May 3, 2022 - Sports

Amputee athlete runs 104 marathons in 104 days

Jacky Hunt-Broersma running on a trail
Photo courtesy of Jacky Hunt-Broersma.

Jacky Hunt-Broersma, an amputee athlete, recently completed 104 marathons in as many days, which will likely be a Guinness World Record once the company confirms it.

Why it matters: This was more than a record attempt. Hunt-Broersma's feat raised $192,000 for Amputee Blade Runners, a charity that provides running blades for amputees, which aren't covered by many insurance companies. $104,000 came from RXBAR.

  • Hunt-Broersma's original goal was 102 marathons in 102 days, but she added two more at the end for good measure, finishing on Saturday, April 30. "I've got to end April on a marathon, right?" she told me.
  • She ran mostly on a loop course near her home in Gilbert, Arizona, and a handful of times on a treadmill. She also entered two official races: The Boston Marathon and The Lost Dutchman Marathon.
  • All in all, the South Africa native — who lost her leg in 2001 to a rare cancer — covered 2,724.8 miles, roughly the equivalent of running from New York to Los Angeles.

Interview: Axios' Kendall Baker spoke with the real-life Forrest Gump. Some highlights from our conversation...

  • Hardest part? "It was more mental than physical. Just getting up every morning knowing you have to do another marathon — the same movement, the same route — that part was really hard."
  • Biggest surprise? "I was really worried that I would do damage to my stump, but it's held up amazingly well. I've had swelling and it's been sore, but I was able to keep going."
  • Why Amputee Blade Runners? "Running changed my life. It made such a big difference mentally, and it really helps you accept yourself as an amputee. A lot of amputees suffer from depression, and I feel running changed that for me, so I wanted to pay that forward."
  • Guinness World Record process: "You have to submit all your GPS files, a whole bunch of photos and witness statements. It's super official, and I'm glad they do it that way."
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