If you don’t know Katie Visco, let me give you the super abbreviated intro:
She is currently midway her run across Australia with her husband (Henley) following along via bicycle, on their self-supported 2,200 mile journey. Yes, I said RUN ACROSS AUSTRALIA (aka Oz).
Katie and Henley recently made it to Alice Springs, which is essentially mid-route from the transcontinental trek starting in Darwin and ending in Adelaide. They’ve covered 1114 miles in 60 days thus far. WOW!
I was able to check in with Katie via e-mail and a recorded audio exchange to get some additional updates on the journey. Here’s some special insight:
Dina (DG): How have you (and Henley) been doing with food and fluid instake so far?
Katie (KV): Surprisingly, incredibly well! We have been taking plenty of electrolytes and fluids, and I haven’t once felt dehydrated. We’ve been averaging about 3,000-3,200 calories per day, which is lower than what we [Dina and Katie] had originally estimated (3,800 daily calories), but we’ve been doing pretty good with that over the past 2 months. I’m running about 30 miles per day and maybe it’s because I’m running pretty slow that I don’t end up burning quite as much. I haven’t lost any weight and I feel like I have tons of energy. It’s good!
DG: What have been the hardest parts with food and hydration?
KV: The hardest part for Henley is transporting the weight of the water we need, which is easily over 100 liters at a time (200 pounds). And that doesn’t count all of the other supplies he is transporting on the bike! The hardest part for the food piece has been our need to rely on packaged foods and missing fresh fruits and vegetables. We are averaging 10 days without food re-supply, but then the freshest fruit we may find is a banana or orange (if that). The rest of the food is stuff you would find in the middle aisles of the grocery store (i.e., packaged foods) since we are in such a remote part of Oz. , but we knew all of this ahead of time. Needless to say, I look forward to being able to cook again with fresh food!
DG: Have you had any incidents with insects or other creatures getting into your food supply? Or had to deal with any serious bites or stings?
KV: No! Nothing… absolutely nothing! BUT, there is The Fly! They are little flies that don’t bite, but they swarm everywhere… into your eye holes, ear holes, nose holes, mouth hole… all the holes! (Said with a chuckle). The most flies I counted on Henley’s back was 70 at one time. And apparently, the Australian salute is waving your hand across your face to get the flies off!
DG: What foods have you been dreaming of that you can get in Alice Springs?
KV: This one is easy for me: cold, bubbly water and fresh food… meaning, vegetables! All I want are green things! I’ve been dreaming of vegetables… we’ve been staying with a host in Alice Springs so we get to cook our fresh food and vegetables while we are here for a few days. It is heaven.
DG: Are you restocked with what you had planned in Alice Springs (for the next part of the journey)?
KV: Yes, it took hours to get restocked. Today, we just bought food for 11 days and yesterday we bought 10 days worth that we shipped ahead. It’s a lot of logistics and we have to pay close attention and carefully ration. Our breakfasts are always oats and granola with dried fruit and trail mix. Our lunches are tuna with beans and dried corn or bell pepper (all in a packet). Dinner consists of prepackaged Indian meals and rice or tortellini with pizza sauce and we often have a simple, clean ramen. We also have peanut butter and crackers, dates, and bars: Superjames Bars, Kate’s bars and Bobo bars, although we just ran out so we replaced them with Australian made bars.
DG: Have you had any injuries? How are the feet?
KV: No injuries, but something is going on with my left foot . I think it is tight tendons, but nothing that is excruciating painful or warrants going to a doctor. I think I’ll be changing out my shoes more frequently to see if that helps.
DG: Is there anything we can do from the USA to help (other than sending good mojo to you and Henley)?
KV: Oh my gosh — I just love being able to tell this story, so folks can sign up for our newsletter if they want to read more. It means a lot to me that people care and that I can share! And… just send incredible love!
My last question for KV was in regards to how her mindset is for this next leg of 47 days and 1,000+ miles. She referred me to her newsletter that had just been sent where she said:
My manifesto for the rest of the trip is this: “I will be more grateful on this trip. I will count the ways. I will be in nothingness more often and not need to do too much too soon. Relish the way of the bush now.” And my promise to myself is to consider every step a meditation, a practice of presence.
Thank you for sharing, Katie, and we are sending lots of love and safe travels to you and Henley for your next half of the run.
Thanks for reading and sharing the love, Nutrition Mechanic’ers.