A global marathon passion
Ginny Turner always packs her running shoes when she goes globetrotting.
For years, Turner has combined her love of travel with a manic marathon itinerary.
To date, the remarkable 57-year-old grandmother from Hillsboro, Oregon, has completed 135 marathons.
She has twice run marathons in every continent of the world, including running straight into the Guinness record books by knocking off at least one of the races in each of the seven continents over a 113-day stretch.
Turner has polished off marathons in all 50 U.S. states and is close to completing one in each province and territory of Canada. If she is successful in her planned attempt of the Prince Edward Island Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 18, she will only have New Brunswick left to conquer her marathon Canadian crossing.
After running her first 80 marathons, Turner had knee surgery that at first seemed destined to end her impressive run. However, she learned how to become a race walker and continued her marathon assault.
So this globetrotter is a globe runner turned globe walker.
“I like to inspire people if you can’t run a marathon, walk it,” she said in a telephone interview from her home in Oregon.
When asked why she is fixated with completing marathons worldwide, Turner replies in the spirit of British mountaineer George Leigh Mallory who responded, ‘Because it’s there’ to the query of why he wanted to climb Mount Everest.
“I guess because I can,” said Turner.
“I believe in setting goals and achieving those goals.”
Competing in marathons in every continent, every American state and every Canadian province and territory is a pretty good way to see the world as well, she added.
Surprisingly, she manages her global marathon passion with no sponsorship. She is a self-funded, self-propelled marathoner.
Like a sensible runner, the systems engineer says she simply paces her spending. When running a marathon in Quebec, for instance, Turner rented a room at the YWCA.
“I try to schedule my travel as thrifty as possible … this is just the way I choose to spend my money and recreation,” she said.
Turner, who cherishes the fact that she has friends all over the world, says each marathon is memorable in its own right. The only constant, she said, is the distance of the race: 42.195 kilometres.
Still, the most extreme adventures stand out. Like the time she took more than 12 hours to complete a marathon in snowshoes in minus 40 degrees Celsius at the North Pole.
Her personal account of that chilling race is certain to make the pages of a book she is writing about her marathon experiences.
She is also looking to add to her marathon quests.
“I’m trying to figure out what my next move will be,” she said
We are pleased to offer a speaker series during the Parks Canada Health & Wellness Expo at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Saturday, October 17th
12:00 - 12:30 pm - Jack Heely (Pacing Information)
12:45 - 1:15 pm - Adrienne Power (Canada's fastest female sprinter & Olympian)
1:30 - 2:00 pm - Ginny Turner (How marathon's changed my life)
Each presentation will be about 15 - 20 minutes and then there will be a Q&A period.