Matt Nickerson ’24
Eggplant Staff Writer
This month, an Australian man named Nedd Brockmann broke a record by running from Perth to Sydney in a mere 47 days. That cross-country run took Brockmann across 3,953 kilometers– or 2,456 miles, to use one of the units of measurement mandated by the Declaration of Independence. However, recent news may show that Brockmann should not let his guard down, as a Holy Cross student planning to study abroad at the University of Melbourne next semester has made his intention of breaking the record known to The Spire. This student, who asked to be known as “X” for the time being, has closely followed the details of Brockmann’s run. X has not run for very long distances before, but upon hearing that he is two years younger than Brockmann, he decided to break the newly set record. “The power of youth will be on my side,” X tells me.
To begin practicing for this mighty endeavor, X has started training on our very own campus. However, as the Hart track has been closed for construction in recent months, X has settled for running around Alumni Hall instead. X dashed around the dorm once and measured his pace, discovering that the distance around Alumni is 0.13 miles. “I can run one loop around Alumni in about thirty seconds,” X says confidently. “My first loop took me a whole minute, but that was only because I got hit by a car going underneath the bridge.”
X has done all of the math and shows me his notes, revealing that to match the distance between Perth and Sydney, he will have to completely run around Alumni Hall 18,892 times. Fortunately, X can accomplish this task in 6.5 days, just under a week, as long as he runs continuously without stopping to eat or sleep or go to the bathroom. When I shared these calculations with X, he sighed with relief. His own calculations told him that the feat would take him 1,075 days, or 2.9 years, to achieve. “Now I can definitely accomplish this run in under thirty days,” X says with a big smile on his face. I ask him how he is going to keep up with his classes, aware that only students who keep up strong GPAs are permitted to study at a foreign institution. He dismisses my question with a lazy wave of the hand. “I’m taking five classes this semester, so my grades are just Pass / Fail. I’m a-okay, baby.”
While X has the capability to practice the route about 112 times between now and the start of the University of Melbourne’s school year in February, he confesses to me that he has thought of additional methods to reach his goal of completing the 2,456 mile journey within a month. When I asked him if he had any worries about completing the feat in a country he has never been to, his eyes lit up like Christmas lights. “I’m glad you asked. That reminds me of a component I just thought about yesterday.” He explains his plan to, at some point during the journey, tie at least one of his legs to a kangaroo’s and use the opportunity to get some rest while still making the journey. “My foot will still be touching the ground, so I’m not doing anything wrong,” he asserts.
“How are you going to get access to a kangaroo?” I ask him.
Again, he dismisses my question with a wave of the hand. “Oh, that’ll be no trouble at all. You know how we keep dogs as pets in our houses? Well, Australians do something similar, except with kangaroos. And someone will definitely lend me their pet kangaroo– I heard they’re the nicest people in the world down undah!” He says that last part in a bad Australian accent.
That brings me to my last question. “Do you think that some Australians will be angered by the fact that an American is attempting, and may very well break, an Australian record?”
“Oh no, definitely not. I haven’t done a formal announcement yet– that’s what this article will serve as– but I did write something anonymously in an online message board about it. I got a lot of comments with the word “seppo,” which is Australian for someone you’re rooting for to do well. Again, they do a little ribbing down there, but they’re the nicest people in the world.”
A student at Holy Cross who is currently a certified world record holder, David Brush, is not too concerned about someone else at the college potentially breaking another record. “The record they’re trying to break is only an Australian one,” he huffs and puffs in between reps at the chin-up bar. “My record is a world one.”
When asked for a comment, Holy Cross President Vincent Rougeau said, “Did you say it would take 6.5 days?”
The Holy Cross Office of Study Abroad, ever the calming presence from years of dealing with stressed-out students and foreign universities, released a short statement to The Spire. It reads, “The Office of Study Abroad does not condone any students attempting to break foreign world records, domesticate wild animals, or perform complex unit conversions.”
Image courtesy of Warner Bros; Speedy Gonzales