Culture

Nick Symmonds, King Of 800 Meters, Is—Yes—Running A Marathon This Year

His final race as a professional runner will be 13 more miles than he's ever run.

He shared the marathon news with his fans on Instagram.

Nick Symmonds, two-time Olympian in the 800 meters, outspoken for athlete and sponsor rights and founder and CEO of popular Run Gum caffeinated chew, announced his retirement from track and field at the USA Outdoor Championships. Keywords to remember: track and field. He, however, is not quite done running altogether. The guy who says he’s never run farther than 13 miles in one sitting and has spent 20 years running competitively on the oval will now be tackling the Honolulu Marathon in December.

Yes, the man who’s made his living off of schooling other competitors in running two laps around the track will now be running 26.2 miles through Hawaii as his final race as an elite athlete.

“To be honest, I’m not totally sure that I can do this. I guess that’s the part that gets me most excited,” says Symmonds. “The thought of running twice as far as I ever have before seems almost certainly impossible. But I have five months to prepare and if there is one thing competitive running has taught me it’s that today’s strong is tomorrow’s weak. If I train correctly my body will adapt, and I will be able to cross this final item off my running bucket list.”

The volume of miles that marathon training requires won’t be totally lost on Symmonds. During his peak training cycles, he would reach 70 miles a week. It’s not as much as the seasoned marathoners out there, but it’s definitely up there. To share this unknown journey with his fans, Symmonds will also be documenting the journey via a vlog on his YouTube channel.

The marathon is set for Dec. 30, 2017. But what’s the best part of this whole turn of events for this successful half-miler? Symmonds’ company, Run Gum, will be offering one lucky winner an all-expense paid trip to run the marathon in Hawaii with him.

Fellow Brooks Running teammate Gabe Grunewald, who also competed at the outdoor championships in between chemotherapy treatments, says she’s nothing but excited for Symmonds and has always been a fan of his career. Other elites shared the same sentiments on social media following his announcement.

Now we have to ask—if he qualifies for the Boston Marathon, will he run that too?