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Antarctica-bound fourth grader seeks to run marathons on all seven continents (too much, too soon?)

Feb 19, 2013, 11:40 AM EDT

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He’s only nine years old, but chances are that Nikolas Toocheck has more miles on him than you have on your car. That’s because the fourth-grader from West Chester, PA, has been running seriously since he was six, and it’s his goal to complete marathons on all seven continents. To that aim, he and his father leave for Antarctica to compete in the White Continent Marathon & Half on Feb. 25.

Because it’s summer there, the temperature for the race is expected to be about 35 degrees. Balmy.

Based on available records, it is believed that he is the youngest person ever to attempt this feat. Nikolas will be running as part of his campaign, “Running the World for Children.” Nikolas created this campaign to raise money and awareness for Operation Warm, a nonprofit that provides new winter coats to children living in need throughout the United States.

Operation Warm was started by Nik’s grandfather, and the boy says it’s been important to him to try and help others. So that’s pretty awesome. But some might say that he’s is a bit too young to be hopping the globe running marathons (that’s 26.2 miles … I know, because I once measured one from my car). He ran his first marathon in Delaware, about two months ago.

Even though he trains like a crazy person (his parents say that Nik has only missed one day of running over the past two years), they also insist that it’s all safe, and that the boy is constantly being checked by doctors. Still, it all seems a bit much for a nine-year-old, in my opinion.

Here’s Nik’s web site. And his Facebook page.

Quote of the day so far:

“I just think it’s really cool and I’m really excited and I want to meet a penguin,” Nikolas said.

Well, OK then. Carry on.