The world’s greatest ever athletic achievements

A look at the craziest, heart-stopping, jaw-dropping physical accomplishments human beings have ever achieved.

Longest Run:

In 2015 a then-53-year-old American chap by the name of Dean Karnazes set off for a leisurely jog from San Francisco.

80 hours and 44 minutes later he arrived at his destination in Stanford, 563 kilometres away on the other side of Northern California. Upon arrival he high-fived his crew before promptly suffering hypothermia and passing out.

Having run non-stop day and night, he had lost five toenails, suffered severe blisters and even briefly fell asleep while he was running.

“I feel like I’ve been in a train accident,” he wrote three days after the stupendous effort which saw him consume over 40,000 calories and no doubt, plenty of electrolytes.

The Longest Swim:

Deciding that being an Olympian was not enough of an achievement, in 2006, then-65-year-old Croatian swimmer Veljko Rogoši? set off on a 225km open water swim – without flippers – across the Adriatic Sea.

To put that in perspective, the English Channel crossing is approximately 32 kilometres.

50 hours and 10 minutes after he began swimming from Grado, Itay, Veljko staggered onto the shores of Riccione, 16kg lighter than when he’d begun and holding a world record.

Sadly, Veljko died in 2012 but his world record for longest ocean swim without flippers remains.

Stairway to hell

Taking the stairs is always recommended but in September 2014 Christian Riedl decided to take this concept to the next level – literally. Good thing, he didn’t get cramps!

Setting a world record, the German national climbed 13.15 vertical kilometres which was 71 ascents of the 988 steps to the top of a high rise building in Frankfurt. He climbed a leg-burning total of 70,148 stairs, with an elevator ride back down in between each ascent.

If that isn’t deserving of a beer und bratwurst, nothing is.

Most push ups in one hour:

The world record for the most push ups in one hour is held by a Welsh-born Aussie, Carlton Williams who, in 2015 punched out an incredible 2,220 push ups – that’s 37 every minute – in a gym at Margaret River, Western Australia.


Most push ups in 24 hours:

Taking that and raising it by 24 is American, Charles Servizio who, way back in 1993 punched out 46,001 push ups in 24 hours – that’s 1916 every hour. The record still stands to this day.

Most chin ups in 24 hours

In August 2016, 30-year-old Caine Eckstein pulled off an arm-breaking 7620 chin-ups in 24 hours, beating the previous record of 7306. Actually he did it in 23 hours and 15 minutes before deciding enough was enough.

If you fancy it, the record is there for the taking as Caine has said he won’t attempt it again.

“If someone beats it then good luck to them,” he said. Good luck indeed.


Most chin ups in one hour

Also lifting himself to the challenge was UK-based Stephen Hyland who knocked out 1009 chin ups in one hour in August 2010. That’s 17 every minute. One every four seconds. For an hour. Wait. What?

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