239 marathons in 2013. That’s the present Guinness World Report for probably the most marathons accomplished in a yr: 6,266 miles. In 2023 Ben Pobjoy got down to stroll 240 marathons all around the world, and each mile might be tracked within the ASICS Runkeeper app.
How did Ben discover himself endeavor this huge problem? The catalyst was beginning a brand new job in a brand new metropolis with a crew of youthful people who had a totally completely different outlook on well being. “I skilled a generational collision. They had been going to spin and pilates, and I simply needed to get a drink.” Ben started to note how his personal life-style was negatively affecting his well being and weight, realizing he needed to flip his life round. “I befriended a younger lady who was very good. I requested, ‘How do you do all these items?’ She replied: ‘Apps!’ She really helpful an app to trace my meals and the Runkeeper app.”
However that is the Runkeeper app? Why stroll?
Identical to working, strolling has been proven to boost cardiovascular health and strengthen bones and muscle groups. It might additionally provide help to keep a wholesome weight and enhance total psychological well-being. It’s a lower-impact different to working and simply as straightforward to trace on the app.
Rising up in Canada, Ben was pretty lively, taking part in hockey and soccer. However as an grownup, he discovered himself too embarrassed to go to the fitness center. The mirrors, the mysterious machines, and his physique picture had been all detractors. Ben discovered that by strolling, he might mix into the normalcy of a giant metropolis whereas exercising. “I used to be so out of practice that straightforward, straightforward motion was all I might do,” he remembers. “This was a last-ditch effort. I’m gonna go gradual to essentially commit, after which gradual grew to become longer, sooner, additional.”
He began by setting a difficult, long-term objective for himself. “My new yr’s decision in 2015 was to stroll the yr in kilometers, 2015 km by the tip of the yr.” Logging every kilometer within the app. “It was instrumental in serving to me lose 100 lbs in 8 months. The Runkeeper app is an extremely highly effective device.”
As time went on, Ben began discovering motivation within the app. “The app gamified train. This week was 10 km at this tempo. Subsequent week can I do 12? Can I’m going longer? It’s an exterior measure of ‘Can I’m going additional?’. Earlier than I noticed the leads to the mirror, I might see the invisible leads to the app. That was the ‘carrot on a stick’ that helped me maintain my journey.” And 2015 km was only the start for him. “I simply by no means stopped. I’ve used [the app] since 2015 to trace greater than 70,000 km world wide, over six continents. It’s the one app I’d by no means delete from my cellphone.”
Private objectives to world information
In 2020, he set a lofty objective of strolling 10,000 km by the tip of the yr. He failed, developing brief by 259 km, however that didn’t cease him. Reflecting on his journey, he wrote: “Whereas my earlier try was an goal failure, it wasn’t all for naught. A journey might be as vital because the vacation spot. Actually, the journey (no matter how bumpy or turbulent it might be) can really be a welcome escape from one’s level of departure; which might be something from a spot like Toronto to a foul way of thinking or a diminished state of being.”
So, he tried once more. In 2021, Ben efficiently walked 10,000 km, finishing 174 marathons in that point and monitoring all of it within the Runkeeper app.
“As a joke,” he says, “I submitted my stats to the Guinness E-book of World Data as probably the most marathons tracked on an app.” They wrote him again and communicated that his provincial classification was too area of interest however inspired him to go for the world document. So he went “world” on his Marathon Earth Problem; 240 marathons walked all around the world in 2023.
Since beginning his journey in Canada, Ben has accomplished marathons in 37 international locations. Already midway finished, Ben has walked all through the Americas, Western Europe, and Northern Africa. Ben nonetheless has marathons left in Southwest Asia in addition to Northern and Jap Europe.
Strolling for thoughts and physique
Via his journey, Ben has crafted his personal definition for the ASICS mantra: A Sound Thoughts In A Sound Physique. “It’s unencumbered motion via the bodily world…finished freed from fear, and filled with inspiring sights and scenes.”
Extra than simply bodily exercise, Ben has discovered strolling has impacted his way of thinking. “Strolling permits me to maneuver via the world with my cameras, the place I can uncover quite a lot of magical moments that I couldn’t expertise another means. I discover quite a lot of inspiration on the earth. It takes you off the web. There’s quite a lot of magic on the market: massive cities, small cities, in every single place. I’ve seen unbelievable acts of kindness, these actually human moments of charity…If you see that, it evokes you.”
“There’s an empathy for the human situation that grows out of spending that a lot time experiencing.” Whereas residing in Toronto, Ben has began utilizing his each day walks as a possibility handy out sandwiches alongside his route. “I wasn’t fixing a systemic situation, however there have been individuals counting on me for a meal.”
How are you going to begin your individual health journey? “It’s a must to discover one thing that works, that you just discover enjoyable,” he says. “Train is sort of a unhealthy phrase, too. Individuals don’t affiliate it with enjoyable. They equate it with struggling. So discover one thing enjoyable. I at all times really feel higher after I come again from my stroll.”
Ben acknowledges that nearly each day marathons walked the world over should not for everybody, however he nonetheless encourages everybody to get on the market and discover their very own routine. “I don’t have regrets, however I want I had began sooner. If you’re already down and out, what do you must lose? It’s simply taking that first step. It’s a must to be able to do it as nicely. You gotta begin if you wanna begin. And if you do, go slowly, to go far.”
Ben has greater than earned his unicorn emoji within the app, which he’s fairly happy with.
Comply with Ben on his journey
You’ll be able to comply with Ben’s journey within the app (click on this hyperlink out of your cell machine or search his identify within the app) and thru social media, the place he posts his progress and photographs. Join his weekly Marathon Earth Problem publication, which he publishes each Saturday morning. Or you may take Ben’s recommendation and set a Runkeeper Aim for your self; who is aware of how far you’ll go?