A lot of folks are exercising at home as we get through life in quarantine. Cary resident Jacky Hunt-Broersma took it to the next level becoming the first amputee to run 100 miles in the comfort of her own home.
The longest Jacky had ever gone on a treadmill prior to last weekend was 10 miles.
“It kind of feels like a little bit of a last-minute decision. Am I running outside, am I running on the treadmill?”
The original plan was to run the Umstead 100 Ultra, a race through Umstead Park. Once that got canceled Jacky started brainstorming alternatives.
“I would have to do 200 laps around the neighborhood to do, to get to the 100 miles. But I had done some research and found out an amputee had never done 100 miles on the treadmill before and I thought oh, that would be a good challenge.”
A challenge she completed in 23 hours and 38 minutes.
“It was definitely the hardest, hardest thing I’ve ever done. Just from a mental point of view.”
That’s quite a statement considering all that Jacky has endured.
From losing a limb to cancer almost 20 years ago to learning how to walk again.
Without much planning, she jumped on the treadmill not knowing if it would abruptly stop or even work all day and night.
“I don’t have the most expensive treadmill, I mean we bought it on sale. I was like, hey we’ll see. My balance isn’t that great on a treadmill especially running with a blade. Either I’m hitting the front of the treadmill or I’m flying off the back.”
With a cheering squad outside on the patio, Jacky made it through stopping only for bites of pizza and bathroom breaks. For her efforts, she received some blisters and bruises on her stump and a coveted buckle earned by hitting the century mark.
“Especially being the first amputee to run on the treadmill for 100 miles and to do it under 24 hours, I was like, wow yeah, I did it. I do all these hard things because it shows you can do whatever you want to; anything is possible.”
Around the 62-mile mark, she hit a wall and nearly quit, but kept going.
“I’m thankful for my body that I’m able to do this and I’m in awe because it’s just amazing,” she said.
With a new comfort level on the treadmill, Jacky is already thinking about what’s next.