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Day 438 – Angkor Wat, Cambodia 🇰🇭 to Phuket, Thailand 🇹🇭

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My 125th country of the expedition, and I’m already plodding through my fifth continent nicely. The end is in sight – still a long way off, but I can feel it coming. Even with over 200 days still to go, I’m sadly now closer to the end than the beginning.

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I have mixed feelings about this journey coming to an end. On the one hand I’m keen to crack on with the next phase of the journey – to write the book, organise the photos for the Photography book, start my speaking tour, visit schools and generally share my experiences – but there’s a big part of me that is terrified for the end.

My purpose day to day is simple… travel, run and share the message about prostate cancer and Kev’s teachings. If I’m lucky I’ll finish with loads of donations for the charity. If you can donate, please do. I’m still way off my target.

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I have so much planned for the future – two big running expeditions, The 196 Foundation, WonderFULL magazine, and obviously all the fun stuff that follows this journey. I have a nine-month speaking tour planned in 2020 – theatres around the UK and the rest of the world, along with exciting projects with various companies like White Tiger Expeditions. There’s so much to say on this front, so I’ll just leave it at that for now. Just wait and see. Oh, and keep an eye out for a trip in July next year – epic…

Once again I want to thank everyone who has supported this journey and remind you all that I’m very grateful for your kind words, comments and lovely emails. I have another 71 countries and 236 days left. That’s just three days per country, as usual. It’s going to get hectic.

Thanks once again to the brilliant Templation Hotel here on the edge of the Temple area.

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Can you help me reach my goal of hitting £250,000? Please donate using the link. Or just search ‘Nick Butter JustGiving’ @prostatecanceruk @strava @justgiving

Day 439 – North Phuket, Thailand 🇹🇭, Marathon 125

Today was an all-in day featuring three brilliant people, Poom, Simon and Chait.

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Poom is from Thailand, Simon is from the UK, but lives in Bangkok, and Chait is from Thailand but lives in Boston and is visiting family. What a brilliant group of people. I owe most of the success of today to Poom. Poom is such an enthusiastic and excitable lady it’s infectious. She got hold of various contacts, arranged a route and runners, and even found some sponsorship. All 13 months in advance. Simon and Chait were then contacted and reached out to me to get involved. Thank you everyone. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the kindness of people is astonishing. You guys are great.

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Two firsts for me today – number one, the earliest start of any marathon on this trip, a 3.45am kick off, and number two, running with a birthday girl. It was Poom’s birthday today and I’m incredibly grateful for her spending her morning acting as both support car and photographer. The stillness of an early start and some chilled chat with the guys running made for a memorable run.

It was humid, sweaty and we had some pretty exhausting hills to run up, but the views were great once the sun came up.

I want to say a huge thank you to Raewadee Tea. These guys coughed up a few quid sponsorship, plus gave me some lovely tea. The ‘Sleeping Beauty’ flavour is my fave, obvs.

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After the run we did a quick joint interview with the gang and some video bits and pieces before I headed out to visit some elephants. Despite it being a nice idea, the elephants were kept in pretty horrible conditions in a ‘sanctuary’, which felt more like a circus, so I promptly left.

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Over and out for today, guys, it’s time for me to eat, nap and eat some more before bed. It’s been a hot 40°C day.

Please keep donating to Prostate Cancer UK and support the cause. To donate to Prostate Cancer UK and help stop men dying, please visit my JustGiving page. Or just click the link in the bio, ‘Nick Butter JustGiving’.

Day 440 – South Phuket, Thailand 🇹🇭

Initially staying in the north of Phuket, I then moved down south for my final two days in Thailand. I wasn’t due to have this long here, and so it was nice to enjoy the sun, rest my legs and restock for the next place.

Today was a day of admin. I talk about ‘admin’ quite a lot in my posts, and so I wanted to touch on why it’s such a focus for me. Put simply, this trip is tough, not really for the endurance element – my body is used to it and I’ve trained hard for a long time to get my body ready – it’s everything else. ‘Everything else’ also covers quite a long list of bits and pieces.

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Prepping for finishing the trip is key, and so is making sure I have everything in order, the speaking tour, writing the book, sorting photos for the Photography book, backing my diary up so I don’t forget anything, thanking people, the list goes on and on. Actually, though, it’s the simple things like staying in touch with friends and family back home, so they don’t forget about me, having emergency calls with the team in the middle of the night about cancelled flights or new travel safety advice. Or even simpler, making sure I have a map, some money and the right gear with me when I’m running. Sounds silly, but being dropped in a new country three times a week means new currency, new temperatures and new precautions. Will I have enough water on hand? Are the roads safe? Am I in a city or out in the sticks? Do I need to organise stuff with the embassy? What sponsor commitments do I have? You get the idea.

So today was getting my head around the next phase of the journey, and then a nice long dip in a clear blue pool overlooking a palm tree-lined beach. Hot bliss.

Please keep donating to Prostate Cancer UK and support the cause. To donate to Prostate Cancer UK and help stop men dying, please visit my JustGiving page. Or just click the link in the bio, ‘Nick Butter JustGiving’.

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Day 441 – South Phuket, Thailand 🇹🇭

Over the past 12 months I’ve had various questions coming in asking for advice on running… I’m no expert, but I do have a few miles under my belt. Over 40,000 in fact, so maybe I can help, who knows?

What’s the best thing to do to train for your first marathon?

In my opinion, you either want to run to complete a marathon or run to finish in a good time. I will assume it’s the former because let’s face it, a marathon is a long way if you’ve never run the distance. Top tip from me: run every day for a month. No skipping a day, 30 days of solid running. Could be as little as a mile a day, but the act of getting the trainers on and getting out of the house can help build a routine to fall back on later. Before you know it, you’ll be running a few miles a day, and then you’ll think, why not go for 5 miles? Second, friends are important. Running buddies, no matter what ability, can really help. If you can’t make a regular running club, then find people who love to run, and ask to meet up. Simple. Without going into more detail, my last point is this – don’t expect to enjoy all of it. Remember, you have to run through the initial pain and tiredness. Do that, and you’re on to a winner. Simple, isn’t it? It is just one foot in front of the other.

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What should I do after I’ve run a long distance race?

I don’t do a lot. I’m really bad with post recovery, mostly because my body is now more than happy to run a marathon and not feel a thing… but the bits I do maintain when I feel I need some TLC are icing, massage and anti-inflammatories. I also rub anti-inflammatory gel on my knees and hips before I start a marathon. Not a lot, but just enough to give my legs a chance.

What should I eat post run?

Pretty much anything you want, but protein and electrolytes are key. Water is the name of the game, though. Not only do I drink more than I feel I need during the run, but I drink even more during the run to try to support muscle repair and soreness post run. Also, lots of veg, a pizza, fish, extra salt on everything and then a green tea. @athleticteaco is my fave and blooming tasty. #run #world #running #runner #tips #runningtips

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Day 442 – Phuket, Thailand 🇹🇭 to Yangon, Myanmar 🇲🇲 via Bangkok

A day of two halves – the gentle pan-flat ocean as the sun appeared, and then the mad rush getting my name called at the airport because I’d misjudged the time. Oh, and my frustrations of airport inconsistencies.

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What a stunning morning. Paddle boarding on a completely still, crystal clear ocean while the huge rose dot appeared behind the horizon. I paddled out into deep water and just sat on my board and contemplated the day, just the sound of the birds, the gentle water lapping at the board and distant boat engines firing up. Swim, paddle, eat, nap and all before 10am.

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If you know me well, you’ll know I can be incredibly patient when I want to be, and outstandingly short-tempered and bloody grumpy when I’m tried. I must admit the catalyst for the later is often stupid people doing stupid things. Sounds harsh, but it’s true.

On my connecting flight today I had a situation I’ve experienced several times on this trip – I got the security guard who really likes to fully empty bags just out of spite. Even though I carry exactly the same stuff every flight, you’d be amazed at how inconsistent airports are on almost every level.

In Africa I’ve had bags being pushed through security scanners that are turned off and broken, no checks at all, and even hold luggage in the cabin.

On every flight I carry toothpaste, hand sanitizer and a large bottle of water, more because I want to test their process than to actually have clean teeth and hands, to be honest. It drives me crazy how rubbish the system is – 99% of the time airports miss them and still insist on me taking my blooming laptop out of my bag. I think I may have been flying too much now ‘cos this is by far a first world problem. Still, everything is relative and annoying when I’m tired. Which is always. Rant over.

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Day 443 – Yangon, Myanmar 🇲🇲, Marathon 126

So many times on this journey my alarm has sounded in the early hours and I’ve woken up fully awake, ready to make the most of the day. More frequently, however, the opposite happens. I’m pretty much always exhausted and a long travel day yesterday made matters worse. So today, I snoozed my alarm four times before realising the longer I left it, the longer I’d be running in the midday sun. Not a good move with 40°C in Myanmar. I made it out just after 6am, which meant I’d have about 2 hours of direct hot sun on my back, face and legs. Needless to say, these hours are always tough and dehydrating, but somehow, more rewarding.

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I arrived yesterday into another complimentary hotel. I will be releasing a list of all the hotels I’ve stayed in once the trip is complete – there’s some brilliant places. Thanks to Chrissy, a member of my brilliant team. She is responsible for finding me kind hotel managers willing to put me up at no cost. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. Myanmar’s hotel was small and central and the staff were friendly. No luxuries, but nice enough. A small twin room to accommodate my good friend Dani, who’s joining me for two weeks to film for the documentary again.

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My race report for today goes something like this: hot, sweaty, dusty, repeat. I ran in circles around a big lake in the city centre. In the absence of any other bright ideas and no possibility of reaching the prettier parts of the country about 8 hours north, I had found the best place in the city.

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126 marathons complete means I now only have 70 remaining – 70 more countries to come and join me running if you want.

Please keep donating to Prostate Cancer UK and support the cause. To donate to Prostate Cancer UK and help stop men dying, please visit my JustGiving page. Or just click the link in the bio, ‘Nick Butter JustGiving’,

Day 444 – Yangon, Myanmar 🇲🇲

Some great smiles today.

Naga Cave Pagoda and Monastery, Shwedagon Pagoda, lunch by the lake, back to tidy, repack, spot of admin, and then sleep and more sleep.

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Today was a slowish day. It was so hot and humid I spent most of the day roaming around in the heat and then dashing into the shade whenever and wherever possible.

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I spent the morning roaming the Shwedagon Pagoda barefoot in local dress. Everyone knows what it’s like to walk on hot black surfaces without shoes or socks. Not cool. Literally. It would have been so peaceful and relaxing had I not been playing hot potato with my feet. So blooming hot. Despite the heat, this place is stunning. The detail in the design of the building and artwork is amazing. From there I ventured to the Naga Cave Pagoda and Monastery. Monks, more monks, some lazy dogs, and a cute local market. No tourists in sight. Apart from me, obviously.

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As sad and camera-obsessed as this sounds, I’ve really enjoyed having my large collection of camera lenses and gadgets with me.

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For every leg of the journey over the past 14 months I’ve been experimenting with bags and gear. I’ve also been writing reviews and tips and tricks as I’ve been travelling. I finally feel like I’ve got the best set-up. I’ll post more details about my camera gear, travel gear and running gear tomorrow.

It’s all been a bit hectic lately and so I’ve not had much time to keep up with updates as much as I would like. Heat, hot running and trying to keep up with admin.

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Please keep donating to Prostate Cancer UK and support the cause. To donate to Prostate Cancer UK and help stop men dying, please visit my JustGiving page. Or just click the link in the bio, ‘Nick Butter JustGiving’.

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Nick Butter

British Endurance Athlete | Motivational Speaker | Adventurer

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