Australian Tom Denniss has become the fastest person to circumnavigate the world on foot after an epic marathon that saw him chalk up 26,000 kilometres in 20 months.
Denniss began his journey on December 31, 2011, and went through 17 pairs of shoes while running the equivalent of a marathon a day for 622 days.
The quest took him to five of world’s seven continents, and this afternoon it wrapped up at the same place it began: the Sydney Opera House.
The ultra-marathon runner from Sydney also raised more than $44,000 for the charity Oxfam Australia during the journey.
“I never really thought about giving up,” he told the ABC this morning with 10 kilometres left to run.
“[My body] feels stronger now than when I started. I think I’ve just got used to it.
“It’s not the thing that most people are ever going to undertake, but if you do, I think you’ll find the body will adapt very well.”
Denniss says he will look at the world in a different way now that he has circled the globe on foot.
“A lot of people thought I would take note of how large the world is, but feels smaller now. The world doesn’t seem to be as big now that I’ve run around it,” he said.
“The highlights have been along the lines of the geographical aspects – the Grand Canyon, running along the rim, running through Monument Valley … over the Andes.
“The real highlight was running across the Nullarbor with [my wife] Carmel and some other friends.”
Asked what his plans are for the future, he said: “I’m just going to relax and see what I feel like doing. As far as athletic challenges go, I’m just going to let that one come naturally.”