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April 9, 2015 Comments (4) All Posts

Kevin Carr – Fastest Person To Run Around The World

Kevin complets world record run

UPDATE (April 9)
Kevin Carr today completed his epic 621-day run around the world and entered the record books as the fastest person to circumnavigate the planet on foot. The 34-year-old returned to his starting point at Dartmoor, England, at around 6.20pm, having run 16,300 miles through 26 countries. During his adventure Kevin has come face-to-face with bears in Canada and packs of wild dogs in Romania. He was twice run over by cars and suffered severe heatstroke in India. In total Kevin wore 16 pairs of inov-8 running shoes as he ran east, heading through continents coast to coast. He averaged more than a marathon a day – and did so unsupported (the first person ever to do this), pushing a cart containing his belongings, food and camping gear for almost the entire adventure. Kevin successfully knocked off about 24 hours from the round-the-world record, set by the Australian runner Tom Denniss in 2013.

During the run Kevin ran through Europe, before flying to India and then onto Australia and New Zealand. He then went to Canada and the United States, before crossing Chile and Argentina. Finally he flew into the west coast of Ireland before arriving back England, via Scotland. Kevin said: “It has been an amazing journey but there’s also been quite a few setbacks, which mean that to try and break the record I’ve been running 46-50 miles each day for the last three weeks. I’m absolutely shattered but delighted!” His run has attracted lots of media interest, especially in the UK.

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What follows is his latest blog, written when he returned to the UK for the final leg of his amazing adventure.

I have encountered some pretty scary things along the way, from packs of wild dogs in Romania to the most extreme weather conditions imaginable. Most frightening of all, however, was coming face-to-face with bears in Canada. One of the bears stalked and then actively came for me. I used the bear bangers that someone had given me and, after three misfires, thankfully my fourth attempt sent the bear packing. I’ve had to endure a lot of suffering too. I had severe heatstroke in India and have twice been hit by cars.

Kevin has run in temperatures as low as -29°C

Kevin has run in temperatures as low as -29°C

Throughout the journey I have run unsupported, pushing a trailer that contains everything I need to survive, including my trusty tent.

If successful I will gain two world records:
1 The fastest person to run around the world
2 The first person to run around the world completely self-supported

Canada really took its toll on my body and I was late reaching the US. On top of that, winter arrived two months early. I was faced with temperatures reaching as low as -29 °C. Leaving the warmth of your sleeping bag to go out running in such bitterly cold conditions takes lots of motivation!

Another country, another city. Kevin has crossed five continents as he chases the world records

Another country, another city. Kevin has crossed five continents and 26 countries

I had originally planned to run across to New York and up to Boston, thus ticking off the US. However, an enormous snow dump meant I had no choice but to try and outrun winter by heading south to Florida.

This meant more kilometres overall but I knew I could just about complete it before my visa expired. Things did improve as I ran through the state of Wisconsin. Word spread quickly about what I was doing and I received a lot of press coverage on TV, radio stations and in newspapers. Before I even arrived in a town, people had heard about me and I was warmly welcomed, rather than just being stared at.

In Wisconsin I experienced the most heart-warming hospitality, particularly along the Great River Road. I received so many donations of beds for the night from local hotels, while I was also fed thoroughly and looked after by businesses and individuals alike. I even had the honor of spending Thanksgiving with a lovely family.

Some roads have been a little longer than others!

Some roads have been a little longer than others!

I continued south into Illinois, a state in which it seems little money has been spent on infrastructure, hence lots of very dangerous roads. At times I honestly feared for my life -it was unbelievably stressful.

In most of the cities I’ve run through all across the world there have been streetlights and/or pavements. Not so in Illinois. I attempted to find quieter side roads to run on. This worked some of the time, but more than once I hit an unexpected obstacle or dead-end and had to retrace my steps. In terms of my world run record attempt, the kilometres covered when retracing steps don’t count, so it was very frustrating.

Those frustrations were alleviated by the kindness of people I met along the way in Illinois. With camping not easy -most of the land is private and the majority of households own a gun -I was given shelter in a variety of places, including churches and fire stations.

Kevin has been away from home for 571 days, having started his epic journey in July 2013

Kevin has been away from home for 621 days, having started his epic journey in July 2013

With the task of finding suitable roads becoming increasingly time consuming, I decided to follow the underground railroad -a network of secret routes used by 19th century runaway slaves.

Although not much better, these roads were the best of a bad bunch. It wasn’t until I got to Florida that the road situation improved. However, it was then that I was struck down with a bad case of flu. I spent four days in bed, just about muscling up the strength to go and find something to eat. My time was spent watching mind-numbing TV -not easy when I’m used to running on the open road everyday! I was also well aware that the clock on the world record was ticking.

Once I got back on the road I began to gradually rack up the kilometres once again. Then I was hit with another setback when I realised my visa was due to expire in three days, rather than the six I had allowed for. My mistake was that I had calculated the expiry at three months, rather than 90 days. This meant I had 305km to run but only three-and-a-half days in which to do it. The pressure was really on. I had to get to the Atlantic coast of Jacksonville and then to the airport to catch my flight to Santiago, Chile. Thankfully I made it.

There has been many scary moments, including coming face-to-face with this bear in Canada

There has been many scary moments, including coming face-to-face with this bear in Canada

I then hit South America and knowing what lay ahead was the 50 biggest days of my life.

The run across the continent of South America was tough but I knew a flight back to the UK was the reward at the end of it, so I pushed myself hard. Indeed one of the real highlights of the journey came in South America when I ran at 12,000ft up over The Andes mountains. it was spectacular.

I can’t begin to explain the huge mental strength that this run has required. It has exhausted me mentally but in many ways it has also made me stronger. I continue to try and focus on the things that make me feel grateful and calm. I can’t achieve my world record dream.

Throughout my epic adventure I have worn a variety of inov-8 shoes, including the ROCLITE, TRAILROC, RACE ULTRA, OROC and F-LITE ensuring I have been able to run confidently over all terrains.

Kevin taking shelter from the sun in India. He later suffered severe heatstroke

Kevin taking shelter from the sun in India. He later suffered severe heatstroke

Just some of the 14,241 miles (22,920km) Kevin has clocked up so far

Just some of the miles Kevin has clocked up so far

On-going trailer repairs have been a necessity during Kevin's world run

On-going trailer repairs have been a necessity during Kevin’s world run

Having been away from home for 607 days, Kevin now has just 14 days left to run

Having been away from home for 621 days

Now back in the UK, Kevin continues to keep his spirits high

Kevin has continued to keep his spirits high throughout the epic adventure

Kevin is now on the home straight. Upon completing the challenge he will have run 26,232km

Kevin ran a total of 16,300 miles

* Follow Kevin’s progress on his website at hardwayround.com

* Kevin is sponsored by private investment company Cocoon Wealth and is completing this incredible endurance run for two charities -British Red Cross and Sane.

4 Responses to Kevin Carr – Fastest Person To Run Around The World

  1. jarcher@peoplestel.net' Janet says:

    We were, and are, so impressed with Kevin! We met him New Years Eve when he stopped at our family motel/restaurant (Southernaire) when running along the underground railroad route in Tennessee. We continue to follow his amazing journey with admiration and awe, and wish him the best of luck.

  2. Primalcareg@gmail.com' Gabe says:

    What shoes are you wearing? What type of nutrition is supporting this run? Inspirational mate. Keep it up

    • lee@inov-8 says:

      Hi Gabe,

      Kevin has worn a variety of inov-8 shoes, depending on the type of terrain. He has used the F-LITE range, the RACE ULTRA 270, ROCLITE 295, ROCLITE GTX and OROC 290.

  3. vintage1555@btinternet.com' Andrew Jarvis says:

    Kevin, like thousands of people, I am totally amazed by your absolutely unique , crazy , near-impossible achievement! Whatever you do next in your life, doubtless it will be remarkable- but they should have given you much more publicity in the UK press- just a footnote on page 4 of The Times….

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