The next time I try to talk myself out of going to the gym I’m going to think of Nikolas Toocheck, the 9-year-old boy from West Chester, Pennsylvania who is planning to run a marathon on every continent. Although I must admit the first thought I had when I heard about Nikolas’ quest was “is all that running really good for his little body?” Luckily it seems Nikolas’ parents also share the same concerns.
Nikolas has seen numerous sport medicine specialists as well as pediatric cardiologist to make sure he can handle all of this exercise. After completing his first marathon this past December, Nikolas was taken back to the cardiologist, given an additional EKG and Echocardiagram, and told he could keep on running. His Mother, Tara has addressed the issue stating:
Nikolas’s health and safety is our absolute top priority. No one else is going to care more about his health than his parents.
Honestly, as his mother, the idea of Nikolas running marathons and going to other countries worries me all the time – I’m his mother. It took me a long time to become comfortable with the initial idea. Believe me, we are NOT making him do this!!!
She also stresses that Nikolas is encouraged to “complete not compete.”
Nikolas first started running with his father, Daniel, while he was training for a 5K a few years ago and he has reportedly been taught to pace himself — not push himself.
His idea for running a marathon on every continent came from a discussion about running in all climates. That led Nikolas to the White Continent Marathon which takes place next week in Antarctica.
And just because this kid wasn’t cool enough already, he is asking for people to support him by donating to Operation Warm, a non-profit organization started in 1998 by his grandfather, that provides warm coats for children in need.
Nikolas and his dad leave Friday for Antarctica and will both participate in the marathon. You can follow his journey on his website, nikrunstheworld. Two continents down, five to go.