Joseph Michael Liu Roqueñi left Montreal today for the southernmost tip of Argentina — on foot and shoeless.

Though friends and family accompanied him at the start, he'll be alone for the most part. He's mentally preparing himself for the isolation and physical demands this 19,000-kilometre run will exact.

"It's so hard for your brain to take it, so you have to break it into smaller parts," he said.

The Concordia University student began training in earnest for his marathon run last summer by running without shoes or socks on a treadmill, then went running on pavement and even in snow.

He left Montreal today wearing running huaraches, footwear that looks like little more than flip-flops held together with bungee cords.

He hopes to make the trek to the city of Ushuaia — the distance equivalent of about 450 marathons — in about two years.

Watch the video to learn more about his mission.