Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
A little over a year and a half ago I remember sitting around talking with my family during our annual beach vacation telling them I had a crazy idea about running a Marathon in Antarctica. I didn't think they thought too much of it because I have a bit of a reputation of coming up with crazy running adventures.
Later that year during our Christmas Eve gift exchange I got a gift from my Aunt, Uncle and Cousins: a Penguin Beanie Baby, a workbook on Polar activities and a contribution to the Antarctic Marathon fund! Clever. Not only did they hear me, they were enabling me! So, I wasted no time Googling when the next Antarctic Marathon would be, what the logistics were like and what it was going to cost That's when fate decided to up the ante on me.
One of the first results you'll find when searching for antarctica marathon on Google is the Antarctic Ice Marathon & 100k. While I was sifting through the high-level introduction, the image carousel on the homepage was rotating and about 3 slides in something caught the corner of my eye: "7 Continents Marathon Club." Curiosity piqued, I immediately redirected my attention back to Google to figure out what in the heck they were talking about.
That's when it happened. That was the very moment I uncovered this idea of running 7 Marathons, on 7 Continents, in 7 Days. I was fascinated with the logistics, all the places you run in, and of course the challenge of running that many Marathons back-to-back in such a compressed time frame with little in the way of actual recovery time (not to mention you get to run in Antarctica!). By this point I think most people with a sound mind would return to reality. Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm not of sound mind (but in a good way - I crave a good challenge). I spent some time talking about this idea with friends, my parents and even one of the runners from the first World Marathon Challenge, Tim Durbin, who ran it back in early 2015. You can probably imagine the reception I got - some combination of "what in the world are you thinking", "are you crazy" and "go for it." Clearly, this was going to be something I had to decide on my own.
Days later I found myself reaching out to Richard Donovan, quite an accomplished runner himself and the Race Director of the World Marathon Challenge to find out if he'd let me register for the 2018 World Marathon Challenge over a year in advance - even before the 2016 World Marathon Challenge was finished! You'll probably noticed I bypassed 2017. 2018 has a lot of personal meaning to me for reasons you'll hear in my video and come to learn over the next several months. Not long after that, I was submitting my official application for the 2018 World Marathon Challenge and making my initial deposit. The only thing I had left to do was tell my parents! Oh, and the rest of the world around me reading this!
The cat's out of the bag! I'm officially a part of the 2018 World Marathon Challenge and will be running 183.4 miles over a span of 7 days and flying over 59,000 miles to get from Continent to Continent. This is by far one of biggest challenges (if not the biggest challenge) I will ever take part of in my life. I hope you're up for a journey in 2017 because I look forward to sharing this adventure with you! Keep an eye on social media, and my blog here at jprunstheworld.com for news and updates on getting ready for the Challenge, how you can be a part and maybe a surprise or two along the way!