Day 318 – Copenhagen, Denmark, Rest day
My life for the past year has come in three-day cycles – travel, run, rest, repeat. Every so often I’d have a little longer in each country, and more often than not, a little less; 72 hours is usually about right though.
Everything is happening so quickly at the moment, three days feel like an hour. Before I know it I’m on to the next country, experiencing more lovely people, learning about the country and generally loving the running miles. Today, though, is my rest day, and I’m determined to chill.
I went hunting for photos in the graffiti-laden districts of Copenhagen. Freetown is a must visit for any newbies to the city, especially for photography.
Today was a chilled one. Wandering the streets, breathing in the cold, and generally trying to slow down the pace of life.
I’m currently juggling everything from writing updates, acknowledging upcoming supporters, making progress on both the photography book and the written book, whilst organising the closing event, future expeditions, looking for sponsors, liaising with the team regarding accommodation and travel… On top of this I have our new magazine WonderFULL to push forwards with, and the continual efforts to launch The 196 Foundation. Oh, and I’m also running a marathon every few days.
Needless to say, while I like to keep busy, today was time to switch off, have some lovely grub, catch up, and get chilly fingers while out snapping photos of the city.
I’m going to bed early tonight, and it’s a great feeling, diving into a warm bed after a cold and relaxed day.
Please remember that the effort everyone is making to support this trip is to raise much-needed funds for Prostate Cancer UK. Please help me and the team reach our goal of £250,000 by the end of next year. Donate now by texting ‘NRTW89 £5 to 70070 or go online and search for ‘Nick Butter JustGiving’.
Day 319 – Denmark to Oslo, Norway
Tonight, Kev has won the JustGiving Endurance Fundraiser of the Year. Although this whole trip is for Kev and to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK, I feel like today everyone should sit up and pay special attention to this brilliant man.
Most of you will know the basic story behind this trip: I met Kev, he’s awesome, he’s dying, I did some research about prostate cancer, then decided to run a marathon in every country in the world to raise awareness and funds to help stop other men like Kev dying. To read the full story, visit www.nickbutter.com
Ever since Kev was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in 2014, he’s taken on huge endurance challenges for Prostate Cancer UK – and this year were his most epic yet. Kev ran 120 miles pulling a sledge across the Arctic in temperatures below –30°C. Then two weeks later, he ran another 156 miles, but this time in over 50°C heat as he took on the Marathon des Sables for the third time. He’s now raised over £200,000. And people say I’m mad.
Kev – luv ya! Keep going buddy. See you soon! Incredible. So proud.
Today was a simple travel day from Copenhagen to Oslo. Just a short 50-minute flight. This had initially been planned as an eight-hour train journey. No thanks.
Landed in Oslo, did some catching up with emails, ate some grub and then headed to my accommodation in the south of the city. It’s cold and I’m running Marathon 89 tomorrow. Night.
Day 320 – Oslo, Norway, Marathon 89
Marathon 89 and FOOD POISONING – a day of two halves…
Just before 10 this morning I pulled back the curtain to reveal a beautiful glow over the city. Four floors up, and with a view of the harbour, I laid my gear out, drank about a litre of water and proceeded to put on my extra buff, woolly hat, new mittens and extra jacket. It was 2°C and likely to snow today.
Kikkan, a supporter of the journey and a local architect, cycled with me through the city. Polly ran to about 10km and then doubled back to the warmth of the indoors.
Our route today was north out of the city and up around the lake. Kikkan being Norwegian and sensible had cleverly packed hot squash, sandwiches and snacks. We chatted as I ran and he cycled. I felt brilliant today. No leg soreness, pace was good, and we even slowed down for 10 minutes at half way to gorge on the provided nibbles. Thanks, Kikkan. It snowed briefly, before we rejoined Polly for the last few miles.
A big hug and thanks to Kikkan and I was back inside showering. A little while later I tucked into some shop-bought soup with bread and butter. Basic and perfect for a cold day. Little did I know, though… this was to be my last supper before realising the chicken burger I’d had the night before had also gifted me with salmonella, or something similar.
It’s now 1.30am (the next day) and I’m curled up in a ball on the bathroom floor after getting to know the ins and outs of this once lovely and once white bathroom. Needless to say, it’s now not so white and I don’t really like this room any more. Really gonna try and sleep now. Toilet time count: 4, sickness count: 4… I give it about 9 minutes before round 5, bring it on…
Day 321 – Oslo, Norway, Food poisoning continues
Do I really look that pale?!
Picture this… a skinny long-distance runner guy who hasn’t eaten anything in 12 hours post marathon, naked, who also hasn’t cut his hair in nearly a year, or had a shave in a week, and is currently using the shower as a toilet, a sick bowl and a shower… all at the same time. Sexy, right! No! Really no.
Today has been long and empty. When I say empty, I mean, I’m really really empty. If I have a sip of water, it takes about 4 minutes to fall out of me followed by a chaser of vomiting just to be sure there’s nothing inside me. If I wasn’t feeling so rough, I’d likely marvel at the body’s ability to react to such poisoning. Clever, really.
Dizzy, weak, tired, hungry and really wanting to fall asleep… my toes, feet, legs, arms and even my neck have been cramping on and off for the past five hours. I have no salts or any form of electrolytes in my body at the moment and I can’t take anything in either. Just got to ride the wave – though I’d rather be off the frickin’ wave and downing a nice cold pint of anything, please.
I have a decision to make – if I’m still so dependent on the bathroom being within arm’s reach, is it a good idea to go on a six-hour train journey tomorrow? Probably not, but then this will mean another country I’ve missed and will need to return to… hmmm, I’ll go throw up and have a think.
It’s now 11pm and the poo–sick cycle has continued… I’m visibly pale and look more like a hard core drug user than a runner… but on the plus side, I’ve managed to sleep for about two hours. Winning. Ugh, I dunno if I can face the train tomorrow. Come on tummy, sort it out please. This is getting silly.
Day 322 – Oslo, Norway to Stockholm, Sweden
The poo pants dance.
It’s time to run the gauntlet folks… wish me luck. Should I stay or should I go?
I nervously flushed the toilet one last time this morning before gathering my things and heading out into frosty Oslo to catch the train to Sweden. It was almost laughable how today unfolded. I would have laughed, if I hadn’t been so worried about what might come out of either end. Err, gross.
Today’s options were slim; recovering from food poisoning I woke up feeling much more like myself, but still a million miles from a human being or a runner. I’ve lost weight, I feel weak and my body is craving water – dehydrated to a new max. Thinking about it, I hadn’t had much to drink before the run in Oslo, I then didn’t drink anything after, and now, two days later, I’m still desperate for a drink that will remain inside me.
Option 1 was to delay Stockholm and stay in Oslo for another night or two. If I did this, I’d mess people around, ruin my schedule and have to slot it back in somewhere. If you knew how tight the timeline for next year is, you’ll know this isn’t a good idea.
Option 2 was to cross my fingers, clench a bit and hope I didn’t poo myself on the train. The train journey today, by the way, was due to take six hours.
Needless to say, I went for option 2 and can gladly report that my pants are intact and I’m rather relieved (bad choice of words)… however… the first train I was due to get was delayed and then replaced with a bus service. Knowing the situation of bathrooms on long coach journeys, the day didn’t start well. I asked the driver if the toilet was working – he said yes – he was wrong. You can imagine how anxious I was at this point, and for the rest of the journey.
After some stops to only let kids off to use the restrooms in a service station, I patiently waited… we made it to the first available train, which was then late. I then missed my connection the other end in Gothenburg, and only just arrived to my accommodation here in Stockholm at 11.50pm. How’s that for 12 hours without pooing myself?!
Bathroom, bidet, bed.
Day 323 – Stockholm, Sweden
Food poisoning recovery day 3.
Come on body, do your thing. Hit reset and mend my tired body, please. Strangely I’m not that physically tired, mostly because I’ve been sitting around for two days feeling sorry for myself, but still, I’m drained.
Luckily I am staying in the Radisson Blu, literally right next to the station, here in Stockholm. I ran the official Stockholm marathon race here a few years ago and so I know the city a bit.
I wish I could have dragged myself out of bed for more than a trip to the 7/11 for water, but sadly not. I slept, I slept some more, and eventually I had a meal this evening.
My stomach today had been on what felt like the rinse cycle of a wash – bubbling and fidgety. It was making a lot of noise!
So today has been a day to recover, basically. The rice and chicken I had tonight may or may not stay down. Is it gross to say I’m sleeping on a towel! Night everyone… let’s see what happens in the morning.
Day 324 – Stockholm, Sweden, Marathon 90
2 Nicks, 3 sicks, 26.2 miles, and a whole lot of ice under foot.
As the run progressed, the miles felt long and my body was really not up to it. My fuel tank empty, my sugar reserves virtually on zero and my compression socks falling down because I’d lost so much weight. Oh, and my fingers were frozen inside my gloves, –8°C.
Today was a first for me! Before today I’d never run a marathon so soon after food poisoning. Normally, it’s get sick, get well, then run, but as usual on the trip, there’s no time to waste.
The schedule for next year is looking tight, mostly because there are still 96 countries to run, including the ones I missed this year due to set-backs like the dog bite, the mugging and the 40+ flight cancellations… so today had to happen, even if I wasn’t feeling like it.
A big thank you to Nick number 2 for today. Originally a Londoner, Nick now lives two hours north of Stockholm, in the countryside, apparently a very lovely place. Having rescheduled the run for today from yesterday so I could recover, he changed his plans and still ran with me – in the cold, and with me burping and dashing to the side to be sick every now and then.
It’s always great to meet new people – sometimes it’s a bit draining to repeat the same things over and over again, but Nick was super-chilled and happy to chat less and run more. Really appreciate the company. It would have been brutal without you today Nick. Cheers.
We somehow found a great route by the river and into the forests; we saw lots of frost, early morning dog walkers, the frozen ocean, horses, and even found a spot on a hill to look out over the city. Beautiful!
Job done, another one in the bag. Not always pretty, but my mission was complete for today. Tomorrow I head to Finland for Marathon 91. Time to shower, sleep and oh crap (another poor choice of words), gotta pack! Ugh.
British Endurance Athlete | Motivational Speaker | Adventurer
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