She Ran a Marathon Every Day Until She Caught COVID

Alyssa Clark ran 26.2 miles every day for 95 days
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2021 6:40 PM CST
Woman Runs Record Number of Consecutive Marathons
Stock image of a runner on a treadmill.   (FOTOKITA/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Like a lot of people, Alyssa Clark needed a quarantine project. And, as she wound up the project, she "just felt like running." Her husband is in the military and stationed in Naples, Italy, so she started running on a treadmill indoors while there. She had been training for an ultra race—one much longer than the 26.2-mile marathon distance. She initially planned to run every day for a two-week lockdown that started on March 31, CNN reports. But, as pretty much everyone knows, things didn't open up again that quickly. So she kept going. After almost four weeks of marathon-length runs, she checked to see what the world record was. Alice Burch of England ran a marathon distance every day for 60 days back in 2015, and Clark figured she could break that record.

Clark ran and ran. She and her husband moved back from Italy to Florida, and she managed a run, completing a marathon in the wee hours of the morning on a military base in Florida. Every day she faced the decision of picking rest or record. "There's no take-backs on this ... If you mess one up or if you don't finish it or anything like that, then you don't get tomorrow," she said of slogging through the grueling schedule. Not every run was fun, and she sometimes questioned why she bothered, as in this post to her Instagram. She was aiming for 100 consecutive marathons in 100 days—but only made it 95 days. On day 96 she was stopped by chest pain, which turned out to be a symptom of COVID, thus ending her streak. From there she moved onto another grueling process—getting her record certified by Guinness—which took about a year. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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