Richard Donaovan (L) and Ananad Anantharaman
after Richard's 100 M run in Antarctica
Richard Donovan dared the logistical and physical challenge to become the first person to run seven marathons on seven continents in less than five days.
The marathon running community knows Richard Donovan as the soft spoken organizer of Antarctic Ice Marathon and the North Pole Marathon, whose self-effacing demeanor totally camouflages the hard material inside. On 3rd December 2011, Richard astounded some of the world’s most accomplished marathoners by completing an ultra-run of 100 miles (160 KM) on the frozen ice lands of Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica in 24 hours (the first ever on Antarctica proper).
Hailing from Galway in Ireland, Richard Donovan already set a record of 5 days 10 hours 8 minutes in 2009, to run the seven continents, spending almost half of this time in the air getting from one marathon destination to the other. However, he wasn't satisfied. He decided to break the 5 hour barrier.
Milestones in a marathoner’s career start with the very first kilometer. No one forgets the day he first ran the ‘entire’ one kilometer. Then comes the first half-marathon, and finally Wow! MY FIRST FULL MARATHON! Incredible!
But a runner’s appetite is insatiable. Slowly he looks out to run in other cities in his country, and soon enough in cities outside his country. Somewhere down the line someone queries him as to how many continents he has run on?
‘Continents? How many there are? Seven, eh? Count me in.’
Enter Seven Continents Club (SCC). The SCC is the brain-child of Thom Gilligan, the man behind www.marathontours.com. Thom’s company was taking marathon runners around the world to run in exotic locations. In 1995, he organized the first run on King George Island in Antarctica. During the height of the Cold War, USA