Woman preparing to run Blue Ridge Marathon twice for fourth time
Toughest road marathon just not hard enough for local woman
ROANOKE – There are joggers, there are runners and then there are marathon runners.
If there’s one thing that you quickly learn about Kristin Hunt, it’s that she never stops running.
“I run sometimes in the morning about five or six miles before work and then I coach and I’ll run with my kids. And then after practice is done I’ll keep on running,” explained Hunt.
She runs so much, that in April, this kindergarten teacher will run the 26.2-mile Blue Ridge Marathon, America’s toughest such race, not once, but twice.
When asked about her weekly regiment, “I run 80 to 100. I try to do 100 a couple of times before the race. Just to make sure my legs can handle running the 53 consecutively,” said Hunt. “So, it’s exhausting,”
This will be her fourth time doing the double marathon, which has been added as an official entry in this year’s race. In the past people, just sort of did it. They started in the middle of the night, completed the first 26-mile loop, then joined the rest of the field to complete a second lap. Hunt was the first woman ever to complete the double. Of that first
Of that first lap, “It’s dark. You can’t see how bad the mountains are. You really can’t see Mill Mountain and how terrible it is and how it goes up and up and up. And then you’re flat and it goes up again. You’re just jogging and talking to the people and getting to know them,” said Hunt.
She started running 10 years ago after the passing of her father and a friend in the military. As a result, she lost 25 pounds, enjoyed being able to eat more and just kept going and going, completing 75 marathons including one in every state.
On this training run up Mill Mountain, she seems to hardly notice the road’s steep incline.
She is a track coach at Northside High School, which seems like a natural calling. She’s also an aerobics instructor.
What you might call crazy or exhausting, Hunt calls a lifestyle.
“I don’t sleep. I have a hard time sleeping. I just do it I wake up early and I run. You’ve got to be focused you got to have your priorities,” continued Hunt.
Perhaps one day, one of these young runners will take up the torch and continue in Kristin’s footsteps inspired by their coach’s amazing energy and endurance.
In the meantime, the rest of us can marvel at her accomplishments.
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