Anthony Daunt, who in Iceland last December became the 25-to-29-year-old world Spartan Ultra champion — a title he is to defend in Sweden soon — ran seven marathons in seven days on the South Fork between Oct. 19 and Oct. 25, raising close to $14,000 through a GoFundMe account on behalf of a relative who had recently undergone a breast cancer operation.
“She’s okay; she’s keeping her spirits up,” the quiet-spoken Groundworks Landscaping general manager said during a conversation there the other day. “She didn’t ask for it. She doesn’t like to ask for help, but I had her permission — she was happy I did it. She was blown away.”
Rising daily at around 2 a.m., using an app as a gauge and sometimes wearing a headlamp, the Springs resident traversed the highways and byways of the South Fork, 183.4 miles all told, progressing in stages along planned circular routes through Sag Harbor-Shelter Island, Southampton, Springs, Bridgehampton-Sagaponack, East Hampton, Amagansett, and Montauk.
Asked if he’d found the scenery pleasant, the ultramarathoner said with a smile, “Yeah, I ran on a lot of roads that I’d never been on. . . . My brother [Richie] ran with me on the last leg in Montauk. I ran some on the stretch and did four loops around the lake and up toward the cemetery and back down to town. I was definitely feeling it by then.”
He worked on those days too, though his schedule was flexible. Groundworks, he said, had been “super supportive.”
“She’ll have a lot of bills,” he said of his relative, who is undergoing chemotherapy now, “but I wanted her to feel supported. I wanted to keep her spirits high.”