The Weekend Leader - A world beater

Running for a world record is his daily chore

Lesley D Biswas   |   Kolkata


Vol 2 | Issue 5

At 53, Tirtha Kumar Phani’s thirst to get his name into the prestigious Guinness Book of World Record is showing no sign of abating. The two-time Guinness World Record holder of ‘Greatest Average Distance Run Daily Over One Year’ is currently trying to create a new world record of running 100 marathons in 100 consecutive days.

Phani’s run commenced on 21 November 2010 and he has been covering an average distance of 42 km everyday at a track in Salt Lake City, Kolkata. He has now completed over 70 days of consecutive running.

Record chaser: Tirtha Kumar Phani is aiming at creating a new Guinness World Recording by running 100 Marathons in 100 consecutive days 

He begins his run from 6 in the morning and continues it way past noon without a break either for food or water and defying nature’s calls.

Phani attributes his record-breaking streak to his childhood dream. Coming from a far-flung village Lalgola, in Murshidabad of West Bengal, all Phani had was a burning desire to set a world record.

“As an 8 year-old-boy I had only one goal in my head. ‘I have to set a world record.’ But there was no one in our village to guide me, so I left home and took to the national highway in search of an answer and to build my stamina. Many nights I slept on newspaper or cardboard cartons and worked at roadside dhabas to fill my stomach. I reached Kathmandu, where some foreigners gave me the contacts of The Guinness World Record Authority and asked me to have a go at it,” recalls Phani.

Phani’s two previous Guinness World Record entries were in the category of ‘Greatest Average Distance Run Daily Over One year’. For the first record, he had covered a distance of 22,565 km at an average of 61 km daily from 1 August 1996 to 31 July 1997. He improved that record when he covered a distance of 22,581 km from 30th June 2006 to 29th June 2007.

Lesley adds: A Belgian runner Stefan Engles has created a new record on 5 February 2011 by completing 365 marathons in as many days. Phani will continue to run and now attempt to break this new record

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