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Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: David Kilgore Wins Seven Marathons on Seven Continents in Seven Days

When you stagger off a transAtlantic Flight, running a marathon is probably the last thing you want to do. And yet David Kilgore, a professional runner from Palm Bay, Florida, has done pretty much exactly that—seven times in a row. Not only that, but he won all seven

The 31-year-old was crowned this year’s World Marathon Challenge champion after nabbing gold medals in all seven of the event’s back-to-back marathons, each of which was on a different continent. (The women’s winner was American Deirdre Keane, who won three of the seven races and finished with an average time of 3:49:23 per marathon.) 

The team started in Antarctica’s frigid conditions, where they ran 10 laps of a course in high winds and blowing spindrift. From there, they traveled to South Africa, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Brazil, and finally Miami, Florida.

Whenever they weren’t running, Kilgore and the other competitors spent most of their time eating, sleeping on planes, and otherwise recovering in time for the next day’s race. According to his social media feeds, Kilgore’s morale remained high throughout. By all accounts, however, it was a grueling week. 

It should be noted that the World Marathon Challenge is a pretty exclusive event. It costs $43,000 to sign up and only 36 people competed this year. Still, there’s no denying that Kilgore’s performance would have been world-class in any setting. His average time was about 2:46 per marathon. That’s just short of Mike Wardian’s legendary 2:45:56 record, which he set when he completed the World Marathon Challenge in 2017

“Overwhelmed by love and emotion landing in Miami Beach,” Kilgore said on Instagram the day of his final finish. “The crowd and energy in the air was a buzz as all of the participants had people [there] to bring them to the finish line.” 

That final marathon clocked in at a blazing 2:41:50. That’s just over six minutes per mile—after running 157 miles that same week. It was Kilgore’s fastest time of the series. 
Enough running? Not for Kilgore. Just a few days after his Miami finish, he hopped on a plane to New Zealand to compete in the Tarawera Ultramarathon 50k. He came in 7th. 

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