7 Days, 7 Continents, 7 Marathons

WMC 2020

Thanks to my dear friend Richard Donovan, the ultra endurance runner and extreme event organiser from Ireland, I was able to witness his World Marathon Challenge first hand, without having to run:

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7 days, 7 continents, 7 marathons

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With more than 40 participants from a dozen countries. Foto taken at the start in Capetown.

A grueling 295 km of running over the 7-day period and 70 hours in the air in between.

Boeing 757 VIP

The clock was brutally counting down from 168 hours … What a logistical achievement by the organisers!

After the initial marathon in Antarctica (where adverse conditions required an Ilyushin IL-76 plane), competitors flew in a Boeing 757 Business Jet to every marathon location around the globe: Novo. Capetown. Perth. Dubai. Madrid. Fortaleza. Miami. Plus the mandatory tankstops (and air crew changes) in Mauritius, Jakarta, Colombo, Tenerife.

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With my extreme travel buddies Artemy Lebedev (most traveled Russian) and Joao Paulo Peixoto (most traveled Portuguese) onboard the initial Ilyushin.

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For me, even the long time spent in the comfortable private plane was physically exhausting. Despite the business class seats. And without running 😉

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Check-In. Security. Passport Control. Bus Transfers. Jet Lag. Muscle Pain. No Time for Hotels. Rarely a Shower.

I have the highest respect for the athletes. What willpower and endurance!

Each one of them deserves top sponsorship deals in their home country.

And these 3 ladies up here qualify for a worldwide ad campaign in addition.

“Marathon Barbie” Suzie Williams (USA, left). Alicia Kletter (USA, middle). Kristina Madsen (right) from Denmark was the overall winner. Yes, she beat all the men!!! With an average of only 3 hours and 26 minutes – running 7 times the 42.195 kilometers – including super-hot Brazil and super-hard Antarctica!

Estée Lauder, Revlon, L’Oréal … get on your marks!

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As a long-time Formula 1 marketing man, I had the honor to start the Marathon in Madrid, on the famous Jarama F1 Racetrack. “Ladies. Gentlemen. Start your engines!”

 

These short video clips re-capture the fascinating races:

I. World Marathon Challenge 2020 – Africa Intercontinental Marathon – Capetown

II. World Marathon Challenge 2020 – Antarctica Intercontinental Marathon – Novo

III. World Marathon Challenge 2020 – Australia Intercontinental Marathon – Perth

IV. World Marathon Challenge 2020 – Asia Intercontinental Marathon – Dubai

V. World Marathon Challenge 2020 – Europe Intercontinental Marathon – Madrid

VI. World Marathon Challenge 2020 – South America Intercontinental Marathon – Fortaleza

VII. World Marathon Challenge 2020 – North America Intercontinental Marathon – Miami

 

2020 Overall Results:

Screenshot_2020-02-15 News Updates - World Marathon Challenge

 

Current World Records for 7 Marathons on 7 Continents:

Shortest Average Marathon Time (Men) – Michael Wardian (USA): 2:45:57 hrs

Shortest Average Marathon Time (Women) – Kristina Madsen (DEN): 3:25:57 hrs

Shortest Duration (Men, on scheduled jets) – Richard Donovan (IRL): 4 Days 22 Hours 3 Minutes !!!

Shortest Duration (Women) – Becca Pizzi (USA): 6 Days 7 hours 58 Minutes

 

Update 15.02.2020:

While we were traveling, Kyle Vogt, the vegan billionaire and co-founder of Cruise self-driving vehicles, established a new world record, using his private jet and the new Wolf’s Fang Runway by White Desert in Antarctica for his project #7ON7IN77 to complete the 7 Marathons on 7 Continents in (not 77 but) 81 hours, 38 minutes and 46 seconds. Wow!

Shortest Duration (Men, on private jet) – Kyle Vogt (USA): 3 days, 9 hours, 38 minutes (pending official recognition)

I have a feeling that Richard Donovan and Mike Wardian will beat this record together 😉

 

P.S.: Dean Karnazes ran 50 marathons in 50 US states in 50 days

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