Memorable Travel Running, Riding and Swimming Moments of 2012

With only five more days left in 2012 (depending on if you count today), I think I’ve wrapped up my travelling for the year.  As you’ve probably gathered by now – I travel a wee bit for work.  And then a touch bit more for pleasure.  As I took my last flight of the year last week, a couple of you asked on Twitter how many miles I ended up flying (commonly referred to as Butt in Seat)  I had to do some digging, and I’m sure I missed some, but best I can tell the numbers are:

United/Star Alliance: 154,435
Oneworld: 18,780
Everything else: ~5,294
Total: ~178,509

That doesn’t of course count trains (probably a few thousand miles) or boats (~3,600 miles).  Or cars…or bikes!  But, it gives you an approximation.

I try as much as possible to workout while travelling, and for the most part – I do manage to almost always sneak something in.  So let’s do a fun run through of some of my swim/bike/run destinations over the past year.

January 2012: Bora Bora

I ended up including this photo within my Garmin FR910XT review, and it’s funny how often folks ask where the photo was taken (just yesterday in fact).  It is indeed Bora Bora, and on pretty much one of only two sunny days during our 7-8 day stay there.  The rest of the time it rained like the world was going to end.  Nonstop.  For days.

At any rate, here we have it – swimming in Bora Bora:


February 2012: Prince William Forest National Park, Virginia

February would mark the first time in probably 12 years, that I actually didn’t travel somewhere outside my home area.  It’s crazy…but true!  Not a single plane or train ride.  But I did run and ride my bike.  Below, a nice winter ride through the quiet Prince William Forest National Park.  I think I saw all of two people that day.


March 2012: Galveston, Texas

While I was down in Texas spectating the Ironman Texas 70.3 I got to go on a run with Chris Lieto.  But in addition to that, I got to chase around a bunch of top pros while out there photographing from my beach cruise rental.


April 2012: Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

While in Vegas for a work trip/conference, I had the opportunity to go out for a couple hour mountain bike ride into the mountains…awesome stuff, as is always the case in Red Rock.  I’ve both run and ridden there many times before – an easy escape from the Strip.


May 2012: Paris, France

This photo never actually made it to the blog…at least I don’t think it did.  We made two trips to Paris that month ahead of our move, and during a few of them we got some nice running in.  This would of course be the start of many more runs here (though, the weather doesn’t quite seem as nice as it was back then…).


June 2012: San Francisco, California

While I continued to go back and forth to Paris more times than I can count in June – it’s actually the whole swim/bike/run combo in San Francisco that I remember the most.  Likely because it started with jumping off a boat.

You can read the whole race report here, as well as watch the condensed 4-minute compressed video of my ride.


July 2012: Mt. Si, North Bend, Washington State

During a trip out to Seattle in July, my brother and I hiked up to the top of Mt. Si.  But we instead ran back down.  Though, given how quickly we did it, some might also say we ran up it too.  Good times!


August 2012: Nuremburg, Germany

August was packed with lots of short European trips.  From London for the Olympics (two trips to London actually) to Eurobike in Germany (while staying in Switzerland), and then this trip in the midst of it all to a place with a lot of sheep that just popped up in the middle of my run:


September 2012: Oslo, Norway

No doubt, Norway is incredibly scenic.  And while my run in Oslo seen below was quite nice, it doesn’t even touch a candle to our exploring into the mountains we did a couple days later.


October 2012: Seoul, South Korea

This wouldn’t be my first trip to Seoul, nor the first time I’ve run there.  But it would be the first time I got to run around the Olympic stadium there, and on the practice track.  Pretty cool.


November 2012: Kochi, India

There were a lot of incredible places to choose from in November.  Dubai, Oman, Singapore, Malaysia and more.  But, I decided to go with India, and the southern tip port of Kochi:


December 2012: Vienna Runaround

I know, the easy choice would have been Istanbul last week, but the tranquility of Vienna was just awesome.  Nothing like a nice cold night run with a touch bit of snow on the ground.  Absolutely perfect.


A look at head to 2013!

Of course, fear not, there’s plenty more interesting stuff coming up in the months and year ahead.  While I was scheduled for a flight out the evening of January 1st, it looks like I’ll have a couple more days now instead before I head out again.  But the rest of the January schedule after those few days is still looking like 36,718 miles…G’Day mate!

Thanks for reading!


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  1. oldSAP

    what a wonderful year you’ve had Ray

  2. Mike Graham

    You heading down to Aus, mate? Where abouts?

    • DC Rainmaker

      To lovely Perth! Looking forward to the weather! And…the riding. Bringing by bike.

    • Mike Graham

      Oh well, I’m in Adelaide so that’s no good;) Some time you’ll come there, and squeeze in a sprint distance race!

    • Given your love of sharks Perth will be superb for you. Just be careful if you go into those waters….far too many sightings lately.

    • Jono

      Enjoy the heat. We’ve been hit with 5 straight days of 40c
      If you’re on the bike in Perth, highly reccomend a river loop from Perth to cottesloe to Fremantle to applecross and then back to Perth. 50k or so.

    • DC Rainmaker

      Sweet, thanks for that tip! While looking up that route, I just found another page that has a ton of routes on there, good stuff: link to transport.wa.gov.au

      I think I’ll also probably head over to the little island on Saturday and do my long run there, and then enjoy the rest of the day on the beach. Is that a good place to run?

  3. TriAbel

    Hi Ray,

    Did you happen to see any aquatic life while swimming in Bora Bora (stingrays, sharks, turtles)?
    I’m not sure if it’s me, but that picture of you infront of the flock gives the impression that you were photoshopped onto the picture (but that is most certainly not the case, just thought I’d share my thoughts).

    • DC Rainmaker

      Yup, saw shark and mantas. See the second link in that section above: link to dcrainmaker.com

      As for the sheep, it’s one of the rare occurances where the self-timer picture actually came out really sharp. I stuck it on a tree limb, expecting it to fall off actually (took about three tries to get it right). Pretty happy with that pic. There’s a few others on that post of the area.

  4. Nice (and amazing) year! By now we also know which t-shirt is your favorite one 😉
    Thanks for sharing so much experiences through the blog, have a nice end of year

  5. Mel

    Any comment on your carbon footprint?

    • phil

      Carbon footprint?? Hah, who cares!

    • DC Rainmaker

      Some airlines make it easy to purchase offsets, others, not so much. When purchasing for myself, I do on occasion use the airlines site to purchase offsets (for example, United did this up until March 3rd, when they changed IT platforms). For work travel, it’s all handled via a travel agent.

  6. I find myself extremely envious after reading this post Ray!


  7. Amanda Carlton

    I really have enjoyed reading your blog in the last few month. I have just started running and your travels, race reports, and goals really motivate me. Keep up the great work and have a great year in 2013!!

  8. jpb

    So that is what Galveston looks like. I grew up in Hong Kong and the local English language tv used to have Glen Campbell playing Galveston every time they needed to insert a break! (This was during the Vietnam war – a little while ago.)

  9. kab

    Do you use the self timer for all of your pics that include you with scenery? I always have wondered that. Also.. do you ever get weird looks from people with you taking random pics? (random to them, not to you or us of course). I always want to take pics of things others might see as random, but I get kind of embarrassed. lol

    • DC Rainmaker

      Mostly self-timer. On rare occasions I’ll actually switch to video mode, and then take a screenshot. But just about everything else is self-timer. I don’t think I’ve ever asked anyone to take my photo for me.

      As for taking random pics…I’ve long gotten past that. 🙂

  10. Randy

    Did you ever run on Malta, I’m going to Malta next year and was wondering if there are some great streets to run..


  11. JimLefkas

    Hi Rey i like your blog a lot!
    Think of visiting GREECE to run or bike some classic runs such as Sparta Athens erc

  12. Sam Medway

    Hey Ray, you’ll have a great time in Perth! Great weather (the past week notwithstanding) and some really excellent places to swim/bike/run. And the sharks really aren’t that bad! I’d be happy to show you some of these training places in my home city – drop me a line!

  13. Joyce Hsu

    Hi Ray,

    How about running the Great Wall of China Marathon! It’s every 1st of May and we have a tour package that goes along with it. You can find it on our website. Hope we’ll see you on the Great Wall!!