Local athletes finish first in 'race around the world' in gruelling virtual competition

First to 'race' across globe

Sarita Patel

How long would it take you and a group to race around the circumference of the world, from top to bottom.

It’s called the Circumpolar Race Around the World (CRAW). Teams of up to ten people are given two years to complete a 48,550-kilometre race, but a local team finished first in just 115 days.

The virtual race starts at the U.S. and Mexico border and goes north to south, as that path has the most amount of land mass to cover.

“If you asked me on September 1 if we would be the guys to win this thing overall, I’d say you’re nuts,” says Bill Justus, team captain for Kelowna Nutbars for CRAW.

“I know some of the people in it, I know how heavy they are as endurance athletes … but as we edged on we just continued to grow our lead and everybody contributed.”

Aaron Stark joined the competition because his girlfriend’s mom, Janice Bradshaw, asked him to join.

“I didn’t really ask about it but we’re apparently going around the world, “ he laughs. “So, I was just like that sounds like fun, why not?”

The Kelowna Nutbars clocked in around 250 miles a day to complete the 12 regions around the world finishing just before Christmas. Each participant paid $40 USD per leg of the race, amounting to over $650 CDN. After each section, participants received a medal that showcases the route you completed, in the end it makes up a map of the world.

“The second team finished on the 4th or 5th of January and that team is comprised of eight ironman triathletes that I personally know,” adds Justus.

The third team is still working their way through the gruelling virtual race from north to south across the globe.

“If you think about that for a second, we finished before Christmas and the third team has not yet finished this event.”

Justus pushed through a double hernia surgery on day 90, adding that being able to compete in times of COVID was nice. He says running and biking is a mental reset for him.

Stark had some advice to people wanting to get active.

“Have an event that you are training for, it motivates you far more than just being active for the sake of being active.”

The team actually walked their final mile together to commemorate the feat, both Justus and Stark said they will do the race again — if it’s offered in the future.

The total miles completed by each person are below:

  • Bill Justus - 9,480 miles
  • Christopher Rozitis - 3,761 miles
  • Janice Bradshaw - 3,215 miles
  • Aaron Stark - 2,997 miles
  • Bob Harding - 2,922 miles
  • Megan Banman - 2,185 miles
  • Michael Baldigara - 1,591 miles
  • Jennifer Scudds - 900 miles (all running)
  • Sharlet Mentes - 239 miles (2 legs)
  • Tim Dickenson - 280 miles (5 legs)
  • Wes Tonn - 1,380 miles (joined at leg 3)
  • Colin Dyke - 798 miles (joined at leg 6)

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