British Runner's Record Attempt in Jeopardy Due to Security Issues in Ethiopia

57-year-old British-South African ultra-runner Keith Boyd attempts to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest person to run the length of Africa, but faces security threats in Ethiopia. He urges the government to ensure his safe passage to complete the challenge.

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Salman Khan
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British Runner's Record Attempt in Jeopardy Due to Security Issues in Ethiopia

British Runner's Record Attempt in Jeopardy Due to Security Issues in Ethiopia

Keith Boyd, a 57-year-old British-South African ultra-runner, is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest person to run the length of Africa from Cape Town, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt. However, his attempt to complete the final 500km across northern Ethiopia has been threatened by security issues in the region.

Boyd has been running for 270 days and aims to finish the challenge in about 280 days, which would surpass the existing record set in 1998 by about 30 days. But his progress has been stalled on three separate occasions in the Amhara state of Ethiopia, where he has been held at gunpoint and narrowly avoided being kidnapped by rebel groups.

"If I, an overweight 57-year-old, can break a 26-year standing record in one of the toughest endurance challenges out there in the world, just imagine what you could do if you put your mind to it," Boyd said, hoping his attempt will motivate others to pursue their own goals despite the obstacles he has faced.

Boyd has now launched a petition urging the Ethiopian government to allow him to safely run the final stretch across the country and ensure his run is officially recognized by Guinness World Records. He has written to various governments and organizations to put pressure on Ethiopian officials to help him complete the challenge by his target date of May 7th.

Why this matters: Boyd's record attempt highlights the ongoing security challenges in parts of Africa that can impact not only local populations but also international travelers and adventurers. The situation underscores the need for cooperation between governments and individuals to ensure safe passage and support for those pursuing extraordinary feats.

Boyd is running to raise awareness for Rainbow Leaders, a non-profit organization he founded to encourage young people in South Africa to vote. "Keith Boyd has shown incredible determination in the face of adversity during his attempt to break the record for running the length of Africa," said a spokesperson for Rainbow Leaders. "We hope the Ethiopian government will grant him the support he needs to safely complete this inspiring challenge."

Key Takeaways

  • British-South African ultra-runner Keith Boyd attempts to break Guinness World Record
  • Boyd has run 270 days, aiming to finish in 280 days, surpassing existing record
  • Progress stalled in Ethiopia due to security issues, held at gunpoint and nearly kidnapped
  • Boyd launches petition urging Ethiopian government to ensure safe passage for record attempt
  • Record attempt aims to raise awareness for non-profit organization encouraging youth voting