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Boy, 9, plans to run across the world

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, @CatherineH_WFMZ, chawley@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 16 2013 04:46:34 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 17 2013 09:59:21 AM CST

Young runner raises money

WEST CHESTER, Pa. -

A Chester County boy is doing what many adults never even attempt.  He's raising money for charity while running around the world.

Most young kids are active.  But fourth grader Nikolas Toocheck takes it to another level.

"I've been running since I was six years old," shared Nik.

He's only nine years old but he's already completed his first full marathon.

"My time was five hours, 56 minutes 18 seconds."

"His first marathon he had a smile on his face from beginning to end," added Nik's mother Tara Toocheck.  "Obviously his legs were tired but he was so happy."

But the races aren't just for fun.  Nik's first marathon was one step towards his goal of running 1-million paces and raising $1-million for his grandfather's charity.

"I'm running a marathon on each of the seven continents, and I am raising money for Operation Warm," explained Nik.  "Operation Warm is a non-profit organization that provides new coats to kids that can't afford them."

He thinks it will take him about 2 years to cross the seven finish lines around the world.  On February 25th Nik and his dad head to Antarctica for his second 26.2 mile race.

"98% of Antarctica is covered in ice," shared Nik.  "I'm running on the 2% that's not."

Nik's been training.  Making sure he's ready for the 35-degree summer air in the South Pole.  His parents keep a close eye on his health.

"We just had to do it correctly and build him up slowly," said Daniel Toocheck.  "Just make sure he was safe and healthy."

For the entire Toocheck family the cause isn't about the runs, it's knowing Nik's on a quest to give coats to needy kids.

"The idea of him thinking of combining something that he loves to do so much with helping people just really amazes me," added Tara.

"It feels really good," smiled Nik.

You can donate to Nik's charity by clicking HERE.