Video: 7 ultras, 7 continents, 1 world record
A Scottish GP has run 7 ultra-marathons on 7 continents in 5 days, 13 hours, 28 minutes beating the existing record by almost a day and a half.
Andrew Murray, 32, of Edinburgh started his epic challenge in Antarctica where he battled extreme sub-zero temperatures and katabatic winds, winning the world’s most southerly marathon, the Antarctic Ice Marathon in a new course record time of 3 hours 41 mins.
He then ran 50K in Antarctica on the Union Glacier, before flying to Santiago, Chile, where he completed 50K in temperatures 50 degrees celsius warmer than the previous day.
The rest of the challenge saw him running a minimum of 50K in each leg across North America, Europe, Africa and Australasia. His African adventure led through the streets of Cairo and the great pyramids of Egypt, before further runs in Dubai, and Sydney, where he completed the epic challenge, celebrating the finish at the Sydney Opera House, Australia.
After 7,000 calories each day and over 43,000 kilometres, he finished a day and a half ahead of time.
"While it was incredible seeing the world in fast forward, there were many dramas along the way," says Andrew. "Some of the places visited are tricky places to run; industrial action in South America almost cancelled my flights out of Antarctica, every muscle of my body aches, and I only managed ten and a half hours' sleep over the five nights.
"But increasing physical activity in Scotland and worldwide is the fundamental health challenge of our age, even walking 30 minutes five days a week cuts your risk of dying early by 30 per cent, so I'm delighted to finish the challenge and spread the message about the benefits of physical activity.
"I’m nothing special as a runner - I’ve just trained pretty hard," he says.
As part of the challenge, over 2,000 people walked, ran or cycled 5K a day for the week the challenge was on, and over £7,000 has been raised so far for the Scottish Association for Mental Health, Get Active campaign.