Attempting to set a world record for running a marathon in all 196 countries, Nick Butter starts his 550-day adventure this weekend. We spoke to him and Kevin Webber, who inspired him to take on the challenge and raise £250k for Prostate Cancer UK.
Our ultra-running super-ambassador, Kevin Webber, says he's "really touched" that a Bristol endurance athlete has dedicated his world-record marathon challenge to him.
Nick Butter flies to Toronto this weekend to begin his 18-month attempt to run a marathon in every country in the world. It's a feat that's never been achieved before and he hopes to raise £250k for us while he does it.
The 28-year-old was inspired to take on the challenge after meeting Kevin, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014 and given just two years to live. The duo were taking part in the Marathon Des Sables, known as the toughest footrace on earth, when they formed a tight friendship.
“When he told me he had been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer, I knew I needed to do something,” says Nick (pictured above right, with Kevin).
“Honestly, he’s tipped my life upside down. I quit my job and will be away from family and friends for 550 days. But it’s all for an amazing cause and to help more men like Kev and his family.”
During his epic, 5,000-mile challenge, Nick will face difficult environments across 196 countries, from war zones and areas of political unrest to the extreme climates of the Sahara Desert and Antarctica. He even hopes to travel back to London in April to complete the London Marathon alongside fellow runners raising money for Prostate Cancer UK.
“I’m really touched that Nick is taking on this tough challenge for me,” says Kevin. “But it’s not just for me: it’s for my boys and for future generations of men and their families. It’s important we do everything we can to help raise awareness and hopefully save more men from dying from this disease.”
As well as making a donation, Nick is also challenging people to join him by running 196 miles – a mile for each of the countries he’ll be running a marathon in – during 2018. Registration for his virtual challenge is £25 and all profits will go to us.
Our chief executive, Angela Culhane, says: “We’re delighted that Nick is taking on this massive challenge to raise vital funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK.
“It’s people like Nick, going above and beyond, who are helping to change the game for men everywhere, to ensure prostate cancer is a disease that the next generation need not fear.”
Check out Nick's progress, take part in the virtual challenge, and donate to him via his website.