A 70-year-old male born in Punjab and residing in Ireland for more than 40 years applied for the Guinness World Records after completing a 40,075 km or equivalent Earth Walk around the Earth. For 1,500 days without leaving his hometown Limerick.
Vinod Bajaj began his journey in August 2016 with a modest goal of losing weight and staying healthy.
While reducing the kilogram, his passion for walking multiplied, and he charted various routes, including through indoor shopping malls, to overcome weather constraints.
During the first 3 months of walking 7 days a week, I lost 8 kg due to a lack of 700 calories a day. In the next 6 months, I lost another 12 kg. The weight loss was almost entirely due to walking, and I didn’t have to change my diet much.
In general, I started walking early in the morning and mostly finished at two intervals. The first was always a longer time. I took the whole walk several times in one try. I could start early and finish by early afternoon, so I had enough time to do things like shopping, banking, home and gardening.
The retired engineers and business consultants grew up in Chennai and lived with their family in Castletroy, a suburb of Ireland, 43 years ago after moving to Scotland in 1975 to earn a master’s degree in business administration in Glasgow. Limerick, for 36 years.
It was local Irish and world news that brought him along during his long walk, within a 10-kilometer radius of Castletroy.
I also downloaded the Pacer activity tracker app to my smartphone to perfectly track his steps and mark his major milestones according to that record.
By the end of the first year I walked 7,600 kilometers and, surprisingly, I walked from Ireland to India. I kept walking and found that I walked a cumulative total of 15,200 km by the end of the second year and actually walked more than the circumference of the moon (10,921 km). This motivated me more and I decided to walk around Mars (21,344 km).
The difference between Mars Walk and Earth Walk was about 19,000 km and I knew it would not be easy. He continued to walk to reach his ultimate goal in connection with the Earth Walk, which he completed on September 21st.
His application to the Guinness World Records is currently in progress as it evaluates whether his walking around the globe with a stride of 1,496 days and 54,633,135 strides makes the cut.
Meanwhile, his walking mission continues despite COVID-19 closure restrictions, which means he has to repeat the route several times a day to achieve his daily walking goal.
He also replenishes himself with almonds, cashews, walnuts and bananas to maintain energy levels while walking.
My wife and brother and sister weren’t impressed at first because I walked too much and thought it would affect my health. Eventually they returned reluctantly, he jokes, now hoping that I will cut down on my walk and not try a second Earth walk counterclockwise.
While waiting for a response to his potential world record, he wants to spread the message that walking is “better and freer than running or jogging” the best form of exercise for all ages.
His key advice, having worn 12 pairs of shoes, on average 3 each year during Earthwork, is to invest in good shoes and a pair of socks.
His other advice for fellow walker: Loneliness will be your biggest walking challenge and can be partially overcome by listening to music or podcasts. Make your umbrella your best friend so the weather doesn’t interfere with your walking plan, and self-motivation, discipline, consistency and time management are key.
(Except for the headlines, this story wasn’t edited by NDTV staff and was published in a syndicated feed.)