Punjab-born Irish man eyes Guinness record for double ‘Earth Walk’

LONDON, Nov 19: A 73-year-old man, born in Punjab and based in Ireland for nearly 50 years, is making a second go at a Guinness World Record for what he describes as his double Earth Walk, totalling over 80,000 kilometres and equivalent to double the circumference of the Earth.
Vinod Bajaj submitted his application for the “greatest cumulative distance walked solo on foot” last week, having beaten his own walking record by completing the second Earth Walk in 1,114 days, 382 fewer days than the first walk completed in September 2020.
“My wife June was not very happy about my long walks everyday as she felt I was doing too much and worried that it could be counter-productive to my health,” shares Bajaj, from his home city of Limerick in Ireland.
“She warned me not to do the second Earth Walk and here I have just completed it. I will continue to walk but reduce the distance and duration because walking has become my daily enjoyable routine,” he said.
Bajaj began his journey in August 2016 with a humble goal of losing some weight and getting fitter. As he shed the kilograms, his enthusiasm for walking only multiplied and led him to chart out varying routes, including through indoor malls to overcome weather constraints.
“During the first three months of my walking seven days a week, I lost 8 kg by having a deficit of 700 calories per day. Over the next six months I lost a further 12 kg. The loss of weight was almost entirely due to walking and I did not have to change much of my eating habits,” recalls Bajaj.
The retired engineer and business consultant grew up in Chennai and moved to Scotland in 1975 for a Master’s in Management from Glasgow before work took him to the Republic of Ireland, where he has been living with his family at Castletroy, a suburb of Limerick, for 39 years.
His application with the Guinness World Record is currently under process as they assess if his walk covering twice the equivalent of the Earth’s circumference in 104.8 million steps over 2,637 days makes the cut.
Meanwhile, his walking mission continues as he eyes his next big goal of covering 100,000 km. He has already walked through 21 pairs of shoes and wants to motivate others of all ages to take up walking.
His words of advice to other walking enthusiasts: “Make sure you walk continuously for at least 30 minutes at a time to be effective because discipline and self-motivation are very important.
“Set a daily goal and gradually improve it over a period of time; make sure you have the right clothes for the weather and invest in a good pair of runners and socks. Most importantly, listen to your body and seek advice if required.” (PTI)