Ultrarunner and amputee Jacky Hunt-Broersma is on pace to set a new world record. She's now 92 days into her goal to run 102 marathons in as many days — and is one of the thousands of people running the Boston Marathon today.
In 2001, Hunt-Broersma lost her left leg below the knee to Ewing sarcoma, a type of cancer that affects the soft tissue surrounding bones or the bones themselves, per Mayo Clinic.
“It isn’t like throwing away a pair of running shoes you don’t like. With a blade you invest a lot of money so you can’t just decide that you are not running anymore,” she wrote. “Luckily from the first time I tried on my blade and took a few runs, I fell in love with running and I truly felt like I was flying.”
At first, she started running because she wanted to make "sure I could do everything the same way as what I did before the amputation. I wanted to stay 'normal,'" she wrote. "I also thought it would be something nice to do with my husband who has been a runner for years."
Starting with short distances, Hunt-Broersma found that she frequently won 5K races in her age group. From there, she worked her way up to her first half-marathon in December 2016 and ran her first marathon, the Chicago Marathon, in 2017 according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Today's Boston Marathon is the only certified marathon in Hunt-Broersma's lineup. She's running the others around her home in Gilbert, Arizona, or on her treadmill. The previous record for consecutive marathons was set in 2021 by Alyssa Clark, who ran 95 marathons in 95 days. So, Hunt-Broersma planned to run 100 races in 100 days. But after endurance runner Kate Jayden made it through 101 consecutive marathons, finishing last week, Hunt-Broersma upped her goal to 102.
And she's found a considerable following on social media, with fans cheering her along in her journey. So far, she's raised more than $16,000 for Amputee Blade Runners, an organization that helps amputee runners get prosthetic blades.
“I hoped it would inspire a lot of people to get out of their comfort zone and push a little bit farther,” she told the Associated Press. “You’re stronger than you think — and you’re capable of so much more.”