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Julian Karp is a resident of Umdloti, is a small resort town on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, South Africa.

He has done 681 marathons – 450 ultra (42 kilometres) in the last 10 years.

He has raced on East African soil, and only last year, he completed 62 races in ultra marathons and marathons around Africa.

Every year the 57 year old does an average of 45 events according to

His Story

“Last year I took some time off work and completed marathons in Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia to name a few. The last 18 months has been an incredible adventure. This year I’ve completed 30 events and I’m thinking of running some marathons in West Africa,” he told

“I’ve always loved sport and being active. At school, I played competitive tennis, I also played soccer for the Wits U21 team. It was while playing a game of social rugby that I took a heavy knock to my knee. At the time, doctors didn’t want to operate so I had to give up contact sport.

Juian Karp

“I began studying biokinetics and completed my sports diploma. Through my involvement with the biokinetic centre in Cape Town I was able to rehabilitate my knee and get stronger. Shortly afterwards a mate of mine asked me to join him on a short run and the rest as they say is history,” he added.

Karp will compete in his 25th Comrades Marathon – an ultramarathon of approximately 89 km (approx. 56 miles) which is run annually in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg – this year.

“Comrades to me is the epitome of an endurance race. The training and effort that people put into it is unreal. The vibe on race day is incredible, unless you’ve done it, you can’t understand how amazing it is, it really is awesome.”

Despite achieving all that in a short time, Karp wants do some more. He hopes to go around the world in marathons and also complete in 1 000 ultra marathons and marathons.

“The circumference of the earth is 40 030 kilometres, I’m on about 34 000 kilometres from all my races. Just another 6 000 kilometres and I’m there. I’m sure I’ve covered the distance in training runs and short races but my aim is to do it in marathons.

“I’ve been logging all my kilometres in a portfolio of sorts. I also want to try and get to 1 000 marathons, not too many people have been able to do that. Hopefully within the next seven or eight years I’ll get there.”