I was sitting in my hotel room after a nine-hour overnight flight clearing my emails before a busy week in Tokyo. An email from a friend popped up "Would you like to run a marathon in October?" he wrote. I replied "Of course". Questions then raced through my head like, "What is a marathon? and "How do I train for one?". This simple invitation led my wife and I into the wonderful world of running, of bloody shins, broken bones, blistered feet, puddles of sweat, pools of vomit, hyperthermia, and altitude sickness but in some of the world's most legendary places like the penguin shores of Antarctica, the Great Wall, the Valley of the Queens along the Nile in Egypt, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet at the Southern Cape of South Africa, up in the Rocky Mountains, and to the summit of Kilimanjaro that make the world of hurt disappear and the wonders of the world even more breathtaking and awe-inspiring.
Along the way are live bands, free beer, salted potatoes, Mars bars, kisses from girls, a bagpipe serenade, television interviews, a magazine cover, and free rides and high-fives from strangers. All this against the backdrop of everyday life of raising four kids, earning degrees, changing jobs, moving countries, a house robbery at knife-point, a near death experience in Hawaii, a dead body in Cape Town and a horrific cancer scare. Somehow, along the way, my wife and I get faster with age, go on to earn entry into the Seven Continents Club, run 30 and 24 marathons respectively along with ultras and triathlons. If someone wants to change their life, all they have to do is put on a pair of running shoes, step outside and go for a run.