By Cailey Rizzo
November 13, 2019
Nick Butter in Malawi.
Nick Butter / SWNS

A 30-year-old British man has become the first person in the world to run a marathon in every single country.

Over the weekend, Nick Butter crossed the finish line of a marathon in Greece and became the first person to run a marathon in all 196 UN-recognized countries. The mission took nearly two years to complete. Over that period of time, Butter also raised more than $83,000 to benefit prostate cancer research and support.

The former banker began his mission after meeting a man named Kevin Webber at a marathon in the Sahara desert. Webber had been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer but was continuing to run marathons. His determination inspired Butter and he began planning an epic mission, to see the world and to raise money to fight against prostate cancer while doing so.

Webber joined Butter for the run in Greece and the two crossed the finish line together, completing the 675-day mission.

“The feeling of crossing that finish line was like many other finish lines, in the sense that I’m tired and I want a drink and want to go to bed,” Butter said in Athens, according to The Guardian. “The elation of finishing that run with Kevin and everyone else behind me was just so amazing.”

The moment was several years in the making. Although the journey officially started with a race in Canada in 2018, Butter spent two years beforehand planning with a logistics team of 30 people. In addition to the physically grueling work of running 26.2 miles, Butter has also had to contend with tricky-to-obtain visas, unnerving foreign interactions and injuries.

“I was bitten by a dog, I was mugged, I was robbed at knifepoint, I was put in a cell," Butter told CNN. But he also had awe-inspiring experiences: "I ran with a thousand people in El Salvador, I ran around erupting volcanoes.”

While Butter said that he will take a few days off to recoup, he also expressed a desire to get back out and keep running. He will depart on a speaking tour in 2020.

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