Tim Durbin, MBA 10: 7 Marathons, 7 Days, 7 Continents

Time Durbin runs through Dubai.
Time Durbin runs through Dubai.

Less than a month after arriving at Haas, Tim Durbin, MBA 10, decided to get in shape and attempt his first half-marathon.

About a year later, Durbin was hooked and running full marathons.

Yet no one, not even Durbin, could have expected his newfound love of running would evolve into a record-breaking global challenge.

On Jan. 23 in Sydney, Australia, Durbin became the lone American of 12 runners to complete the 2015 World Marathon Challenge, in which competitors run seven marathons on seven continents in seven consecutive days.
Starting Jan. 17, Durbin boarded a plane every day for a week, heading to Antarctica, Chile, Miami, Madrid, Morocco, Dubai, (pictured), and Sydney. Tapping extreme willpower and years of training, Durbin spent the entire time either running or flying, using his flight time to rest his body as much as possible.

At one point, Durbin had to run two marathons — one in Madrid and the other in Marrakech, Morocco — on less than seven hours of rest.

“Everyone hit the wall hard in Morocco,” Durbin said. “But once we finished that, we knew we were over the hump.”

All these marathons and travels around the world may not have been possible without Berkeley, where Durbin began running again. He recalled the many miles he logged in Strawberry Canyon and on other Berkeley trails.

Durbin says his time at Haas changed his life in several ways: he forged lifelong friendships, studied abroad for the first time, and embraced the “confidence without attitude” Defining Principle that he still holds close.

“That “Confidence Without Attitude” culture is something that I have really taken to heart,” Durbin said. “I always try to keep it in mind through the course of my daily life.”

After finishing the last leg in Sydney, the 31-year old management consultant took a week to rest.

Durbin, who paid for the marathons from his savings, also raised money for a cause that’s important to him: the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research. He ran in honor of several family members and Haas colleagues who fought cancer.

In the wake of finishing the World Marathon Challenge, Durbin is on to new challenges. He hopes to run 24,901 miles — the length of the Earth’s equator — by 2022.

By Seung Y. Lee