Robb Fulcher

World record run aids schools [PHOTOS]

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page


Image 1 of 50

Hermosa ultra-endurance athlete Christian Burke, 44, was moving slowly through his “normal, after-hellish-race recovery” a day after a world record 83.04-mile run in soft sand, which raised more than $9,000 for the city schools. With friends and supporters alternating to run alongside, Burke began his 24-hour fundraising run at noon Sunday, making the 3.4-mile round trip between the Hermosa and Manhattan Beach piers over and over again.

He broke the old Guinness Book of World Records soft sand run mark of 62.14 miles about 3 a.m. Monday, and went about 20 miles more to bury the old record deep beneath his bare feet.
He made the pier-to-pier circuit a total of 20 times, while people gave to the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation both with cash and through, a website that will continue to accept donations.Christian Burke“I can’t tell you how thrilled I was about the turnout, everybody getting together and running along the sand, hooting and hollering, from pier to pier,” he said. “It was really exciting to be a part of it.”

The next day he reported “bumps, bruises, a swollen ankle, sores everywhere, a torn-up calf,” but “nothing lasting, so that’s good. Just a feeling like being thrown into a washing machine.”
Burke continued to look forward to a comfortable night’s sleep, which would come about the third night after.

Local Offers

“Usually first night or two, it’s just miserable,” he said.

Burke, who challenges his body and mind with marathons and ultra-endurance competitions that can cover almost quadruple that distance, trained for his “Hermosa24” fundraiser by running about 40 miles a week in the sand for eight weeks.

“I already knew that to not hit the record, something would have to go totally wrong,” he said.

Because it was not a race, he had no difficulty figuring out how fast to run.

“It’s just a matter of finding a pace that I can do all day long,” he said.

Burke had predicted he would break the Guinness record about 4 a.m., and as it turned out he beat it about an hour sooner.

Burke started the year focusing on marathons, with 10 of them planned for the first months. On the second marathon he suffered a groin tear, and still ran the others, to fulfill commitments he had made.

“If you’re running, it’s a horrible injury to get. Everything you do – leaning down, squatting, climbing stairs, you re-injure it,” he said. “The only way you can fix it is to just lie down and do nothing for a month.”

So he did that, and sometime around June the idea was born for Hermosa24.

Burke praised numerous support volunteers for making the fundraiser work. Sponsors included Spyder, the Sol-Baby store, ABC Solar, Ocean Bar, SportMulti, Prints of Hermosa Beach, and

Next, Burke plans to run a marathon in each of the world’s 194 nations – adding Taiwan to make it 195 – in an 18-month period beginning about July 2011. Details on that challenge are available at

Contributions for Hermosa’s schools may be made by texting HB to 20222 or visiting


comments so far. Comments posted to may be reprinted in the Easy Reader print edition, which is published each Thursday.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login