A charity fundraiser has completed his “adventure of a lifetime” by running six marathons on six continents in 29 days for a school in Ethiopia – despite superstorm Sandy threatening to curtail the attempt.
The last leg of Adam Chataway’s adventure to raise funds in honour of his late fiancée was thrown into doubt when Sunday’s New York marathon was cancelled under 48 hours before it was due to start.
Critics claimed the race could drain resources needed to help the devastated city recover from the storm, which left more than 100 people dead.
Mr Chataway, 34, of Kilburn in north-west London, had cycled about 220 miles in five days to get to New York from Boston when the overwhelming public outcry over the race going ahead despite the devastation forced a rethink from organisers.
“It was deeply disappointing and a little bit of a shock,” he said.
“Almost straight away, on the basis that I had got this far, I wanted to complete the marathons of the continent of the Americas.”
Frantic last-minute telephone calls got him a place at the Manchester City Marathon in New Hampshire. Organisers had been keen to help him complete his challenge.
In what he admits was a far-from-ideal preparation for a marathon, he then drove through the night to arrive in a crowded and fully-booked New Hampshire just as President Barack Obama was in town on the election campaign trail.
A tired Mr Chataway arrived on the start line, “along with about 300 New York marathon refugees” and finished in three hours 34 minutes.
“They played Rule Britannia for me when I crossed the finish line,” he said.”
Mr Chataway, who works for Camelot, comes from impressive running stock. His father is Sir Christopher Chataway, a former 5,000 metres world record-holder, who acted as a pacemaker when Sir Roger Bannister became the first man to break the four-minute mile barrier in 1954.