9 Year Old Worldly Marathon Runner
Don’t know what your plans are for the weekend, but 9 year old Nikolas Toocheck has BIG plans. He’s going to do something that few ADULTS have done! While some kids will spend this weekend playing video games or at the mall, Nik will be on his way to Antarctica to run his second marathon as part of his quest to run a marathon on every continent.
Nik runs with his dad, Daniel Toocheck, an optometrist who is also in the Air Force Reserve, is a seasoned runner who has completed about a dozen marathons. Nik started running when his dad was training for the Air Force's fitness test.
The fourth grader completed his first marathon on Dec. 1 in Delaware and was hooked.
He and his dad started talking about all of the different kinds of marathons that take place in different climates and Nikolas' mom said he thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if I could run a marathon on every continent?"
Nik thought... "Yeah!" The next step was to find out IF it was safe for the 72-pound, 4-foot-6-inch boy to participate.
Nikolas went to see numerous doctors including pediatric cardiologists and sports medicine specialists. He did EKGs and echocardiograms to make sure he didn't have any undetected heart conditions. Then he got the GREEN light
Nikolas and his father will leave today for Chile and will travel to Antarctica on Monday for the race. The race location is over 2,000 miles from the South Pole and it's summer in Antarctica so the temperatures are expected to be in the mid-30s, warmer than Pennsylvania right now.
Nikolas runs his races to raise money for Operation Warm, a charity founded 15 years ago by his grandfather, which provides coats for children in need. He has a website chronicling his journey and fundraising.