A trip of a lifetime.

Two passions, one Ride: British journalist went around the world.

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. After a decade creating inspiring #spiritofgs content about other riders and their fantastic journeys, it was time for Andy to have a big adventure of his own – he ‘conquered’ Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and crossed the USA coast-to-coast. Welcome to The Marathon Ride.    

Inspiring company.

Travellers and riders are inspiring.

Inspiring company.

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’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.” If you share a similar idea or challenge like The Marathon Ride, then maybe it’s time to stop dreaming and find a way to actually do it. “It could be one of the biggest and best decisions of your life. My advice is to make sure you ‘dive in’ and connect with your fellow GS riders right from the beginning, wherever they may be — because they could just help you make it happen.”  

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All because of the bike.

Throughout The Marathon Ride, BMW GS riders from across the world have welcomed Andy, hosted him, ridden alongside him and even come to his rescue in certain situations. “I’ve been offered kindness, friendship and shelter — all because of the bike I ride. This unique, worldwide community is unlike any other and any solo adventure traveller riding a GS should never fear being alone — because they never will be. Everywhere I’ve been across the globe in 2017, I’ve met BMW riders, all playing their part in spreading the joy and true #spiritofgs. The GS community welcomed me with open arms and had made all the difference to my round-the-world ride — I wouldn’t have made it as far as I did without them.”

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A marathon of a mission.

Andy run five marathons on five continents.

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 was simple, on paper at least: ride around the world and run five marathons on five continents. Marathon running and long-distance riding are not so different: both require high levels of fitness, endurance, self-sufficiency and mental strength. “I wanted to challenge myself, both physically and mentally, to run further and faster than I’d ever done before in my life — and to do this while attempting to ride around 45,000 kilometres across the globe in the space of less than a year,” Andy said. He had no idea how far he would get on this journey but one thing was certain in his mind: “The longer I leave it, the harder it will get.” He was not trying to break any records – this was about endurance, not speed. He’s no expert rider and sees himself as an average runner. “But I was interested to see what the old body is capable of when it’s hauled across the globe to marathons in Africa, Asia, Australia, North America, and Europe.”

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There’s a huge world out there waiting to be explored.
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Andy Dukes

Anyone can do it.

Andy busted the myth of how difficult long-distance motorcycle adventure travel is and showed that anyone can do it, even those without advanced riding skills, expert mechanical ability and a sizeable budget. He relied on the kindness and goodwill of many people he met, 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.”  

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Andy needed his running shoes during the Marathon Ride.

Amazing countries

Riding and running.

Training at home, competitions on five continents.

Riding and running.

Andy left his UK home in early March and basically headed 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 competed in his first Asian marathon in Kuala Lumpur in late May. Then he ‘island-hopped’ across Indonesia, before negotiating a passage to Australia, where he rode 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 has seen much of this amazing country before he headed across to South Africa, where the Mandela Day Marathon awaited at the end of August. Then he competed in Berlin in September. After that, there was the Las Vegas Marathon to organize. 

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Find out more.

Two friends: Andy and his BMW F 800 GS Adventure.

Find out more.

We followed Andy’s trip closely and enjoyed many of the stories he brought us directly from the road. Find out more at www.themarathonride.com where you can access the various social media channels Andy set up for his round-the-world ride.

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