The 51-year-old Corona resident walked 77 marathons last year. Actually, 18 were ultramarathons, longer than 26.2 miles. She walked 65 marathons in 2008. Her personal best: 5 hours, 26 minutes — faster than a 13-minute mile.
“My goal this year is to do all of them under six hours,” Holder said. She described her technique as “a little bit of race walk, a little bit of power walk, a little bit of get-it-done.”
It’s unclear whether anybody’s even established a world record for most marathons walked in a year.
The Guinness World Records 2010 book does not include such a listing; a search of its Web site didn’t yield one, either. Guinness officials did not immediately respond to an interview request.
According to Seattle-based running group Marathon Maniacs President Steve Yee and Runner’s World magazine, a Texas attorney named Larry Macon holds the Guinness record for the most marathons run in a year, at 105, set in 2008.
Holder has mapped out a schedule making the Las Vegas marathon on Dec. 5 her 100th, but figures she’s got time for Honolulu on Dec. 12, Tucson, Dec. 13 and maybe a few more before the year runs out. That will often mean two marathons in a weekend, with a flight in between.
The hectic travel schedule doesn’t tire Holder. In fact, “it’s more exciting than the marathon,” she laughs. She travels light and uses flight time to write in her journal and check her schedule of upcoming races to be sure she’s got all her logistics right — though sometimes with the sheer number of events she’s juggling, she overlooks something.
On Jan. 15 she had to scramble and drive from Corona to Phoenix for a marathon the next day. She had forgotten to book a flight. That wasn’t her lowest moment, though. The altitude of the Leadville, Colo., ultramarathon sapped her strength, she said, reducing her to tears, and heat exhaustion knocked her out of one 50-mile event.
Holder no longer needs to train and requires no recovery time, but does Pilates twice weekly to strengthen her lower back. “My body likes it (the walking),” she said. “I don’t like running. It hurts my knees.”