Did Butter suffer heart attack? 11 ‘problem’ countries now remain
Butter had a few more Pacific island nations to complete before he could enter the final phase of his quest,. The first of the remaining was a marathon in the Menen District of Nauru.
Nauru is one of the least visited countries in the world and requires an invitation to visit due to limited space and a tiny community. Unfortunately, the tiny community included a lot of big, aggressive dogs. Butter doesn't think he would have lasted five minutes were it not for two local supporters, Clay and Nash. The pair used their bicycle and moped to block off the dogs and escort him safely around the island.
Next, Butter flew on to Tawara, Kiribati for marathon 180. He was relieved to only encounter friendly dogs here, and he even found a fellow Brit to run with. Fraser, an expat living in the Solomon Islands, had popped over for a holiday with his daughter and happily joined Butter to run around the tiny nation.
Marathon 181 would take him to Nadi, Fiji. It was another lightning-quick visit and run before he flew on to Apia, Samoa. His run in Apia proved much more eventful. Butter had expected rain and set out just before midday. But the rain never arrived and temperatures climbed to 111°F! This may have contributed to a health scare as he approached the end of his marathon. “I had sudden shooting pains through my left arm, sudden shortness of breath and a surging pain in my chest. Really painful and pretty much a text book heart attack,” Butter explained on his Instagram. He sat for a few minutes and was eventually able to complete the marathon. Afterwards, he checked in with his doctor but they were not able to identify exactly what happened.
He flew to New Zealand next and enjoyed a brief road-trip to see some sights before marathon 182. He particularly enjoyed running in cold weather, the first time he had done so in weeks. From Auckland, it was back on a plane to Nuku’alofa, the capital of Tonga. With barely enough time to catch his breath, he had run another marathon, which he only described as a 5 out of 10, and was airborne again, heading for Tuvalu.
Funafuti, Tuvalu would be Butter's last Pacific island marathon and it proved to be a special one. The country was so small that the best suited outdoor space for his run proved to be the airstrip! He ran up and down the runway to complete his marathon, remarking that it was a surreal experience considering that, “this entire journey has consisted of running and flying.”
He now faced a long journey back to the UK to collect his final passport of the quest. Only a few "problem" countries remain for Butter to complete his quest. First up would be Libya. Butter's visit proved even shorter than usual, flying into Misrata at 9am and leaving the country again that same evening. In between, he was able to tick off yet another marathon alongside 20 local runners.
Just 11 countries to go!