Vilnius, LITHUANIA. Last December, Aidas Ardzijauskas, a 50 y.o. fire-fighter from the Baltic nation of Lithuania has completed a mind-boggling feat of running around the globe in 444 days, cover a distance of 30 303 km or 68.25 km per day. This is also the first running world record to be recorded to the blockchain as an NFT.
As the pandemic has shut borders, the run had to be done virtually - the actual running was done in Lithuania, Denmark, Italy, and UAE while the progress was charted on a virtual map. The preparation for this feat took 15 years with the runner reaching his long-planned peak performance amid the pandemic, hence postponing the start was not an option. To validate the authenticity of the achievement two GPS-recording devices were used at all times with the uploads going to Strava and the runner’s website echorun.world.
The previous world record belongs to Britton Kevin Carr who took 621 days to cover the distance equal to 26 232 km in 2015 (177 days more than Ardzijauskas, 4071 km less than Ardzijauskas). Before him, the world record was set by Jesper Olsen of Denmark, who has completed the same distance in 662 days. Olsen has provided advice to Ardzijauskas during his preparations. However, running around the world is not an exact science and runners attempt different routes, some even as long as 60 000 km.
Although virtual, Ardzijauskas’s run still counts as the World’s fastest run around the globe in distance. The runner thinks that the virtual run had its own benefits since the humanity is currently transitioning into the metaverse with the help of blockchain technology.
This world record will also be the first one of its kind to be recorded on the blockchain as an NFT with an ambition to exhibit it in the metaverses and to allow the fans to own a piece of history. Running enthusiasts behind two Lithuanian blockchain companies, BitDegree and Super How?, have teamed up to develop an NFT collection of 444 pieces, representing each day of the run, enriched with the run data and memories. Collectively, the pieces will combine into 1 world record globe-run NFT. This is a new way to engage fan communities to own a piece of history and to support the cause. Recent NFT auctions to support artists include Beeple's 10 000 days daily artwork NFT sale for 69M USD. This world-record run NFT sale hopes to replicate such success for athletes. The proceeds of the sale will be used for Ardzijauskas’s new running projects and the advancement of the ultra-running community. The details of the sale are yet to be announced as the team is still in search for the marketing partners and the auction house.
Blockchain is a trend for sports Brands since recently. A week ago, Nike acquired RTFKT to help them launch digital collectibles for the Metaverse. Adidas has been active in the metaverse, buying flashy properties in the Sandbox Game and launching NFT collections with some of the crypto-world top NFT brands, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club. Ardzijauskas hopes that this achievement will not be unnoticed by the top sport brands and could be exhibited in their metaverse NFT galleries. The NFT community of Lithuania is rumored to have plans to build a monument for the runner in the metaverse.
Overall, this run is a testament to the human endurance and the strength of will. Aidas Ardzijauskas has set his intention to run around during childhood, when he had both leg injury and was prescribed movement for rehabilitation 41 years ago. Now, an endurance running maverick, Ardzijauskas is contributing to the medical research on how such feats affect the human body. The runner is optimistic about his abilities to run in the future and is already devising some grand projects, but he is most excited about putting in the work to inspire the future generations of runners.
Aidas Ardzijauskas is not a novice in the ultra-running community. His previous achievements include: 1st place in Self-Transcendence New York 2015 10 day run (1073km), 1st place in Self-Transcendence New York 2016 6 day run (860km), Crossing USA 2014 Los Angeles to New York run of 5013 km in 62 days (80 km / day), Run From Dakar to Vilnius 2017/18 - 8024 km run in 102 days from Dakar to Vilnius (79 km / day). Ardzijauskas is a member of The International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) and through his achievements hopes to contribute to its cause and inspire others to join.
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Contacts for inquiries:
+370 678 15356
More about the run:
NFT project initiators:
https://www.bitdegree.org/ - global crypto education platform
NFT technical project implementation:
https://www.superhow.com/ - blockchain development studio