British runner and adventurer Nick Butter is in the early stages of a running challenge he has dubbed Run Britain — an event in which he is attempting to run 200 marathons in 100 days, taking him around the coast of mainland Great Britain. Butter has completed several huge running projects before, including his Run the World challenge that saw him run a marathon in every country on Earth, but this one is a different beast, as it requires him to average an 84K ultramarathon every day for more than three months. Butter started his run on April 17 in Cornwall in southwest England, where he hopes to return on July 26 after a 100-day, 8,400-kilometre journey.
Butter is no stranger to big challenges. He completed his earlier-mentioned Run the World challenge in November 2019 after running 196 marathons (some of which were at officials races, others that were solo 42.2K efforts), completing one in every country over a period of 674 days. He has also run several ultramarathons, including the gruelling six-day Marathon des Sables in Morocco.
More recently, he completed an event he called the Italian Grand Tour that involved running 100 marathons in 100 days in Italy in late 2020. Now, he’s doubling that challenge, which was arduous enough, and running a double-marathon every day for 100 days. According to his website, at the start of the Run Britain challenge, Butter had run 830 marathons in his life (most of which weren’t official races). This means that he will hit the mind-blowing milestone of 1,000 marathons in the middle of his challenge, but he won’t stop there, as he’ll still have 16 days left to complete his trek around Great Britain.
Butter timed his run around Great Britain to coincide with the launch of his nonprofit, the 196 Foundation. The 196 Foundation has pledged to support one cause per year, and it will donate money to and raise awareness for various people, countries and initiatives worldwide in the coming decades.
Butter and his team have asked his followers to donate a minimum of £1.96 (C$3.35) to the 196 Foundation each month of the year, which adds up to just £23.52 (C$40.20) for the whole year. Everyone who donates will get to have a say in where the money is directed, and the cause with the most support will be chosen as this year’s focus.
While on the Run Britain route, Butter is being followed by a small support crew in a set of three RVs. He meets up with his team each night after his run, gets some rest and then hops back into another double-marathon every morning at 6 a.m. Depending on the weather, the terrain (certain stretches along the route will be quite hilly) and Butter’s health, his daily run times could fluctuate quite a bit, but overall, he is aiming to run for 14 hours each day (although if he hits the 14-hour mark and hasn’t reached 84.4K yet, he’ll keep going until he finishes).
This challenge doesn’t give Butter much room for error, and if he ends up injured or sick, even just a couple of days off his feet could ruin his chances of completing the run in 100 days. Of course, he has faced and finished difficult and lengthy challenges before, so he shouldn’t be doubted in this run.