Carl Hebel has often been described as a “crazy bugger” by many in his life, and now the Gympie long distance running fanatic has taken another major step towards making his planned world heritage run a reality.
Hebel, 70, intends to run 20,000 kilometres around the world in 500 days from Hebel Queensland to Hebel Germany. Equating to a full marathon for each of the 500 days, this run will be no small undertaking.
Hebel will begin his epic adventure on his 71st birthday in October, and when complete will be a record breaking heritage run in celebration of his ancestry which can be traced back to Germany.
The runner recently returned home from his journey to New Zealand to help promote his plans and continue his training. There to compete in the New Zealand Masters Games, Hebel won two bronze medals and also managed to squeeze in a 1000 kilometre run as part of his ongoing preparations.
Hebel could have also captured a gold medal, but declined to compete when he was the only starter in the event. “I declined to compete and accept the medal because it’s not right when you are not competing against anybody,” he said.
The runner said sponsorship was beginning to flow in for his world record attempt. “There has been a lot of interest in the media over in New Zealand, and that’s good,” he said. “I’m in Sydney this weekend to confirm some deals with sponsors.”
Hebel will now take a small break but as this running machine cannot keep his feet still for too long, he will be kissing his wife goodbye once again in the coming months for more Masters events and some gruelling training.
Whilst probably at the extreme end of the scale in terms of fitness for those of advanced years, Mr Hebel represents an increasing tendency in his age peer group to keep fit and are showing the way for those of the younger generations.