For many of us, running a marathon is an achievement. Making it to 10 marathons, or even running under a certain time would be the pinnacle of our ambition, and desire. Not so for UK resident, Nick Butter. The former banker has become the first person to run the length of a marathon in every country in the world.
Nick Butter, 30, set a world record after running 26.2 miles in 196 countries recognised by the United Nations. He completed his final journey in Athens, Greece, on Sunday.
Mr Butter quit his banking job to embark on his solo expedition in January last year after being inspired by a friend with terminal cancer.
He has since covered 5,130 miles in organised events across seven continents, overcoming the extreme heat of the Sahara Desert and bitter cold of Antarctica.
During the 675-day adventure he has been hit by a car, bitten by a dog, broken his elbow and even been shot at. He hopes to raise a total of £250,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.
The idea for his 196-country challenge came when Butter met a man at a race in the Sahara desert who had been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. Kevin Webber imparted a powerful message that inspired Butter to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK and, when he realised that nobody had ever run a marathon in every country in the world, he set off to become the first person to do so.
Butter filled 10 passports over the course of the trip, sometimes returning home to the UK for just 24 hours to pick up a new passport.
Running in some official marathons but largely plotting his own course, Butter got into a number of scrapes along the way, documenting everything on his Instagram account.
“I was bitten by a dog, I was mugged, I was robbed at knifepoint, I was put in a cell,” he said, but there were plenty of good memories.
“I ran with a thousand people in El Salvador, I ran around erupting volcanoes,” Butter said, adding that he had completed marathons along beaches on unspoiled Pacific islands and even ran an entire marathon up and down an airport runway.