KEYC - Feel Strong, Look Strong: A 52.4 Mile Journey at the Mankato Mar

Feel Strong, Look Strong: A 52.4 Mile Journey at the Mankato Marathon

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Before the finish line even marked the end, before the sun greeted thousands of eager athletes, Ryan Chukuske of Lake Crystal, prepared for his 52.4 mile journey.

His wife Megan Giesen says, "Usually once, twice a year I'll come home and he'll say 'we need to talk. We need to do something.' So it's not surprising."

And something... was running the Mankato Marathon forward and backward consecutively.

He agreed to the challenge after his friend told him about the "Bold Challenge" along with the marathon which encourages participants to share their personal stories, or bold goals.

So at 3 AM, with his wife at his side, the pair set off to complete his first of two marathons; his 'Bold Challenge.'
It's the longest distance he will have run on black top.

Chukuske says, "Having support next to you definitely helps quite a bit. But it is during the run its all about not thinking about the run. And just kind of enjoying what you're doing. "

Just a little over four hours, with a little fatigue, and runner's high, he made it to start line,,, just in time to do it all over again.

Chukuske says,"Those thoughts will come no matter what race you're running. 5k, 10k, marathon, half marathon, whatever. You'll have those moments. I say to myself. Looking strong feeling strong.  Having people out supporting races and having cheer zones and stuff that is tremendous."

And for a second time he put rubber to road, in honor of those who cannot run for themselves.

Chukuske says, "The journey is what the inspiring part is. That's the part you remember the most. You remember what it was like to out on the road. Seeing all the people, see other runners. Sharing that camaraderie with the other people on the road with you. That's the part. That's the journey. And it's about being bold."

Chukuske ran his double marathon in just under nine hours.

Organizers say he is the first person to run it twice in a row.

--KEYC News 12