List of people who have run across Australia

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Location of Australia
Map depicting the geographical extremes of Australia, and the cities at each point of the compass.

People who choose to run across Australia can choose to run from either of the geographical extremes of the continent, or from directly opposed cities on opposite shores. The western-most geographical extreme of Australia is Steep Point, whereas the eastern-most extreme is Cape Byron. Similarly, the northern-most geographical extreme is Cape York Peninsula, and the southern-most is the South East Cape. The distance between the east and west as the crow flies is 4,030 km (2,500 mi), or 3,685 km (2,290 mi) from north to south†. The western-most capital city in Australia is Perth, and the eastern-most capital city is Brisbane. The northern-most city is Darwin, and the southern to the southern-most city is Hobart.

Runners who choose to circumambulate Australia can follow the National Highway for large sections of their journey. Distances involved are in the vicinity of 14,300 km (8,900 mi)[1] depending on the route taken.

†Distance calculated utilising the resources of Geoscience Australia.

Completed journeys[edit]

The names of the individuals who have run across Australia have been listed below in chronological order. Sources for data contained within this table have been listed within the body of the article, or where not readily available, directly from the individual concerned.

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Name Nationality Start date Finish date Duration Starting location Finishing location
George Perdon  Australia August 1973 September 1973 47 days Fremantle Sydney
Tony Rafferty  Australia August 1973 October 1973 74 days Fremantle Gold Coast
Ron Grant  Australia 1983 1984 217 days Brisbane Brisbane
Sarah Covington Fulcher  United States 22 September 1986 26 December 1986 96 days Bondi Beach Fremantle (Perth)
Robert Garside  England unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown
Serge Girard  France 24 September 1999 9 November 1999 47 days Perth Sydney
Pat Farmer  Australia 1999 unknown unknown days Syd Syd Including Tas
Jesper Olsen  Denmark 31 October 2004 11 February 2005 104 days Sydney Perth
Achim Heukemes  Germany 2 April 2005 14 May 2005 43 days Fremantle Sydney
Deborah De Williams AM  Australia 27 March 2010 8 May 2011 408 days Hobart Hobart Inc Mainland
Remi Camus  France 15 October 2011 19 March 2012 100 days Melbourne Darwin
Cesar Guarin  Philippines 31 October 2011 6 December 2011 37 days Melbourne Brisbane
Patrick Malandain  France 13 October 2013 20 November 2013 38 days Sydney Fremantle
Janette Murray-Wakelin  Australia 1 Jan 2013 1 Jan 2014 366 days Melb Melb Inc Tas
Tony Mangan  Ireland 13 March 2013 25 May 2013 74 days Melb Darwin also Hobart-Darwin
Tom Denniss  Australia June 2013 September 2013 97 days Cottesloe Sydney via Melbourne
Alan Murray  Australia 1 Jan 2013 1 Jan 2014 366 days Melb Melb Inc Tas
Mark Allison  UK October 2013 January 2014 82 days Perth Shellharbour
James Brooman  UK March 2015 May 2015 81 days Perth Sydney
Jason P. Lester[2]  United States March 2016 August 2016 118 days Scarborough Beach Batemans Bay
Greg Brown  Australia 2 April 2016 22 June 2016 82 days South East Cape, Tasmania Cape York, Queensland
Andre Jones  Australia 10 March 2017 13 June 2017 93 days Melbourne Darwin

George Perdon[edit]

George Perdon ran across Australia during the 1973 Trans-Continental Run, completing the 4,807 km (2,987 mi) journey in 47 days, 1 hour and 54 minutes. He averaged 100 km (62 mi) per day, and set records for 1,000 miles (1,600 km), 1,500 miles (2,400 km), 2,000 miles (3,200 km) and 2,600 miles (4,200 km).[3]

Perdon became a household name in 1973 when competing in the 1973 Trans Australia race and racing his rival - Tony Rafferty. Perdon was unable to get time off work at the appropriate time and missed the official start, giving Rafferty one week's head start before heading off from Fremantle. Perdon was to end up beating Rafferty into Sydney by a day. They took slightly different routes during the run, causing the run to generate front-page headlines for a majority of the journey.[3]

Perdon died on 29 June 1993.[3]

Tony Rafferty[edit]

In 1972, Tony Rafferty became the first man to run from Melbourne to Sydney, pioneering ultra-distance running in Australia. He was also the first man to run from Perth to Adelaide, Adelaide to Brisbane, Melbourne to Brisbane and Sydney to Brisbane. In 1978, he became the first man to run from Melbourne to Sydney and return.[4] In August to October 1973 Tony became the first person to run from Fremantle to the Gold Coast, and in the process became the first person to run across the Nullarbor Plain.[5] He completed the run in 74 days.[6]

Tony has received many commendations for his achievements. Most notably, he was a Torch Bearer for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and the recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2002 for services to Ultramarathon Running and the promotion of Community Fitness.[5]

Ron Grant[edit]

In 1983, Ron Grant ran 13,383 km (8,316 mi) around Australia in 217 days. Ron completed the run in an anticlockwise direction. Starting in Brisbane, he then proceeded to Townsville, Mt Isa, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, then back to Brisbane. He maintained an overall daily average of 61.67 km (38.32 mi), and was the first person to do it solo. Soon after this achievement, he was awarded the Queensland Sportsman of the year Award in 1983, Queenslander of the Year in 1984, and the Order of Australia in 1984.[7][8]

Sarah Covington Fulcher[edit]

The first woman to run across Australia, at age 24, from North Carolina, USA, running 2,727 miles (4,389 km) east to west from Bondi Beach, NSW to the western suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, 22 Sep to 26 Dec 1986.[9] Fulcher describes her journey through remote areas in an interview with Bryant Gumbel on NBC's Today Show. "Sarah Fulcher set her incredible record one marathon at a time. It was an unparalleled feat that will take a heck of a commitment to beat. During her record run, Fulcher averaged 10 minutes per mile."[10] "This would also make her the youngest person (at that time) to make any transcontinental run."[11]

Sarah also set the Guinness world record for longest continuous solo run with a distance of 11,134 miles (17,918 km) in 438 days.[12] "Sarah Fulcher, an attractive, brightly-smiling, 25-year-old native of Winston Salem, N. C., jogged through Sequin this week on her way back to Laguna Hills, Calif., near Los Angeles, from where she began her 11,000 mile run...the world's longest, continuous solo run in history.[13] "Fulcher has been recognized by untold news organizations and government organizations including the Connecticut General Assembly Permanent Committee on the Status of Women's (CTPCSW) publication Selected Highlights of Women's History (page 38) and the United States Congressional Record in a "Salute to Sarah Covington Fulcher".[14]

Robert Garside[edit]

Robert Garside is a British runner who ran through 29 countries on six different continents covering more than 48,000 km (29,826 mi) and covering a period of 2,062 days.[15] He started and finished in New Delhi on 20 October 1997, and finished on 13 June 2003.[16] He had completed his Australian leg of the run by April 2000.[17]

Serge Girard[edit]

Serge Girard ran from Perth to Sydney in 1999, covering a distance of 3,755 km (2,333 mi) in 46 days, 23 hours, 12 min and setting a world record in the process. The world record remained intact until beaten by Achim Heukemes in 2005.[18][19]

Jesper Olsen[edit]

Jesper Olsen is a Danish marathon runner who ran across Australia as part of his first journey around the world.[20] He departed from Sydney on 31 October 2004, and arrived in Perth on 11 February 2005.[21][22][23] He completed the journey in 104 days, before proceeding onto Los Angeles to complete the American leg of his run around the world.

Achim Heukemes[edit]

Achim Heukemes (born 1951 in Wuppertal, Germany) is an ultramarathon runner known for his 4,568-kilometre run through Australia. He started from Fremantle on 2 April 2005 and finished in Sydney 43 days, 13 hours and 8 minutes later. By this feat, he beat the previous world record of Serge Girard from 1999.[24]

Remi Camus[edit]

Remi Camus ran across Australia, Capital to Capital, Melbourne to the Top End, Darwin. He covered his journey in 100 days at an average of 54 km (34 mi) per day ( more than 5,300 km (3,293 mi)). He completed his journey with no vehicle support, pulling a trailer of 45 kg (99 lb). He went to visit two Aboriginal Communities, Docker River located 182 km (113 mi) west of Kata Tjuta and Mutitjulu located behind Uluru. He recorded his journey with 2 video cameras. He also raised money for a charity, Syndrome of Lowe, a genetic disease that affect mostly boys.

Cesar Guarin[edit]

Cesar Guarin ran across Australia in 2011, as part of his Global Run for an advocacy to help Filipino children experiencing poverty. His run across Australia was the fifth leg of his Global run and has a total distance of 2,053 km (1,276 mi) from Melbourne to Brisbane. The Australian run hoped to raise $200,000 funds.[25][26]

Pat Farmer[edit]

Pat Farmer established the fastest around Australia long run record of continuous running in 191 days and 10 minutes (around 6 months) over 14,662.4 km (9,111 mi) during his Centenary of Federation run. He set a new world 10,000 km (6,214 mi) record in 129 days, broke a long-standing Australian record of more than 13,383 km (8,316 mi) in 174 days. He set a total of ten international records including the Western Australia border to border run, the Brisbane to Darwin run, and the world record for the longest tropics run (6,307 km (3,919 mi) in 83 days).[27]

Deborah De Williams AM[edit]

Deborah De Williams AM successfully walked around Australia in 2003-04, and set a world record for the longest walk by any woman in the process. On 25 October 2008, she began running from Hobart in an anti-clockwise direction to raise funds for the national breast Cancer Foundation. She made it to Darwin before being injured, and was subsequently forced to withdraw from the run on 5 June 2009. On 27 March 2010, she restarted her run again from Hobart and successfully circumambulated the continent on 8 May 2011. In doing so, she set another world record for the longest run for a woman.[28] In 2015 Deborah was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours for her service to the cancer community and ultra marathoning community and in doing so is officially recognised as the first woman to run around Australia.[29]

Patrick Malandain[edit]

Patrick Malandain (born 1960) ran across Australia from Sydney to Fremantle (Perth) during the 2013 Trans-Continental Run, completing the 3,861 km (2,399 mi)race in 38 days, 12 hours and 58 minutes. He ran average 100.177 km (62.247 mi) per day. He breaks Achim Heukemes's record since 2005.[30][self-published source?]. It's the new world record.[citation needed]

Janette Murray-Wakelin and Alan Murray[edit]

Experienced ultra-marathoners Janette Murray Wakelin and Alan Murray successfully ran/walked around Australia in 2013. Taking only 366 days to complete the journey, the couple aged in their 60s ran no less than 1 marathon, 42.195 km (26.219 mi) in any one day, and most days did much closer to 45 km (28 mi). They followed predominantly Highway 1. Janette Murray-Wakelin and Alan Murray promoted the raw food movement and demonstrated its function to sustain the human body in optimum performance. They only consumed raw plant matter to fuel their whole run.[31][self-published source?]

Tony Mangan[edit]

Tony Mangan ran across Australia south to north on his world run (in which he covered 50000 km in 4 Years from 2010 to 2014) Started on Australian mainland in Queenscliff, Melbourne on March 13th. Finish Australian mainland in Nightscliff Beach, Darwin (Nightscliff Pool) May 25th. Distance run on the mainland was 3777km in 69 road days. Average distance run per road day was 54.73km. 5 rest days taken. Average distance including rest days was 51km for the 74 days. This has been declared as a new Melbourne to Darwin Trans Australian record by Phil Essam former Australian ultra running vice president, historian, statistician and author. Hobart Airport to Burnie, Tasmania and including the mainland has also been declared a second Trans Australian record for Tasmania to Darwin. Total Australian distance run 4,064km

Mark Allison[edit]

Mark Allison is known as Run Geordie Run and as part of his charity money raising he completed the run across Australia in January 2014.[32]

James Brooman[edit]

James Brooman ran from Cottesloe Beach, Perth, to Bondi Beach, Sydney. The journey was solo and unsupported, with James pushing a buggy the entire distance. Beginning on March 11, 2015 he completed the journey of 2,562 mi (4,123 km) in a time of 81 days, 5 hours 55 minutes. The route took him through Kalgoorlie, across the Nullarbor on Highway 1 and through the Blue Mountains via Cowra. Prior to this journey James was an inexperienced runner, completing 3 marathons since 1999, and began his running training for this challenge in December 2014.[33]

Tom Denniss[edit]

Tom, who lives in Sydney, ran across Australia from Perth to Sydney in 2013. It was the final leg on his world circumnavigation run, which he commenced on New Year's Day, 2012, in Sydney. The trans-Australia leg was 97 days from June 10 to Sept 13, 2013, covering 5,000 km from Cottesloe Beach in Perth, to Kalgoorlie, Norseman, then across the Nullabor Plain, then Melbourne and finally Sydney, where he completed his world run on Friday, 13 September 2013. His circumnavigation totalled 26,232 km, the equivalent of 622 marathons in 622 days. This was the fastest ever circumnavigation of the Earth on foot, some 40 days quicker than Jesper Olsen’s earlier circumnavigation, a record which still stands (as at March 2016). Tom used his world run as an opportunity to raise funds for Oxfam, with over $50,000 raised throughout the journey.

Jason P. Lester[edit]

The first American male to run across Australia. Jason P. Lester's Trans Australia Run started in Scarborough Beach, Western Australia and ended 135 days later in Bateman's Bay, New South Wales. Lester ran 118 days, 2,633 miles, of which 2,000 miles were self supported pulling his gear in a 50 lb cart.

Greg Brown[edit]

Greg ran the East Coast of Australia from Cockle Creek on the South East Cape of Tasmania to the top of Cape York, Queensland following the coast as close as possible totalling 5,500km. He did it to raise money for The Cancer Council under the title of 'Cape to Cape for Cancer'. He started on the 2nd of April 2016, had the 7th of April off to catch the ferry across Bass Straight, then continuing along the coast to Cape York. Finishing on the 22nd of June 2016 only 82 days after starting.

Andre Jones[edit]

At the age of 56, Andre, who lives in Melbourne after serving 18 years in the Royal Australian Navy, ran solo and unsupported across Australia from Melbourne to Darwin in 93 days, between 10 March 2017 and 13 June 2017. In the 93 days, he took 9 days of rest (5 of which was to recover from an infected ant bite). From Melbourne, he travelled west to Adelaide then north to Darwin along the Stuart Highway via Port Augusta, Marla and Alice Springs, camping along the road when no other accommodation was available. Covering the approximately 3,700 km in the 84 running days, he averaged 44 km per day. As Andre was solo, he pushed the Intrepid (a custom made buggy) which carried his water, camping gear and supplies; when fully stocked it weighed as much as 95 kg. Andre used this journey to raise funds and awareness for beyondblue.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Deborah DeWilliam's Town Itinerary" (PDF). 16 June 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  2. ^ O'CONNOR, KERRIE (2016-08-15). "'You have a long way to go': Jason's epic run to the Clyde from Perth". Retrieved 2016-08-22. 
  3. ^ a b c "George Perdon". Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Speaker Tony Rafferty". Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Tony Rafferty". Archived from the original on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "A History of the Marathon Race — 490 B.C. to 1975" (PDF). Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Ron Grant". Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "World Harmony Run: 75 Ron Grant". Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Russell, A. (1988). The Guinness Book of Records with Australian Supplement. Enfield, England: Guinness Books, pp. 350-351
  10. ^ Kevles, B. (1989, March). The longest run ever. Women's Sports and Fitness Magazine, 11(2), 67
  11. ^ Morris, D (2011). Sarah's Long Run: Highlights from Sarah Covington Fulcher's World's Record Longest Run. Jamestown, North Carolina: Crazy Feathers Publishing, p. 14 Archived 13 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Matthews, P. (1989). The Guinness Book of Records 1990. Enfield, England: Guinness Books, pp. 298-299.
  13. ^ Gossett, G. (5 June 1988). It's a very big run for a slip of a girl. Sequin-Gazette-Enterprise, p. 1A
  14. ^ Lowery, B. (15 May 1989). Salute to Sarah Covington Fulcher. United States of America Congressional Record Proceedings and Debates of the 101st Congress. First Session (135) 61.
  15. ^ "Around the world in 2040 days". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 March 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "Earliest Run around the World" (PDF). 27 March 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  17. ^ Gutman, Steven (6 April 2000). "Around the World". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  18. ^ "Trans Australia". Archived from the original on 23 October 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Serge Girard Attempting Trans-Australia record". 6 September 1999. Retrieved 21 May 2011. 
  20. ^ Berkow, Ira (27 October 2005). "Global run tries soles of one man". New York Times. Retrieved 13 June 2011. 
  21. ^ "Route Info - Part 4 - Australia". Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  22. ^ "Progress map". Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  23. ^ "Jesper Olsen Completes Australian Leg of World Run". 7 September 2009. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  24. ^ "Achim Down Under (2005)". Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  25. ^ "Cesar Guarin ends Australia leg of global run | Pinoy Abroad | GMA News Online". 6 December 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  27. ^ [1]
  28. ^ Norris, Megan (2012). Running Pink. Five Mile Press. ISBN 9781743006894. 
  29. ^ Governor-General. "2015 Australia Day Awards" (PDF). Governor-General of Australia. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  30. ^ "Patrick Malandain, coureur ultra | La victoire sur soi est la plus grande des victoires". 3 November 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  31. ^ "Cancer Survivor Janette Murray-Wakelin & partner Alan Murray Running Around Australia RunOz2013 - About RunRAW2013". Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  32. ^ "BBC News - Run Geordie Run Mark Allison lands back in Newcastle". 
  33. ^ "Run Across Australia".