I’m running nearly 25,000 miles around the world for charity


Around the world — in 25,000 miles!

An extreme athlete is preparing to run 40,075 kilometers around the world — or 24,901 miles, the circumference of the Earth — to raise money for United Nations Children’s Fund.

Tomasz Drybala, 44, plans to spend more than three years completing his goal.

The Polish man, who has lived in London for 21 years, will run from London to Athens, from Cairo to Kuwait City, from Indonesia up through South East Asia to Hong Kong, then from the West to the East Coast of the US, starting in Los Angeles and finishing in New York.

“We will have lots of equipment behind us and between stages (Europe-Arabia, Arabia-Asia, Asia-US) we have up to four weeks break,” he told Daily Mail. “It’s not a continuous run. It’s impossible to do it that way. We need time to reorganize our effort and transport all equipment to a new location.”

He plans to travel to each new starting line by air and has planned regular trips back to London in order to see his two sons. 

“My body needs time to recover, and I have two sons in London, and they need their father. We have planned weekend breaks every three weeks and breaks during all half-terms for me to see my boys.”

The 44-year-old athlete will stop along his way to raise money for UNICEF and work with local businesses and communities.

He intends to raise money for UNICEF’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal.

 “I’m a father of two sons, and I can’t imagine not being able to see them. I want Ukrainian fathers to know that we are taking care of their sons and daughters while they are fighting for land for their homes,” he told News & Star.

“Being able to provide support and raise funds for critical care services is something I am passionate about for two reasons; firstly, my commitment to building trauma-informed communities, supporting child protection and education and secondly, because part of my family lives in Lviv in Ukraine and are directly affected by those events we are watching unfold on television.”

Drybala will stay at a string of hotels before being joined by his support crew in a caravan at the end of October to rest on the road and save money.

The keynote speaker and meditation coach will fund his journey through savings and sponsorships as he documents his journey on Instagram. He plans to work with local communities and businesses along the way, informing them about childhood traumas, which he suffered.

“I don’t set out to beat any world record. I’m running with a message and building trauma-informed communities along the way of my running route. The journey is rewarding in itself,” Drybala told Daily Mail.

He has been training for his run by completing around about 25 miles a day across the UK and up to 35 miles.

“I do these runs by myself. I just run with a backpack. And I am running from hotel to hotel,” he explained. “One of the days I ran 56 kilometers. I was running 40 kilometers uphill and the last 16 kilometers was downhill. I ran out of water twice. It was quite difficult.”

Tomasz Drybala began running to improve his mental health in 2018
Drybala will begin by staying at hotels before he is joined by his full-time support crew in a caravan and stay on the road.

“I am slowly lifting up the distance every week. At the current time I am running around 50km (31 miles) a day. I will get to running 300km (186 miles) a week, around 1,350km (838 miles) a month. I am running Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.”

Drybala began long-distance running in 2018 as a way to improve his mental health after getting divorced and losing his business.

“I just needed to do something with myself and I decided to start training for big challenges,” he said.

He completed his first challenge in 2019 when he walked 5 million steps in 100 days. He incrementally increased his steps and by the end of the challenge was exercising for 12 to 14 hours a day. 

After that, he attempted to run 11,000 km (6,835 miles) from Hanoi, Vietnam, to Bali, Indonesia but was forced to change his plans when the world locked down due to the COVID pandemic.

Drybala intends to set off for his newest challenge in August and is hoping to finish his amazing world marathon task by the end of 2025.



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