9-year-old marathon runner, Nikolas Toocheck , returns from race in Antarctica

Author: , Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published: Mar 08 2013 07:00:00 PM EST   Updated On: Mar 08 2013 10:51:06 PM EST
9-year-old marathon runner back from Antarctica

Fourth grader Nikolas Toocheck has already established himself as a record breaking runner.

"On the weekdays I run 3 to 5 miles, and on the weekend I run a long run," he explained.

But last week he traded in the crisp winter air for summer in the South Pole.

"I went to Antarctica," smiled Nik. "We were running on a gravel path, there were a couple of hills."

He's the youngest person to complete a marathon in Antarctica. But the distance wasn't new to Nik, he ran his first marathon in Delaware in December. His time was slightly longer this race, he says because he was distracted.

"When you're running you can't resist stopping and playing with penguins," shared Nik. "So I went over and I was about 5 feet away from one, so it was really cool."

The Antarctica marathon was the next step in a larger plan. To run a 26.2 mile race on every one of the seven continents. Nik has a website and a fundraising mission, every dollar goes to Operation Warm, a charity founded 15 years ago by his grandfather.

"Operation Warm is a non-profit organization that provides new coats to kids that can't afford them," added Nik.

He's five races away from his goal of running around the world, and he's already raised more than $7,000.

"It makes me feel really good," Nik described. "Just the fact of so many kids out there without coats, it makes me really want to go out there and help them."

Nik is still amazed he had the chance to run a marathon in Antarctica. But he's already looking ahead to the next finish line.

"I think I might do Mongolia in August."

Click here to help Nikolas' mission to help Operation Warm.