Nick Butter becomes the first human to run a marathon in all 196 countries


For many, running one marathon in a lifetime is a monumental achievement and trust us when we say it is. 

However, as more and more runners tick off that 26.2-mile ordeal, the appetite to achieve even more with the historic race grows - and Nick Butter has risen the bar higher than anybody else.

In a year which has already seen Eliud Kipchoge become the first human to run a marathon in under two hours, Britain's Butter has now set a world first of completing a marathon in every country.

In accordance with the rules set by the Guinness World Records, Butter had to complete the gruelling distance in all 196 sovereign states. No exceptions, all 196.

So, while that did mean some gorgeous marathons across the United States of America, Australia and New Zealand, it also meant running through no less than 15 war zones.

Marathon in every country

Butter completed 26.2 miles in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan as well as African nations such as South Sudan, Mali and the Central African Republic where crime can be rife.

And that also includes micro-countries such as Monaco and Vatican City where Butter actively had to monitor his location to ensure he didn't accidentally leave their borders.

This weekend marked the end of his remarkable journey, which came to a close in Greece - the birth place of the marathon distance - after 22 months on the road.


Remarkable physical achievement

The former banker had been inspired to take on the challenge after a close friend, Kevin Webber, was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

And Webber was present with Butter upon the completion of the 196th marathon at the Panathenaic Stadium, having raised more than £65,000 of his £250,000 target for Prostate Cancer UK.

So, what of the statistics after such an incredible feat of endurance?

A marathon in every single country translates to 5,138.89 miles, which is over 8,000 kilometres, more than eight million metres and the equivalent of one fifth of the Earth's equator.

The incomparable amount of travelling required meant that Butter wracked up 455 flights, 10 passports, over one hundreds visas and he was even mugged twice for his troubles.

But what if another country makes a break for independence? Well, do not fear, because Butter actually ran a few extra marathons in order to prepare for this. 


The 30-year-old actually ran 211 marathons in total in order to 'future-proof' the record. Completing 26.2 miles in Hong Kong as well as China proved one such example.

However, Butter can put his feet up for now and after crossing the line in Athens, proclaimed that he was feeling 'tired'. We can't imagine why.

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