World Marathon Challenge: Run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents

World Marathon Challenge: Run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents

World Marathon Challenge, in its second year, is an opportunity to run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. The Outdoor Journal interviewed Calum Ramm, a US Marine Corps Captain and one of the 15 participants of the 2016 edition.

There are plenty of running events that push human limits. One such event is the World Marathon Challenge that takes runners to all the seven continents in seven days (168 hours) for seven marathons (42.2kms or 26.2 miles). In its second edition this year, the race starts on 23rd January at Union Glacier in Antarctica. It will continue through Punta Arenas, Chile (South America), Miami, USA (North America), Madrid, Spain (Europe), Marrakech, Morocco (Africa), Dubai, UAE (Asia) and Sydney, Australia. Participants will run a total of 295 km (183 miles) on all the continents over the seven-day period, spend about 59 hours in the air and fly approximately 38,000 kms.

Participation caps at 15. Those who complete the challenge will be recognized by The 7 Continents Marathon Club and the Intercontinental Marathon Club.

Every participant runs for a reason. Texas State Representative Patrick Fallon is running to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer. He has never run a marathon in his whole life before. 50-year-old and mother of two, Heather Hawkins from Australia is an ovarian cancer survivor and has been pushing her physical boundaries to prove that cancer had not beaten her. 35-year-old Becca Pizzi from USA will aim for an American record at the challenge. Ong Tze Boon and Ong Yu-Phing are the first two Singaporeans taking part in the race. Just before a month to go for the race, they ran a half marathon in the morning and a half marathon in the evening as a part of their training regime.

The Outdoor Journal took a brief interview of one of the participants, Calum Ramm, a 26-year-old Marine Corps captain stationed at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, USA. He is running to raise money for Semper Fi Fund, a US based charity that raises money for injured Army veterans.

TOJ: Introduce yourself!

Cal: I am a Naval Academy graduate from 2011. I have been running since the age of 12 and trained with the cross-country team at the academy. Right now I’m in US Marine Corps and a part of Marine Corps All-Marine Running Team.

TOJ: Why World Marathon Challenge?

Cal: Last year I was looking for races in Antarctica and really wanted to run there. I came to know about World Marathon Challenge which has a marathon in Antarctica. So I thought of why not running in all the seven continents rather than one.

TOJ: How did you take out time for training from your service and what’s your diet?

Cal: I normally get up at 4am for running and at 7pm after my duty. It’s mostly in the dark that I had to train. I haven’t done any particular training for it and used to run almost 90-100 miles a week. I don’t have any planned diet. I eat almost 8-10 pounds of salmon and chicken in a week, mostly salmon.

Calum Ramm is a part of Marine Corps Running Team. Courtesy: Semper Fi Fund
Calum Ramm is a part of Marine Corps Running Team. Courtesy: Semper Fi Fund

TOJ: What’s your strategy and planning for the marathons and how are you planning to deal with the fatigue, jet lags and temperature variations?

Cal: I don’t have any strategy for the races. I will do what I have been doing. I will go easy in the beginning so that I don’t burn myself out. There will be challenges like race fatigue, less recovery, etc but it’s all about how you take it. It is more of a game of mental toughness than physical. I am looking forward to enjoy and have fun with other participants. All of us will be going through the same pressure.

TOJ: What made you to run for Semper Fi Fund?

Cal: I have been running for pleasure all this while. Semper Fi Fund is very special for me and close to my heart. This organization helps and supports wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. It promotes recovery through sport. Many members in it are into athleticism and it is a huge part of their life. So running to raise fund for Semper Fi Fund really clicked me. I am planning to raise USD 50,000.

Donate for Semper Fi Fund here. The Semper Fi Fund will be supporting Cal along the way, and invites others to follow his journey on the official Semper Fi Fund Facebook page, or by using the hashtag #WhereInTheWorldIsCal.

The 2017 registrationS for the World Marathon Challenge are now open.

Feature image: Action shot from the Antarctica leg of World Marathon Challenge 2015 Antarctica leg. © World Marathon Challenge/Facebook