This was a week that saw me holed up in a bar in Boston during the Boston Marathon (owing to an admin error), ‘on the road’ for 100 days, warmly received by a hot chocolate (and family) back in the UK, and meeting some fantastic primary school children. For more details, read below.
Day 99 – Boston, US, looking ahead to the London Marathon
I’ve spent the evening sitting on a stool looking out of my window on the 17th floor of my hotel. It’s now one in the morning. It’s dark and the wind is howling at the glass as I look out to the icy sea off the Boston coast. Cars slow to a halt at red lights. I watch the lights turn green and the cars move off under the yellow street lights. It’s quiet. All I can hear is the wind gusting at the window and the pipes of the hotel’s heating. The city is still and so am I.
It’s at times like these that I really enjoy some time to think, to slow down and to reflect. Thinking about all the people I’ve met, all the places I’ve been, and how many more experiences to come. I can’t help but think about Kev and all the other men out there dying of prostate cancer and the chances they won’t get. I feel the whole spectrum of emotions: anger, frustration, sadness and joy – joy because I am making a difference, and the rest, because it’s a hard uphill battle to stop cancer. I’m also profoundly appreciative of the life of a westerner, and indeed, the life I have. I’ve seen thousands of people in Haiti washing in streams, horrendously malnourished communities in Central America, the devastation caused by hurricanes in the Caribbean, and the tough daily lives of those in Guatemala and Jamaica. Not to mention the life of a North Korean… We are lucky beyond comprehension, so go live your life how you want to! Because you can!
Snow, wind and rain today – I love the cold at the moment. My second full day in Boston, so further admin and exploring to be done. Fuelled with some tasty morning snacks I made my way by train to a number of different cities from Boston out west. If I’m honest I’m not sure where I went. I just explored – nice not to have any set route for a change, ha ha. Regardless of the foot I’m still pretty keen to get on with the London Marathon and to tick it off.
Day 100 – Boston, US and the Boston Marathon + MILESTONE: my first 100 days on the road, whoop!
Today was one of those days I was happy not to be running. The cloud came in, the rain came down, and the wind blasted everything and everyone in the face. Super big respect for all who ran today in Boston – in some seriously grim conditions. As you know, my Boston Marathon will take place next year now. At the time of realising I wouldn’t be able to run (due to an entry mix-up), it was pretty hard to take – the thought of watching thousands of people doing what I love but not being able to take part was hard. However, thanks to the grim conditions, I feel less stroppy now.
I had another day roaming the city, eating great North American, incredibly unhealthy, over-sized everything. I even found a fireplace in a cosy bar. It was crammed full, but the atmosphere was great – gloves, jackets and hats all thawing, along with everyone else.
Sadly, not many photos today – I left my phone on charge, much to my regret.
Tomorrow I head home for my first pit stop back in the Motherland. Bring on the Marmite and bagels. I miss you Marmite… and parents and loved ones, of course. Strange what you miss, isn’t it? My slightly injured foot needs to rest up for a few days before the London Marathon too. Wish me luck.
Day 101 – Boston, US to London, UK – home time on the 17th
Time to come home for the first time in 102 days. Looking forward to seeing family and friends. Maybe I’ll even bring some sun with me. I left Boston today for Portugal and then finally on to London, to arrive early tomorrow morning – once again, a nice long flight. It’s currently the middle of the night flying over some big ocean. People call it the Atlantic.
Just a big thanks to everyone supporting the journey so far. This is a big benchmark – I’ve now completed the whole left-hand side of the world. It’s gone so quickly, but there’s another 600+ days left. (We’ve extended a little to make sure it’s all do-able.)
A big thanks to my sponsors Do Running (Do Sport Live) for providing me with all my running gear. I’ve just been informed that we have brand new running tops made up with all the sponsor logos on. Watch out for them at the London Marathon.
Day 102 – UK – touchdown in London, whoop!
The dark grey clouds parted, and the bright green colours of the British trees appeared, along with the concrete and glass skyline of London. It looked tiny, but so completely home. The Thames snaking around the city was a great sight. I’m ashamed to admit that this just reminds me of TV dinners when I was young, watching EastEnders. I’m home. After hundreds of days running, meeting so many incredible people, and, let’s face it, having nowhere near enough sleep, I am ready for chapter one to complete. My mum and dad greeted me with open arms and, more importantly, a hot chocolate. This is my only vice at the moment. No booze, no painkillers; chocolate will forever be my friend, in liquid or solid form; I am happy.
As soon as chapter one completes, the next begins. That’s kinda how stories work, right? I spent the afternoon meeting with various sponsors and then doing washing and sorting back home. Not glamorous in the slightest. Time to hit reset and empty my bag of all the goodies, luggage tags and little souvenirs. At the moment it’s not really feeling like a rest. I left Portugal at 6.30am after a nice, long 12 hours from Boston. I was also sat next to a nice, loud snorer, so didn’t sleep that well. Safe to say it’s time for bed now.
Day 103 – UK – let the admin begin, with a Q&A day
Today was like going back in time. In the lead-up to this expedition I spent about two years of my life planning every little detail of the trip (along with a lot of very competent and very lovely team members) – finding funding, collecting sponsors, working out visa requirements, securing some media attention and also things like finding security and tracking devices. I was quite literally running around London, the north, the west – pretty much every corner of the UK – trying to make sure this trip would work. Today I spent my second rest day back at home doing exactly the same. I met with some sponsorship brands, caught up with friends and grabbed some more tea. Thanks to Athletic Tea Co for giving me some energy-boosting tea – genuinely great stuff. If you’re into sport, this stuff replaces normal tea. Green tea and ginger is my fave – hot or cold.
Here’s some of the questions I’ve had so far:
Q: What do you eat?
A: Everything and anything, at every possible opportunity. It is actually pretty hard to take in enough food.
Q: Are you travelling on your own?
A: Yep, entirely on my own, but I have a great team of about 20 people. My PA, Carla, my parents, Patch from the podcast, my nutritionist, psychologist and many great people make this possible.
Q: What’s your favourite marathon so far?
A: Guatemala, because I met some brilliant new friends, ran past an errupting volcano and was introduced to the team working on Ecofiltro (the project helping to offset the carbon emissions for the whole trip), although there’s been so many great places, far too many to mention.
Q: Who are your sponsors?
A: I have a collection of great companies and individuals supporting. I am, however, always looking for more support. I will have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of my own money, virtually bankrupting myself, so any support is appreciated. A big thank you to Lloyds Bank, Do Running, TouchNote and Juice Plus, to name but a few.
Day 104 – Barnstaple, UK – school visit – AMAZING DAY!
What a brilliant day: £3,000 raised and a day I’ll never forget. I have a lot of people to thank for today. From 8am to 3pm I was transported back into the mind of an eight-year-old. Let me tell you about the kids of Bratton Fleming Community Primary School.
Wide-eyed and excited, these great kids were grinning up at me from the moment I stepped into the classroom. I walked into this school and was treated like a king. The teachers and the pupils were fantastic. Over the past three months their teacher, Mr Day, and the head, have arranged for the kids to run a project on me and the trip, teaching geography and culture. It’s very obvious these kids have enjoyed it, but they now also know more about me than I do. Similarly, they know more about the world than me. I’ve been video calling the class every so often, and now it was time to finally meet them. I handed round some goody bags and arranged for their names to be translated into Chinese so I could give a bit of a culture twist. This worked and the kids loved it. We even ran together and I was beaten in the bleep test. You can watch the whole video of the day on my Vimeo channel.
Thank you to Podcast Patch for coming along and recording a new episode, thanks to Dani for photography for the day, and thanks to Bonny from Spark media for shooting some film footage for the documentary. FYI, the documentary will launch when I complete the trip across a handful of mainstream broadcasters and channels. Any questions, just ask. Lastly, an extra big thank you to all the folk at Bratton Fleming. All their hard work – bag packing, cake sales and team relay – was incredible. Thank you.
Day 105 – UK – London Marathon week – bag pick up and passport swap
It was weird to be recognised so much today. At the Expo or just around London I had various runners approach and wish me good luck. Thanks guys. That was a boost. I am pretty damn tired today, but I’ve come back to the Marriott Hotel here in Canary Wharf with my race bib collected and some extra goodies from the kind people at the Expo. Runderwear even loaded me up with pants, as seen in the photos. Extra thanks to the West India Quay Marriott for the strawberries, chocolate and cream, plus the bananas and coconut juice that was left in the room ready for me. Great treat.
Today I was also able to drop off my old passport and collect my new one from Universal Visas. These guys have been fab at providing all the right visas at the right time. I need 90 in total and they aren’t charging me a penny, even though it should cost me a fortune (about £15,000). I’ve also picked up a fresh supply of Pulsin bars and topped up my Juice Plus tablets. Getting ready to go back to the daily grind.
Please remember, I have my Kickstarter campaign currently live with only 12 days left to back the book. This is to launch the Running The World 196 photography book, a large format coffee table book that will highlight the culture and diversities of the world, along with a load of other stuff too. Please check it out. Just search for Nick Butter Kickstarter. Cheers.
British Endurance Athlete | Motivational Speaker | Adventurer
Social Media: http://www.runningtheworld196.com| Twitter @nickbutterrun | Instagram@nickbutterrun
Sign up to the Virtual Challenge: https://etchrock.com/challenge/buy-ticket/running-the-world-196
Promotional Video: https://vimeo.com/228583946