A few weeks back I posted a story about the World Run II, a long distance endurance run like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The event is the brainchild of Danish ultrarunner Jesper Olsen, who is about to become the first person to ever run the length of Africa, north to south, as he finishes the first half of an amazing long distance odyssey on foot.
On Saturday, March 13, Jesper will be running into Cape Point, South Africa, which will mark the end of the first stage of World Run II, which began back on July 1st of 2008, when he set off from the northernmost tip of Norway, and started running south. Now, 20 months, and nearly 21,250 kilometers later, he’s about to set some very impressive firsts. In addition to becoming the first person to run across Africa, north to south, he’ll also become the first person to run from the most northerly point in Europe, to the southernmost tip of Africa, and he’ll be the first to complete two documented runs of more than 20,000km, having finished his first during World Run I back in 2005, which went for more than 26,000km.
Upon reaching Cape Point, Jesper will then take a few months off to rest and recover before beginning the second stage of World Run II. That stage will begin in Punta Arenas, Chile, and will see him running north this time, covering the length of South America, up through Central America, into Mexico, and the U.S. before ending in Mt. Pearl, Newfoundland, Canada. When he’s done, Jesper will have covered more than 40,000km, through all kinds of terrain and weather conditions.
I just wanted to take the opportunity to salute Jesper and what he’s accomplished so far. While he still has a long way to go before he finishes World Run II, it is very impressive what he has accomplished so far. What an amazing expedition this has been through Africa, and what a great way to see the world – on your own two feet!
Update: It seems my original information was off just a bit. Jesper will now be arriving in Cape Point on Monday, not Saturday. We can afford him a little extra time to take in the sights though considering how far he has just run, right?
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