Seventy-yr-previous Chau Smith needed to problem herself even additional, so she determined to run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. In January, the Missouri lady completed that objective.
Between January 25 and January 31, Smith ran marathons in Perth, Australia; Singapore; Cairo; Amsterdam; Backyard Metropolis, New York; Punta Arenas, Chile; and King George Island, Antarctica. Every day, Smith awoke and ran 26.2 miles. Then she’d get on a aircraft and fly to the subsequent vacation spot to do it yet again.
“She did not need to publicize this earlier than doing it,” stated Steve Hibbs, proprietor of the specialty journey firm Marathon Adventures, which organized the journey. “She overcame quite a bit, and it was simply actually spectacular to see her run and full the occasion.”
9 different individuals joined Smith in operating on all seven continents. Though she had completed many marathons earlier than, coaching to run seven in a row took months.
“It took me eight months to actually practice,” Smith stated. “The final 4 months, I actually put in lengthy, lengthy runs. Each week, I ran from 15 miles to one hundred thirty miles.”
The problem, which Hibbs dubbed the Triple 7 Quest, introduced a singular set of obstacles. Through the first race in Australia, the temperature was above one hundred levels, Smith stated. She turned severely sunburned.
Probably the most difficult race was in Cairo. The group’s connecting flight from Singapore was delayed in Abu Dhabi, in order that they arrived in Egypt with just a few minutes to vary earlier than heading to the race begin.
“We now have 10 minutes to go as much as our rooms to vary and do not unpack,” Smith stated. “The important thing wasn’t working for my room. I virtually used up my 10 minutes. I used to be crying.”
A lot of the runners had a set time through which to complete every race with a view to tempo themselves for all seven. Smith had allotted herself seven hours to complete the race in Cairo, however due to the delay, Hibbs informed the group to complete in six. Smith was nervous about ending in time, so Hibbs prompt she run the half-marathon as an alternative.
She completed the complete marathon in 5 hours and fifty one minutes.
“From that day on, they by no means requested me about occupied with operating a half-marathon once more,” Smith stated.
Though Smith did not inform many individuals concerning the Triple 7 Quest problem beforehand, it wasn’t her first excessive bodily enterprise. A yr earlier, she ran a marathon in Tanzania after which hiked Mount Kilimanjaro the subsequent day.
“All my life … I all the time did loopy issues,” Smith stated. “Once I was younger in Vietnam, I used to be a cussed child. My household all the time by no means knew what I used to be going to do. I all the time confirmed them I can do it, identical to boys.”
Final yr, Smith ran 4 marathons in 5 weeks. She traveled to Southeast Asia for a month and ran a marathon in Myanmar. Six days later, she ran a marathon in New Zealand after which a number of days after that in Tanzania.
“We by no means go someplace with out in search of the race,” Smith stated.
Born in Vietnam, Smith got here to the USA in 1972. She owns and operates an alteration and dry-cleansing enterprise in Independence, Missouri. Although she works lengthy days, operating all the time makes her really feel higher.
“I stay a nerve-racking life. Each day, I work 10 hours a day … however I all the time really feel higher,” Smith stated. “How I really feel after I put in my operating, I feel that is essential. It makes you are feeling good. I can not actually put it into phrases.”
Smith typically runs together with her husband, who has additionally been operating for many of his life. When she introduced up the thought of finishing the Triple 7 Quest, he was supportive, however frightened about her well being. Her two grownup daughters expressed comparable considerations.
“Once I informed my husband, he stated, ‘Nicely, I help you, and I am all the time behind you, however the one factor I fear, you get harm,’ ” Smith stated.
Smith advised all three that if she something occurs to her whereas she’s doing one thing she loves, it might be value it.
Hibbs has organized solely two Triple 7 Quest journeys, and he is planning a Triple eight Quest for the upcoming yr involving Zealandia, a microcontinent. He believes these longer challenges can test all elements of an individual’s being.
“It is actually about difficult each the physique and the thoughts’s higher limits,” he stated. “What are you able to deal with? What higher threshold are you able to push previous?”
For Smith, it appears no problem is just too small. When she retires, she’d wish to hike the Appalachian Path. For now, she’s within the Triple eight Quest.
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