Completing a marathon is a noble accomplishment.
How about completing a marathon on every continent? A feat of a lifetime.
Now imagine completing a marathon in every single country in the world. Impossible?
Meet Nick Butter — an enterprising young Brit who recently reframed human potential, becoming the first person in history to crush 196 marathons in all 196 countries.
A world-record setting feat noteworthy for daunting financial and logistical challenges that often dwarfed those athletic, it took Nick and his team two years to plan and 674 days to complete — an astounding accomplishment that entailed running 3 marathons, in 3 new countries a week, every week, for 96 weeks, blowing through 10 passports and 455 flights along the way.
More Jason Bourne than Forrest Gump, Nick ran through 15 war zones and endured several Argo-esque border crossings. He was mugged twice and repeatedly attacked by dogs, even going so far as to run 335 laps around a car park on the Marshall Islands to avoid that country’s overrun population of rabid canines. He had his luggage stolen. He ran in extreme cold and unbearable heat, oftentimes starting marathons at two or three in the morning to avoid 140-degree weather. He repeatedly succumbed to food poisoning and kidney infections. This list goes on.
But ultimately, Nick prevailed — and learned a few things about life along the way.
”You have an opportunity and a responsibility to enjoy and to live your life as passionately as you can.Nick Butter
What drives a man to attempt such a feat? In Nick’s case, it wasn’t fame. It wasn’t notoriety. It was something far greater.
In 2016, while enduring Marathon des Sables deep in the Moroccan desert, Nick struck up a friendship with fellow ultrarunner Kevin Webber — a man given just two years to live, courtesy of incurable advanced prostate cancer.
Kevin’s courageous life embrace inspired Nick to rethink his career path in finance. Empowered him to tackle an impossible goal. And motivated him to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer solutions along the way.
This is a conversation about the physical, mental, and emotional strength it took to conquer a challenge of breathtaking magnitude.
It’s about the obstacles faced and overcome. The lessons learned. And the importance of giving back.
It’s about audacious dreams. Unbridled adventure. And the courage required to jump into the unknown without a safety net.
But more than anything, this is a conversation about this fleeting, shared experience we call life — and what we can all learn from Nick’s example about ourselves and our place in the world.
Running makes you value your time.
– Nick Butter
Note: This podcast was recorded pre-pandemic (on January 28, 2020).
I think you’re going to fall in love with Nick. I sure did.
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- Connect With Nick: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
- Book: Running The World: 196 marathons in 196 countries, one record-breaking adventure*
- Video: Running The World 196
- BBC: Athlete Nick Butter runs a marathon in every country
- CNN: UK man runs marathon in every country in the world
- CNN: Meet the man who ran a marathon in all 196 countries in the world
- Sky: 196 marathons, 196 countries: Nick Butter’s ‘Running the World’ mission
- The Telegraph: Former banker becomes first person to run a marathon in every country in the world
- The Guardian: Dorset runner becomes first to run marathon in every country
- Red Bull: Nick Butter has now run a marathon in every country in the world
- Runners World: Man Runs 196 Marathons in 196 Countries to Raise Money for Prostate Cancer
- Travel + Leisure: This Man Is the First in the World to Run a Marathon in Every Single Country
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Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering and show notes; Margo Lubin and Blake Curtis for video, editing and graphics; portraits by Ali Rogers; and theme music by Hari Mathis, Tyler Piatt & Trapper Piatt.
*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.