January 31, 2017 / 12:50 PM / 4 years ago

American runner travels the world to win seven marathons in a week

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Starting over the snow in Antarctica and ending next to the sands of Sydney, an American shipbroker won seven marathons in seven continents over seven days to claim the World Marathon Challenge.

Relying on chartered flights and aeroplane food, 42-year-old Michael Wardian led 30 runners over the line in the 183-mile (295km) race, where hardy competitors battle blisters and exhaustion as they travel around 24,000 miles to compete.

The first marathon started a few hundred miles from the south pole, with further races in Chile, Miami, Madrid, Morocco and Dubai before the last under the cover of darkness next to Manly Beach in Australia on Sunday.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience, I mean who gets to do this, no one really,” Wardian said after completing the event in six days seven hours and 25 minutes, each marathon finished in under three hours.

“Every day I ran at my limit and there were so many people who helped me do as much as I could. To be able to do that every day for a week traveling around the world is something special.”

Chilean schoolteacher Silvana Camelio beat eight others to claim the women’s title while Ireland’s Sinead Kane became the first visually-impaired competitor to complete the exhausting feat.

Writing by Patrick Johnston in London, Editing by Ed Osmond

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