Heather Zeigler To Run 200th Marathon In April
When someone asks you how many marathons you have run, you probably have a quick answer. Maybe you say one, maybe you say 10, maybe even 25, but have you ever heard someone say 195? That is Heather Zeigler’s answer to the marathon total question.
Heather was not always a marathoner. Her motivation to start running started after she had her daughter in December of 2005. She turned to running to lose some weight. She lost 50 pounds and was hooked.
After the first marathon, she ran another, then another. Heather said, “I started doing multiple marathons because I wanted to have something to keep me going and keep my weight loss on track. So, my initial goal was to do 50 marathons before I was 50 but once I started doing that I met so many people and it became my social hobby. I reached the 50 so easily that I then chose to just keep it going.” 50 marathons - easily? Heather is kind of a super woman. And she was not going to stop at 50.
Heather also learned that if she ran least one marathon a month, she did not really have to do any long training runs. “I would much rather have the course support and the medal than run a 20 miler on my own! My ultimate goal isn't even necessarily 200 marathons.”
She loves the marathon for the challenge. Once you overcome that challenge, you feel rewarded. Having run 195 marathons now, she has some memories and stories to tell.
“I will never forget the finish of my 50 States under 4 hours in Honolulu. I was extremely nervous at the start of the race because it was very hot and humid and I didn't think that I could get it done under 4 hours. I was crying at the start!”, Heather recalls.
“I felt the sub-4 slipping away really early on in the race and felt so defeated. But, as luck would have it, my watch died and at that same time I ran into a friend who chose to motivate me and pace me the rest of the way. At first I tried to get him to go away but I chose to let him stay and it was the smartest decision that I made - he was great! He might have lied to me about our pace a few times but his encouragement and my unawareness of what we were actually doing let me calm down and I ended up coming in under 4 with room to spare! I cried again at the finish!”
Heather’s favorite marathon was her first Boston Marathon. “I will always say that my first Boston marathon was one of my favorites. It took a LOT of work to get there and to be there after over 80 marathons and to finally feel like a good runner was extremely rewarding and emotional. I cried during that marathon too!” Marathons are emotional, we can only imagine how crossing the finish line of number 200 will feel for Heather.
Leah Bohr, the former CARA Director of Training, says, “If you are lucky enough to meet Heather, the first thing you will notice is how down to earth and normal she is. You may think that someone who runs that many marathons would be a little different, or maybe only talk about running, but Heather is such a fun person and about as real as they come.”
So what will be number 200? The London Marathon. On April 28th, 2019 Heather will complete her 200th marathon and her sixth World Marathon Major.
She does not plan on stopping at 200. She has her sights on all seven continents too, but we will get there when she gets there. For now, we are cheering her on as she makes her way to 200! Stay tuned to learn more about what is next for Heather.