Suresh Joachim is an extraordinary Canadian in every sense of the word. For twenty years, he’s been setting world records while travelling internationally. Now, he has a goal of raising more money on a charity run than has ever been raised before.
Joachim’s World Peace Marathon began in Bethlehem on Christmas Day in 2017. Since then, he has run seven continents in 177 cities including Bangkok, Cape Town, Athens, Vienna, Hong Kong, Kiev, the Vatican, Berlin, Paris and London. In Canada, our own Nickel City was his 100th stop.
Joachim met with Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger on Friday, August 24. The two talked about world peace and poverty in Canada, and what it takes to break so many world records.
Some records, like having the most bridesmaids and groomsmen at his wedding were fun achievements; others took on qualities of suffering.
“If they paid me a million dollars I would not do it again,” Suresh Joachim said of his world record for longest time standing on one foot. He doubts anyone could ever break his record. “It was very, very painful.”
That feat was accomplished between May 22-25, 1997 at Vihara Maha Devi Park Open Air Stadium, Sri Lanka, Suresh Joachim’s native country. He balanced on one foot for an incredible 76 hours and 40 minutes.
The following year, Suresh Joachim broke another record by travelling a distance of 140 miles on up and down escalators at Westfield Shopping Centre, Burwood, New South Wales, Australia for 145 hr 57 minutes.
He also achieved a world record when he moonwalked 49.252 km in 24 hours time at The Fregata Restaurant & Night Club, Ontario, Canada, on 11 January 2006.
In all, the Mississauga resident has broken 69 world records. Alongside his feats that have been chronicled in the Guinness Book of World Records many times, Joachim's work for charity and awareness is also noted.
Joachim was first inspired to break world records in 1991 when his uncle showed him a Guinness Book of World Records. Inspired by Michael Jackson and other pop stars who used their celebrity to raise money and increase awareness at the time, Joachim started to think he could raise funds and awareness for causes by breaking records.
“Before 1991 I didn't know there was a Guinness Book of World Records," Joachim said. "When I was ten years old my country was in war. I saw people struggle with the war and poverty in Ethiopia and Somalia. In the corner of the room I was thinking, why are these people starving? What can I do?
"Then after I saw Michael Jackson I thought ok, he raised the money for charity. You had to be known to the world first. So, I'm finding the loop - how I can be. Being born in a village, you cannot be a singer or a star,"
Suresh Joachim's first world record was achieved in 1996, in Sri Lanka, where he ran for 42 days non-stop. Although he covered 3,495 km. at the time, it was only a start; the thought of breaking records would not go away.
He felt that the more records he could break, the more people would become aware of the struggles of war and the needs of children around the world.
“You are listening to me sir, because I achieved something for two decades,” Joachim said to the Mayor. "You are interested in this. You can remember ok, this guy, Suresh Joachim, what is his ambition? The poverty, diseases and war. This is very important. The awareness is very important, more than any of the other things such as fame.”
“I know that Suresh is a very proud Canadian, it was very great to speak to him," Mayor Bigger said in his office on Friday, "I’m very proud of the fact that we're the 100th city that he's reached here on this current trek. I wish him all of the best.”
The two laughed and Mayor Bigger gave him a signed copy of “Healing the Landscape – Celebrating Sudbury’s Reclamation Story”.
“I think we just set another record,” Joachim joked on his way out: “Longest time with a Mayor.”
After shaking hands, Joachim left the city towards Montreal where he intends to run another 21 km.
"It's something that I'll continue to support: anyone who dedicates so much time and caring and effort to these causes because we have to take care of everyone," Mayor Bigger said.
For more information about Suresh Joachim and the World Peace Marathon, visit: https://sureshjoachim.com/