There's got to be easier ways to see the world.
CARVER - There's got to be easier ways to see the world.
Now that she's starting to catch up on some much needed sleep, Carver Elementary School physical education teacher Renee DeMarsh can truly appreciate the memories of running seven marathons in seven days on the earth's seven continents as part of the World Marathon Challenge.
"I'm starting to feel like myself again," the 52-year-old East Sandwich resident said Monday night. "I was a little foggy for a couple of days when I returned home (from the last race in Miami). There was a lot of travel in a short amount of time and not much of a chance to sleep between races."
All in all, DeMarsh came out of the experience in relatively great shape. An old hip injury acted up a little during the opening race in Antarctica, and she has some pretty good blisters on her feet as memories from the trip, but her legs held up well and she was able to complete all seven marathons with no major complications. She ran well in the overall competition, placing second in the women's division each time over the first three days of running. Her total time of 31 hours 54.03 minutes put her third in the women's division and 13th overall out of the 48 runners on the trip.
DeMarsh's average race time was 4:33.26, with her best effort coming in Perth, Australia, when she finished in a time of 4:22.10.
The Challenge began when DeMarsh and the other runners touched down in Antarctica for the first race on Jan. 30. It wasn't the most scenic course, DeMarsh said, but it was a good way to break the ice.
"We basically ran six loops on a snow covered trail around airfield. It was about 14 degrees when I started to run, but it really didn't feel all that cold. I felt good and I actually ran pretty well," said DeMarsh, who completed her first task in just under 4 hours, 30 minutes. "I think some other runners had it tougher later in the day when it got colder."
From there, everyone jumped on a plane and got some food in them as they tried to catch a little sleep on the way to Cape Town, South Africa.
"That was a shock to the system," DeMarsh said. "One day it's cold and you're running on snow. Then you jump on a plane and five hours later it's 80 degrees and muggy."
"All the races offered different kinds of challenges," DeMarsh added.
After the stop in Cape Town, trips to Perth, Dubai, AUE, and then Lisbon, Portugal, quickly followed. DeMarsh said the sixth stop on her world tour, Cartagena, Colombia, was probably her favorite race of the entire trip.
"There were so many different things going on during the Cartagena race," she said. "Physically I was feeling pretty good at that point of the trip, and Cartagena was really a beautiful city. We had to deal with a little traffic, but the course was really laid out well."
The final race of the challenge took place back on home soil in Miami, where friends as well as her daughters, Kenna and Rylie, joined her. Kenna ran with her mother for the final 16 miles of the marathon.
"It was nice to have their support," DeMarsh said. "We were all running on adrenaline at the point, but I'm glad that I did it. It really was the experience of a lifetime."
The World Marathon Challenge wasn't just a bucket list challenge for DeMarsh. She got involved in the event with the intention of raising $25,000 each for the creation of a new running trail at the Carver Elementary School as well as for The Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Cape and Islands group.
You can still donate to either cause by heading to DeMarsh's website, www.dreamrunforkids.com and clicking on the "Donate" button at the top of the page.
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