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Runner trekking around world crosses into United States

SAN YSIDRO, California (Reuters) -- Briton Robert Garside, who is trying to become the first person listed in the Guinness Book of Record for running around the world, jogged into the United States from Mexico on Friday, two thirds of the way toward his goal.

Calling himself "The Runningman," Garside set out on his 45,000-mile journey in December 1996 from Britain and plans to cover all seven continents, including Antarctica.

So far, the 33-year-old runner has logged more than 30,000 miles in 30 countries, outrunning thieves in Mexico and Panama, dodging bullets in Russia and being arrested by government officials in China for lack of a proper visa.

However, he did find love.

Running through Venezuela, Garside met Endrina Angarita Perez, 23, who became his girlfriend and is traveling with him. They communicate largely through signs because they don't share a common language. Garside is also accompanied by a small film crew which is recording his journey for a Web site documentary and has traversed all kinds of terrain including cities, jungles, mountains and deserts.

He has slept in the snow in the Himalayas and at a monastery in Tibet, but typically beds down in jails or police stations for safety.

"It's an adventure, as long as you see it as an adventure," Garside said. "You only live once. Death is when you don't move. Life is when you move. I'm moving a lot." Garside, a former psychology student, left Britain with $30 in his pocket and has made his way mostly through donations. From California, he plans to head east to New York, and from there to Cape Town, South Africa.

He began his run after discovering that the Guinness Book of Records had no listing for a run around the world and plans to complete the journey sometime next year.

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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