The Challenge of a Lifetime

05/10/2016 - 11:54

By Cathy Duesterhoeft

When it comes time for vacation, the average person may plan a week lying on a beach, soaking up rays while drinking a Mai Tai. Perhaps your idea of vacation is a week of traipsing through Walt Disney Land with the kids in tow.To the endurance athlete, these types of vacations are too tame so instead, why not opt for a marathon, or two, or five, or perhaps even seven? Runners and walkers alike are doing exactly that with Mainly Marathons!

The world’s premiere 5 and 7-day, multi-state series.

“There aren’t words that begin to tell of the experience…” that is how the typical runner begins to describe their experience running with Mainly Marathons.

Mainly Marathons offers nine, multi day-multi state series throughout the continental United States, with plans to implement a four day series in Kauai, Hawaii in 2017. The current series run from 5 days to 7 days. Participants can run one, or as many days as they desire.

From 5K to 50K, there is a distance offered for everyone.

What sets them apart from the rest?

Mainly Marathons does a superb job taking care of their runners. Their motto is “No Runner Left Behind,” Participants are set up for success. On their website, Mainly Marathons states, “Where quantity is more important than speed. Where finishing is more important than finishing first.” As long as they can finish their race before dark, participants can take as long as they need to complete their distance. In fact, Mainly Marathons does not recognize the first to cross the finish line; instead, they celebrate the last person to finish by presenting them with an antique toy train caboose.

Mainly Marathons is known for the food available to runners every time they enter the staging area. From sandwiches and olives to potato chips or candy, runners are not going to experience hunger while on the course and they have the energy they need to meet their goal of 5 in 5 or 7 in 7. The company has a Chef that cooks hot meals for the participants to aid in meeting their nutritional needs.

Who doesn’t like bling? Four of Mainly Marathon medals have won awards in Marathon and Beyond’s Editors’ Choice competition. The medal for each series is a bit different but runners and walkers will be proud to display all of Mainly Marathon medals that are earned.

Runners will not look at a rubber band in the same way again

The key to Mainly Marathons success is the low level logistics offered at each race. Participants run multiple out and backs to reach their goal of 5K, 13.1 or 26.2 miles, or 50K. Participants collect a rubber band each time they enter the aid station area in order to track their own out and backs.

This method has been perfected in the four years since the founding of Mainly Marathons and new participants learn quickly that they don’t want to forget a rubber band and risk running an ultra.

Facebook comments abound from new participants voicing doubts about the out and back method used by the company. They are afraid of boredom. These doubts are put to rest by other runners and walkers that have experienced the constant encouragement and support that such a course allows. One such doubter stated, “I never thought I would like a short out & back course, but that turned out to be one of the best parts of this series. All of the interaction with other runners made this event very social and so enjoyable. All of the encouragement from other runners was incredible. The whole tone of this series was almost like a team effort. Thanks for such a great event!!!!”

What kind of runner does Mainly Marathon attract?

From ages 10 to 80+, Mainly Marathons attracts all kinds of runners; to include Guinness Book of World Record holders Larry Macon and Parvaneh Moayedi (top male and female marathoners) and Eddie Vega (the barefoot bandito who ran his way barefoot into the record book).

How to find more information.

If you are interested in more information about Mainly Marathons, their calendar of events, or look at the medals they offer, check out their website at

Hope to see you on the course.

(Cathy and her husband, Norm, travel throughout the United States in their Brave Winnebago working for Mainly Marathons. When home in Westfield, Wis., their RV is parked on a gravel pad while they finish construction on their new home. Cathy documents their many adventures on her website at

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