Let's just start with the idea of running 183 miles in a week. That's an incredible high mileage week, considering at the height of their training, most world class distance runners peak at about 120 miles for a week while training.
The mileage alone is ambitious. You get to 183 miles by multiplying the marathon distance by 7. Yes, my friend Gareth Williams is running 7 marathons in 7 days. But just to make it a little more interesting, he's doing one on all 7 continents. Yes, in 7 days.
7 is a lucky number for me (it's where I work), but this is taking 777 to a new level of crazy!
The first question that comes to mind is whether it's even possible. The answer, apparently, is yes. The picture above is from marathon #4 in London. They completed it Wednesday. As I write this on Thursday, they are on to #5 in Cairo, and going strong.
Gareth is an accountant by trade, so he's good with numbers and math. I can't even begin to fathom the logistics of this travel itinerary, but I'm sure he and the group of friends he's running with have it all figured out down to the minute. Clearly, there's little room for error, like flight delays! Their flight pattern is listed in the map below. My jaw just drops to the floor when I look at it and realize they are really doing this right now!
This is the kind of adventure I dream of, and read about from people like Ultramarathon legend Dean Karnazes. This is not the sort of thing I would imagine us ordinary humans would attempt.
But Gareth is either proving me wrong, or he really is superman under his work suit!
A little background here. Gareth is married to my good friend Christine (a runner/triathlete) who moved to London a few years ago with her company. She married Gareth, who she described as a 'good runner'. They had a baby girl, Isla, a couple years ago, and seem like a normal busy family.
Christine grew up in the south suburbs, and I had a chance to see them for a bit one when they stopped in to visit a couple years ago. I found her husband to be warm and friendly. I don't believe we even really talked much about running. At that point, Gareth had done about a dozen marathons, and, as I recall, his pr was impressive compared to mine, though it wasn't going to get him invited to the Olympic trials or anything.
It is going to gain him membership into an extremely exclusive club, however. There is apparently a '7 continents' running club with a little over 100 members. There is also a group that does this every year, in organized fashion, to add members to the list. This year's run is sold out, with 12 runners participating. Their itinerary appears similar to the one Gareth and his friends are doing. I should also mention there is a charity component to Gareth's efforts. They are raising money for a children's charity in London.
I was excited to be able to run an easy five miles today. Coming off injury, I'm planning to build my mileage back up slowly. But I don't foresee ever getting to the point or running an 80 mile week, much less a 183 mile week! So big congrats to Gareth and friends!
See you on the roads..........