The man who walked the world twice aims for Guinness record

Vinod Bajaj is walking his way into record books.

THEY call him Limerick’s answer to Forrest Gump, but unlike the classic Tom Hanks character, Vinod Bajaj (73) has no intention of stopping and he has already walked more than twice the distance Forrest did.

In fact, the retired business consultant from Castletroy has walked twice around the globe, racking up 81,410km (or 105 million steps) over a period of 2,640 days without a single missed day – and all without leaving Limerick.

Now, he hopes to get an entry in the Guinness World Records as he has already, by his own documented calculations, beaten the existing record. 

When Vinod starting walking more than seven years ago, his objective was not to set any records but just to lose a bit of weight.

“I wasn’t obese but my BMI (Body Mass Index) was a bit high and I thought I better do something about it,” he told the Limerick Post.

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In the first year, he lost a massive 20kgs without ever changing his eating habits.

“I’m vegetarian by choice, but I’ve worked hard for years and I should be able to eat what I want. The walking worked because I went into calorie deficit,” he said.

Vinod walks between five and seven hours every day and never misses a day, one of the things which he says is key to good exercise.

“You need to have discipline, even if the bed is cosy and warm you have to have commitment and motivation. I try to start early, around 5.30am, depending on the weather, and finish around 3.30pm,” he says.

Vinod finished his first round the world walk on Sep 21, 2020, which took him 1,496 days.  His second globe-walk finished on October 10 this year, and took 1,114 days – 382 days less than his first walk.

“Walking brings many benefits, including mental benefits. When you are walking, your are free of stress and your mind is free, that’s when you can have ideas. That’s how I came up with the idea of writing my first book, ‘Pension Without Tension‘,” he explains.

The proceeds of that book, written two years ago, all went to Pieta House and now the walking man – who has lived in Limerick for 39 years –  is planning a second book titled ‘Master Your Money.’

Vinod has walked a marathon distance of 42km in one day a staggering 217 times. On 22 occasions, he walked 50km in one go, which is equal to the distance from Castletroy to Shannon Airport and back. His personal best in a day is 55km.

He’s walked through storm and snow and, on a couple of occasions, taken shelter in the Crescent Shopping Centre while continuing to walk for two hours.

“My advice is just start and listen to your body. Every step is a good step. Even if you only walk around your house, don’t just sit on the couch all day,” said the man who’s walked the world. Twice.