Seven Marathons, Seven Continents, And Two Marines

Seven Marathons, Seven Continents, And Two Marines

Capt Daniel Cartica and Capt Calum Ramm cross the finish line during the first leg of the World Marathon Challenge in Antarctica. As Marines, they are accustomed to doing the difficult and tackling the impossible. The two Marines finished first and second overall in this leg, on January 30, 2016. Photo courtesy World Marathon Challenge.

Running seven marathons in seven days on seven continents is more than a challenge—it's a herculean task by any measure. For Capt Daniel Cartica and Capt Calum Ramm of the United States Marine Corps, accepting challenges is of course, second nature. As Marines, they're accustomed to tackling the difficult and accomplishing the impossible. So it would make sense then, that two men who have forged themselves in the crucible, recruit training and discipline of the Marine Corps, would take on a race as daunting as the World Marathon Challenge. Not only did they finish, but placed first and second, respectively.

Capt Cartica, who lives in Chicago, and Capt Ramm, of Lansing, Michigan, began their runs on the Union Glacier in Antarctica, moved north to Punta Arenas, Chile, before continuing on to Miami, FL for the American leg of the challenge. Races in Spain, Morocco and Dubai—where Ramm ran without shoes for a stretch—were the middle portions of the challenge before the final race in Sydney, Australia on January 30th.

"I've never really doubted myself, but I've always lived with the motto, get comfortable with being uncomfortable," Cartica told the Chicago Tribune. While Cartica and Ramm ran together, there was still an element of competition between the two Marines, and after three of the seven races, the two found themselves tied for first place. The camaraderie of running along side a fellow Marine, though, no doubt helped both men reach the finish line.

"Having someone of Ramm's abilities and character to run with, compete with, talk with, was an added bonus," Cartica told the Chicago Tribune. "We talked about probably everything you could imagine throughout the seven marathons. He's a great guy, with a very high tolerance for pain." 

Ramm, a member of the official Marine Corps running team, says running has given him the opportunity to sort out his own challenges, and running for The Semper Fi Fund,  to support others in the process. "Running has always been so much more than a hobby for me," he told the New York Times. "It has been a venue to vent my frustrations, clear my head and sort out life's challenges. In this event, the many miles spent with nothing more than the pavement and my thoughts meant something more. A chance to help troops and veterans in need."