Australian athlete Corey Philpott recently completed a challenge dubbed the “World’s Strongest Marathon” in a suburb of Sydney. Philpott travelled 42.2K while towing a 1.5-ton Ford Ranger pickup truck behind him, finishing the haul in 16 hours, 12 minutes and beating the car-pulling marathon world record by more than an hour.
World’s Strongest Marathon
As Philpott wrote on Instagram, he first learned about the World’s Strongest Marathon when he saw British athlete Ross Edgley complete the challenge in 2016. Edgley pulled a 1.5-ton Mini Countryman around a Formula One race track in the U.K., and although this piqued Philpott’s interest, he didn’t think it was a challenge he would ever attempt.
“It always seemed like an awesome concept to me but I never ever thought I was fit enough or had the courage to put it out into the universe and say I’m going to give it a crack,” Philpott wrote. Then COVID-19 hit, and Philpott decided to try it out after all.
“One night, I had just finished watching a video of Ross on YouTube,” he wrote. “Once that video finished, I walked out to the lounge room to my parents and told them in 2021 I will be completing the World’s Strongest Marathon.” For added accountability, Philpott announced his plans on social media, and from there, he had no choice but to power forward.
As Philpott told 7News Australia, he trained for eight months, and his schedule consisted of weight training, regular runs and car-towing practice. “I’d start at about one or two in the morning [and] get four or five hours [of] training in before work.”
When Edgley ran his marathon, it took him more than 19 hours to cover 42.2K. In 2019, an Oregon resident named Justin True beat Edgley’s time, pulling a 1.5-ton Suzuki SUV the length of a marathon in 17 hours, 36 minutes. Philpott lowered the record once again, beating True’s time by one hour, 24 minutes.
While Philpott admitted that he wanted to break the world record and use the World’s Strongest Marathon to launch his athletic career (he describes himself as a “hybrid athlete” on his Instagram page), the challenge was much more than just a chance to get his name in the news. He turned the event into a fundraiser for ChildSafe Australia, an organization that is dedicated to supporting children and putting an end to child sexual abuse.
This cause is close to Philpott’s heart, as he said his wife was abused as a child, and she continues to struggle today. “The whole time [during the marathon], I was just thinking about my wife,” he told 7News. “That’s what brought me to raise awareness for ChildSafe.”
Philpott set a fundraising goal of $30,000 for his marathon, and his GoFundMe page currently sits just below that mark, hovering around $29,000.