On Sunday, Nikolas Toocheck crossed the finish line of his 57th marathon. The Vermont Mainly Marathon held on May 16, was the last race in his quest to run 26.2 in all 50 states. Toocheck has already completed marathons on all seven continents. And the most amazing part—he is only 14.
Toocheck didn’t accomplish this incredible goal just for himself. The teen runner started his Running the World for Children: Stateside campaign to raise funds and awareness for the Seva Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides critical vision care to people in need around the world.
The inspiration came from Nikolas’ father, Dan Toocheck, who is an eye doctor that has volunteered worldwide to provide care to people in developing countries. The cause meant a lot to Nikolas.
“I can’t imagine not being able to see,” he said, “and I really hope that I can help change that for a lot of kids.”
Through his campaign, he ticked off many other milestones. Nikolas became the youngest person to complete the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. His race in Colorado took place 9,300 feet above sea level. In the closing stretch of his pursuit, he ran six races in six weekends. The final weekend including two marathons on back-to-back days—the first in New Hampshire and the final race in Vermont.
This isn’t Nikolas’ first running campaign. At the age of 9, he embarked on his Seven Continents Journey, raising more than $42,000 for a non-profit called Operation Warm. The organization provides winter coats to children in need. It was through that philanthropic effort that a then 11-year-old Nikolas became the youngest person to complete a marathon on every continent.
If you want to learn more about Nikolas’ mission or want to donate to Seva, you can visit his website.