On April 8, Oz Pearlman, also known as the famous magician Oz the Mentalist, took to Central Park to break the record for running around its perimeter and to raise money to support the children of Ukraine. He broke the previous record held by Robbie Balenger of 16 laps, running a total of 19 laps, or 116 miles (187 km), in the 19 hours the park is open.
Each loop is around 10K, with the official challenge starting at 6:05 a.m. and ending at 12:55 a.m. the following morning, as the park is closed between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Pearlman wore the blue and yellow colours of Ukraine during his challenge to raise money to help children displaced in the war. Pearlman raised over $110,000, which well surpassed his fundraising goal of $100,000.
Pearlman kicked off his fundraising campaign with his own $1,000 donation, and then matched the next $9,000 of donations.
If you recognize Pearlman’s name, you may remember him from America’s Got Talent, in which he finished third in 2015. He is an accomplished magician and mentalist who has been featured on The Today Show, Ellen and Live with Kelly and Ryan.
Pearlman is no stranger to the marathon scene. He has won the New Jersey Marathon four times and the Hamptons Marathon three times, holding a personal best of 2:23 from the Philadelphia Marathon in 2014.
Like the famous scene in the movie Forrest Gump, many NYC runners happened to meet Pearlman on his journey and joined him for a jog as he averaged 5:47 per kilometre over 18 hours.
You can check out and donate to Pearlman’s fundraising efforts with Save The Children at his GoFundMe page, here.