Australian runs a marathon a day to circle globe

An Australian man completed a gruelling run that looped the world, having done the equivalent of a marathon a day for more than 20 months in what he hopes is a record.

Tom Denniss, 52, began his endurance test on Dec 31, 2011, at the Sydney Opera House and since then has travelled more than 26,000km on foot, crossing deserts and mountains over five continents.

His run, which has raised A$53,000 (€37,000) for the charity Oxfam, is yet to be certified but he hopes it will be a world record — smashing the current circumnavigation on foot mark set by Dane Jesper Olsen in 2005 by 40 days, organisers said.

“All the attention is a bit overwhelming from being out in the middle of nowhere for so long,” Denniss said as he ran across the finish line at the Opera House.

By early this month, he had completed the New Zealand, North American, South American, European, and Asian legs and returning to Sydney yesterday completed the Australian section and capped 622 days on the road.

“I almost didn’t make it running over the Andes,” said Denniss. “The road was snowed in and I had to try to get around and I almost fell down a 1,000ft ice cliff.”

The father of two said several incidents with snakes had made the run interesting, but the scariest times were the two occasions when his wife Carmel, who had driven each leg with him, had a gun pointed at her in the US.

He has no regrets and even his body has held up well over the distance, with Denniss saying: “I haven’t got any niggling pains at all.”

For now, he will take things a little easier.

“I will have a bit of a rest and I’m certainly looking forward to celebrating,” he said.

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