World Run II: A New Definition Of Endurance Runs!


Occasionally I get great articles, reports, and links sent my way from readers who are aware of some great adventures that I haven't come across before. At any given time, there are always some amazing things going on, and it's difficult to keep track of them all, although I do my best. :) One such reader is Darrell Raubenheimer, who drops me a note from time to time about one amazing endurance event or another that is taking place in and around South Africa, which he calls home. Earlier today, I received just such a note telling me about endurance athlete Jesper Olsen and his World Run II.

Back in 2005, Jesper completed the first ever fully documented run around the world. Dubbed the World Run, the event saw him begin and end in London, crossing Europe, and Asia, before ending up in Tokyo, Japan From there, the Danish runner hopped a flight to Sydney, ran across Australia to Perth, then grabbed another flight to Los Angeles, where he proceed to run north to Vancouver, then across Canada and the U.S., before taking a flight back to the U.K., returning to where he started. When he was done, Jesper had run more than 16,000 miles.

But like any good adventurer, the ultrarunner couldn't stay home for long, and thus the plan was hatched for World Run II, which like all good sequels, is bigger, and more impressive than the first. This time, Jesper is running a course that is roughly 25,000 miles in length and going from north-to-south, and back again. In the process, he'll cross four continents, numerous countries, and through nearly every time of environment imaginable.

The run got underway from Nordkapp, Norway, the northernmost point in Europe, and will continue south to Cape Town in South Africa. From there, Jesper will hop a flight to Punta Arenas, Chile, in South America, and turn is way north, heading up through that continent, and into North America, through Mexico, the U.S., and into Canada, eventually ending at Mt. Pearl, a small town in Newfoundland.

Jesper's latest blog report, which can be found on the World Run II website, indicates that he is now closing in on Cape Town, which is a major milestone for his expedition. As of two days ago, he had completed nearly 12,800 miles, so he's roughly halfway done. As of that posting, he was still about 500 miles away from Cape Town, but mentioned that he was looking forward to a break, some time to heal, and recover, before moving on to South America. Considering he's just about finished up a complete run across the African continent, north to south, I'd say he's earned some rest.

Personally, I'm in awe of this undertaking. I've taken the last two days off from running to try to heal a bit of a nagging injury, and now I feel just completely lazy after reading about some of the things that Jesper has been dealing with along the way. I may have missed the first half of this very cool adventure, but you can bet I'll be following along with the second half. Thanks for the tip Darrell, it is highly appreciated as always! :)