By crossing the finish line in Springfield, Vt., on Tuesday, 14-year-old Nikolas Toocheck accomplished something that few others have – he completed a three-year quest to run a marathon in all 50 states.
Even cooler? The teen from West Chester, Pa., did it for a cause. He has raised funds for the Seva Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides critical vision care to people in need around the world.
Lofty goals such as this are nothing new to Toocheck. He completed a marathon on every continent by the time he was 11 – the youngest ever to do so – to benefit Operation Worm.
Tuesday’s Vermont Mainly Marathon was the 57th marathon that Toocheck has participated in, and what a long trip it’s been to the Green Mountain State. The Vermont race was the third of Mainly Marathon’s seven-day New England Series, and Toocheck just ran Day 2 of this series in New Hampshire on Monday. Tuesday’s race was his sixth marathon in six weeks.
In addition to running marathons in each state, Toocheck even ran in Washington, D.C.’s Marine Corps Marathon last October, the youngest runner to complete that high-profile race.
His father, Dan Toocheck, is an eye doctor who has volunteered all over the world, providing eye care to people in need. Nikolas learned about this critical need while growing up.
“I can’t imagine not being able to see,” Nikolas Toocheck said, “and I really hope that I can help change that for a lot of kids.”
Toocheck’s enterprising spirit has long shone through, as started a philanthropic campaign to help children in need called Running the World for Children when he was just 9 years old. To date, he has raised over $42,000 for children in need.
More information about Toocheck’s goal can be found at www.nikrunstheworld.com.