The great World Marathon Challenge is underway! This event began a couple of years ago, started and organized by Richard Donovan (he personally did 7 marathons on 7 continents in under 5 days on his own!). The event has grown in popularity and many people end up doing it for charity fundraising, as well as the personal challenge of running 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.
The World Marathon Challenge – 7 Marathons, 7 Continents, 7 Days
Link: World Marathon Challenge
This year is a little special as well since there are two super-elite marathoners running – the now-retired marathoner Ryan Hall (what a retirement project!) and the mega-marathoner Michael Wardian, as well as many other incredible runners who are attempting this. Ryan Hall’s PR is 2:04 but he has since retired from professional racing. In fact, his “long” run for this was about 8 miles and he was doing about 30 miles per week of running in preparation for this event. Even with that, his first marathon on the journey was sub-3:30 (Antarctica) and the next (Chile) was 3:06! Not bad at all!
With Michael Wardian, he is used to running back-to-back marathons as well as tackling some of the hardest ultra events as well. The guy is just incredible as he can not only run back-to-back marathons but he can win them as well! And he is off to a great start with this year’s World Marathon Challenge – he clocked a 2:54 in Antarctica, a 2:45 in Chile, and just now a 2:37 in Miami! That is just awesome! Barring some injury, he will certainly set a record that will not easily fall.
I only highlighted these two since I am very familiar with their efforts, not to take anything away at all from the other awesome runners on this same journey.
The Schedule and Flights
I’ll use this A319 CJ ‘World Marathon Challenge’ aircraft for travel from Punta Arenas to Madrid to Marrakech to Dubai to Sydney. pic.twitter.com/lT6MUUuFi3
— Richard Donovan (@RichardDonovan7) January 24, 2017
With 3 marathons and continents down, the runners still face 4 more marathons. Their schedule has them hitting Madrid next, Marrakech, Dubai, and then finishing up this awesome event in Sydney. Unlike previous years, Richard Donovan has actually obtained a chartered business class plane for the racers, ensuring that they will not miss a plane or have a cancellation! That is a pretty great way to do this event! My own solo 6 marathon runs / 6 continents / 5 day event had to deal with just commercial business and first class flights (though Etihad’s First Apartment is probably the best way to go anyway! 🙂).
But, this does not come cheap. Next year’s event will cost runners €36,000 (€35,000 if paid all at once). Yes, that is a large amount of money but many racers get sponsors to help cover that and, after all, you are flying on a chartered jet around the world and also hitting the mainland of Antarctica! Try flying to Union Glacier on your own and you will probably find it a huge chunk of that whole fee!
Anyways, good luck to all the World Marathon Challenge racers out there! They are all champions in my book for attempting something like this! Having done 6/6/5, I have a feeling of what they are going through and would absolutely love to do this event at some point! For now, I will get back to writing up my next report on my own Marathon Run #4 – in Sydney! 🙂
If you want to track the World Marathon Challenge results, check out their facebook page here.