Running a Marathon on all 7 continents in 365 days
When I set off 2013, I knew I wanted to get in one continent in towards my goal of all 7. In 2012, I ran in the Great Wall Marathon. I was looking for my 3rd continent (including North America) in 2013. Well I got a bit more than I expected:
- March 3rd, 2013: Cape Vaal Marathon in South Africa
- My wife and I decided to visit my Grandma again in South Africa before her schedule became too busy. I luckily found a marathon there and finished it right under the time limit of 5hr 30 minutes after suffering from an IT band injury about two months prior and a month of work travel.
- Flight: BA JFK-LHR-JNB in Coach, 5CPM (yea coach, you have a problem with that?)
- April 2013: Santiago Marathon
- There was a great mistake fare in business class from JFK-MIA-SCL on AA/LAN and I used it to fly for the Santiago Marathon. 90 days into 2013, I had already ran in two continents.
- Flight: JFK-MIA-SCL business 7CPM (angled lie flat on AA, couldn’t book LAN on AA.com)
- October 2013: Dublin Marathon
- Because of some award travel I had booked for Good Friday, I had an extra ticket BOS-CDG and I decided to use it for the Dublin Marathon as its cheap to get back on Avios (DUB-BOS). That trip is coming up in about two weeks.
- Flight: BOS-CDG business angled lie flat, coach Aer Lingus CDG-DUB
- November 2013: Auckland Marathon
- Because I am changing jobs, I had a free week to travel. I decided to fit in a marathon on New Zealand. Completely last minute but managed to get flights and accommodations. Registration for the AKL marathon was still open for international runners. I submitted my application by email and got in.
- Flight: DUB-PEK-SYD business Star Alliance, SYD-LAX-BOS Oneworld coach.
- February 2014: Hong Kong Marathon
- I was waiting for this registration for about three months when I booked a good fare LAX-NRT-SIN on AA/JAL. They announced the registration date two months ago and I got lucky and registered for it on Monday. I logged into the site 30 minutes early and registered. Registration was open for about 3.5 hours after the official registration time of 7am local time before the marathon was full.
- Flight: BOS-LAX-NRT-SIN, SWU waitlisted for LAX-NRT. KUL-HKG-SIN business class on MH A380/CX 777
- March 10th, 2014: Antarctica Marathon with Marathon Tours
- I got an email late in the summer about being offered a spot in the 2014 Antarctica Marathon. I also got a spot on the 2013 trip but couldn’t go as it was very last minute and I already had some travel planned. This year, I decided to do it. Managed to finish booking my flights and submitted the last payment this week.
- Flight: BOS-JFK-EZE business class, EZE-MIA-BOS First class.
The title of the post is a bit misleading as it is exactly one week more than 365 days, or 372 days. I just thought it sounded better.
The biggest challenge now is running Hong Kong marathon and then three weeks later running Antarctica Marathon. I would have to deal with the heat and humidity in Hong Kong, and then the cold for Antarctica. This year, I ran mostly summer marathons in March/April so I trained indoors to get used to the heat. This year, I am going to have to train mostly for the Antarctica Marathon and spend some time getting acclimated to the heat/humidity when I am in Southeast Asia.
Another small challenge would be running Dublin on October 28th, and then running Auckland 6 days later. I hope that my legs still feel ok after Dublin and also survive the time zone changes enough to run in Auckland. I’ve ran with jet lag before and it really sucks. It feels as if you’ve been up drinking all night and now you have to run 26.2 miles. The only time I did that, I quit my long run at about 12 miles.
It is a bit crazy that except for the flight between Dublin and Auckland, I will be flying on American Airlines and Oneworld. 3 of the trips were revenue tickets while 4 of them were award tickets.
I hope nothing gets in the way of finishing any of the marathons but this would be awesome if I can pull this off. There was a week or two in September that I had thought about not being able to finish the 7 continents by next year due to the lack of vacation days. However, I managed to fit New Zealand in this year so I’m gunning to finish my 7th in 5 short months! I can’t wait for March 2014!
I’ve seen some posts lately about people’s 30’s being more awesome then their 20s. Well, this will be hard to beat.