My mate Adam Hall had sorted a route in from the airport, and then around the sights of Sydney, so all I basically needed to do was run. It was a bright blue day hitting about 26 Celsius, a pleasant day for running.
15km took us into the city, and although my feet stung with each step, I only had 35km to go. The sea sparkled, as we dived through the botanical gardens to see the iconic Sydney opera house for the first time, with the famous harbour bridge connecting the North and the South shores behind. I was totally caught up in Sydney, not even thinking about the discomfort of my feet, or amazing places I’d recently been to.
We explored both North and South of the city, in parks, coastlines, beach, and the city. We were joined by Graeme Parry and Steve Burnie, both friends that live in Sydney. We did a few interviews, and had a couple pit stops for water etc.
We were almost finished, with a kilometre to go I looked around to see South Sydney behind me as we neared the opera house and the finish. Also behind was Antarctica and its savage beauty and extreme sub zero temperatures. My mind raced through legs in South America, Atlanta USA; past big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London; the pyramids of Egypt at dawn and as I thought of the bright lights of Dubai, I smiled. There it was, the finish line, and the opera house. It’s an image had kept me going when I was tired, injured, and nervous. It’s sails glinted as we arrived.
So we’d done it. Too many people to mention had helped me run 7 ultra marathons, on the 7 continents, in 5 days 13 hours and 28 minutes. Apparently this is almost a day and a half faster than the existing record. The kindness and expertise of friends and family had dragged me to the finish line, exhausted, sleep deprived, and needing the beer and custard that greeted me at the line.
In retrospect, I’d underestimated how difficult it would be, thinking that running 2660 miles to the Sahara desert would have been much harder. It wasn’t! The sleep deprivation, and flights made this a huge mental challenge. I was spurred on by the over 1700 5×50.co.uk challengers, and the 450 tribesports guys walking, cycling or running with me this week.
I’d like to thank everyone for their messages of support that I received. I appreciated each and every one. I’d also like to thank my main partners UVU, 5×50, tribesports, the Balmoral, and footworks.
So more challenges await. I’ll be back at work on Monday, working for the Scottish Government to get people more physically active more often. This is THE fundamental health challenge of our age, and I’m delighted that such priority is being given to this issue by the ministers and the senior health guys.
Whilst I’ll take on other challenges soon, getting Scotland active is the big show in town. Getting Scots more active is a bit like RunTheWorld as it is a binary issue. Either we are going to do it or we are not. We do not, and should not lack ambition with this. Everyone can play a role in this, if you haven’t seen the video 23 1/2 hours, check it out, and share.
Before getting back to work there are a load of interviews, and more flights to get me home. It was 38 Celsius in Sydney today, and I had a surf and went for a walk as well as a beer watching the cricket. I could have got used to being in Australia.
Dr Andrew Murray takes on the Challenge to run 7 ultra marathons on 7 continents in 7 days! As the physical health champion of the Scottish government, Andrew has already taken on Scotland to Sahara Challenge and was the winner of the North Pole Marathon. Now, he is set to start his Ultra challenge whilst trying to promote that everyone can find 30 minutes in their day to get active!
Andrew Murray, a GP, and the Scottish Government’s Physical Activity Champion is gearing up for his most gruelling challenge yet when he runs seven ultra marathons on seven continents over seven consecutive days, immediately after completing the Ice Marathon in Antarctica.
Andrew, 32 from Aberdeen, now living in Edinburgh, has been running for seven years and has completed gruelling challenges before including famously running 2,660 miles from Scotland to the Sahara. Winning this years North Pole Marathon and racing in some of the world’s most hostile and spectacular locations including the high Himalaya, the Indonesian jungle, and in Genghis Khan’s hoofprints in outer Mongolia.
This time around, Andrew has set everyone the challenge of joining in. While his destinations will be Antarctica, Patagonia, Atlanta-USA, London, the Pyramids of Egypt, Dubai and finishing his incredible journey at the Sydney Opera House, Australia, everyone can sign-up FREE to 5×50.co.uk to walk, run, or cycle 5 kms each day for the week he is away. Each competitor who enters can win themselves prizes such as signed Chris Hoy t-shirts and Scotland Rugby goodies as well as luxury get aways at the iconic Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh.
Andrew will travel economy class 41,000 kms around the world, will burn 6500 calories a day – enough for a 600kg crocodile – go through seven pairs of socks and run on glaciers, through deserts and mountains, and past iconic landmarks like the pyramids, all in just seven days.
In addition to getting people active, Andrew is raising money for SAMH – Get Active raising awareness of the benefits of Physical Activity for mental health and hopes to raise over £10,000.
Andrew Murray said: “It’s a genuine challenge, athletically and logistically. It is a fantastic way to challenge myself and see some of the world in fast forward! But the most important thing is to raise awareness of the benefits of exercise – being active regularly is the single best thing for your health. It cuts the risk of dying early by 30% and is good for the brain. If we get 6,000 people to walk or run 5km a day for a week, that’s enough to go around the world five times! Both my feet and myself were totally wrecked after running to the Sahara, and it’ll be no different this time I’m sure, but it’ll be worth it.
Low fitness kills as many as smoking- almost 1 in 10 of the world’s population. I’m pleased the Scottish Government is recognising the scale of the problem and encouraging and supporting people to get active and stay active.”
Sir Chris Hoy, a SAMH ambassador said: “If everyone in Scotland changed just one aspect of their lifestyle, such as walking to the shops instead of taking their car, it could make a huge difference to their physical and mental health. I would like to encourage everyone to Get Active.”
Record-breaking long-distance cyclist Mark Beaumont added: “Running an ultra marathon every day for a week is incredible enough without having to contend with a huge dollop of jet lag and a temperature range of between -25 and +35 degrees Celsius! I have been friends with Andrew for a number of years and we are equally passionate about promoting activity and challenges as a part of everyone’s life.”
Scotland’s Sport Minister Shona Robison said: “While Andrew’s previous runs were certainly adventures, this will break new ground. More importantly, it will focus attention on what is one of the most important health challenges we face today – physical inactivity. I’m encouraging Scots to sign up and tell friends about 5×50.co.uk – each step is a step to health and I’ll be doing it too.”
Chris Cusiter, Scotland rugby player commented: “Running 7 ultra marathons on 7 continents over 7 days is about the only thing that could top running from Scotland to the Sahara-unbelievable, and might even be tougher than facing the All Blacks! We’ll be following him @docandrewmurray on twitter. It’s great that everyone has the chance to join in the fun via 5×50.co.uk and tribesports.com“
For more information on Andrew Murray, please visit DocAndrewMurray.com
To sign-up and for more information on the 5x50challenge, visit 5×50.co.uk
For more information on SAMH visit samh.org.uk
To donate, please visit my JustGiving page.
For further information, interviews or images please contact:
Chris or Emma at Genuine PR on Telephone: 0141 243 2621
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Murray works for the Scottish Government as their Physical Activity Champion. He additionally works as a GP, and a doctor for Heart of Midlothian, and The European Tour Golf. He is the author of the book “Running Beyond Limits”.
SAMH is the Scottish Association for Mental Health. SAMH is a mental health charity working across Scotland. SAMH believes in mental health and well-being for all: sport and physical activity has a huge role to play in achieving this and that’s why SAMH runs the Get Active programme, launched in 2009 by SAMH ambassador Sir Chris Hoy.
9% of the world’s population due to a lack of physical activity (The Lancet, 2012)
It kills more than obesity, or Alcohol Excess (The Lancet, the WHO)
Chief Medical Officer guidelines recommend a minimum on 30 minutes 5x per week of any type of physical activity- everything counts
Children should do an hour a day, which improves performance at school, and health.
Chief Medical Officer for Scotland Sir Harry Burns said: “There is no doubt that regular physical activity/ exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. We’re determined to help get Scotland Active, as this can increase life expectancy and save money for the health service. Andrew has trained hard to put himself in the position to run 7 ultra-marathons on 7 continents in 7 days, and this is an inspiration. I’ll be taking part in the 5×50.co.uk Run the World challenge to support this, and urge everyone to do likewise.”
Find out about Andrew’s sponsors.
Dr Andrew Murray explains why the 5×50 Run The World Challenge is a great idea for your health !
Join us, sign-up and bring a friend or two with you.