Eight Marathons, Eight Days, Seven Continents Plus New Zealand

Bay Area man embarks on Triple 8 Quest to benefit kids at Packard Children’s

Brendan Watkins, 44, wanted to challenge himself, so he decided to run eight marathons in eight days on seven continents plus New Zealand. Next week the Bay Area runner and Champion for Children at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford will set out to accomplish that goal.

Between Jan. 21 and 28, Watkins will run marathons in Auckland, New Zealand; Perth, Australia; Singapore; Cairo, Egypt; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; New York; Punta Arenas, Chile; and King George Island, Antarctica. Over the course of his journey he plans to run 209.6 miles total, traversing times zones, climates and terrain.

A piece of artwork inspired Watkins to embark on the Triple 8 Quest. While he was familiar with the event and had run in Antarctica before, he initially dismissed the multiday marathon adventure as logistically challenging and expensive. Watkins recalls the moment when he changed his mind:

“The eight shoes in a circular structure made me think of the event,” Watkins wrote on his blog about the piece of art his wife, Devika, brought into their home. “And while I don’t think it was the universe telling me to do it, it brought it back to mind and I figured, ‘Why not do something big like this while I still can?’”

Watkins is documenting every step of his experience, sharing candid insights in the lead-up to his departure. He plans to continue updating his blog during each leg of the challenge.

“This isn’t just a mid-life crisis, although that may well be a big factor,” Watkins wrote. “This is hugely important to me as I want this to be a monumental life experience, and one that benefits a great cause.”

Watkins works at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health in the organization’s Information Systems division where he is the administrative director of analytics. His goal is to raise $3,000 for the Children’s Fund, and to date has raised more than $1,700. Every dollar donated to the Children’s Fund supports the hospital’s highest priorities, including providing care for families regardless of their financial circumstances, enabling groundbreaking research and strengthening vital family and community services.

“So many of my colleagues and friends have been extraordinarily generous,” he wrote, “and it’s great to be able to connect this to the super positive impact that the Children’s Fund has on the kids and families at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.”

Watkins’ big adventure is just beginning–first up, Auckland! Follow his progress on his blog, and help support Packard Children’s by visiting his fundraising page.


One Response to “Eight Marathons, Eight Days, Seven Continents Plus New Zealand”

  1. Diane Follain

    Best of luck! What a tremendous challenge. Begin we are behind you all the way way cheering you on.


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