Marathon Quest

In 2005, during a four-month cycling trip through Africa, Martin Parnell was struck by the power of sport and its ability to bring people together and to bring about change. Five years later, the 55-year-old mining engineer, husband, father and grandfather dedicated a year of his life to run 250 marathons with the aim of raising $250,000 for the charity Right To Play, an international humanitarian organization that reaches out to disadvantaged children around the world. In the end, Martin’s “Marathon Quest 250” raised $320,000 for the charity, and he personally visited 60 schools, inspiring thousands of children to get active in order to help the less fortunate at home and abroad.

Along with information on technique, gear, nutrition and the challenges facing new and seasoned athletes as they prepare for either regular or ultra-marathons, Martin gives honest and often humorous insight into why an ordinary person would attempt to do something extraordinary, pushing themselves to the limit, both mentally and physically, in pursuit of their goal to make the world a better place. Marathon Quest is an inspiring and engaging read for anyone interested in running, travel or philanthropy.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Marathon Quest 1
Contents 7
Foreword 9
Preface: Last Marathon 11
1: Starting Out 17
2: Learning to Run 25
3: Running West: From Marathons to Triathlons 35
4: Tour d’Afrique: An Epiphany 43
5: Almost an Ironman 65
6: Moving up to Ultras 73
7: Right To Play 81
8: Winter: Now That’s Cold 97
9: Spring: Not with a Bang, but a Whimper 113
10: Summer: Highs and Lows 131
11: Autumn: Out of the Darkness and Into the Light 139
12: Winter Again: The Quest Comes to a Close 157
13: Cool Down, Check In,Then Comrades 171
14: And on to Benin 187
Afterword 199
Acknowledgements 207