News - 17 January 2023

Erchana completes her world-record smashing run for wildlife!

Erchana reaches the finish line at the Tan, Melbourne’s famous running track.. Image: Travel Photos Pty Ltd

6,200km and 150 marathons, Erchana Murray-Bartlett has finished her World Record-breaking feat for nature.

It’s a challenge that began all the way back in August 2022. A World-Record-breaking series of marathons from the top of mainland Australia to the bottom to highlight the plight of endangered wildlife and support the Wilderness Society. Somehow, Erchana Murray-Bartlett’s body and mind have held out.

The 32-year-old runner finished her 150th marathon crossing the finish line on Monday 16 January at the Tan, Melbourne’s famous running track. She was joined by hundreds of supporting runners and met at the end with a rapturous welcome from friends, family and members of the public. There's still time to donate to her run if you haven't already!

150 marathons later... Image: Travel Photos Pty Ltd

Her epic 6,200km Tip-to-Toe Run for Wildlife challenge has come to an end. She's completed a marathon every day, a total of 150 marathons, from Cape York to Naarm / Melbourne, smashing the World Record for consecutive marathons run by a woman.

"Yesterday was everything," says Erchana. "When I stood on the start line on August 20th, I never could have imagined what the next 22 weeks would bring. I've felt every emotion possible since taking that first step, but nothing felt as good as running that last kilometre with the biggest group of heroes I've ever seen.

"I can't put into words how good crossing that finish line felt, and to be honest, I think I'll be processing for a few weeks, months, and even years to come. What I can say is that I wouldn't be able to do this without the help of my family, my friends, and everyone who jumped in and threw support behind Tip to Toe and my sponsors. I am here because of you."

The Wilderness Society team, including National Campaigns Director Amelia Young (second from right), thanks Erchana for her hard work supporting nature. Image: Image: Travel Photos Pty Ltd.

Erchana has done it all to raise awareness and funds to stop the extinction crisis. “Almost 2,000 animal and plant species are on Australia’s national threatened species list, including more than 500 threatened animals. Imagine an Australia without the koala?” she says. “That’s why I’ve been working in collaboration with the Wilderness Society to help stop the extinction crisis.”

A couple of days before the finish, Erchana ran through the majestic forests on the doorstep of Naarm / Melbourne—forests that she grew up in and inspired her partnership with the Wilderness Society. She has blown past her goal of raising $62,000—and hopes the tally will only rise as she nears the finish line. You can donate here.

Erchana is presented with an Honorary Life Membership to the Wilderness Society by National Campaigns Director, Amelia Young.

In the forest, she met with members of the press, while Amelia Young, the Wilderness Society’s National Campaigns Director, presented Erchana with an Honorary Life Membership. Past recipients include the Wilderness Society’s founder Bob Brown and Bob Carr.

“We thank Erchana for her important efforts to bring the extinction crisis to light,” says Amelia. “Australia’s biodiversity is incredibly unique, yet as a nation we are second in the world for biodiversity loss. Why is this happening? Plants and animals need habitat, but deforestation rates in Australia are now up there with the destruction of the Amazon. This needs to change.”

“I’ve achieved a huge personal goal of breaking a Guinness World Record, pushing myself way further than I thought myself capable of,” says Erchana. “I’ve been stopping at schools, local environment and community groups to spread our message.”

Erchana was met by a throng of press at the end of her epic journey. Image: Image: Travel Photos Pty Ltd.

A burgeoning number of supporters have been able to follow the ups and downs, highs and lows of Erchana’s journey on social media, while she’s garnered national and international media attention. She even made it into British GQ’s ‘Fitness heroes of 2022’ list alongside Serena Williams, Sebastian Vettel and Chris Hemsworth. The magazine described Erchana’s feat as ‘Sports activism at its best, and most exhausting.’

“The biggest highlights from Tip To Toe have been what I’ve learnt,” says Erchana. “Connecting with people along the way has helped me understand just how important my footprints are and what my responsibilities need to be as an Australian moving forwards,” says Erchana.

“We can’t bring a species back from extinction. So, let’s come together before it’s too late to ensure these gorgeous animals are around when our children are.”

Learn more about Erchana’s incredible Tip to Toe run.