The story behind Nizar FAKHOURY’s Guinness World Record!
12 Jan. 2016 – Nizar FAKHOURY, have you heard this name yet? Yes, he is the man who set a new Guinness World Record which is the fastest time to complete a marathon on each continent! But the story of this man is far more inspiring than the record he set.
Nizar never ran before! He was not an active person at all! Since he was a child, he never exercised or practiced a sport, so what made him do this challenge and even better break the record that elite runners usually try to set! He only ran one marathon before his challenge: The BDL Beirut Marathon 2015 as a training for the Triple 7 Quest.
“I had never run a marathon in my life. I didn’t even know what it felt like to run a marathon,” he says.
The 35 years-old man grew up in Lebanon before heading to Dubai for work. He then decided to launch his own company. The young entrepreneur is the owner of Urban Peak (a newly-launched Dubai-based company that is dedicated to providing trusted outdoor equipment and full adventure gears) and the founder of Climb for Cancer (which organises an annual mountain climb to raise money for cancer patients from across the Arab world).
Indeed, he had 5 years of experience in climbing, but it is very different from distance running! Moustapha MROUEH was the one who challenged Nizar and encouraged him to do the challenge! MROUEH was a fellow Triple 7 Quest participant and helped him a lot through his journey. He had someone who believed in him who encouraged him and who knew what it takes to accomplish this quest.
His love for new adventures and chasing new challenges not only pushed him to quit his old job and open his own company but also to train like an elite runner and prepare like a professional. This kind of challenges is not easy at all. The marathon runners usually need 3 weeks to fully recover from one marathon. To run 7 consecutive marathons in 10 days and on 7 continents is just a crazy deal!
When they travel, athletes usually suffer from the jet lag, it affects the body that needs 1 day = 1 hour of time difference in general to recover. So you can imagine how tough this challenge is, mentally and physically. To finish the Triple 7 Quest is a great achievement in itself!
“As I finished one marathon after the other during the race, I began to feel the physical strains, and I eventually picked up an injury halfway through marathon #5 in New York. It was a severe inflammation in the ankle called Tenosynovitis that had affected my tendons and fluid-filled sheath, and things weren’t looking good as my ankle doubled in size and it was hard to walk let alone run,” he said.
Nizar really trained like a pro; he had two coaches one for endurance and strength and the other one helped him improve his running technique. He started preparing 6 months before the challenge. He ran the BDL Beirut marathon three months before the big quest.
Finally, when the challenge approached, the Lebanese young man focused on finishing each race: the Carlton Classic Marathon in Australia, the Abu Dhabi Striders Marathon in Asia, the Torcy International Marathon in Europe, the Carthage Race Marathon in Africa, the Lincoln’s Birthday Marathon in North America, the Southern Cross Marathon in South America, and the Penguin Marathon in Antarctica.
The races were supposed to be run on consecutive days, but weather conditions delayed the Antarctica race by three days.
“I ran the last marathon, giving it all I had, and the outcome was nothing short of magical. After I crossed the finish line, I limped off the trail, pulled out my phone, called my mom from Antarctica, and told her: “Mom I won!”, he added.
In February 2015, Nizar FAKHOURY finished first in the last marathon and came out as the overall winner but he never imagined that he could ever break the record. When the Guinness World Record announced it, he didn’t believe what he has just accomplished!
“Words cannot describe how proud I am to bring this title home to my family and to my country Lebanon,” he announced on his facebook account.
He earned it: “The fastest time to complete a marathon on each continent (male) is 10 days 23 hr 12 min 12 sec, and was achieved by Nizar Fakhoury (Lebanon), from 8 February to 19 February 2015” (as announced by the Guinness World Records). His time on the 7 marathons was: 35 hours, 2 minutes and 48 seconds.
Lebanon should be really proud of this young man who raised our flag high on top of the world!