57-year-old professor Philippe Fuchs started his 10,000 km (6,000 miles) Paris-Beijing ultramarathon journey yesterday along Avenue Champs-Elysées, running 54 km to warm up. About thirty friends joined him as they ran along the banks of the Seine river and headed out of Paris.
Philippe, a Virtual Reality researcher and professor at the Ecole des Mines de Paris will use his expertise while racking up the miles - for more information please visit the Virtual Plus Reality Challenge website, where you can check his current GPS location along the route, among other things.
Philippe's track record is impressive: Paris-Barcelona in 1992, Palaiseau-North Cape in 1995 (2,000 miles in 8 weeks) and Paris-Athens during the last summer Olympic Games (1,500 miles in 6 weeks).
Philippe estimates that the current challenge will take 20 weeks and 10 pairs of running shoes.