Endurance athlete sets new world record after running 196 marathons across every nation in 22 months

Banker turned endurance athlete, 30, sets a new world record after running 196 marathons across every nation on earth in just 22 months

A banker turned endurance athlete has set a new world record after running 196 marathons in every nation on earth in just 22 months.

Nick Butter, 30, quit banking and embarked on an expedition in January last year after being inspired by a friend who had cancer.

He has been through ten passports and covered 5,130 miles in organised events across seven continents, including the Sahara Desert and Antarctica.  

On average Nick has completed three marathons in three new countries every week for the last 96 weeks.

This means he burned an estimated 1.5 million calories in 5.1 million steps during the 675-day adventure. 

And in the process has been through 120 Visas, hit by a car, bitten by a dog, broken his elbow and even been shot at.

He completed the final event in the Authentic Marathon in Athens, Greece, today, and hopes to raise £250,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.

Nick, from Dorset, described his travels as ‘the most incredible experience‘ as he has ‘seen things you wouldn‘t even imagine possible‘. 

While it took two years of planning and appeared initially ‘daunting‘, he revealed how ‘eyeopening‘ it was. He lived in airports and and hotel rooms as he made his global travels.

Nick has made around 2,000 new phone s from people he met across the world – and claimed they were the ‘best part‘ of his experience        

He said: ‘Sure, the views I‘ve seen have been breathtaking – but it‘s the little kids running next to me wanting to hold my hand in some country I‘ve never heard of before in Africa that has been the most amazing bit for me.

‘It‘s gone so fast, yet at the same time feels like I‘ve been doing it forever, it‘s a weird reality and I can‘t believe I‘m at the finish line.‘

The former banker, who has taken part in global marathons, met fellow runner Kevin Webber in 2016 during the Marathon Des Sables in Morocco. He got to know him over a five-day event when Mr Webber revealed he had terminal cancer.

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Mr Webber, who was diagnosed two years earlier, took part in marathons to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK  

And when he told Kevin ‘don‘t wait for the diagnosis‘, this ‘struck a chord‘ and ‘knew‘ he had raise money for the charity. 

‘Kevin changed my life that day and in the months that followed, I quit my job at the bank and swapped my suit for running shorts forever.‘

He motivated Nick to ‘get out there‘ and do what he is ‘really passionate about whilst raising money for charity‘.  

Nick raised an initial £46,000 in donations to cover his costs and started his adventure running in -25 degrees Celsius in snowy Toronto, Canada in January 2018. 

He took 201 flights covering 13,500 miles between countries, along with 45 train journeys, 15 buses and 280 taxis.

Since setting off he has raised a further £63,000 for Prostate Cancer UK on his Just Giving page as well as about £20,000 in external donations.

‹ Slide me ›

Nick is seen sprinting along an empty road in Malawi and pictured right, in Lesotho, south Africa

With two books planned to be released in 2020 and a 1,000 day running expedition in the pipeline for 2021, Nick has set himself up for a busy return to his home in Dorset.

Set to run the circumference of Iceland in July 2020, he‘s not hanging up his running shoes just yet and is embarking on a speaking tour to inspire others to follow their dreams. 

‘I‘ve learnt so much about other countries and cultures throughout my journey, and the idea of teaching kids about things like a Nepalese prayer wheel is just amazing to me.

‘The average human lives for 29,747 days, and if you‘re British, you spend about 9 years watching television, so it‘s interesting to get people thinking about how much time you waste not doing something you‘re truly passionate about.

‘You don‘t know when you‘re time is going to run out, so get out there and chase your dreams today – as Kevin said, don‘t wait for the diagnosis.‘

Nick is continuing to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK and has a Just Giving page set up to help him reach his £250,000 target.



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