An Australian ultrarunner has set a new world record for the longest distance run while dribbling a soccer ball. Scott Richmondwho lives in the Greater Sydney Area, completed the novel feat of endurance Thursday after dribbling a soccer ball non-stop for seven days from Canberra to Sydney, reaching his 320 km goal and breaking the former record by 20 km.
A children’s entertainer known locally as “Ozzie,” Richmond took on the challenge to raise funds for partner organizations Sports Access Foundation and Fair Game, with money raised going toward sporting equipment and programs for children living in Australia’s remote and underpriveleged areas, as well as expanding sports opportunities for children with disabilities.
Being an experienced ultrarunner, Richmond was confident he had the legs for the challenge, which kicked off July 14 in Canberra. However, he told news.com.au during the homestretch of his attempt that he didn’t feel as surefooted when it came to keeping control of the ball. “I don’t have a soccer background … so I had to adapt my fitness and build up confidence to tackle this challenge. But I’m hoping this can prove that if you train hard enough, you can achieve anything.”
Although the run didn’t always go according to plan—detours caused by construction work added 8 km to his planned distance on the fifth day of his run, and there were the odd brushes with traffic that were too close for comfort—Richmond said the experience was “everything I expected and more.”
A video posted to Richmond’s Instagram page on Thursday showed the runner receiving a boisterous reception at Seymour Sharp Park in Miranda, a suburb of southern Sydney, which served as the finish line to Richmond’s days-long dribble.
His reaching the park didn’t mark the end of Richmond’s efforts, however. Upon his arrival, the runner took part in a second world-record attempt—the most people simultaneously dribbling a soccer ball for five minutes—which was organized as another fundraiser to benefit the same youth sports organizations. There wasn’t any word from Richmond’s fundraising team Thursday on whether participants at the park were successful in breaking the record of 2,067 simultaneous dribblers, or whether the fundraising goal of AUD$100,000 between both record attempts had yet been reached.