Andy Dukes is one of our own. For several years already the British journalist has been writing all kinds of stories for our international channels, with a strong focus on adventure travel topics. Now, after a decade creating inspiring #spiritofgs content about other riders and their fantastic journeys, it’s time for Andy to have a big adventure of his own – welcome to The Marathon Ride.
Over the years, Andy Dukes has interviewed countless BMW owners from across the globe and shared their stories with adventure travel enthusiasts the world over. These pioneers, mavericks and risk-takers are inspiring company to be around and great fun too, so it’s no wonder that some of their ‘joie de vivre’ and curiosity about the world has rubbed off on Andy, who describes himself as a reluctant armchair traveller. “I’m one of the luckiest guys I know. I’ve got a great job, a wonderful family and feel healthier than I did 20 years ago, but I’m stuck in an office and there’s a huge world out there waiting to be explored. So what better time to have an adventure of my own? I’m 47 years old and young enough to make this happen.”
A marathon of a mission.
Andy loves riding BMW bikes and also enjoys long-distance running, so has come up with the idea of combining his two passions and wrapping them up in a challenge to himself. His mission is simple, on paper at least: ride around the world and run six marathons on six continents, maybe seven on seven. “I have no idea how far I’ll get on this journey but one thing is certain in my mind: the longer I leave it, the harder it will get”, says Andy. He’s not trying to break any records – this is about endurance, not speed. He’s no expert rider and sees himself as an average runner. “But I’m interested to see what the old body is capable of when it’s hauled across the globe to marathons in Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, North America, Europe and hopefully Antarctica.”
Anyone can do it.
Andy is hoping to bust the myth of how difficult long-distance motorcycle adventure travel is and try and show that anyone can do it, even those without advanced riding skills, expert mechanical ability and a sizeable budget. He’ll be relying on the kindness and goodwill of many people he has yet to meet, but who belong to one of the most welcoming ‘clubs’ in the world – the BMW Motorrad community.
“Imagine a global journey where you set off solo, but never ride alone. Where people from the motorcycling community hear about your trip and then join you as your journey heads through their ‘backyard’, to show you the best bits of their worlds. And then share your memorable encounters with their own communities – that’s the kind of trip I want to do and it would be a dream to make it happen like this.”
Riding and running.
Andy leaves his UK home in early March and basically heads east, across the North Sea to Holland, through Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, the UAE, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia, where he’ll compete in his first Asian marathon in Kuala Lumpur in late May. Then he’ll ‘island-hop’ across Indonesia, before negotiating a passage to Australia, where he'll ride to the heart of the country to compete in the Outback Marathon in the shadow of Uluru (Ayers Rock) at the end of July. He’ll see as much of this amazing country as he can before heading across to South Africa, where the Mandela Day Marathon awaits at the end of August.
Then it’s on to South America, where he’ll unpack the bike in Santiago or Buenos Aires depending on whether he’s competing in marathons in Argentina or Ecuador. Either way, he’ll ride north through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia,
Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico and cross into the USA, where he’ll compete in the Las Vegas Marathon on the famous Strip. After that, there’s Europe and Antarctica to organize.
Find out more.
We’ll be following Andy’s trip closely and enjoying many of the stories he brings us directly from the road. Find out more at www.themarathonride.com where you can access the various social media channels Andy has set up for his round-the-world ride.