suggestion.


Chapter 80 Umhlanga Parkrun (A)




The day before Umhlanga Park Run South Africa

Today I have to think about what to do and where to do it. Tomorrow I will be comfortable safe and secure with the usual park run. It will start, run and finish in the usual fashion.

Today I think about the house we have hired. How does this microwave work? How do we lock the doors?

The man in the house next door says shut your doors or the monkeys will get in and eat your food. We comply. We walk to the shops and immediately spy troops of monkeys on the move. They are in trees and on fences. I think they will look cute until the second they take our food.
Today I have to think about the local shops. Which one sells the best coffee? 
Today I have to decide where to swim. It’s hot and humid. The heat will be an issue tomorrow. Will need to carry water.

Tomorrow will be easier than today.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Chapter 79 : Hobie Beach Parkrun (E)

The day after the day after Hobie Beach Park Run South Africa

I head inland and come to a school with a nice oval. I could do speed work and drills on the oval. The school is surrounded by an impenetrable fence. At times electric. I run on.
I come to a soccer oval. Joy of joy. No fences. I run onto the oval. The surface is uneven, pot holed and very lumpy.  It is too dangerous for speed work. I run back to our guest house.  To enter I take the key to the gate from my back pack.


We now leave behind Port Elizabeth and head north to Natal.  Everybody running in the park run seemed to benefit physically, emotional and socially from the activity.  I wish all those legs many more miles of activity.

Chapter 78 : Hobie Beach Parkrun (D)




The day after Hobie Beach Park Run South Africa

I go to leave our guest house. The gate lies open and I see the manageress outside viewing the electric fence installed yesterday.
I say,” Good morning.”
She smiles and says, “What do you think of our new fence?”
I reply,” It’s good. I’d prefer no security fences.”
She laughs, “This is South Africa.”

I can’t comment and I continue not to comment as she educates me about Jacob Zuma and the ANC.

I head off for my morning run along the promenade. It is very enjoyable. The sea on one side. The path this morning cleared of all the broken glass from the previous evening. The path winds up and down the coast and is full of runners.

Chapter 77 : Hobie Beach Parkrun (C)











Hobie Beach Park Run South Africa  (the finish)

After the rocks we reach the turnaround point. Now back to the palm tree. Hopefully I can get in with a group of runners running at my speed. Doesn’t happen. I continue to pass and dodge slower runners and walkers and members of the public out for their walk. It is a path busy with non-park runners.
I eventually run beside someone I can talk to.
Him: “Other local runs are very tough do them for endurance. This one you do for speed.”
I know South Africans love a tough course but I have to adjust my thinking. Rock hopping is now a fast course.
Me: “We are coming here tonight for the fireworks.”

We can see the finish tree in the distance. I grab my camera and take a few photos of my wife and daughter. My son has avoided the camera by finishing ahead of me. We are surrounded by coffee shops and the crowd disperses with no organised drinking.We have to hurry back to our guest house for breakfast before the staff goes.

After doing the park runs in South Africa I am now beginning to understand my wife of more than 30 years.  She was born and raised in Southern Africa.  Part of her personality and character has that South African tinge to it. 

The park runs in South Africa reflected the society in which they exist.  I learnt more about South Africa by doing the park runs than by going up Table Mountain or viewing zebras or giraffes.  The park runs showed me things I thought were good (we can learn from you) and bad (in need of improvement).

To all the South Africans I say come to Tassie. Come and do our park runs.  You may find things that are good (and that you can copy) and things were we can learn from you (tell us about them).   And while you are in Tassie go up Mt Wellington and see the Tassie devil.  We love our Tassie devil. You can see our devil on my shirt.


All the locals seemed happy. There was a large crowd of locals who seemed to enjoy being in a crowd.  A sense of belonging. I don’t know what they belonged to. The park run community or some other community.  

Chapter 76 : Hobie Beach Parkrun (B)



Hobie Beach Park Run South Africa (the start)

It is day time therefore our night security guard has left. With our key we open then lock the gate in the tall, heavy thick wall.  We walk down the road past high brick walls and dogs which barks at us.  We come to the main road and head for the zebra crossing. We stand and watch the traffic speed past until we get a break in the traffic and cross to a grassy area near a promenade. We walk down the promenade towards the prominent palm tree. The usual variety of shirts is milling around the palm tree. I find a very friendly group of lady runners.  One of them is from Sydney. An amazing coincidence. She is here because was born here in PE and has links to the area.

We talk and more and more people arrive and by 8:00 am a large crowd is milling around the palm tree. A man with a megaphone asks everybody to move back behind the palm tree. I am behind the palm tree way at the back and wander around and watch as crowds wait for others to move back. Further megaphoning and the crowd inches back.  Everybody seems to want to keep their coveted front spot.

At about 8:15 am the race starts and I look at my watch. It takes over one minute before I move. Everybody around me starts walking. I run as much as possible. Dodging, swerving, passing and avoiding walkers and runners.


After about 2 kays the path diverts onto the beach and we run on sand which is surprisingly easy and enjoyable. We then arrive at a rocky area. I rock hop and then run on sand and then I encounter another rock hopping area. I suppose I really could run this area if I really had to but today I don’t.

Chapter 75 : Hobie Beach Parkrun (A)





The day before Hobie Beach Park Run South Africa


I run along the beach front.  I see a lady ahead of me. I speed up and catch up and say, “Good morning.
She replies, “Morning.”
Me, “Do you know where the park run is tomorrow?”
She is pleased with my question. “Yes I do. It starts at that palm tree over there.  (She points).  I do it every week.”
Me, “I’ve come all the way from Tassie to do this run.”

She grimly concentrates on her running and disappears. I now know the spot.  Concrete paths lead up and down the beach from the palm tree.  It is very much a built environment. The beach then the promenade then a busy road then some luxuries houses.  All houses with highly visible security.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Chapter 74 : running drills

Drills are an important part of swimming training. In swimming drills consist of breaking swimming down into distinct parts.  With a kickboard you give the legs an extra hard work out and the arms a rest. With a pull-buoy you can rest the legs and just exercise the arms. There are other drills when you just exercise one side at a time. In swimming there are other drills specifically aimed at improving technique.  Drills are an integral part of swimming training.     

In running drills are virtually ignored. It is easy to go for a run and feel that you have done your training. In a swimming pool it is harder to swim a few laps and have the same feeling.  

I have asked my friend Mr Goggle what he thinks of drills.
Mr G says running drills:

Strengthen key leg muscles. Strengthen not only the muscles, but the specific joints (like the ankle)
Improve the gait.
Improve communication between head and legs. Neuro-muscular co-ordination.
Improve mindfulness of good running technique.
Improve coordination, agility, balance, and proprioception.
Serve as a great warm-up before challenging workouts or races.

And my bottom line is running drills improve my running. I run well, my legs seem to be looser, more coordinated, better balanced, more agile, better able to cope with obstacles on the track or sudden changes in the track.  They seem to help jumps events and the hurdles.
I feel less likely to get an injury and feel like I am running faster. The running is more enjoyable. Less plodding. More lightness. I have no proof or evidence of anything. All I say is try a few drills. You might like them. They might help you.

How often should you do them? I am not training for world records. I do them when I feel like it. I try for a few drills every time I run. Some days I manage more.  I have a routine where I normally do them in the same order. On a good day I do the routine twice or three times. I normally do them before an aerobic run. I find them more tiring than a steady aerobic run.

If you have had an injury then certain drills may be beneficial of harmful. Be aware that previous injuries may influence which drills are good or bad for you.

Normally I do my drills on the DAC or on a local grass soccer field.

And the drills are:

Skipping

Mr G says: skipping increases stride length and knee lift, improves lower-leg strength promoting an efficient midfoot to forefoot strike. And improves balance.
I skip forward raising my leading knee as high as possible. I pump my arms as I do when running but in a more exaggerated fashion.   
I find this very enjoyable. It feels like it is helping with my balance and rhythm. It feels good and I recommend it. If you have a spare moment try a bit of skipping.

Carioca

Mr G says: carioca aids the glutes, abductors, and hips while improving lateral mobility, stability, and coordination.  Carioca lessen your ground contact time and give you a quicker, more efficient turnover.
Move sideways to the left swinging the right leg across in front of the left leg and then behind your left leg. Alternate between swings the right leg in front of and behind you. After a short period change over. Move right with right leg now leading with left leg alternating between swinging in front of and behind you. Arms high and out of way.
My experience is that carioca is confusing and can be stressful on the knees. I am not very fond of this drill.

Backward running

Mr G says: improves the glutes and upper hamstrings and general speed and efficiency. My experience is that running backwards is very helpful. It seems to help balance, co-ordination and all the right muscles. I am definitely a big fan of backwards running.

Butt kicks

Mr G says: run with short strides and try to bring your heel under your butt with each stride. I run slowly and try to raise my foot as high behind me towards butt as possible.   My experience is that this is very tiring. My experience is that this is exercising muscles I don’t normally use. Therefore it must be helping me.

Straight leg

Mr G says: running with straight legs promotes quick leg turnover and improved coordination.
Keep legs straight, run forward, land on midfoot, no high lift of feet. As quick a turnover as possible.
My experience is that this is not very useful or enjoyable.

High knees

Mr G says: run on the spot with fast strides, lifting knees high.  Improves all leg muscles, promotes high knee lift and increasing leg speed.
My experience is that this works. To run on the spot helps. It is a good drill.

Bounding

Mr G says: strengthens all muscles in lower leg.
Lunge forward on one leg.  The leading leg is bent while trailing leg is straight. Hold the lunge position for about 1 second.
I find the only way to do this is very slowly at walking speed. To slowly lunge forward from leg to leg. Not very enjoyable or useful.

Hopping/jumping

Mr G says: strengthens all muscles.
I say it helps a lot. It improves coordination and balance and strengthens muscles and tendons. One of my favourite drills. I interrupt my running with a few meters of hopping or jumping. Either single leg hops or double leg jumps. With the double leg jumps I feel that the takeoff or jump is good. And that the vibrations from the landing are bad.



Thursday, 16 November 2017

Chapter 72 : TMA : The triple jump (part 3)

Day 7

I arrive at the pits for my event. The first take-off line is the long jump line and is way too short for me. The take-off lines from the t-jump look too long. Too far away from the pit. After my complaints the other people agree to put a tape across the track and let me jump from that.
I run and jump three times and then look at my results. The first two have been called a foul. I must have overstepped. The third one has been measured. I have a result. I have legally done a t-jump.

The others resume their long jumps. One guy is jumping much longer than me. I think they all are but one guy seems to be flying. I stand mesmerized and fascinated by his jumping. He seems to run very fast at the pit. His emphasis seems to be on running fast, taking off in the right spot and not jumping technique. 
I need to practice my run-up. I need to run faster. I need to get my feet landing in the right spot. Speed is now my aim and having my feet in right spot for a good take-off. They are my aims. Not technique.

My run-up must be fast and aggressive. Not apologetic and submissive. No thinking as I run down the track. I need to practice running hard and fast without jumping. I need to continually practice running down the track. Seeing where my feet land.

Another thing to practice is my step. According to an expert (who was helping) when doing the step I need to wave my leg forward. Increase my step.  Think about waving my left leg forward and not about landing it is soon as possible.

And another thing I need to practice is jumping from the lines provided. The first t-jump line is 5m from the pits. I have to jump from this line not a tape spread across the track.  The tape across the track was helpful but…

Next morning Mrs C askes me, “why did you have a restless night?”
“I was thinking of the t-jump.”
“I thought you were happy with your jumps. Well I don’t want you to get any worse.”
“No I also want to get better.”

“What other events could you do?”
“There are other events but the t-jump is put on.”
“It’s very good they put all these events on.”
“It is good. There are people, up there, doing a fantastic job. I try and fit in where I can. Not much I can do. I don’t know if being the only one to do an event helps or not. It keeps the event alive, hopefully until someone good turns up.”


I celebrate everybody who gets out and does something physical.  I love the people running laps. The ones jumping longer long jumps than my t-jump. At the moment I want to diversify slightly. To do the t-jump but I will return to running circles. I can see that in my future. At present I did one legal t-jump, one jump that was measured. For me that’s success.  

Chapter 71 : TMA : The triple jump (part 2)

Day 1 

I go for a run. And then do some drills. After my drills I do some exercises which I think may help my t-jump.

I do some standing t-jumps.
I hop on my right foot ten times.
I hop back on my left foot.
I jump with both legs together.
I stand still and jump as high as possible and touch my feet ten times.
I repeat the whole procedure and then run home.

Day 2

I look out the window and realise I must live in Hobart. It’s drizzling. I have a jacket and a long time ago I decided I don’t let the weather control my running.  I run up to the DAC track. I start with my running drills and a man says, “What injury are you recovering from?”
I reassure him and continue. After the drills I do a standing t-jump. I try this with eyes closed. I then try a running t-jump on the track finishing with a landing on both feet together and then continuing to run. I will build up to the pit.

Day 3

I do my drills on the bike track.
Do a few standing t-jumps. Goes well.  Seems to work better if I include the last two steps before doing the t-jump.
I feel ready for the pits. The t-jump is flowing sub-consciously and automatically from the hop.

Day 4

I go for a swim. You could say I am increasing my aerobic fitness with very little chance of injury. The truth is I swim it because I enjoy swimming.
After my laps I do double leg jumps starting with feet flat on the floor of the pool. I jump as high as possible and slowly make my way down the pool.

Afternoon. I jog to the local soccer field. There are a group of young kids playing soccer.  There is a disused jumping pit beside it which I head for.  I have one practice t-jump and one of the soccer kids approaches me. He says, “I can show you what to do.”
I reply, “Okay. Show me.”
He does a perfect t-jump, better than me.  He is blithe, graceful and young and jumps further than me.  I say, “That was very good.”
I wander down and do another jump. He beams and says, “I am good. I can show you what to do.”
He races down and does another good jump. It’s my turn. I jump and he immediately says, “Watch me. Watch me. ”
We are joined by other kids who have stopped playing soccer. They all want a jump. And the adult who is umpiring the soccer glares at me. Don’t worry I want the same thing as you.
I love their enthusiasm and their love of jumping and their enjoyment of physical activity but... 
I tell them, “I love your jumps. You are good. I want to see some good soccer play. That’s what I really want to see. Some good soccer.”
They drift back to the soccer and I have the pit to myself. A few practice jumps. I decide the last two steps have to be right. If they are right then everything else follows in a nice rhythm.

Day 5

Run back to the local sporting fields. Today nobody is playing soccer and the disused jumping pit is empty. I place my drink bottle down as a guide and practice jumping. I run down the runway and jump without a takeoff board. Without worrying where my feet land. My rhythm feels good. 20 jumps and only one aborted. I need to crouch down before jumping. And then I need to become more vertical and jump as high as I can. In a few days I have to put everything together. What will be a good jump? 
I do some running drills on the soccer field. Perfect spot for drills. I then run back home.  The drills and the jumping are tiring. More tiring than jogging up the bike track.

Day 6

Run back to my regular spot. The local soccer field. Nobody is there and I run towards the pits.
I have to work out how long my run-up is. I start with 6 paces and scratch a take-off line on the runway.  I want to run fast at the pit and have my right foot land just being the take-off line. It is just practice. I move my starting spot by centimeters and run again. I move it again and jump again. I repeat and repeat. I try running without jumping to see where my feet are landing.
There are two things that matter. One is doing the t-jump correctly. The other is running fast and taking off with my foot in the right spot. What is more important?
A lady who cannot help me turns up with her dogs. I ignore them and they ignore me. Perfect result.
I run back home.
“How was your run?”
I answer, “I did the t-jump?”
“How’s that going?”

“I will find out tomorrow.”

Chapter 70 : TMA : The triple jump (part 1)

I look at next week’s program and see the word Triple-jump. I have a week to practice.

Triple jump is also called the hop, step and jump. I call it the t-jump.  It consists of one continuous movement which you could say is composed of three distinct jumps. The aim is to jump as far as possible.
The hop consist of taking off and landing on the same foot.
The step consists of landing on the other foot and then taking off for the jump.
The jump consists of landing anyway you like, but normally on two feet similar to the long jump.
Other rules are similar to the long jump.

What are the origins of such an obscure event?

In historical records of the ancient Olympics jumps of 15 meters are mentioned.  This led people to conclude that in the ancient Olympics there was an event that consisted of several continuous jumps.
In the first modern Olympic Games in Athens an event consisting of two hops on the same foot and then a jump was included. In the next Olympics the event involved present day rules. 
The standing t-jump was included in the 1900 and 1904 Olympics.  In Ireland the triple jump was contested in ancient Irish Games and was possibly an inspiration for the modern version of the T-jump.
The t-jump was retained in modern athletics because the runway and the landing area were similar to the long jump.


The take-off board is placed across the runway. The jumper can decide which board to jump from or how close to the pit is the board. A legal jump consist of not over stepping the board when taking off.

A foul jump occurs when over stepping the take-off board, not using correct foot sequence or not performed in allotted time. Scraping the ground with the trailing leg is not a foul.