196 marathons, 196 countries: Nick Butter's 'Running the World' mission

Two years, 15 pairs of trainers, and more than 400 flights - Nick Butter has nearly completed his challenge of running 196 marathons in as many countries

By

Last Updated: 09/11/19 10:43am

Ultra-marathon runner Nick Butter is looking forward to finishing his colossal challenge of completing 196 marathons in every country in the world
0:50
Ultra-marathon runner Nick Butter is looking forward to finishing his colossal challenge of completing 196 marathons in every country in the world

Nick Butter says he has been "mugged, spent a night in a cell, and ran in 60-degree heat" on the way to trying to complete his mission of running 26 miles in every country on earth.

The Bristol-based 30-year-old is currently on 195 marathons and is set to finish his 'Running the World' challenge in Athens, Greece, on Sunday.

Butter recently met world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge, who broke the two-hour marathon barrier in Vienna in October.

The ultra-marathon runner is aiming for a world record of his own and told Sky Sports News about the shear treacherousness and brutal nature of his challenge - with temperatures in excess of 50 degrees, and dangerous situations across the globe unable to deter him from accomplishing his target.

"It's taken its toll hugely. I've been away for 674 days now," he said.

"I started this mission on January 6, 2018, and I've done four marathons in four countries every week for the last four weeks and for the 91 weeks previous to that, it's been about two or three.

"I'm so pleased to be nearly at the finish line. It has been such a long trip.

"The hardest terrain is to do with the weather and the safety. I've just ran in Syria and Yemen, Libya and Iran, and these are places that are not easy to access, let alone run a marathon in.

"I have run in 60 degrees heat in Kuwait and when I am doing it three to four times a week, it takes its toll.

"I've been bitten by a dog, I've been mugged, I've been put in a cell, I was hit by a car, there's a whole load of stuff which I wasn't expecting - but we are here, and I am just grateful."

The endurance runner is aiming to raise £250,000 for Prostate Cancer UK for a friend who is terminally ill and is hoping that his efforts will help spread awareness of the condition.

"The idea is to try and set the world record and raise a load of money. My friend has prostate cancer - more than 11,000 men die from the condition every year.

"We are so close to the finish. I start my run at 8am on Sunday, which I have been looking forward to for a very long time!"

You can donate to Nick's campaign here - and look back at Nick's progress over the last two years on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.