Category: Sports / December 5, 2012 7:03 PM EST
Dr. Andrew Murray has triumphed in an epic attempt to complete seven ultra marathons on seven continents in seven days, encountering extreme temperatures and terrains along the way.
The challenge started on Friday November 23, just over 24 hours after Murray won the Antarctic Ice Marathon on November 21. Ultra marathons are longer than the traditional marathon distance of 42.19km (26.2 miles) and Andrew ran 50km (31.069 miles) at each of the seven locations. Having run the additional 50km on the Antarctic ice, Murray and his team boarded a plane for Chile, where he completed the South American leg of his challenge on the streets of Santiago on November 24.
After the third leg, which was run in Atlanta on November 25, the next stop was London on November 26, where Murray and his running mates braved the rain to take in the sights of the Houses of Parliament and the River Thames.
Murray had hoped to get plenty of rest on the international flights, but only managed a couple of hours sleep on some routes:
"I thought that I'd get plenty of sleep, but it's worrying about the logistics and how things are going to work for the next leg that actually prevents me from sleeping that well. That and industrial quantities of small children on flights constantly screaming, which is actually to be expected and I think that is pretty normal, but nevertheless it doesn't really help if you are trying to sleep."
After running in Cairo on November 27, with the splendour of the Pyramids in the distance, the second to last leg of the challenge was in Dubai on November 28, where the relative cool of the evening provided a welcome relief.
The final leg of the challenge took place in Sydney on November 29, taking in the iconic landmarks of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Murray completed his challenge alongside some of the running mates that had joined him along the way.
As a doctor he was well equipped to manage the physical pain of the challenge, but found that mental exhaustion was hardest to conquer. At the end it was his sheer determination that enabled him to continue, focusing on just putting one foot in front of another.
According to his website, Murray completed his challenge in five days, 13 hours and 28 minutes, as he progressed eastwards around the globe, crossing different time zones.
Murray is the Scottish Government's Physical Activity Champion, who works with the Scottish government to promote exercise for better living, and undertook the challenge to raise money for 'The Scottish Association of Mental Health - Get Active' and to inspire people to become more active.