Kansas City woman runs 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents to celebrate 70th birthday

Posted at 5:13 PM, Feb 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-27 18:34:22-05

One woman celebrated turning 70 by running in seven marathons in seven consecutive days on seven continents. 

"We broke the world record, and I said, 'Oh my gosh, that's really neat,'" said Chau Smith, a Kansas City, Missouri runner who celebrated her seventh decade by busting out a pair of running shoes.

Chau Smith ran the Boston Marathon in 2013 at the age of 66. Photo courtesy Smith

While it's been a month since Smith completed this challenge through Triple 7 Quest, she said she still can't believe it came true.

"I finished [in Antarctica] at 10:30 p.m. and with the wind and the clouds, so cold," she said. "I never wear a watch when I'm running, so I just said, 'I hope that I don't go over midnight, because that would be 8 days.'"

Smith is a die hard marathoner who decided to pick up the sport at 50 and has since run more than 70 marathons. At 26.2 miles a pop, that's nearly 2,000 miles, not including the thousands and thousands of miles that go into training.

"Any runner, you run 5k, and you say, 'Oh I want to do 10k, and half marathon and marathon,' and the next thing, you say, 'Oh, I want to qualify for Boston,' and I did," said Smith. "Then two years ago, my husband and I completed seven continents. It took us 10 years, over ten years to do that."

But during the last week of January, Smith did it for a second time. She and a group of dedicated runners zigzagged across the globe, pounding pavement in

  • Perth, Australia
  • Singapore
  • Cairo, Egypt
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Garden City, New York
  • Punta Arenas, Chile
  • King George Island, Antarctica

Chau Smith and her husband running the Hospital Hill Marathon. Photo courtesy Smith

"If I want to do something, I won't wait until tomorrow because tomorrow never comes." said Smith. "Do today."

Now that she's accomplished her global goal, Smith said it's time to go local. She's run marathons in 24 states and has 26 more to go.

Wanna do the 7-7-7 challenge? There are several organizations that will plan the running trip for you.



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