If you’ve travelled to Budapest, Vienna or a number of other European cities, you might have run along the Danube River. That’s what British ultrarunner Kieran Alger just finished doing on Tuesday, but unlike what was likely a chill mid-vacation run for you, he did it for 67 days. The Danube is the second-longest river in Europe, passing through 10 countries and spanning 2,850 kilometres, and Alger covered it from point to point. He called this challenge Danube Sea to Source and used it to raise money for five different charities, all of which fight child poverty.
A Londoner has run 3,000km across Europe. Kieran Alger, who’s from Chiswick, has just completed his run of the Danube river. We caught up with Kieran moments after he completed his run. pic.twitter.com/JibTAOEBSo
— BBC London (@BBCLondonNews) August 30, 2022
Alger started his run on June 25 on the coast of the Black Sea in Romania. From there, he simply followed the Danube, taking every twist and turn the river makes. This challenge was almost completely unsupported, meaning Alger didn’t have a crew following along and meeting up with him at every pitstop. He carried his own supplies (a 22-pound bag) and camped most nights.
As Alger told the BBC after finishing his journey, he believes he is the first person to complete this running challenge along the Danube. As one would imagine, the Sea to Source was hardly an easy endeavour, but Alger said he had to fight more than just fatigue. “In Romania, I battled lots and lots of wild dogs,” he said. “I suffered a couple of dog attacks … and I had to run quite a lot of those stretches on high alert.”
Day 66… ate up all my miles like a good boy. Through non-stop spectacular views. The German Danube just filled my soul right up. And now just 30 miles remain. Tomorrow the journey ends. I’m not sure I’m ready. pic.twitter.com/XTmTAY9UYn
— Kieran Alger (@KieranAlger) August 29, 2022
While this made the run even more difficult, Alger said he found that “the struggles made the highlights even better.” After crossing his finish line in Donauschingen, Germany, on Tuesday, Alger stopped the clock on his challenge after 67 days of running. That works out to more than a marathon every day for more than two months.
At the time of writing, he had raised more than CDN $12,000 for charity. To support his cause, click here.