Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ottumwa’s “Marathon Maniac”

I know someone who did two marathons in two days. Yes, you read that correctly – TWO MARATHONS IN TWO DAYS!
My friend, Kriss Uehling, from Ottumwa was training for the Siouxland Lewis & Clark Marathon and became inspired through Dean Karnazes’s book “Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days-and How You Can Achieve Super Endurance”. It made her curious to see if she could finish two marathons in two days. She was familiar with the Des Moines Marathon course that followed the day after the Siouxland race. So, she decided to make her Boston-qualifying time at Siouxland, then enjoy the Des Moines race at an easy pace to finish off the goal. Following an extra nudge from her biggest cheerleader and husband, David, the plan was set!

Kriss finished a personal best at Siouxland in 3:56:17 to qualify for Boston. Following a celebration, a plaque (and $50!) for taking third in the master’s women’s division and an ice bath, it was off to Des Moines. Strolling to the packet pickup prior to the Des Moines race, I ran into David and learned of Kriss’ amazing plan.

Marathon Maniacs is a group dedicated to runners who run multiple marathon events over varying periods of time. Kriss sought inspiration from this group and met several “maniacs” along the Des Moines course. Her conversations with a Seattle woman who was one of the original members of the group and a 67-year-old gentleman who was finishing his third marathon in 14 days carried her through the race. Despite some fatigue, Kriss finished Des Moines with a respectable 4:39:39 time. Kriss cried with joy and pain with her family at the finish as David had secretly primed the race announcer to make an announcement about her two-day trek as she crossed the finish line. She’s an inspiration to all athletes in Iowa. “Things like this remind me to stay open to my dreams. I'm not sure who said this, but I like it ‘People don't grow old. When they stop growing, they become old,’” Kriss says.

She hasn’t worn her new Marathon Maniacs singlet yet, but Kriss isn’t one to turn away from a challenge. The self-proclaimed “marathon maniac” says she plans to run Boston in April for a second time in her career. “The Boston Marathon is such a special event. I was always pinching myself to make sure it was real, then tearing up when I realized it,” she said.

More than anything, Kriss just wants to inspire other runners to reach for their dreams. This “maniac” is doing one heck of a job of setting an example!

You can learn more about the Marathon Maniacs group at Finally, I’ll be taking the next few days off. Look for my next post when I return from traveling next Monday. I’ll put some posts up before Thanksgiving, then I’ll take a few days off at that time as well.


Sara said...

That was so inspirational! Thanks, Joe, for filling us in!

Rafi G said...

that marathon maniacs sounds crazy! I am working on my first marathon, and am so sore after each long run, I can't even imagine trying to run 2 in two days, let alone 50 in 50 days!

How does one even get to 50 marathons in 50 days, with all the travel time needed? How do you travel so much and have enough energgy to run the marathons!?

Coachhrd said...

Good comment about 50 marathons in 50 days! I need to find out out this was accomplished as well, so I've added this book to my Christmas "wish" list. If you go to the Runner's World website, there are numerous articles about the feats of Dean Karnazes. He's amazing!