Gary Cantrell aka 'Laz'

The world's your oyster in this greatest global challenge

30,000 miles; 10 runners per team; one world the 'Laz' way

What on earth goes on in the mind of idiosyncratic Barkley Marathons' creator, Gary 'Lazarus Lake' Cantrell (pictured above)? Well, the Earth actually features rather prominently in his thoughts if this latest, greatest, craziest virtual challenge is anything to go by! 

'Laz', as he is affectionately known by thousands of Barkley Marathons devotees, buoyed by the success of the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee 1,000km race that has nearly 20,000 participants and finishes on 31 August, has just announced his next, truly global challenge.

Starting on 1 September, runners will have up to two years to complete the Circumpolar Race Around the World (CRAW), covering more than 30,000 miles in relay teams of up to 10 persons. Laz has taken his unique, lateral view of the planet we call home, turned it on its axis and plotted an extraordinary virtual route, starting and finishing at the USA/Mexico border.

It really is worth taking a look at this new Earth, as seen by Laz. It has been divided into 12 regions and each ranges from 1,661 miles to 3,296 miles for a grand total of 30,167 miles (48,550kms). Here is an active map of the CRAW course around the Globe.

On your journey you and your team mates will cross vast deserts and huge mountain ranges; traverse tropical jungles, vast plains and temperate forests; ride on ferries and hop between countries on specially chartered flying boats, while collecting stamps from exotic locations in your own special passport – all virtually, of course. 

No team? No problem. CRAW classifieds can be used to advertise for crazy colleagues to join you on the virtual odyssey of a lifetime. Or you can register as an individual and you will be allocated team mates by the organisers. 

Entries are available now and cost $40 per region per runner. That does add up to a potential $480 dollars but as Laz points out, what other race includes all your (virtual) international travel, including crossing both North and South Poles and the support of special agents to ensure your safe passage through some of the most dangerous places in the world!

However you look at this global challenge, there is nothing else like it in the whole wide world!

Circumpolar Race Around the World details and entry available at CRAW website here

Image courtesy CRAW/Gary Cantrell

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