Vinod Bajaj, a Punjab-born 70-year-old man, based in Ireland for over 40 years, has applied for a Guinness World Record after completing what he calls his Earth Walk covering over 40,075 kilometres or the equivalent of the circumference of the Earth in under 1,500 days without stepping out of his home city of Limerick, NDTV reported, quoting PTI.
What started as a goal to lose weight and become fitter in August 2016 ended up becoming a passion. As he kept shedding weight rapidly, Bajaj became even more enthusiastic about walking. So he started charting out varying routes, including through indoor malls to overcome weather constraints, the report said.
“During the first three months of my walking seven days a week, I lost 8 kg by having a deficit of 700 calories per day. Over the next six months, I lost a further 12 kg. The loss of weight was almost entirely due to walking and I did not have to change much of my eating habits,” Bajaj was quoted as saying.
“Typically, I started walking early in the morning and completed mostly in two intervals, the first one was always for a longer duration. There were many times I did the entire walk in a single attempt. Starting early allowed me to finish up by early afternoon, which gave me plenty of time to do things such as shopping, bank work, house and garden work,” NDTV quoted him as saying.
The local Irish and world news that kept him company during his long walks, which fell within a 10 km radius of Castletroy.
He also downloaded the Pacer activity tracker app on his smartphone to keep a complete track of his steps and its records flagged his major milestones along the way.
“By the end of the first year I walked 7,600 km and to my surprise, I found that in fact, I walked to India from Ireland. I continued walking and by the end of year two, I walked a cumulative total of 15,200 km and I found that in fact, I walked more than the circumference of the moon (10,921 km). This motivated me further and I decided to walk the circumference of Mars (21,344 km),” he recalled, the report said.
The difference between the Mars Walk and Earth Walk was approximately 19,000 km and I knew it was not going to be easy. I continued walking with an aim to complete my ultimate goal, the Earth Walk, which he completed on September 21.
The retired engineer and business consultant grew up in Chennai and moved to Scotland in 1975 for a Master’s in Management from Glasgow before work took him to the Republic of Ireland 43 years ago, where he has been living with his family at Castletroy, a suburb of Limerick, for 36 years.
A retired engineer and business consultant, Bajaj keeps himself replenished with almonds, cashews, walnuts, and bananas to keep energy levels up during the walks.