International outdoor athlete Erden Eruc spends time in Grand Marais
Erden Eruc
Community Voices

International outdoor athlete Erden Eruc spends time in Grand Marais

Maps are a valuable tool for information and education and, for some, a reliable source for wanderlust and daydreaming. 

Erden Eruc’s inspiration to circumnavigate the world stemmed from a map hanging on the wall in a software development lab. He would spend countless hours staring at the map and tracing his finger across oceans dreaming of exploring the world. 

And in 2007, that dream became a reality. 

Eruc is an outdoor athlete who has received international recognition for his feats in exploration. In 2007, he set out to circumnavigate the world solely by human power. He rowed across oceans, hiked across countries, and biked across entire continents. 

Five years and 11 days later, he completed the journey. 

Eruc finished his journey in 2012, becoming the first person to solo circumnavigate the world by human power. 

Today Eruc is one of the leading ocean rowers in the world. In addition to his 2007-2012 solo circumnavigation, he holds 17 Guinness World Records, is a recipient of the 2013 Citation of Merit from the Explorers Club, and was named one of the 2013 Adventurers of the Year by Outside Magazine. 

He is also the founder of the Seattle based 501(c)(3) nonprofit Around-n-Over with a mission to educate and inspire children. 

Eruc is currently spending time in Grand Marais with his friend, Robert Torkildson, as he works on a book and helps the North House Folk School and Hjordis team. 

Eruc said he had enjoyed his time in Grand Marais so far. “It’s a friendly community. It’s a very pleasant spot, a good, nice corner of the world.”

WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins met Erden Eruc to learn more about his life, his circumnavigations by human power, and his passion for exploration. They speak at length about the joys, challenges, and value that circumnavigating the world has brought him. Audio of the conversation is below. 

Photos below: