Anyone who thinks the task of sailing the globe belongs to crusty
old sea captains should meet Ellen MacArthur, an Englishwoman who
gained instant celebrity in February 2001 when, at age 24, she
became the fastest woman and the youngest person to complete a
nonstop solo loop around the world in a sailboat (three months,
12 days). Earlier this year MacArthur attempted to set the record
for the speediest circumnavigation by a crewed boat. She and her
13-man crew were on record-setting pace when her ship, Kingfisher
2, lost its mast in the southern Indian Ocean. But you can't keep
a good woman down: In early April, MacArthur said that in 2004
she will begin chasing a new set of world records, which could
include the records for fastest transatlantic and solo
MacArthur is not alone in her pursuit of globe-spanning glory. In
late May, Britain's Robert Garside expects to jog into New Delhi,
thus bringing an end to either one of the greatest runs or one of
the most outlandish charades of all time (SI, July 1, 2002). As
of last week Garside, 36, was in Mangalore, India, some 1,100
miles from his finish line, the India Gate, where he began his
global jog in 1997. Though he admits to having made false claims
about where he has run, Garside insists that his trek is more
truth than fiction. Unbowed by criticism of his stunt, he
recently said that he's now considering a swim around the world,
though, he confesses, he's not a very strong swimmer.
Erden Eruc doesn't plan to merely circle the globe--he intends to
hit its highest points, too. As a tribute to his friend, the
adventurer Goran Kropp, who died when the two were climbing
together in Washington in September 2002, Eruc will climb the
tallest peaks on six continents, rowing or biking between them.
He began his trek in February, cycling 2,300 miles from his home
in Seattle to Alaska's Mount McKinley, which he will attempt to
climb later this month. Eruc expects his expedition to take four
years, for funding reasons as much as physical ones. His most
ambitious leg: rowing up the Red Sea, in a region where
hospitality toward an American in a rowboat is far from assured.
Eruc's hope is that Muslims, no stranger to pilgrimages, will
appreciate the spiritual nature of his undertaking. "I think
given enough time," he says, "I would be able to inspire them as
well." --Bill Syken
COLOR PHOTO: ERDEN ERUC/AROUND-N-OVER.COM VERSATILE To honor a friend, Eruc will bike or row to six of theworld's tallest peaks and climb them.
COLOR PHOTO: ROBERT GARSIDE/FSP INDIA JONES Garside is within 1,100 miles of New Delhi.