Strums & Strides

7 marathons. 7 continents. All for the healing power of music.

Join Nick Stark (Stukel) on his journey to become the first medical student to run marathons on every continent while raising funds and awareness for Musicians On Call.

From Fuddruckers to Antarctica.

As I sat with my mom in the airport, both of us nervously sipping some wine before our flight from JFK to Buenos Aires, my mind went to an unusual place: Fuddruckers. Yep, the burger joint with the old Pac-Man consoles. My mom and I spent a lunch there during of one of our treasured mother-son days when I was six years old…and for whatever reason, sitting across from her in the airport as we prepared to embark on what may go down as the most epic trip of our lives, my mind took me back to that moment. It was then that I realized the full meaning of this journey to Antarctica for us; yes, it is a huge part of my attempt to join runners far more elite than I in the Seven Continents Club. But more importantly, it is also a chance for both of us to get to know and experience an entirely different part of the world together.

After learning the hard way that I am allergic to a sleep medication (where “learning the hard way” meant projectile vomiting in the airplane lavatory and then spending the next ten minutes trying to clean it up to avoid total embarrassment), we made it to Buenos Aires and have enjoyed spending a couple days in the warm weather of Argentina. Tomorrow, we join a group of around ninety people from two dozen countries on a flight to Ushuaia, followed by ten days on the Russian polar vessel that will become our home. I am incredibly nervous (a little more-so for the rough seas…but closely followed by the marathon), but am also amazingly excited. And I could not be more grateful for the chance to take on this part of the world with one of the most incredible humans I know. Antarctica, we’re coming for you. Let’s do this.

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