Dedication, that’s what you need.

If you want to be the best, if you want to beat the rest, dedication is what you need.

That familiar refrain from the late Roy Castle would seemingly apply to Robert Garside.

The 40 year-old former student has earned himself official endorsment from Guinness World Records for his incredible achievement of becoming the first person to run around the world.

But apparently there are a few minor discrepancies in Mr Garside’s account that the people at Guinness World Records have chosen to overlook, but which have scandalised many who followed his intrepid journey via his on-line diary.

Firstly, Mr Garside has admitted to The Guardian that he fabricated his accounts of his adventures in Afghanistan and Pakistan – he was in Britain at the time. He also admitted shortening his route by taking a 1,300km plane ride between Mexico City and the United States border – a trip he failed to disclose on his website.

“It’s a tactic,” Mr Garside is reported as saying. “I suppose it’s a lie. I’m sorry about that.”

So where does that leave us?

Was Roy misleading us for all those years?

Marco Frigatti, head of records for Guinness World Records, told The Guardian the decision was based on an “astronomical number of press cuttings, witness statements, receipts, bank statements, and video footage shot by Mr Garside showing him running in front of very iconic places around the world”.

“I didn’t ask him if he’d made anything up,” he adds. “We have been checking what he gave us as proof. We haven’t just asked him what he did and approved him because we liked him…”.

Well, that’s a relief then.

Mr Garside possibly has displayed sufficient dedication to warrant his status as the first man to circumnavigate the globe on two feet.

But I’m not sure it is quite the sort of dedication Roy and Norris McWhirter would have approved of whilst presenting Record Breakers all those years ago.

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2 responses »

  1. Paul Groves says:

    Phil, thanks for this.

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