The ‘why’ behind running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents


PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) There’s nothing lucky about this factor of seven.

Seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.

But when Pawtucket’s Nick Wishart hits the road in January for the World Marathon Challenge, he will not be running alone.

“On those lonely two hour training runs,” he said after a recent workout, “I think about all of the people we can help.”

He’s finished well in three marathons and has run since he was a teenager. But the challenges of life are in the mix of why he’s running this marathon of marathons.

His daughter was born a month early and spent her first ten days in intensive care.

“It was mostly just how powerful it was to put everything in their hands,” he said, referring to the NICU doctors and nurses. “Just unbelievable, the care that they gave her and how warm they were to us.”

That put March of Dimes on the list of charities he’ll be running for early next year.

Dude the dog, rescued in the Caribbean by Nick and his wife, prompted him to choose the SPCA.

And the hunger that many face everyday made the Rhode Island Food Bank a good fit for this 183 miles of running.

“And when I go out for my runs, I am really thinking about the people who save dogs. The people who help these little babies. The people who feed the hungry in R.I.”

The fourth annual World Marathon Challenge steps off in January in frigid Novo, Antarctica, with marathon number seven in sunny Miami.

“I just thought it be cool to see these cities and to try something that’s really hard but not impossible. I feel like if you put in the work, you’re most likely going to be fine.”

He will no doubt miss the relatively mild conditions of the crossfit gym, and even the highs and lows of Rhode Island weather.

The range of climates includes a freeze of 20-below in Antarctica to 80-plus degree heat in Asia.

“It’s like almost sea level everywhere we go. So, no hills and no elevation,” Wishart said. “That’s the only good thing.”

In its three years, 59 out of 60 runners have finished within the eight hours allowed for each marathon.

Wishart has no plans to be the second who doesn’t.

“It’s like studying for a test. If you do that, you’ll be fine.”

Email Walt at with your story ideas and follow us on Twitter: @StreetStories12 and @wbuteau.

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