Lonely Planet Writer

Barefoot walker breaks Guinness World Record for longest distance

A barefoot walker from Co. Mayo, Ireland has set a new Guinness World Record for walking the longest distance in bare feet.

Eamonn Keaveney, a teacher from Co. Mayo, set off on his 2000km walk around Ireland on the first of May of this year, already breaking the world record on day 78 of his walk en route from Ballynafinch to Belfast.

The 23-year old teacher is hoping his walk will raise €18,000 for suicide prevention charity Pieta House, having already raised over €15,000 for the charity. Keaveney lost a close friend to suicide in 2014, something that prompted him to do the walk in the first place.

He decided to do it barefoot because it made the walk more testing and the physical challenge really appealed to him. The brave barefoot walker has had to battle off the elements throughout his walk, from trying to avoid stepping on thistles, nettles and gorse to keeping a constant eye on the traffic so not to cause any road accidents.

Each night he either pitches his tent and braves the elements or happily accepts invitation from strangers to stay in their houses. While he will happily say yes to the offer of a bed for the night, he will never accept an offer of a ride, choosing to walk every last step.

Half way through his walk, Keaveney met with another adventurous charity walker, Alex Ellis Roswell, who is taking four years to walk around the UK and Irish coastline. Walking long distances is a challenger that has been undertaken by many intrepid travellers in recent years, including this 27-year old who is walking to every continent with his rescue dog.