Seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.
Yes, you read that right.
That is 57-year-old Steve Scott’s ambition for 2020. And he just started running four years ago.
His goal is to raise $100,000 for the Danville-Pittsylvania Cancer Association to increase cancer awareness.
“I’m 57 and God’s blessed me with a healthy life,” the Danville resident told the Register & Bee during an interview at the newsroom last week. “I just feel like I need to do something with it.”
Steve’s 7-7-7 World Marathon Challenge is to run “Around the World for a Cure” for Run for Health Inc., a nonprofit organization.
“It is our goal that, along with supporting Steve in this World Marathon Challenge, we will also raise awareness and financial support for cancer victims in our local area,” according to the Around the World for a Cure website.
Scott’s mother is a cancer survivor.
“My mother had cancer, that’s the reason I chose that,” he said.
Scott will not only be representing Danville during the grueling challenge, he will be representing the United States. The marathons will take place over seven days in late January and early February next year.
The first marathon will take place in Antarctica and the last one will be held in Miami.
Scott’s route during those seven days will take him from Novo, Antarctica, to Cape Town in Africa; Perth, Australia; Dubai in Asia; Madrid in Europe; and Santiago in South America before ending in Miami.
Following the first marathon in Antarctica, the competitors will fly by charter plane to every marathon location, according to the World Marathon Challenge web site. They will run a total of 183 miles over the seven-day period and spend about 63 total hours on a plane.
“It’s exciting,” Scott said. “I’m scared a little bit, but I’ve got good people around me.”
Scott’s decision to become a runner came about fortuitously. He played racquetball with a friend at the old YMCA, but when the new one was built, it had no racquetball courts, he said.
“He said, ‘let’s run,’” Scott recalled. “I said, ‘man, you’re crazy.’ But that’s OK, it turned out to be good.”
He is being trained by Trey Belcher, a Danville firefighter, and Gray Cook, a physical therapist, strength coach, author and lecturer. Trey’s wife, Jenna, is a runner and cancer survivor and has also been an inspiration for Scott, he said.
As part of his preparation, Scott will run from Greensboro, North Carolina, to Danville on Feb. 2 to raise money for entrance into the challenge, which will cost about $40,000, Scott said. He has been running 40-50 miles a week and strengthening his core to train for the event, and will run about 100-120 miles a week about six to seven months before the challenge.
Donald Fouts, 39, is helping raise money for Scott so he can pay the entry fee for the challenge. For Fouts, Scott’s cause is personal for him as well.
“I lost my Mom at 13 to cancer,” said Fouts, who owns Comfort Cooling, Heating & Air, and GoDocs. “She died in my arms.”
She was only 41, and Fouts went through a dark period after her death.
“Life became very hard,” he said. “I became angry.”
Scott is an example of the idea that you can accomplish anything if you set your mind to it, Fouts said.
“He’s proof that nothing’s impossible,” he said. “It’s just good to see the impossible happen.”
To follow Scott’s mission or to donate, go to www.runaroundtheworldforacure.org.