• Elliot Cooper

Merry Christmas from Mutsumi and Elliot.

Updated: May 23

As 2018 began we were literally hurtling towards Australia on the edge of Space. January was spent at the family home, just settling into Australian life. We camped at Cotter campground while Elliot loitered in appropriate doorways at Canberra Uni until he got an offer of a bit of work. But we weren’t making rent, so while relatives Susan and Harold were away on - we believe - a pickled mackerel tasting tour of Scandinavia, we gratefully took on house sitting duties at their home in Calwell. Of course the logical thing for runners to do in Calwell is to join the Gungalin Runners group (what up, Gun Runners!), where we quickly made new friends.

When it was time to move Marsha and Dave offered us their spare room. Determined to make ourselves useful, we set about finishing off renovations they had begun a couple of years earlier. Their boys Nate and Zack made sure that almost every night was a Wiggles party. Mutsumi took her first trip to Japan in March and April.

In May we started housesitting for Robyn and Alvin who were off for a six month stay in their house on Prince Edward Island. In June we both headed to Japan, where Mutsumi had a few more things to take care of and Elliot had a race to run. A few weeks before we were due to leave, Elliot broke a collarbone. The timing was suboptimal, but his race was only 80km of mountainous terrain so he ran it anyway.

Once recovered Elliot started to see some running success including 3rd place at the Kowen Moonlighter and 3rd at the Bush Capital Ultramarathon, where he met Matt who quickly became the running partner needed for taking his running to a new level. Being a strategic thinker, Matt soon convinced Elliot to run the Alpine Challenge 100 in the Victorian Alps, Australia’s only qualifier for the Hardrock 100. Matt and his wife Lilit have become good friends.

Mutsumi would stay in Japan for a few months so Elliot got to work, teaching six courses in the second half of the year. Mutsumi picked up some translation work from Fukuroi City, including a speech about a public works project, which ultimately won a series of prizes when presented in Malaysia. Eventually Mutsumi’s residence permit came through and she returned in October. Soon she found some work at the pharmacy guild. On November 23-24 Matt and Elliot, with the support of Mutsumi and Elliot’s parents, ran and completed the Alpine Challenge.

In early December, Robyn and Alvin returned and we moved to Cherie and Steve’s place just over the border. We’re loving the Mt. Jerrabomberra trails, and the commute from Queanbeyan is nice on a road bike. We’ve also spent some time this year at Emma and Rob’s home in Watson, and Jo and Mick’s home in Latham. We are grateful for these opportunities to have comfortable places to stay and experience the area in different ways. It’s been a great year with plenty of adventure.

So we’d like to thank you all for your support and friendship and to wish everyone a merry Xmas, and many great adventures in the New Year.


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