Bristol

Athlete Nick Butter runs a marathon in every country

Nick Butter completing Athens marathon Image copyright Nickbutterrun
Image caption Nick Butter (centre left) took almost two years to complete the challenge

A British man has become the first person to run a marathon in every country in the world.

Nick Butter, 30, from Bristol, has run 196 marathons in 196 countries after starting in Canada in January 2018 and finishing in Greece on Sunday.

He was inspired to do it to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK after a friend was diagnosed with the disease.

Mr Butter said he was "overwhelmed" to have finished, after he crossed the finishing line of the Athens marathon.

He said he was "very tired" after completing the challenge, which took 674 days and involved visiting an average of just over two countries a week.

"In one sense it was just another finishing line, but in a bigger sense I've been visualising it, and finishing in that stadium in Athens was so special," he said.

He chose Athens for his final run due to it being "the home of the marathon".

Mr Butter, originally from Dorset, crossed the line with his friend Kevin Webber, who has prostate cancer and who inspired him to take up the challenge.

So far, he has raised more than £65,000 of his £250,000 target for Prostate Cancer UK.

During his epic feat, Mr Butter said he got through 10 passports, took 455 flights, ran through 15 war zones and was mugged twice.

He said he was now planning to continue running "one or two marathons a week" because he "loves to run".

Image copyright Nickbutterrun
Image caption Mr Butter said he would continue to run one or two marathons each week

The former banker said the number of 196 countries was based on 193 identified as sovereign states by the United Nations plus three others not officially recognised.

But he explained he had actually run 211 marathons, in order to "future proof" the record, by visiting places that might be classed as separate countries in the future.

"For example I ran a marathon in Hong Kong as well as in China," he said.

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