About us

The World Runners Association

The World Runners Association (WRA) was officially established on October 1, 2014. The WRA is the international governing body for the sport of multi-day solo running and walking events that involve a circumnavigation of the Earth on foot.

The Association’s inaugural President is Mr Phil Essam, a long-time and well respected advocate of the sport. Based in Hobart, Australia, Mr Essam presides over a WRA membership that includes all those who have completed a fully documented circuit of the planet on foot according to the Association’s rules.

The WRA adjudicates on official attempts to run or walk around the world, including the ratification or otherwise of claims for a variety of world records. These records comprise the categories of Longest Circumnavigation of the Earth on Foot, Fastest Circumnavigation of the Earth on Foot, Most Circumnavigations of the Earth on Foot, Oldest Person to Circumnavigate the Earth on Foot and Youngest Person to Circumnavigate the Earth on Foot.

The WRA maintains an official and on-going register of the progression of these world records and an official list of all those who have successfully circumnavigated the world on foot according to the WRA rules. While decisions about these records are determined by the WRA, other organizations are invited to publish these same records in hard copy or electronic books and magazines they may issue from time to time.

The WRA is a not-for-profit organization operating on an internally democratic constitution. Membership of the World Runners Association is by invitation, though all those who are adjudged to have successfully completed a circumnavigation of the Earth on foot will automatically be invited to become a member of the organization. No joining or other fees are involved.


The mission of the World Runners Association is to officially represent legitimate runners and walkers who have, are, or are intending to circumnavigate the world in a way that is open, transparent, and consistent with the WRA’s rules and guidelines. Though not affiliated with the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU), it is the intention of the World Runners Association to maintain a regular dialogue with the IAU.

As the authority that arbitrates on the acceptance or rejection of claims for successful attempts and world records in this class of athletic endeavour, the WRA will apply a rigorous yet unambiguous adjudication process. The overriding goal of the WRA is to ensure a consistency and uniformity in the rules for running and/or walking around the world, and honesty and transparency in any claims associated with attempts to do so.


Constitution describes the internal rules and regulations which govern the World Runners Association (WRA).