THE WORLDS TOUGHEST FOOTRACE - 'FASTEST RUNNER AROUND THE WORLD'

July 28th 2013, Dartmoor, Devon, U.K

British Ultramarathon runner Kevin Carr began running East, running an Ultramarathon most days, his route will see him run over deserts, frozen arctic climes and high altitude mountain passes as he traverses 5 continents back to back. Some 26,232km, solo and self supported. This entails not only running an Ultramarathon most days, but also carrying all running, camping, first aid and tracking kit necessary to complete the effort. Across remote stretches Kevin will be pushing more than his own body weight in kit, food and water. "I aim to provide a very real demonstration that an 'ill mind' is in no way a 'weak mind' there is no shame in mental illness and it needn't hold you back". His goals:

  • provide a very real demonstration that an 'ill mind' is in no way a 'weak mind
  • become the first runner to circumnavigate the globe self supported/solo.
  • become the fastest runner around the world

You can follow along live, every step of the way below:

Quite simply without a firm belief in the importance of pushing boundaries. Calculating & overcoming risks, in order to reach unprecedented goals, no company would have backed an expedition of this scale - one that many would simply consider impossible. Cocoon's vision of pushing boundaries coupled with their generous financial backing is the only reason this run became a possibility. A sincere thank you -Kevin Carr.

Previous record holder

Jesper

Current record holder

Tom

Kevin's progress - live

Kevin

Kevin's bar shown in green at the bottom has to be ahead of both The red and blue bars by the end if he is to break the world record ' fastest runner around the world'

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Bio

Kevin's passion for running began aged 11 when his cross-country running took him over the hills and vales of rural Devon, which remains his home and training ground to this day. Through sport, he learned the impact that hard work and commitment can have on performance and this pushed him to train harder and harder.

By the age of 14, he had his heart set on being a top class professional endurance athlete. Originally training as a cyclist, he proved his fitness at the age of 21 when he cycled almost non-stop from Bradford to Oxford (nearly 135 miles), which is further than most Tour de France stages, with no support crew and no team. Four years later, he cycled the length of New Zealand’s South Island – a distance of 1000km.

After running to the top of Mount Lomond, which stands 200 metres higher than Ben Nevis, Kevin’s passion for running and endurance sport became an obsession. He switched his focus to running, training on the coast paths, sand dunes and moorland of Exmoor near his home town. At this time, a chance meeting with Doctor Pedlar – head of the English institute of Sport and the head of physiology on the team behind Paula Radcliffe and Kelly Holmes, saw him invited into the world class labs for physiological tests.

Aged 29, he ran from Land’s End to John O’Groats, becoming the first person in UK history to run off-road and unsupported across this distance of 1,250 miles, over coast paths, tracks, moorland, national trails, and the mountains of the Highlands. This trip taught him a lot about keeping safe, avoiding planning errors, and in never pushing ‘too far’ at any one time or you risk the point of no return and stopping.

This was the culmination of 3 years of obsessive running and he was finally happy, having reached the top of his game. Not long afterwards though, he began training hard again. This time, he was planning to build on his achievement, and run unsupported, and unaccompanied in an 18,000 mile, 19 month trip across the world.

KEVIN'S GOALS

1) Set the World-Record: First runner to circumnavigate the planet solo and self supported
2) Break the World-Record: Youngest runner to run around the world
3) The most difficult of his goals, break the World-Record: Fastest runner around the world

(This means not only running solo/unsupported the whole way around the world, but managing to do so faster, than runners who were fully or partly supported on their runs).

HISTORY

Ancient Greece: Two and a half thousand years ago:

The limits of human endurance were discovered...

"So, when Persia was dust, all cried, "To Acropolis!
Run, Pheidippides, one race more! the meed is thy due!

Athens is saved, thank Pan, go shout!" He flung down his shield
Ran like fire once more: and the space 'twixt the fennel-field
And Athens was stubble again, a field which a fire runs through,
Till in he broke:

"Rejoice, we conquer!" Like wine through clay,
Joy in his blood bursting his heart, - the bliss!" 

'Professional Day runner' - Pheidippides ran some 150 miles from The battle of Marathon to Sparta in less than two days, he was then instructed to run a further 26 miles to Athens to declare the victory.

Over Rocky Mountain passes it's actually often faster for a human runner than one could travel on a horse!

He ran to deliver the message: "Joy to you" he then promptly died of exhaustion on the spot.



The modern event the 'Marathon' is named after famed Greek runner Pheidippides, although the 150 miles before the 26 was dropped!

There are still people who push the envelope of human endurance, going well past the 'Marathon'

Ultra Marathon running (ultra is Greek for beyond, hence ' beyond marathon' running) is where endurance runners push the envelope of human endurance. 

Typically ran on tracks over a fixed time, I.e. How far can you run in 48 hours or 6 days? Or fixed distances over trails such as a 50 mile or 100 mile mountain run.

However in 2005 Jesper Kenn Olsen took the spirit of Pheidippides to its logical end, he decided to try and answer the most extreme question any runner could conceive:

Was it possible for a human being to run a loop around the planet?

1st January 2004 to 23rd October 2005

Running coast to coast across four continents back to back, the first - fully documented, run around the world was completed by Danish Ultramarathon legend runner Jesper Kenn Olsen.

Jesper completed the huge challenge of running 26,232km in only 662 days, that's just under a marathon a day for 22 months straight!

Link: http://www.worldrun.org/wr1.php



Current record 

The current record now stands at a mere 622 days 

December 31, 2011 to September 13, 2013, Australian Ultramarathon runner Tom Denniss ran the exact same distance of 26,232km.

http://www.tomsnextstep.com/

Aims

"I have loved endurance sport all my life, but I almost had a very short life. 

At 19 I was incredibly lucky to survive a very serious Suicide attempt. I've had to fight depression and anxiety all my adult life, but I'm determined not to let an illness or any stigma wrongly associated with it ever hold me back.

By running around the world (one of the toughest things, both physically and mentally one could ever ask of the human body) I aim to provide a very real demonstration that:

'An ill mind is in no way a weak mind'

I hope to inspire others, especially people who are where I was" 



Obstacles and tests

Unlike a cyclist a runner cannot avoid the seasons (with careful planning a cyclist can enjoy an 'Endless summer' as they are only on the road for 3month!) 

Extreme temperature changes: -30 degrees to plus 55 are the extremes a world run may well entail

Challenging remote wilderness: Kevin's most remote part of his run will see him run over 1000km passing only 2 shops/small communities to re supply food! As if that wasn't enough there's the wildlife.


Wildlife: Bears, Wolves, Snakes, Wolverines, Spiders, Coyotes, dingoes, Buffalo and Scorpions are all expected to make their presence known during Kevin's run! Perhaps the most annoying and persistent however will be the Mosquitos! 

Desert crossing: Kevin's aim to be the first runner to solo the world (run unsupported) will see him also become the first person to run across the Nullarbor desert unaided, well over 1,100km pushing more than 150% body weight as his cart is filled with food rations and water.

High altitude Mountain Passes: Crossing his fifth Continent South America Kevin will climb from sea level to over 12,000fT as he summits the second highest mountain range in the world the Andes.

Follow & Interact

Welcome, here you can follow online and interact with the expedition through social media, the blog and email.

Firstly a huge thank you to all our partners for making this expedition possible:



Kevin updates his Twitter and Facebook page daily. Here you can read about each day’s events and see how many kilometres Kevin has ran that day.

There are also articles written less frequently, on the Blog 

You can view photos either on the Facebook page or here: Photos 

Click here to see videos

For ultramarathon tips and to keep up to date with Kevins progress, subscribe to the email newsletter:

To contact the expedition, do so via @hardwayround or use this contact form here: 

" I'm running well, gaining momentum each month. I'm confident I can complete this world run, and set the world record for the first runner to circumnavigate the globe unsupported.

However If I'm to also break the world record 'fastest runner around the world' I really need all the encouragement I can get to dig deeper these next few months! Holding the pace necessary to catch Tom is very painful! Please help show your support by sharing online here: Facebook Twitter Thank you" - Kevin.

There's only two types of crisis someone can experience, external (flooding, war, disease, hurricanes etc) and internal - those caused through mental illness. By supporting SANE and the Red Cross you can help support people facing crisis all over the world. Thank you for your support, Kevin Carr.