Maria Conceicao, who became the first Portuguese woman to summit Mount Everest earlier this year, has set her sights on a double Guinness World Record attempt in 2014. She has been training for the past six months to run one of the world’s toughest endurance races, the 777 Challenge. The Challenge consists of seven full-distance 50km ultra marathons, to be run on each of the seven continents, across seven weeks. The first of the seven events will start in Antarctica in January 2014.
Conceicao is the founder of The Maria Cristina Foundation, which helps provide schools and education for the street kids of Dhaka. To date it has helped hundreds of children gain an education, and a further 35 have gone on to full time employment in top corporates in Dubai with the support of MCF.
“My aim is simple – to raise $1 million and draw global attention to the Foundation’s pioneering work, which has been to challenge the class system, and to break the vicious cycle of poverty in Bangladesh by helping the impoverished to live up to their maximum potential. Running these seven ultra-marathons is going to be the toughest challenge I have ever taken on, but that is nothing compared to the daily struggle our kids face on the streets of Dhaka,” said Conceicao.
The 777 Challenge is a formidable undertaking – Maria will run a full ultra-marathon every weekend for seven weeks, one on each of the seven continents of the world, starting with Antarctica in January, then proceeding to South America, Asia, Europe, and Australia in February, and on to North America and Africa in March.
Each race is an official and fully sanctioned marathon recognized by the Guinness World Records organization, and Maria has her sights set on claiming not one but two such records: the fastest time to complete an ultra marathon on each continent (Female), and the fastest aggregate time to complete an ultra marathon on each continent (Female).
Maria has already summited Mount Everest, trekked to the North Pole, summited Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro, and climbed Denali in support of her charity.