Runners embark on 250km journey to create world record GPS artwork

·3-min read

A team of more than 50 runners has united with the aim of creating a world record-breaking piece using GPS and their feet.

Over the weekend of September 18 and 19, the group will cover a 250km (155 miles) route through Liverpool and Manchester to create an image organisers say will be the biggest piece of GPS running art ever produced.

The piece, which will later be verified by Guinness World Records and the exercise tracker Strava, depicts a person progressing from a walk into a sprint and will cover an area of around 100km (62 miles) by 40km (25 miles).

Each participant is taking on a segment of between 10km (six miles) and 20km (12 miles), with some running in small groups, before passing a GPS tracker to the runners on the next section.

Jazmine Franks (left) passed on a GPS tracker to the next runner after completing the first leg of the artwork (Phil Tragen/ John Doe)
Jazmine Franks (left) passed on a GPS tracker to the next runner after completing the first leg of the artwork (Phil Tragen/ John Doe)

Hollyoaks actors Jazmine Franks and David Tag were amongst those tackling the challenge, which traces the route of the Michelob Ultra Marathon and is also raising money for Good Gym – a charity that sees volunteers combine getting fit with helping local communities.

Franks took on the first leg of the journey, passing Everton’s Goodison Park in Merseyside.

“I’m a sweaty mess… I felt I had to be quick,” the 29-year-old told the PA news agency.

“It’s been planned within an inch of its life – I felt I had to be on time, the next person was there waiting for me.

“It’s just epic to be a part of, especially when it’s for charity, raising money for Good Gym and awareness for Good Gym, which is a great charity that works within the community.”

Actors Jazmine Franks (right) and David Tag (left) are running as part of the world record attempt (John Doe)
Actors Jazmine Franks (right) and David Tag (left) are running as part of the world record attempt (John Doe)

Mark Flint is taking on one of the final legs of the journey on Sunday, and said it was “humbling” to be a part of the challenge.

The 44-year-old is taking on his section as part of a challenge he set himself to run at least five kilometres per day during 2021, raising money for The Christie cancer charity along the way.

“I only really started running two years ago, so to be doing anything like this is beyond my wildest imagination,” the 44-year-old told PA.

“To be part of a world record is crazy.”

Matt Koep, product owner at Michelob Ultra UK, said: “It’s incredible that so many athletes will be pounding the pavements as part of this amazing challenge.

“From some of TV’s most well-known faces to runners of all abilities, it’s so rewarding to be able to get together over one weekend to celebrate our shared love of fitness.”

The runners’ progress can be tracked via Michelob’s Instagram page, michelobultrauk.

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