Ultimate runner rests up
Mike Allsop can't yet walk freely after completing a gruelling seven marathons in just seven days.
But already the Mt Eden pilot is thinking ahead to his next extraordinary challenge.
When the father of three arrived at the Viaduct on Sunday evening he finished his challenge of becoming the first New Zealander to run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.
The 43-year-old was running for the charity KidsCan - with $25,000 pledged so far for his global efforts.
Mr Allsop ran 42 kilometres in the Falkland Islands, Santiago, Los Angeles, London, Casablanca, Hong Kong and Auckland, jetting between the destinations with sometimes just minutes to leave a plane and get jogging to make sure he made his next connection.
A grimace crosses Mr Allsop's face when he's asked if the ordeal was enjoyable.
He spent a week in the Falklands where he met members of the 3rd Parachute Regiment which had fought in the Falklands War.
Running a marathon and then flying economy-class to the next destination had its drawbacks.
"When I started it was just business time," Mr Allsop says.
The biggest challenge was in making sure he was able to recover well enough to get up and go again after such a short turnaround.
It wasn't easy and during his second run in Santiago one knee packed in, and in Los Angeles the other one went too, leaving him with four marathons to go on "bung knees".
He kept going though and with the help of his support crew, ice baths and tips from long distance expert Lisa Tamati he was able to push through.
"My legs were throbbing.
"In London I was able to see a physio and he said there wasn't any ligament damage.
"It was just runners' knee, so I wasn't going to tear anything. It was just painful."
The Moroccan leg was not a great time.
"Casablanca was the worst. I felt like someone had pounded my feet and I just couldn't walk and I had to push through the pain."
The experience wasn't all horrible though and on the positive side all the careful planning - the logistics of such an endeavour are significant - paid off with Mr Allsop completing the marathons without suffering a single blister or the infamous nipple rash that can affect marathoners.
Running alongside the River Thames and through the parks of London on a crisp and clear four degree morning was wonderful.
The next big goal is to have a tilt with Ms Tamati at setting a new record for the world's highest marathon, which will involve trekking to the top of a mountain in the "shadow of Everest" and running 42km through the Himalayas.
Mr Allsop says while the personal achievement is satisfying it's not the main reason for doing these things.
"I hope someone comes along and does it a bit faster.
"I just like to live life to the max and have adventures, so when I sit back in my rocking chair I can tell my grandkids some crazy stories.
"And if I can help and inspire people, all the better."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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