Munish Mohendroo, (MBA 1998) took on the World Marathon Challenge – 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days earlier in 2023. With such an amazing achievement under his belt, he tells us about his motivations and how he implemented his strong work ethic to completing the challenge.
“During my Lancaster University days back in 1997, I wasn’t much of a runner. However, being a foreign student on a tight budget, I would often walk/jog the 8kms from the University to the train station to save money.”
Some might say Bailrigg to the train station is a long distance, but what Munish describes happened only after taking up long distance running 10 years after completing his MBA at Lancaster. Starting with a 15km in his then home of Toronto (he now lives in Calgary), he went on to complete 10 full marathons across the world including Dubai, Greenland and Jordan before a skiing injury caused a temporary halt.
“I was recovering from an ACL reconstruction a year ago and I dreamt of running marathons again. I was looking for a goal to motivate fast-track recovery and that’s when I came across the World Marathon Challenge - combining my passion for running with a stretched target to achieve.
After training with the women’s world record holder for the 7-7-7 WMC for 8 months, building knee strength and building endurance, Munish was ready for the challenge.
“The clock started crossing the start line of the first marathon in Antarctica. From then, we had 168 hours to complete the last run in Miami. We essentially lived on the plane: run a marathon, get on the bus to the airport, eat, sleep, recover on the plane, disembark ready to run another race – repeat!
“We ran no matter what: sometimes noon, sometimes midnight, from -25c temperatures with 60mph winds to blazing sun with 90% humidity. We slept on the floor of the airplane, the floor at the airport, the floor at the race sites. We ran through a stomach bug that circulated through the group which I also caught during the Dubai and Madrid marathons. I couldn’t take in any gels or electrolytes during those races – and had to make many trips to the washroom during the race! To top it off, ridiculous logistical issues and delays meant that the last 3 races were run in a space of about 40hrs.”
Despite the challenges, there were also some highlights. “Antarctica was a real high point – the special feeling of stepping off a 1970s pre-soviet era plane and setting foot on that continent. Then, having lived and worked there, Cape Town was very special and in Dubai friends came to cheer me on and bring me home cooked food.
“Finishing in Miami was awesome. My wife flew from Calgary and a friend flew in from LA to run with me, who interestingly is a close friend that I met at Lancaster University as he was an undergrad at that time. Finishing was a great sense of accomplishment – something that a year ago seemed impossible from my recovery bed after surgery. Therein comes the power of the mind and pushing yourself."
“I now hope I’ve encouraged my daughters to chase their dreams and adventures in life. I want them to understand that ordinary people can achieve amazing things if we put in the desired effort. We don’t have to be the best at something, but we should give it our best. I am not a pro athlete, but I have successfully completed the 7-7-7 WMC. I stretched myself here, and I reached far.
We must also thank Munish for his ongoing support to Lancaster University as a philanthropist to LUMS Investors in Excellence as well as his commitment as an honorary teaching fellow with the Entrepreneurs in Residence. He finds time to support current students, even when he is taking on a monumental challenge like this one.
“There's an adventure waiting for all of us, we just have to find it," he adds.Back to News