By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
After running in St. Kitts-Nevis on Sunday morning, 22 local runners joined British businessman, sports enthusiast and Run The World 10K Challenge founder Dan Thompson, in a 6.2-miles circumnavigation of Road Town.
“Once or twice in the past I’ve run two 10K’s in the same day and that was because I got the arrangements wrong,” Thompson said with a chuckle after running in the streets of Basseterre out to Frigate Bay on Sunday morning, before his afternoon run in the BVI. “It’s not to be recommended, especially when you’re doing a whole bunch in a week.”
Thompson was running in his 139th country on his Run The World 10K Challenge that began on July 17, 2013 in Norway, as he has undertaken to run 10k in every country in the world—a total of 206 countries that has Olympic Committees—by the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Thompson is doing the challenge to raise money for cancer research and to promote the benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle, something he shared with participants ahead of the run.
He’s aiming to raise £50,000.
By the end of the venture, he would have finished 1,277.2 miles of running. As of Sunday, he has completed 861.8 miles so far, ahead of running in Dominica on Monday and wrapped up his Caribbean tour in Antigua and Barbuda on Tuesday. He will run in France on April 28.
Thompson said he had a great run in the BVI with great company and people to chat with along the route which made all the difference and said having someone to talk to, you don’t notice the miles going by.
“You learn about the place and the local culture and that makes it bearable,” he said. “The things I’ve really learn from all different cultures, is that most of the people are very similar. They’re friendly, they’re helpful and they’re generous with their time and their donations. If you ever wanted to do something that will give you faith in the world and what people are like, this is the thing to do. It’s amazing. People are wonderful. I know everyone isn’t like that but, the mass majority of people are wonderful.”
Before his departure, Thompson spoke to the students at Cedar International School.
Thompson, 57, first trek to the Virgin Islands was on November 14, 2017 when he ran in St. Croix, marking the 127th country at that time.