39-year-old Leeds man Adam Leyton set a new world record for the most countries visited in a day in a rather unexpected way—he used public transport (bus, train, plane, and foot) and managed to cross the border of his twelfth destination with just seven minutes to spare!
Leyton, from Horsforth in Leeds, decided to embark on a solo trip on May 25 starting at 7:01 a.m. in Perl, Germany then heading to Luxembourg, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary before finally running the remaining 1.2 miles into Austria.
Leyton says he decided to attempt to break the record after reading a similar story about a group of men who wanted to break it in 2015. They used a car to try and accomplish the feat, but they failed. That got Leyton thinking of a more efficient way to do the same, and by March 2016 he came up with a route that would let him cross 12 countries in just 24 hours using nothing but public transport.
He strategically picked Perl for his starting point because that was where the Schengen Agreement for visa-free travel in Europe was signed. From Perl, he got an excellent head start and managed to cross four countries (Germany, Luxembourg, France, and Belgium) in a little over an hour.
Leyton's next destination was Amsterdam by plane with a connection to Copenhagen, then he crossed the Oresund Bridge into Sweden. The ambitious solo-traveler then flew to Warsaw and arrived a little after 8 p.m., leaving him with 11 hours to cross the remaining four countries.
He caught a train to Slovakia and quickly stepped off and on again when it made a stop in the Czech Republic to make sure he literally set foot in every country. Leyton arrived at Bratislava in Slovakia at 5:45 a.m. and got a bus that took him to the Hungarian border.
He arrived at the Hungarian border at 6:38 a.m. and had less than 25 minutes to run the remaining 1.2 milesto cross the Austrian border—the twelfth and final country. Leyton managed to reach where Austria meets Hungary and Slovakia with just seven minutes to spare!
Leyton didn't embark on this extraordinary journey just to become a world record holder, he also did it to raise money for a U.K. charity called Sands, which offers support to parents affected by the death of a baby.
The previous world record for most countries visited within 24 hours was broken over 20 years ago in 1993 for just 11 countries. Leyton did 12 and he's currently waiting for Guinness World Records to verify and acknowledge his new record!