A Guy Just Ran 7 Marathons On 7 Continents In 7 Days, Which Is Seriously A Nuts Thing To Do

After I ran my first (and last) marathon last year, my legs were stone-stiff. Like, I got to the finish line, started walking, collected my congratulatory medal, heat blanket, protein shake, gel packs, apples, and crackers, and by the time I was walking toward the party section of Grant Park (like I wanted to fucking party), I was waddling. There are short steps you have to walk down on the path that they set out for us, and I could barely bend my legs to get down them. I had to sort of hop. I did, somehow, get back to my charity tent, where my boyfriend was waiting for me, and onto the train, back to my friend’s apartment where my mom was waiting for me, out to a diner for waffles and eggs. But I couldn’t eat much, and I was moving at a quarter-pace. I spent the next two days feeling hot and nauseous and tired and very, very, very sore.

So just imagine how Tim Durbin feels after running seven marathons on seven continents in seven days!

Durbin ran in Union Glacier, Antarctica; Punta Arenas, Chile; Miami, U.S.A.; Madrid, Spain; Marrakesh, Morocco; Dubai, U.A.E.; and Sydney, Australia with 11 other runners. The first three races were all run within 48 hours, on less than 9 hours of sleep. The Antarctic temperatures messed with his body’s ability to regulate heat, and at the last race in Australia, his muscles weren’t able to transfer heat to his skin. (He still finished at 4 hours and 55 minutes, which is insane.)

And what was the payoff? According to Medical Daily, he “put his body through 183.4 miles of extreme temperatures, sleep deprivation, and a demonstration of extreme physical ability.”

Before I get into all my NOPE-ness, it’s definitely worth noting that by doing his 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days, Durbin raised $77,777 (this is starting to feel heavy-handed) for cancer research. So, awesome! That’s great.

Now that that’s done: NOPE. NOPE NOPE NOPE. I know that Durbin is obviously a better-trained athlete than myself and can handle this kind of physical duress better than even the average athlete, but still, NOPE. Just why? Why would you do that to yourself? Isn’t there some other way to raise $77,777 for cancer research? Is it even fun by the end of seven marathons punctuated by long plane trips in terrifically different temperatures over the course of just a week? Don’t your legs hate you? Consider me baffled.

Just so we’re clear, this isn’t, like, healthy. This isn’t fitness, per se. This isn’t a thing you would do to make your functional life better, this is a thing you would only do if you wanted to say that you had run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days. Once you’re running 7 marathon on 7 continents in seven days, no one can even say that you’re exercising discipline so much as you’re exercising your CRAZY FACULTY.

I’m not into these mega-challenges, personally; I want to praise people for doing extraordinary things, but I mean “extraordinary” in the very positive sense, not in the “oh, yes, this is concerningly unusual” sense. At some point, as a fitness enthusiast, I just have to wonder, what are you proving? This is like those guys at the gym who load up their bars with as many 45-pound plates as possible to do ONE bench press. So what? My standard for “cool fitness accomplishments” lies somewhere around being really good at distance-jumping and/or the ability to climb trees quickly and easily, because it seems like it would be fun to be able to jump between buildings and hang out in trees. That could just be me.

I mean, congrats, Tim Durbin, and the other 11 athletes who ran the World Marathon Challenge. You set out a crazy-person goal and you achieved it. For whatever that’s worth.

[Medical Daily]

[Image via World Marathon Challenge]

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