Friday, August 22, 2014

11-Year Old to Become Youngest to Run a Marathon on All Seven Continents

An 11-year old boy is about to make us all feel like complete slackers.

On September 7, Nikolas Toocheck will take part in the  Chenaii Trail Marathon, held each year in India. If he completes the run, he will set a record for the youngest person to ever run a marathon on all seven continents. He has already finished marathons in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica.

Nikolas launched his efforts to achieve this goal back in 2012, running his first marathon in the Delaware. From there, he simply continued checking off the other continents, until he had just Asia left. In a couple of weeks, he hopes to add that continent to his list as well.

This young runner isn't tackling this challenge just so he can set records however. He is also running to raise funds for a nonprofit called Operation Warm that he has been instrumental in as well. The organization provides warm winter coats to underprivileged children who come from families who can't afford to buy coats themselves. So far, Nikolas has raised more than $40,000 for Operation Warm, which has purchased coasts for 2000 children. But he has his sights set much higher than that, hoping to reach his target goal of $1 million, which would benefit 50,000 kids.

Nikolas has dubbed this endeavor as Running the World for Children, as he has been using this platform to spread the word about Operation Warm as often as he can. As he nears the end of his challenge, he'll concentrate his efforts on raising more money for the cause.

According to Nikolas' website, he started running with his dad at a very young age, and competed in his first 5k at the age of 5. In that race, he mostly covered the distance on his dad's shoulders, but a year later he completed the same distance completely on his own. Since then, father and son have continued to run together, completing several marathons together. An avid trail and road runner, Nik doesn't seem to have any plans to quit running anytime soon.

Pretty inspirational stuff. Think about this young man when you head out for a run this weekend.

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