Jacky Hunt-Broersma made the right onto Hereford Street and the left onto Boylston just before 3 p.m. on Monday, soaking it all in. Of the 92 marathons she’s run in the last 92 days, the final steps of the Boston Marathon were surely the loudest.
The South African amputee athlete is in the final stretch of a remarkable challenge: 102 marathons in 102 days, all on a carbon-fiber blade two decades after losing her left leg to Ewing sarcoma, a rare cancer.
Boston is the only official marathon that Hunt-Broersma is taking on — the rest of her 26.2-mile excursions taking place on loops near her Arizona home or indoors on a treadmill — and she finished in 5:05:13 on Monday.
“It was so great doing Boston with the crowd and everything, it kind of spurred me on a little bit,” Hunt-Broersma said. “Boston is such an iconic race, and I thought it would just be big ... I tried to make Boston No. 100, but with filing applications and stuff it was all delayed. I was like ‘Oh well, it’ll still be great to be out here.’”
The route’s punishing hills and the consistent headwind were the biggest obstacles Monday, both of which Hunt-Broersma had largely avoided during marathons 1-91.
“It’s tough, it’s always tough with a bit of a headwind, especially running with a blade, it pushes you a little bit back,” she said. “The hills were brutal! I’ve been running pretty flat just to save my legs, but I’ll be interested to see how my legs feel tomorrow.”
Ten marathons now separate her and a new world record, one that’s only days old after Kate Jayden of the United Kingdom pushed the mark to 101 last week. Whether the 46-year-old will try and push the envelope any further should she make it to 102 on April 28 remains up in the air. Hunt-Broersma is just taking “every step as it comes,” and that’s gotten her this far.
“That’s the big question, everyone’s been asking that,” she said. “I’m not sure. I’ll see when I get to 102 how I feel, maybe try to push it a little bit further.”
Globe correspondent Sarah Barber contributed to this report.
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Amin Touri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.