Whether the marathon was in Antarctica or South America, where Jeff Doyle '93 became eligible for the Seven Continents Club on Easter Island, he had local inhabitants observing him.

He Ran Out of Continents

Charlotte Crawford '16

Laurentians often praise one another for our global citizenship—be it a semester abroad, overseas business connections, or involvement with various non-profit organizations across the world. Traversing the globe has been a long-time goal for Jeff Doyle ’93. When he completed the Easter Island Marathon last summer, Doyle gained entry to the elite Seven Continents Club, a select group of die-hard marathoners who have completed the 26.2-mile race on every continent—including Antarctica.

Doyle became a marathoner in the summer of 1990, following his first year at St. Lawrence. He started with the New York City Marathon, running alongside Brian Murphy ’94, in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which had benefitted a family friend.

“You would go to the hospital with the patient, (and) see what they’re going through,” he said in an article published recently in The Boston Globe. “That was an extremely powerful experience.”

It was an experience that propelled Doyle through a dozen more marathons in the following 10 years, as he raised approximately $35,000 for the cause. A huge vehicle of these fundraising efforts was a St. Lawrence-born band, Emperor Jones. The band played at events across the country, organized by Doyle, for a cover charge.

With the Dublin Marathon in 1997 and the Antarctica Marathon in 1999, Doyle had three continents under his belt. The following four came years after, when Doyle was inspired once again. He met Marcus Luttrell, the former Navy SEAL who wrote Lone Survivor, shortly after reading the book. The Navy SEAL Foundation became Doyle’s new cause, and he’s raised nearly $40,000 after finishing the 2010 Safaricom Marathon (Africa), the 2013 Outback Marathon (Australia) and the Great Wall Marathon (Asia) in 2014. Last June, Doyle topped it off with the aforementioned Easter Island race, checking off South America as his final continent.

He says that the Great Wall Marathon in China was the most difficult “due to the steepness and uneven steps on the wall. You could see every human emotion come out, with people throwing up, crying, keeled up in a ball, and crawling up and down the steps.”

It doesn’t sound like the Great Wall crushed his spirit—with no more continents to go, Doyle is looking ahead to the possibility of a 100-mile ultramarathon.