B.C. woman marks 60th birthday with 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days

Vancouver woman embarks on seven continent marathon race to celebrate her 60th birthday. She intends on running 42.2 kilometres every day for seven days.

'We have to prepare for anything up to 50 Celsius difference'

Pushpa Chandra competing at the 2017 Marathon Des Sables, a 251 kilometre ultramarathon in Morocco in the Saharan desert. (MDS)

Some people have a party when they turn 60 years old, but Vancouver resident Pushpa Chandra decided to mark the occasion by running seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. 

It's called the World Marathon Challenge, and Chandra departs for the race on Tuesday. 

The clock starts in Antarctica for the first 42.2 kilometre run, then the 52 participants board a plane to Cape Town, South Africa for the next marathon, followed by runs in Perth, Australia, Dubai, U.A.E., Lisbon, Portugal, Cartagena, Colombia, and Miami, Fla. 

"We have to prepare for anything up to 50 Celsius difference," Chandra told CBC Early Edition host Stephen Quinn. 

Chandra says there will be many obstacles, including marathon fatigue, jet lag, blisters, but she says the heat in Dubai will be the greatest challenge for her. 

"At the 49th parallel, we don't really see those kinds of temperatures," she said.

Chandra says every marathon features a low point where you have to learn to deal with physiological and psychological pain by creating a new rhythm to avoid crumbling. 

Chandra says she previously raced in every continent to celebrate her 50th birthday. (Pushpa Chandra)

Between races, Chandra says a charter plane will transport competitors to the race locations, giving them time to rest and recuperate.

Chandra calls herself an adventure racer and says she already raced on every continent for her 50th birthday. 

"I've slept on ice, rocks, shifting sea ice on geographic north pole," she said.

The competition says the man and woman with the top combined race times will be declared the challenge winners, but Chandra says the experience of the race is rewarding in itself. 

"It's made me believe in myself. It's so many layers, so it's really not about running. It's about that solitude and thinking about the big picture in life," said Chandra.

With files from CBC's The Early Edition