EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Laura and Larry Hickok of Chetek have been running marathons together for years. Now, they’re both in their 40s and are closing in on a goal very few even attempt. The husband-wife duo is our Osseo Automotive Athlete of the Week. SportScene 13’s Neil Hebert has their story.
“We’ve been doing marathons for a while,” Larry said about Laura and himself, who have been competing in 26.2 mile races around the country since the ’90s. “Just get out there and do it.”
But do what?
“12 marathons in 12 months,” Laura explained their goal of completing 26.2 miles 12 times in a calendar year. That sounds crazy, right? Not to this couple.
“There were a number of marathons we had in the schedule, or were at least looking at, and it just sort of dawned on me that maybe we should try one marathon a month and string them together and see what happens,” Larry said.
Since that thought, they’ve run 9 marathons in 9 months, but they came across a challenge: finding marathons to compete in.
“It’s cold in Wisconsin and hard to find marathons this time of year, so you have to be creative with both training and running,” Larry said.
The two have traveled as far as San Francisco and will run the next 2 indoors to continue the streak. Running side-by-side isn’t just good for their personal health; it’s good for them as a pair.
“It’s good for our marriage, too, because we talk more when we’re running and training together than we do normally,” Laura said.
The first marathon they ran together was the only one Larry ran a faster time than Laura.
“It depends on the marathon; some of them we’ll just be pretty casual and not worry about the time. Others, she’ll take off and meet me at the finish line some time later that day,” Larry said as they both laughed.
Laura qualified for the Boston Marathon coming up in April with her time in the Eau Claire 26.2 earlier this year. Why she continues to run at this point in her life is simple.
“I just love running and it helps keep me sane every day,” Laura, who runs 25-35 miles per week, said. “If I don’t run, I feel like I have to get out there and run. I miss it."
While Larry is going for 12 in 12 months, Laura is going for 14 in 14 months; both feats most won’t accomplish in a lifetime.