Western New York Man Completes Marathons on All Seven Continents

January 26, 2012 Updated Jan 26, 2012 at 1:26 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Western New York Man Completes Marathons on All Seven Continents

January 26, 2012 Updated Jan 26, 2012 at 1:26 PM EDT

Houghton, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Glen Avery recently became one of only 330 people to have completed a marathon on all seven continent, and the Houghton man aspires to repeat the cycle again -- a feat only eight people have ever accomplished.

Recognizing his inspiring run at 61 years of age, Bob Price recently featured Avery in a two-part interview on the Family Life Network.

Avery concluded his first cycle of the continents in 2011 with a marathon on Christmas morning in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He finished his first marathon in 2002 in Athens, Greece. Of his 51 marathon experiences, his favorite was in Antarctica.

“Antarctica was just outstanding,” Avery said. “In a sense, Antarctica was a tour with a marathon thrown in. That was the most fabulous one.”

To Avery, these marathons are what he calls “active running,” or running as a means to interact with others and to experience different cultures. Running has enabled him to inspire others on Houghton College campus and beyond.

Price commended Avery for his accomplishment, saying: “What makes Avery’s story even more incredible is that he is 61 years old and he has only been running for 10 years - a remarkable feat.”

Avery began running on the Houghton College indoor track after a 20-year hiatus. He slowly built his endurance and ran only one marathon during his first year. This past year he ran 12.

The most memorable to Avery, however, is the marathon that he did not finish: the Comrades Ultramarathon in South Africa. During the race in 2007, he withdrew at the 47-mile mark. This June Avery will return to South Africa to tackle this brutal 56-mile event once again.

“I want to be able to go into that cricket stadium and say, ‘I finished this,’ similar to the Scripture [passage] ‘I have finished the race.’ ”

Avery, a technology librarian at Houghton College, earned his Bachelor of Arts at Houghton College, Master of Business Administration from Plymouth State College, and a Master of Education and Master of Library Science from State University of New York at Buffalo. He is currently working on a doctorate in higher education through Regent University.