Former Comox Valley residents Janette Murray-Wakelin, 64, and Alan Murray, 68 have set a remarkable world record by running a 26.2 mile marathon every day in 2013.
The duo completed a trek of almost 10,000 miles around Australia (and the island of Tazmania) with an extra marathon (the 366th) to their home in Melbourne at 5 a.m. on New Year’s Day to set the record.
The couple, both raw vegans from New Zealand, did the Run Raw Around Australia to show what can be accomplished on a fully raw diet. The run is believed to have beaten the world record set in 2011 by a Belgian, Stefaan Engels, who ran 365 marathons in a year.
The couple moved to Australia three years ago from Canada. They started up ZenZero in downtown Courtenay and created a flourishing raw food community in the Comox Valley. It was in the Valley that Janette was diagnosed with breast cancer, given six months to live, and beat her cancer.
Along with inspiring people to make more conscious lifestyle choices and motivate them to think about the impact their choices have on their health, environment, animals and other people, the run was a fundraiser for the Gawler Foundation, Kids Under Cover, Animals Australia and the Paralympic Committee.
Run Raw Around Australia was the second multi-marathon event for the couple. Twelve years ago they ran the length of New Zealand (50 marathons in 50 days, more than 2,000 km), raising tens of thousands of dollars to help disabled athletes compete in the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
During their Australian run, the pair dodged a cyclone, floods, a bushfire and a hail storm near Perth, during which they took a half-hour break and drank a vegetable smoothie before continuing through the heavy weather.
Adding to the challenge were some 44 C. temperatures around Canberra.
The couple’s daily routine involved rising at 4 a.m. and eating 10 bananas, a grapefruit, and a date smoothie for breakfast, then another 10 bananas at 8 a.m., a green smoothie at 9 a.m., a fruit salad at the 19-mile mark, three oranges at the 23-mile mark, before finishing at 4 p.m. and eating an avocado, vegetable juice and a salad for dinner.
After their daily run, they gave motivational presentations throughout the country about their lifestyle. The pair became raw vegans about 10 years ago, after Janette was diagnosed with breast cancer and doctors told her she had only months to live.
However, months after switching to a raw vegan diet and incorporating more exercise and meditation into her lifestyle, doctors couldn’t find a trace of cancer in her body.
The couple has since continued their raw vegan diet – eating only raw fruits and vegetables. They say their health-conscious lifestyle keeps their bodies fully nourished and they have been able to train every single day for the past two years without injury.
More details are on their website: http://www.runningrawaroundaustralia.com.