Running to stop prostate cancer

Nick Butter is an ultra runner, explorer, and an adventure with a strong belief – to leave a legacy. “I want to leave the world better than I found it. By exploring, being appreciative, pushing myself to my limits, and never sitting back and saying I’ve finished.”

On January 6th 2018 Rehband Ambassador Nick Butter embarked on an incredible mission to set a world record for running a marathon in every country in the world. Starting in London he will cover 5130 miles, running 26.2 miles in every country. Many countries will encounter hostile environments such as war zones, the heat of the Sahara Desert, areas of political instability and the extreme cold of Antarctica. This trip will cover all 7 continents and every one of the 196 countries on earth.

You may ask yourself why he is taking on the extraordinary challenge to run a marathon in every country in the world for PROSTATE CANCER UK. His answer is because he met an extraordinary man in the Sahara Desert, suffering from the horrible disease. 1 man every 45 minutes dies from prostate cancer in the U.K. The reason Nick is spending his life savings, 2 years away from home and putting himself in harm’s way is to raise money to help stop men, like his friend Kev, from dying from Prostate Cancer.

“This trip will hopefully inspire young minds, old minds, any minds; that we can all do our bit to value the time we have on this wonderful planet. Even if our ‘bit’ is just being grateful for today.”

Nick met Kevin in 2015 and when we ask him to describe the encounter and how the idea for running the world arose, he responds:  “I remember it like it was yesterday.”

The reason they met was thanks to running coach Rory. During a race in the desert he and Kevin were put in the same tent, along with a few other people.  “I met him [Kevin] at the airport along with everybody else. Everyone just bonded so easily, really lovely people. Kev and I were chatting in the tent in the evening, you have quite a long time between each stage to chat, and we bonded.”

Kevin was well-prepared for the race, more than Nick. “He was carrying a cooker to boil his water on and make noodles. I was competing and wanting to go for a quick time and good position in the race, so I didn’t carry half as much as he did. He had a whole bedroll and all sorts of stuff whereas I had nothing, and he helped me out.” 

How the idea developed

The two of them got on well and Kevin shared more about his family, views on life and the fact that he was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer without really understanding what it was about. Later on they met up a few times in London, at the time without speaking about Nick’s growing idea. “I wanted to do something that was from his words “making the most out of the day”, not just sitting around watching TV. I also I wanted to do something for the charity, because not only because Kevin has prostate cancer but because the whole, the situation with prostate cancer is very underfunded.”

Nick says he wanted to do something that was big enough to grab attention. The original plan, before the concept of “Running the World” was decided, involved the 7 continents over a couple of months as well as high peak running: “I love travel and photography and decided we would scribble down a few ideas. Within a 20 minute window we had done some calculations, so we were running down all possible ideas of how we could make it happen and finding sponsors and all that kind of stuff and before I knew it we had a decent plan. We roughly knew what money we needed to get it done, and how long it would take. All of that calculation was obviously wrong, but at the time we thought it was right. Then I approached Kevin, and was like, I’m will do this for you, do you mind? He was very pleased and is joining me when he can.”

Tomorrow is a maybe, today is a privilege, let’s go make the most of today

Nick is living simple during his journey; camping in wild, cooking on a portable stove, and carrying all the equipment needed for the trip. He is also pre-arranging individuals and families in each country to stay with where possible. He will also be running with people all over the world that want to get involved.

“If I’m lucky enough to get to the point in life when I’m old and grey, chatting with my grandchildren I want to know I’ve explored every inch of the planet. I want to have exhausted every ounce of my potential, challenged myself beyond what is comprehensible and leave the planet knowing I did everything in my power to make the best use of my time; to love, to work hard, and to spend as little time as possible in the so-called comfort zone. I believe that it’s the crazy things, the things that no one is doing, and the things that we’re afraid to do… which are in fact exactly that which leaves a positive mark on the world.”

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