Regina couple runs 6 marathons in 6 states in 6 days
Couple ran marathons in North and South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado
A husband and wife from Regina just got back from running six marathons in six days in six different states. Jan Steenkamp and Tania Diener finished their final race last Saturday.
"It was a personal challenge," Steenkamp said. " [I am] always looking for something else to do, something more."
The couple ran in North and South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and Colorado — one marathon a day. After every race they packed up and headed to the next state for the next marathon.
The terrain and scenery was different for each run. They ran through forests and through parks. The ground they ran on varied from loose gravel to loose sand.
Diener said the marathon in Nebraska was her favourite.
"There was a part through a forested area where you are kind of just running through the trees," Diener said. "It was lawn that you ran on. So a little uneven on the ankles. But it was just beautiful."
Diener said the best part the series of marathons was the people they met along the way.
"The people were just wonderful," Diener said.
Not their first marathon
Over the past few years, they have run 43 marathons together.
A few months ago, they competed in the 24 hour Goose Race around Wascana Lake.They ran for for the full 24 hours.
"That was another tough one," Steenkamp said.
This is the first time they have run a series of marathons.
Running to lose weight
Steenkamp used to be so obese that he was preparing to have surgery to help him lose weight. However, the surgery was cancelled because he lost the weight on his own.
In 2011, he and his wife started running together. Steenkamp said it helped. He has lost more than 150 pounds.
"I am so much healthier," Steenkamp said. He said he used to take medication for high cholesterol and blood pressure. Now he doesn't take any.
Good for their marriage
The couple have been married for 30 years and have two kids, one is 17 and the other is 27. They said running allows them to spend some quality time together.
"It brings us closer together," Steenkamp said. "The children are all grown up now so we have to find something to do."
"I think it was just good spending time together," she said.
Walk before you run
Steenkamp's advice for people who want to run a marathon is to start small.
"Take it one step at a time," Steenkamp said. He said he started off walking every day for 10 minutes and then increased his walking time by five minutes each time he went out.
"In the end it took too long so I just started running," Steenkamp said.
The couple walked away from six marathons with only one blister between the two of them.
"We're not saying who had the blister," Steenkamp said with a laugh.
- A previous version of this story said that Steenkamp had weight-loss surgery. It has been corrected to state that Steenkamp was preparing for weight-loss surgery but the procedure was cancelled because he lost the weight on his own.Sep 22, 2016 1:09 PM CT