Australian runner aims for world record with 150 marathons in 150 days
By Kathleen Magramo, CNN
Australian Erchana Murray-Bartlett completed 150 marathons in 150 days, running 6,300 kilometers (3,900 miles) from the country’s northern tip to the southern city of Melbourne in what could be a new world record.
The 32-year-old runner crossed the finish line on Monday after a feat that, if confirmed, will beat the previous world record of 106 consecutive marathons set by British national Kate Jayden last year. CNN has reached out to Guinness World Records to confirm Murray-Bartlett’s official standing.
While Jayden sought to raise money for refugees, Murray-Bartlett completed her run — documented on Instagram — to raise awareness of the threats to Australia’s biodiversity.
“Australia is fantastic, it’s so beautiful, and that was one of the key things I wanted to get out of this run, it was to showcase Australia’s beauty to the world — we have globally significant national parks, the Great Barrier Reef, and exploring them on foot is such a unique, different way to do it,” Murray-Bartlett told CNN affiliate Nine News.
Murray-Bartlett raised more than 118,000 Australian dollars ($82,130) for the Wilderness Society, with all profits going towards conserving Australia’s native animals.
Australia, which has one of the world’s worst records on extinctions, last year announced a 10-year plan to try to prevent any more species from dying out in the country. The country’s wildlife has suffered the effects of natural disasters and the climate crisis, including catastrophic bushfires in 2019-20 that killed or displaced nearly 3 billion animals, according to estimates from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
After setting off from Cape York in Queensland in August, Murray-Bartlett ran 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles) each day, enduring scorching heat and storms as she crossed dirt roads, rivers and beaches.
“It’s very exhausting, I’ll give you that but I feel very blessed have been out to get to the finish line,” she said on Monday.
While Murray-Bartlett’s run took her from the country’s north to south, another Australian, Nedd Brockmann, ran almost 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) over 47 days from west to east in 2022.
Brockmann set off from Cottesloe Beach in Perth and received a hero’s welcome on his arrival at Sydney’s Bondi Beach in October, raising 2 million Australian dollars ($1.26 million) — almost double his initial target — for homeless charity We Are Mobilise.
Earlier in 2022, Fay Cunningham and Emma Petrie, both from the United Kingdom, matched the world record for most consecutive days to run a marathon distance in the women’s category, running alongside each other for 106 days between February and June, according to Guinness World Records.
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CNN’s Tara Subramaniam contributed to this report.