On Saturday morning, December 7, 1996, Robert Garside headed out for his daily jog just like so many others. The only difference is, he hasn’t stopped. The Runningman, as he is known, is currently running his way around the entire globe. When he finally does stop, sometime in 2002, Garside will have crossed seven continents and covered 45,000 miles. You can track his progress at www.runningman.info.
AW: Do you have people come up to you and say, “What, are you nuts?”
RG: In the beginning, everyone ignored what I said, like I had just told them what was on TV that night. Other people physically distanced themselves from me like I had an illness, and a brave few who wanted to believe me had that look in their eyes as if to say, “Poor boy, maybe we should phone his mother.”
AW: What are you focused on as you run day after day?
RG: I imagine how great it will be to kiss my girlfriend again and remind myself that I have to run around the world and launch a brand name to secure my future with her. My nose to the grindstone, I push on like a slave, thinking how easy professional athletes have it.
AW: What are your eating habits on the road?
RG: When you run through some countries, your routine goes to pot. In Tibet in winter, I had to make do with dried yak ribs, fried fat, and yak tea. No fruit or vegetables for three months.
AW: So what happens when you finish your trek? A long nap and a book deal perhaps?
RG: I am planning to circumnavigate the globe twice more, conquering the air and seas without engines or support. Curious?