A Chestermere couple has crossed the finish line on the race to run 50 half marathons before the age of 50 and are now on their way to doubling it.
Nine years after their journey began, Bobbi, now 42, and Craig Skrynyk, now 45, completed their 50th in 2015.
With a bit of time to spare before the two turned 50, Craig said they were inspired by a friend’s suggestion that the couple turn their goal of 50 half marathons into 100.
“We didn’t set the bar high enough the first time,” he said. “We thought, ‘Let’s try it again. Let’s go for 100.’”
Following the birth of their second child in 2005, Craig said the couple was determined to live a healthier and more active lifestyle.
Running seemed as good a place as any to start, he said.
To combat December’s cold winter weather, Craig said the two invested in a treadmill.
“(Bobbi) liked to say it was either going to become a really expensive clothes hanger or it was actually going to get used,” he said.
As the couple learned to condition themselves to run, Bobbi said they were determined to participate in the Manitoba Half Marathon on Father’s Day in 2006.
After running the 21.1 kilometres to cross the finish line, she said the couple set a goal for 50 half marathons before the age of 50.
“It’s addictive,” Bobbi said. “If anybody ever does one, they’ll continue on.”
In 2014, the couple kicked it up a notch by running a half marathon every month, Craig said.
Though actually participating in a half marathon is one thing, sometimes finding a half marathon to run became the more complicated task, he said.
Their journey has taken them to Disneyland, Disney World, Texas, Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls and even a cruise ship.
On June 21, 2015, the couple returned to where it all started and ran their 50th at the Manitoba Half Marathon with their two children.
“It was amazing,” Bobbi said. “It was very cool to have all four of us do it and have our family and friends there.”
Now at 70 half marathons a piece, Craig said they will run their 71st at the inaugural Legacy Run to End Family Violence in Airdrie on April 9.
They also hope to be running their 75th half marathon in High River on July 1, he said, so that the total number of races between the two equal 150 for Canada’s birthday.
“We thought that would be pretty cool,” Craig said. “We had to keep adjusting and finding races to make it happen.”
Though they’re not sure what’s next once they hit 100, Bobbi said a goal following their 50th half marathon was to motivate as many people as possible to run.
Since they began their journey in 2006, she said they have inspired more than 50 people to participate in marathons.
“I love the people who say (they) could never do it and then we prove them wrong,” Bobbi said. “Anybody can do what we do. It just takes that determination.”