Unofficial Women’s Record Set with 102 Marathons in 102 Days
GILBERT, Ariz. — As Forrest Gump in the Oscar-winning 1994 film of the same name, lead actor Tom Hanks abruptly trots to a halt after more than three years of nonstop running and tells his followers: “I’m pretty tired — I think I’ll go home now.”
Jacky Hunt Broersma knows exactly what you mean. On Thursday, the amputee athlete achieved her goal of running 102 marathons in as many days, setting an unofficial women’s world record.
And she can’t stop/won’t stop, saying she’ll run two more for good measure and wrap up her challenge on Saturday with 104. “I might as well end April with a marathon,” she told The Associated Press.
Guinness World Records, which is based in Britain, didn’t immediately reply to an email seeking comment. Ratifying a world record can take over a year.
Guinness lists the men’s record for consecutive daily marathons as 59, set in 2019 by Enzo Caporaso of Italy.
“I’m just happy that I made it — I can’t believe it,” she said. “The best thing was the incredible support I’ve received from people around the world who’ve reached out, telling me how this has inspired them to push themselves.”
Jacky Hunt Broersma runs her 102nd race in just 102 days. It was at Veterans Oasis Park on Thursday, April 28, 2022 in Chandler.
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
Hunt-Broersma was 46 when she began her marathon quest. She covered 26.2-miles (42.2 kilometers) on a loop course near her Gilbert, Arizona home, as well as on an indoor treadmill. Since then, it’s been “rinse and repeat” every day for the South Africa native, who lost her left leg below the knee to a rare cancer and runs on a carbon-fiber prosthesis.
Her original goal was to run 100 marathons in 100 days so she’d beat the record of 95 set in 2020 by Alyssa Amos Clark, a nondisabled runner from Bennington, Vermont, who took it on as a pandemic coping strategy. But earlier this month, after nondisabled British runner Kate Jayden unofficially broke Clark’s record with 101 marathons in 101 days, Hunt-Broersma realized she’d need to run at least 102.
On foot, day in and day out, she’s covered 2,672 miles (4,300 kilometers) — the equivalent of running from her Phoenix suburb to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, or from New York City to Mexico City.
Hunt-Broersma grew a massive social media following. She raised almost $27,000 for fellow amputee runners to get expensive prostheses. Health insurance typically doesn’t cover the cost, which can exceed $10,000.
Hunt-Broersma, who ran her 92nd at this month’s Boston Marathon, hopes her quest will inspire people everywhere to push themselves to do hard things.
What’s next for the endurance athlete? Ultra race of 386km and 240 Miles to take place in Moab in Utah in October.
—Kole was in Boston
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