Ben Pobjoy is a 41-year-old Canadian runner and has set out on a journey to break the Guinness World Record for most marathons ran by a male in a year (239), held by American Larry Macon.

Pobjoy, who started on New Year’s Day, plans to accomplish the feat running marathon-length distances across 90 countries while capturing content of all his discoveries along the way.

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On his website, Pobjoy says, “At the start of 2015, I was morbidly obese so I learnt to walk in my early thirties. I slowly put one foot in front of the other and quickly lost 100 pounds in eight months. In doing so, I unintentionally found something else: total awe for the physical world and a growing appetite to move through it.

“My physical exercise transformed into a creative one, and over the next eight years I trekked 63,000+ kilometres by foot across six continents to document what the world — and its inhabitants — revealed to me. Step by step, word by word, and image by image I completed 600 freestyle marathons as a means to nurture my curiosities, and — in turn — share my findings with others on social, in written essays, and in photographic books.

“In 2023, I will dedicate myself to the Marathon Earth Challenge where I will break the Guinness World Record for most marathons completed in a calendar year. Done alone, across as many countries as humanly possible, and for the express purpose of documenting the human condition then sharing what is revealed to me in terms of meaning, wisdom, and insights for the now and the eternal.”

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Having left his job at advertising company Behaviour last August, Pobjoy felt it was time for a change.

“That world where you have a steady paycheque, it’s really comfortable,” he told The Canadian Press. “But I just found there wasn’t much growth in it and to kind of cut myself out of that, throw myself into the world and just have that ultimate pressure where it’s fully on me to create something, it just felt like the high time.

“Life is short. The pandemic showed me how quickly the world could change and, you know, if I’m going to gamble, I might as well gamble on myself.”

“Not to race others, but to step into the unknown and document the human condition”, says Pobjoy. For me, the marathon is the most intimate medium for observing our world up-close. It’s why I’ve done 600 of them around the planet, and then shared my findings with others as words and images. In 2023, I will dedicate myself to the Marathon Earth Challenge: travel the earth, do 240+ marathons around it, and break the Guinness World Record for most marathons in a year. Not for glory, but to gather new findings from — and for— our new and ever-changing world.”

For more information, visit https://www.benpobjoy.com/