HOBART | Betty Funkhouser, Hobart Middle School PE teacher, just completed her 51st Marathon on October 20, in Grand Rapids... and this was after running the Chicago the week before.
Funkhouser has paced the Chicago Marathon for the past 6 years, and has paced marathons in other cities including Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Detroit, Akron, and St. Louis. She typically paces at the 3:50-4:15 time frames. When she is not racing a marathon, she paces because she wants to give back to the sport that has given so much to her and help others reach their racing goals.
Believe it or not, this is not her first time running back-to-back marathons.
Ms. Funkhouser ran her first marathon in 2003, and since then has run about five marathons per year. Impressively, she ran nine marathons one year, reaching her personal record on the ninth marathon. That was in San Antonio, where she finished the race in 3 hours and thirty-four minutes.
Ms. Funkhouser does not stop at "just" running marathons, though. She has run two 50-mile races and one grueling 100-mile race, which she completed in twenty-nine hours! This race took place in extreme conditions; Ms. Funkhouser ran through the twenty-five degree night in thigh-high water at some points, thus causing her feet to be wet for the entire race. Her favorite races are trail races because she loves running in the woods and being a part of nature. Although, in 2009 while running the 50-K Huff, 3 minutes into the race, Ms. Funkhouser had a run-in with a deer. Both her and the deer landed on the ground. The deer fared better than Ms. Funkhouser in that accident... Ms. Funkhouser finished the race with hoof marks on her legs!
Why does Ms. Funkhouser run so much? She enjoys it and says that running is just as much social as it is physical. It's fun for her to be with the "group" on training runs or races. She also says that it helps her put things in perspective and it acts as a great stress reliever. In fact, some of her best ideas come to her while running.
Since Ms. Funkhouser teaches PE and coaches three middle school sports, she is able to share her positive fitness approach with her students. She lets her students wear her marathon medals, and she even lets them run with the pacing sign from one of her marathons. Ms. Funkhouser loves showing kids that it's important to be physically fit. She feels blessed to have been injury-free thus far and to have the support of her family.
We are thrilled to have such a positive role model at HMS, and we wish her the best in her future running endeavors!