6-time cancer survivor chooses Austin for North American stop in quest to run the world
Jonathan Acott is no stranger to cancer. In fact, he’s more familiar with it than any one person should be. He’s been diagnosed six times. Throughout everything, running has been a constant for Jonathan. He runs to celebrate his body, honor those who’ve lost their battle, and because he can. What does one do in Jonathan’s shoes? Continue to run! Read about Jonathan’s plans to run the world and complete a marathon on all 7 continents. Follow him on Instagram, learn about the two continents he crossed off his list, and why his North American goal is the 2021 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon!
The reasons I run
Since 2004 I’ve heard “I’m afraid it’s cancer” or something similar six times. I was 29 in 2004 and am now 44. For a third of my life, I’ve lived with this vile and insidious disease. It has robbed me of sleep, health, life, mental well-being, a career, testicle, spleen, and kidney. Who knows what else I will miss out on.
It’s like persistent hunting, only I’m the prey. I’m aware cancer might end my life prematurely. It could catch me, but I am going to do all I can to stay ahead of it for as long as possible. In the meantime, I will extract every ounce from life possible.
I run because I still need a sense of movement. Running provides the illusion of control in an otherwise unpredictable world. A world where I need to do something, anything related to physical activity to distance myself from the days, weeks, and months of forced inactivity. It’s the repetition, the therapy that comes from being alone in my thoughts. Running stills the anxiety. It’s a celebration of what my body is capable of after all it has endured. I run to honor all the people who have been less fortunate than me. I run because I can.
So, I’m going to travel and see the world, I’ll visit locations I wouldn’t normally visit or places on my bucket list. I will run, not fast, but I will run. My plan is to live life and run whilst I do. As long as I’m moving, I’m alive and whilst it may not add years to this particular life it does add life to my years.
What am I going to do? Well, I put it all together and thought I’m going to run the world. Six cancers. Seven continents. One marathon on each continent.
The first marathon of my quest was at the end of 2019 in Berlin (Europe). My second marathon was in Marrakech (Africa) at the start of 2020. Next on my list: North America. I looked at numerous marathons, but Austin has been on my bucket list for years. Running the streets of Austin in 2021 was an opportunity too good to pass up. So you’ll see me there on Feb. 14, 2021. I’ll be near the back, smiling all the way, stopping to take photographs, and high fiving everyone because when you know what you could lose you make the most of every opportunity.