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Man runs half-marathon inside a hot air balloon

Rob Ginnivan is perfectly happy to have his head – and feet – in the clouds.

Friday 25 May 2012, 11:46AM


The day before his 47th birthday, the Australian ran 20.8km while inside a hot air balloon.
Ginnivan accomplished the stunt using a treadmill powered by a small generator as the balloon drifted above Canberra, Australia’s capital city.

The act was the final component in Ginnivan’s endeavor to raise A$100,000 (B300,000) for the Heart Foundation by running in the air, on land and at sea, the Canberra Times reported.

Last year, Ginnivan ran a land marathon in Morocco, and an ultra-marathon (meaning a distance longer than the standard marathon length of 26.2188 miles) while aboard a ship. The Australian lost both his grandfathers to heart disease.

Though the hot air balloon portion was the shortest distance of the three, it was by no means the easiest.

The veteran marathon runner said that the tilt of the balloon’s basket simulated the experience of running uphill. He also noted that “the basket would sway from left to right” creating an experience that “was quite bizarre”.

Though the odd conditions contributed to leg cramps during the final portion of the run, Ginnivan ultimately completed the half-marathon in 2 hours and 18 minutes, twice as long as it would take him on land.

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