Day 92 and marathon 92… Wow! What a truly wonderful experience, tweeted Jacky Hunt-Broersma, on April 18, after her Boston marathon, where she finished third in the disabled section. But, unlike the other 30,000 participants, the 46-year-old had already run one the day before. And do another the next day. Whether it’s raining, snowing or windy, the athlete, a native of South Africa but American by adoption, covers his 42.2 km daily. She runs on a carbon fiber blade, after losing her left leg to a rare cancer.
It was in 2002. While in the Netherlands with Edwin, her Dutch husband, she learned that she was suffering from a severe form of Ewing’s sarcoma, a bone tumor mainly affecting adolescents and young adults. A few weeks later, his leg was amputated below the knee. She was then 26 years old. “The biggest difficulty was accepting that part of my body was missing. I was in denial (…). I always wore pants and I didn’t tell anyone, even at work. He took me several years to accept the fact that I was amputated,” she says.
“A real feeling of freedom”
Running was his therapy, before becoming his passion during the 2010s. “It really changed my life because it helped me to accept myself and at the same time gave me a real feeling of freedom. I fell in love with the process of pushing my body ever further, to see what I was capable of”, explains Jacky, who then equips himself with carbon fiber blades. High-tech prostheses at €10,000 each, which allow the practice of a sport at a high level of intensity. In the process, she gives up her job in the com, to become a coach and speaker.
Five years of intensive preparation
Some time after making this bold decision, she discovered that Alyssa Amos Clark, an able-bodied runner from Bennington, Vermont, had run a marathon distance every day for 95 days in a row. This is a challenge worthy of her: Jacky decides that she will do 100! For five years, she prepares as a top athlete, learns to manage injuries and strengthens her mind. So many essential prerequisites before undertaking this crazy challenge. But, during the year 2021, patatras, the British runner Kate Jayden runs 101 marathons in 101 days.
On January 17, 2022, our champion launched: “Now I’m leaving for at least 102 marathons!”, she exclaimed, with the support of her husband and their two young children, but also of a large audience on social media. Starting to run 102 marathons, on May 1 she had finally chained 104 loops, to ensure entry into the “Guinness Book of Records”. A way to brilliantly embody his motto: “You are stronger than you think. And you are capable of much more.”
Jacky Hunt-Broersma © INSTAGRAM NCRUNNERJACKY