Blade Runner and Cancer Survivor Jacky Hunt-Broersma Is Running 100 Marathons in 100 Days

Amputee ultrarunner Jacky Hunt-Broersma aims to run 100 marathons in 100 days.

By on February 16, 2022 | Leave a reply

Ultrarunner Jacky Hunt-Broersma is blazing trails for adaptive athletes.

Hunt-Broersma is currently in the middle of an endeavor to break the women’s world record for the most marathons run in a row — 100 in 100 days. And she runs every mile with the assistance of her running blade.

Though an accomplished amputee ultrarunner today, her journey into the world of ultrarunning didn’t really begin until after she lost part of her leg to cancer. She had never thought of herself as a runner, but after picking it up in 2016, she was hooked.

“I moved quickly from 5 kilometers to half marathons to full marathons, and the only way up from marathons are ultras. I am very stubborn, and I always want to push myself further,” she told iRunFar.

Jacky Hunt Broersma - Arizona - Blade Running - Adaptive Athlete

Jacky Hunt-Broersma trail running in Arizona. All photos courtesy of Jacky Hunt-Broersma unless otherwise noted.

That perseverance has already translated into some impressive accomplishments. She became the first amputee to run 100 miles on a treadmill, a feat she completed in under 24 hours, clocking a time of 23:38. She also was the first amputee to take on the TransRockies Run, a 120-mile stage race in the mountains of Colorado.

Now, she has her sights set on something bigger: completing 100 consecutive marathons in 100 days.

As of February 15, the North Carolinian (now residing in Arizona) has finished 30 marathons, running 26.2 miles every day for four weeks straight.

Ultrarunner Alyssa Amos Clark holds the current record, which she set in 2021 by running 95 marathons in 95 days. To spice things up, U.K. runner Kate Jayden is also chasing the record.

“In a way, it’s fun knowing someone else is also attempting the record. It definitely adds a sense of camaraderie, and we have been chatting on social media and cheering each other on,” Hunt-Broersma remarked.

She added that knowing about Jayden’s record attempt won’t change her own approach, but she is willing to go the extra mile(s) should it come down to the wire.

“Kate started two weeks before me, so obviously I will check where she is at when I get closer to my 100. Who knows, I might need to add a few extra marathons,” she explained.

Jacky Hunt Broersma - Adaptive Athlete -Trail Running- Woods

Jacky running down a trail in the woods. Photo: Joel Peterson

And a big part of her success will hinge on listening to her body. “If I feel that something hurts, then I will slow my runs down or change the surface I run on. My body is holding out OK. I’ve had some shin issues, but that has healed up.”

Another key aspect to her success is keeping on top of her recovery, explaining that she gets aches and pains in random places. “But I am super happy with the way my stump has held up,” she said. “My stump is always the first place where I get injured, but I swap legs out regularly, and I do a lot of recovery work at night, which consists of rolling, stretching, and using my massage gun on any section that needs some good attention. I also try to get a good night’s rest.”

For one of her 100 marathons, Hunt-Broersma will be putting in 26.2 miles at the 2022 Boston Marathon in April. And she has her sights set on making a return to the Moab 240 Mile later this year.

Last year, she wasn’t able to finish the 200-plus-mile event. She explained that the mental approach for her current world record attempt lines up with how she approaches events like the Moab 240 Mile.

“I think it is very similar. I don’t look at the 100 marathons I need to run, [I look] only at today. I do the same with ultras. I only focus on the next aid station. This way the distance doesn’t overwhelm me, and I have a lot of short-term goals,” she said.

Hunt-Broersma’s enthusiasm is tangible. But to those following along with her attempt: don’t underestimate her grit. Hunt-Broserma wishes some people understood how difficult it is to run on a prosthetic leg.

“It took me a long time to get the hang of it. You don’t get any feedback from your foot on uneven ground, like how hard or soft the ground is, which means your brain doesn’t trust this foreign object attached to your body. I always look down when I run so that my eyes can give my brain the feedback I lost with my foot.”

Jacky Hunt Broersma - Adaptive Athlete -Trail Running- Arizona

Putting in the desert miles.

She says that the socket, or the part of her leg where her stump connects to the prosthetic, is the most important part of her leg. It’s also prone to injury and other issues.

“It has to fit perfectly. When I run far, my stump swells up, or it shrinks when it is cold,” she said. “It is so difficult to get the socket perfect for the long races I do. I have learned to accept it and do the best I can with what I have.”

The adaptive athlete’s best efforts have certainly already made a mark in the running community. As a mom and cancer survivor, she’s not letting anything stop her from putting another marathon in the books.

You can follow along with Jacky Hunt-Broersma’s 100-marathon progress on Twitter and Instagram. And don’t be surprised if this daily dose of inspiration gets you out the door for a few extra miles yourself.

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Kristen Arendt
Kristen Arendt is a freelance writer and editor specializing in the outdoors. Based in Niwot, Colorado, she ran competitively for over a decade on the track and roads before finding her love for trails.