High in the skies over Canberra this morning, Nichols man Rob Ginnivan achieved a probable world first.
The IT worker and entrepreneur ran a half marathon, on a treadmill, in a hot air balloon, as part of a campaign to raise money for the Heart Foundation and awareness of heart health.
Today’s event completes Mr Ginnivan’s land, air and sea campaign, which saw him run an ultra-marathon on board a ship and a land marathon in Morocco last year.
Mr Ginnivan lost both his grandfathers to heart disease, and he hopes to raise $100,000 for the Heart Foundation, as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Mr Ginnivan’s right leg seized up during his last two kilometres, as the tilt of the basket had him effectively running up hill, but he said he was delighted to complete the feat in a time of 2 hours and 18 minutes.
“It went really, really well, we went all around Canberra,” he said.
“What a feeling.”
The hot air balloon took off in Narrabundah soon after 7am, setting down in a paddock near Fraser just before 10 am.
A veteran of 18 marathons on six continents, Mr Ginnivan said before taking off that the biggest challenge of running in midair would be taking small steps when he was used to being able to stride out.
“It is a bit cold, but I think once I get on the treadmill and the flame fires up, I’ll be fine,” he said.
Mr Ginnivan said he first thought of attempting a mid-air half marathon in 27 May last year, when he and wife Kristen took a hot air balloon ride to celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary.
“While I was up there I had the ‘ah-ha’ moment that maybe a treadmill might fit in here, and I could run a half marathon,” he said.
Mr Ginnivan turns 47 on Friday, and plans to head to Sydney to celebrate, but after completing the half marathon this morning he said he would go into work.