To break a world record, one woman ran 102 marathons in 102 days — and kept going
ADRIAN FLORIDO, HOST:
Most people who ran the Boston Marathon last month spent days before resting up and days after recovering - but not Jacky Hunt-Broersma. Boston was the 92nd marathon she had run in 92 days. The very next day, she ran another and then another and then another - 104 marathons in total in 104 days. If it's confirmed by Guinness World Records, that would be the new world record. And get this - she did it all with one leg and one prosthesis.
Jacky Hunt-Broersma joins me now. Welcome.
JACKY HUNT-BROERSMA: Thank you, and thank you for having me on.
FLORIDO: Well, first of all, congratulations. You ran your 104th and final marathon on Saturday. How are you feeling today?
HUNT-BROERSMA: I'm feeling really good. It feels a little strange not to be running because I've been doing it for so long.
HUNT-BROERSMA: But it was a nice relief to kind of be done with it now. I think my body needs a break. My family needs me. They've all missed me a little bit.
FLORIDO: Well, you set the goal to break the previous world record of 100 consecutive marathons. You needed 101 to do that, but then you ran 104. How come?
HUNT-BROERSMA: I did because 104 was the end of April, so I just wanted to round it off. So I know that sounds really silly, but I'm like, oh, I might as well finish April on a marathon, and yeah, ended with 104.
FLORIDO: I understand you lost your left leg below the knee to cancer a decade ago. Tell me about the prosthetic you use.
HUNT-BROERSMA: I'm running in a Fillauer Obsidian blade, and I've been running with that now - because I've been running for, what, six years - so I switched probably about four years ago with it. I wasn't a runner before I lost my leg. And running truly has changed - just changed perception of how I see myself as an amputee. It makes me feel strong. It makes me feel fearless. And it's just been phenomenal.
FLORIDO: What made you start?
HUNT-BROERSMA: My husband's a runner, and I was always intrigued. To be honest, I thought runners were a little bit crazy. I'm like, why would you do that? And when you lose your leg as an - when you lose your leg, there's an element of you that you become a little bit more stubborn because people tell you - there's so many things that people tell you, you can't do. You can't do this. You can't do that. And running was one of those because it's really complicated. You need a running blade. You need a special device to be able to go out running. And I think the stubbornness in me kind of went down that journey just because I wanted to prove that I could do this that everyone else was doing.
FLORIDO: I mentioned that you ran the Boston Marathon last month. Of the 104, that was the only official marathon you ran. Most of these marathons, I understand, were run on a course near your house or on a treadmill.
HUNT-BROERSMA: On a treadmill (laughter). I mean, what's good about a treadmill is that it's a little bit softer. So when you're doing this, one of the main goals is to stay injury-free. And I feel like with adding in the treadmill a little bit because it's a little bit more bouncy, it's not beating up your body as much as it would if you're running outside. So kind of mixing the treadmill in just kind of kept it a little bit interesting. And on days that were really hard, it was quite nice to kind of put on Netflix and just binge-watch something just to distract yourself from the distance.
FLORIDO: And I've got to ask, what was your best time out of the 104?
HUNT-BROERSMA: Out of the 104, I managed a four-hour 20, which wasn't too bad actually. I can't remember which number that was. But yeah...
FLORIDO: Yeah, not bad at all.
HUNT-BROERSMA: ...So that wasn't too bad. I was quite happy with that.
FLORIDO: What's next for you, Jacky?
HUNT-BROERSMA: I have a 240-mile race in October.
HUNT-BROERSMA: It's a (laughter) - I don't do easy (laughter). So it's a 240-mile race out in Utah, Moab, Moab 240. So I will - I'm going to take two weeks off now - no running for two weeks - and then I'm going to get back into training and focus on Moab.
FLORIDO: Well, to each her own. I wish you the best of luck in that race.
HUNT-BROERSMA: Thank you. I've been told I'm a little crazy, too, so that's OK (laughter).
FLORIDO: That's Jacky Hunt-Broersma, an ultramarathoner. Thanks so much for being with us.
HUNT-BROERSMA: Thank you very much for having me on the show.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.