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Man, 30, Becomes First Person to Run a Marathon in Every Country — and All for a Good Cause

Jason Duaine Hahn

In two years, Nick Butter has managed to do what no one else has before.

This weekend, the 30-year-old former banker from England completed a tour that saw him run marathons in every country in the world, according to the BBC. Butter started the journey in January 2018 and concluded it at the Athens Marathon in Greece on Sunday.

“I was bitten by a dog, I was mugged, I was robbed at knifepoint, I was put in a cell,” Butter told CNN of the experience. “I ran with a thousand people in El Salvador, I ran around erupting volcanoes.”

The journey — which saw him visit 193 countries officially recognized by the United Nations, and three that are not — took 674 days in all. He averaged about two marathons a week. Butter took 455 flights, used 10 passports, and ventured through 15 war zones, he told the BBC. He was also robbed twice along the way.

“In one sense it was just another finishing line, but in a bigger sense I’ve been visualizing it, and finishing in that stadium in Athens was so special,” he said.

Butter actually ran 211 marathons, he said, to make sure he covered places that might be classified as countries in the future. For example, he ran in both Hong Kong and China.

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Kevin Webber (left) and Nick Butter (right) | JustGiving

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Butter was inspired to pound the pavement and leave his career in finance when one of his friends, Kevin Webber, was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“This extraordinary man was not only one of the most positive and happy people I’ve ever met but he made a huge impact on me and how I live my life,” Butter said of meeting Webber on his website. “Kevin has terminal prostate cancer and was given as little as just two years to live. This trip is for him.”

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is currently the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, only behind lung cancer.

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Butter managed to raise more than $93,000 for prostate cancer research as a result of his run.

While Butter will spend some time recovering after the tremendous effort, he said it won’t be long until he hits the road once again.

“I’ll have a couple of days off but I actually am kind of itching to get running again,” he told CNN. “It’s my thing.”