THE FIRST PERSON TO RUN A MARATHON IN EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD
Dream, train, plan, achieve.
Broken bones, muggings at gunpoint, being locked up, attacked, bitten by dogs, shot at, tears, fears, failures and suffering...
The endless tales of perseverance and resilience led this man to accomplish a dream. The first man to run a marathon in every country in the world.
On November 10th 2019 Nick took the title as the first and only person to run a full marathon distance in every country in the world, and did so in just 23 months. He and his bag travelled alone for 674 days, running 2 or 3 marathons in 2 or 3 countries, every week, for 96 weeks. This huge world record came after over 45,000 miles of running in previous expeditions, years of training, and with plenty of set backs.
Since then Nick founded a world leading charity The 196 Foundation, based around a 'democratic donorship' system of small donations of just £1.96 per month, from many people, with the donors choosing which cause to support each year.
Recently he's gone on to run the length of Italy running 100 marathons in 100 days, zigzagging all Italy has to offer.
His book Running The World rocketed to best seller, and at present is in the process of being translated into multiple languages, with an audio book and documentary coming later this year.
"We live every day assuming that tomorrow will exist, one day it won't; don't count the days, make the days count. Live with intent, with appreciation for our unfathomable privilege, and use your opportunity and freedoms with a smile on your face and with those you hold dear around you. Life is what you make it."
Words from Nick
I was once trapped behind a desk, and now I am not.
With the help of many brilliant people, 10 years ago I found the courage to jump from office life into the world of running and endless adventure. I went from mundane to mountains, from desk to danger. The value of life hit me square in the face - and now I'm living every day with gratitude, the open road, and a whole lot of unknowns. Our time here is precious.
Goodbye worries, work and weekends, and hello to hills, hope, and happiness.
If I’m lucky enough to get to the point in life where I’m old and grey, chatting with my grandchildren, I want to know I’ve explored every inch of the planet. I want to have exhausted every ounce of my potential, challenged myself beyond comprehension and to leave the planet knowing I did everything in my power to make the best use of my time; to love, to work hard, and to spend as little time as possible in the so called comfort zone.
I believe that it’s the crazy things, the things that no one else is doing, and the things that we’re afraid to do… which are exactly the things that leave a positive mark on the world.
VAN LIFE LIVING
On November 23rd 2019 Nick, Nikki, and their new born Hungarian vizsla puppy, Poppy, moved into their new home. Home being a 2012, low mileage, Mercedes Sprinter van. Just 2 days prior the van had finished being converted from a dirty, scruffy shell which was once used to transport medical supplies.
After 6 months of renovations Nick’s brother Chris had single handedly transformed a van into a luxury home. Chris isn’t a builder, or van specialist, in fact he’s a nurse in A&E, with a similar love for the outdoors. Chris has already converted his own van for surfing trips, and so had learnt the basics.
Nick was away on expedition when he called Chris to ask for his help. With a UK and European speaking tour looming, and needing a place to sleep while on the road, a van seemed the best option. Nick had long dreamt of living the Vanlife, having followed Alex Honnold’s exploits over the previous decade and so this was the best time to trial an alternative life in a van. The help that Nick had asked of his brother quickly escalated into a full blown 6 months off work for Chris, turning into long days working on the van. With hours of phone calls, moving money around, planning the layout, researching the tools need, electrics, heating, water supply, fridge set up,… the list goes on… eventually a plan was formed and Chris could start the conversion.
Chris sourced the van, test drove it, purchased it, drove it back home, and then started work. 2 weeks after Nick had finished his latest challenge the van was ready after 6 months of build time.
The van, which they call Christopher, has running hot water, full heating, a shower, a toilet, a 70 litre fridge, a freezer, an oven, a grill, 3 hobs, a full size fixed double bed, USB ports, 240v plugs sockets, black out blinds, decking for sunbathing, 300w of solar energy, 2 leisure batteries, a charge controlled, an inverter, 11 storage spaces, a huge garage space, a slide out table, dimming strip lights, surround sound, puppy bed, memory foam mattress, touch screen controls, a massive skylight for star gazing while in bed, and climate control throughout. Little extra touches such as heating vents positioned under the kitchen units so their toes warm up while making the morning tea, or the off centre skylight which means they can star gaze in bed, and even better a full size double bed tent box on the roof which acts as an extra bedroom for guests. Chris made a van a home… and a beautiful one at that.
Nick, Nikki and Poppy plan to live in the van indefinitely. Home is where you park it.
LEGACY, PHILOSOPHY & FUTURE
I hope you flick through this site and enjoy reading about my journey from a slow beginner jogger, to winning races, holding a medal collection, having thousands of photos and memories, and importantly making a difference to all walks of life. Be it through charity or just a conversation that sparks something wonderful. I am a runner, it is my work, my life, and my passion, but it's people that make it enjoyable. I owe great thanks to so many selfless individuals that have encouraged and enabled this life - and even more to those that support it's continuation. A special thanks to my team that make what I do possible. What started out as a hobby - is now my world. Thank you all.
By exploring, trying new things, pushing myself and never sitting back and avoiding saying 'I’ve finished', I’ll hopefully be able to say I've left this world better than I found it. I hope to inspire young minds, old minds, any minds; that we can all do our bit. Even if our ‘bit’ is just being grateful for today. Tomorrow is a maybe, today is a privilege, let’s go make the most of today.
I strive to do good, be good, and succeed. Many people say running is an individual sport, but actually those of you that run, I’m sure you know, the running community is the biggest team sport that exists.
This website (and my weekly blog) is a snapshot into my life, but it's also a diary, so I can look back when I’m old and grey and remember where my exploration started, the people I met, the pain I suffered and the resilience and lessons I learnt. But there’s also a lot more to it. Hopefully this will inspire some of you; hopefully this will kick start the understanding of just how great it is to run, explore, climb, swim…, to experience the great feeling of being out in the open with just you and some sweaty running shoes.
The world is magical - don't let fear, conforming, or your peers dampen your dreams. Us humans live for an average of 29,747 days. When you subtract the time we spend, sleeping, stuck in traffic, commuting, sitting behind a desk, eating, waiting, the time we have left is scarily little. Use your time, privilege, freedom and opportunity with intent. Stop making excuses, and start making plans.
15 GLOBAL CHALLENGES
4 WORLD RECORDS
2 WORLD FIRSTS
TOTAL MILES RUN 45,377
COMPLETED 828 MARATHONS
RACED 89 ULTRAS
VISITED 196/196 COUNTRIES
RAN A MARATHON IN EVERY COUNTRY
LIVED IN A VAN FOR 580 DAYS
MET & RUN WITH 11 PRESIDENTS
RAISED OVER £550,000 FOR CHARITY
OFFSET 100% OF EXPEDITION CO2
NO. 1 BEST SELLING AUTHOR - AMAZON
5KM - 17:24
10KM - 36:35
10 Miles - 56:11
1/2 Marathon - 01:21:13
Marathon - 02:53:57
100KM - 09:32
100 Miles - 29:44
24 Hour - 138 Miles
48 Hour - 221 Miles
Furthest - 351 Miles
BORN - AUGUST 1989
WHERE - DORSET
HEIGHT - 6ft
WEIGHT - 65kg
FOOD - CHOCOLATE
DRINK - MISSION TEA
BOOK - JUPITER TRAVELS
HOME - THE VAN
BETTER HALF - NIKKI
PUPPY - POPPY
AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Freeman of London (The Key to the City)
Point of Light (British Government award)
Laureus Sporting Moments of last 20 years
JustGiving (Top 5 Fundraiser of the year)
Amazon Best Seller 'Running The World'
Scholarship Sports Psychology
Running The World 196 - A marathon in every country in the world
Italian Grand Tour - North to South of Italy, 100 marathons in 100 days
Running The Lakes - Every lake in the Lake District
London to Paris - 38 hours non stop from arch to arc
3000km Challenge - 3000km of worldwide races in one year
Run With The Sun - 78 miles from sun up to sun down
Van Marathon - 2300 laps of the van
Marathon des Sable - 7 days & 285km of gruelling desert sand and heat
The Arctic Circle - Northern Norway adventure
24 Hour Treadmill - 124 miles - never again
Ireland Top to Bottom - My failed attempt, and my biggest learning