Going the distance for Oxfam –
622 marathons in 622 days!
Australian Tom Denniss officially started the first leg of his 26,232 km run around the world on 31 December 2011.
To raise money for Oxfam, Tom ran the equivalent of 622 marathons in as many days, creating a new world record for the “Fastest Circumnavigation of the Earth on Foot”. He ran on five continents and visited 20 countries.
Tom started at the Sydney Opera House with a “warm-up” leg, taking him to Bondi Beach on New Year’s Eve. He completed the first four legs of the run – the length of New Zealand, and across the continents of North America and South America, from the Pacific to Atlantic Oceans in each case, Europe, from Lisbon to Istanbul and along the coast of Malaysia, in just 17 months. Tom then ran the final leg across Australia from Perth to Sydney.
“My motivation to take on this challenge was two-fold. I wanted to raise money for a worthwhile charity, while also experiencing a once in a lifetime adventure,” Tom said. “I chose Oxfam to support because, as I was running around the world, I wanted a charity that assisted, not just those in Australia, but people from all parts of the globe”.
Tom, who is the founder of Oceanlinx, a renewable energy company, said the places in which he most enjoyed running were over the Andes from Chile into Argentina, along the rim of Grand Canyon, and through Monument Valley in Utah. Tom also found the run across the Nullarbor in Australia a truly impressive experience.
“Most people, when they travel, only see a very small part of the world around them. I did it all at a much slower pace, not just seeing the ever-changing countryside, but hearing and smelling it too.”
Tom’s wife, Carmel, acted as his support crew throughout the odyssey. She also chronicled the journey through photographs, and updated social media.
Throughout the adventure, Tom shared his location through the use of a GPS tracker and regularly blogged and used social media to share his stories and photos each day in real time.
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Photographer & Support Crew
World Runners Association (WRA) Media Announcement
The World Runners Association (WRA) has officially been established on October 1, 2014. The WRA is the international governing body for the sport of multi-day solo running and walking events that involve a circumnavigation of the Earth on foot.
The Association’s inaugural President is Mr Phil Essam, a long-time and well respected advocate of the sport. Based in Canberra, Australia, Mr Essam will preside over a WRA membership that includes all those who have completed, or are currently in the process of completing, a fully documented circuit of the planet on foot according to the Association’s rules (a full definition of these rules is appended to this document).
The WRA will adjudicate on official attempts to run or walk around the world, including the ratification or otherwise of claims for a variety of world records. These records comprise the categories of Longest Circumnavigation of the Earth on Foot, Fastest Circumnavigation of the Earth on Foot, Most Circumnavigations of the Earth on Foot, Oldest Person to Circumnavigate the Earth on Foot and Youngest Person to Circumnavigate the Earth on Foot.
The WRA will maintain an official and on-going register of the progression of these world records and an official list of all those who have successfully circumnavigated the world on foot according to the WRA rules. While decisions about these records will be determined by the WRA, other organizations are invited to publish these same records in hard copy or electronic books and magazines they may issue from time to time.
The mission of the World Runners Association is to officially represent legitimate runners and walkers who have, are, or are intending to circumnavigate the world in way that is open, transparent, and consistent with the WRA’s rules and guidelines. Though not affiliated with the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU), it is the intention of the World Runners Association to maintain a regular dialogue with the IAU.
As the authority that arbitrates on the acceptance or rejection of claims for successful attempts and world records in this class of athletic endeavour, the WRA will apply a rigorous yet unambiguous adjudication process. The overriding goal of the WRA is to ensure a consistency and uniformity in the rules for running and/or walking around the world, and honesty and transparency in any claims associated with attempts to do so.
The WRA is a not-for-profit organization operating on an internally democratic constitution. Membership of the World Runners Association is by invitation, though all those who are adjudged to have successfully completed a circumnavigation of the Earth on foot will automatically be invited to become a member of the organization. No joining or other fees are involved.
WRA Rules and Guidelines for Circumnavigating the Earth on Foot
- 1. The runner must start and finish at the same place (except when starting on the edge of one continent and finishing on the edge of a fourth continent). 2. The runner must cover a total of at least 26,000 km on foot. 3. The runner must cross at least four continents from “coast to coast”, covering a minimum of 1,000 km on each continent. The two “coasts” of any given continent must front different oceans#. A tolerance of 1 km from the waters of the ocean is allowed. The four “core” continents must be crossed contiguously. (i.e. no gaps). 4. The order of the four continents (and any additional land masses) that the runner takes must be longitudinally consecutive. For example, an acceptable order would be Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, South America. An example of an unacceptable order would be Europe, Australia, South America, Asia, North America. 5. The runner must pass through antipodal points, within a tolerance of ten degrees of latitude and longitude. 6. The runner must run more than 50% of the total distance. (i.e. walk less than 50%). 7. The runner may take as many breaks as desired, with one year as the maximum for any single break, and do as he/she pleases during these breaks. Any time incurred during breaks, however, will be included as part of the runner’s official time. The total length of all breaks must constitute less than 50% of the overall time involved in the attempt.
Note: for world walkers, the same rules apply except for Rule 6.
# In the case of the European “east coast” and Asian “west coast”, this is defined as either the Bosporus / Sea of Marmara/ Dardanelles waterway, OR the border between Russia and either Georgia, Azerbaijan, or Kazakhstan, OR the edge of the Caspian Sea between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, OR the ridge line along the Ural Mountains in Russia.