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Outwalking all the rest who choose to run ahead

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By Brittany Ritzi/ Special to Viewpoints

By Brittany Ritzi/ Special to Viewpoints

For most people, completing a marathon is a huge accomplishment.

For Yolanda Holder, it’s an every weekend event.

This year the Corona resident is pushing to beat the world record for most marathons ran in a single year.

The current record for the “Most Marathons Ran in a Calendar Year” is held by a woman named Angela Gargano of Italy who ran 100 marathons in 2002.

“I will break that record and walk 101 or more and bring the title home to the USA,” Holder said.

Despite the common belief that marathons are mostly run by contestants, there are large amounts of walkers too.

“Guinness doesn’t care whether you walk or run, and I’m a power walker,” Holder said.

“I walked my first marathon in Portland, Oregon in 1998 mostly for the challenge,” Holder said.

Twelve years later she has completed a total of 207 marathons.

Holder’s inspiration to beat the world record arose after receiving the Marathon Maniac of the Year award for the past two years.

In 2008 she walked a total of 65 marathons and in 2009 a total of 77 marathons.

After realizing the difference was only 23 marathons more than what she accomplished last year, Holder told herself, “Go for it, break the world record.”

The OC Marathon took place in Costa Mesa on May 2. Holder competed in this marathon and it was her 38th for the year.

“The OC Marathon is quickly becoming her favorite mostly because it is well organized and they have a great medal and shirt,” she said.

Her collection of medals keeps rising with every race she participates in.

“I do the marathons for the medals first, then for my health. I have a beautiful collection of medals,” she said.

With 52 weeks in a year, to accomplish the goal of 101 marathons in a single year breaks down to about two a week.

For Holder with marathons every weekend comes the challenge of completing two marathons.

With so many different marathons happening, every weekend means going to different locations for each race.

Over the past three years Holder has traveled all over the country and participated in marathons in 27 states.

“I belong to a running club called 50 States Club. After breaking the Guinness World Record I plan on finishing the 50 states,” Holder said.

Marathons have become a part of life for Yolanda Holder.

“They have their positives and their negatives, but overall they are rewarding and worth the challenge,” Holder said.

The best part of the marathons for Holder “is when people catch up to me and say ‘Wow, you have a great pace and I have been trying to catch you for miles.’ I’m a power walker,” Holder said.

Holder’s one complaint about the races is not being able to place in her age group.

Women her age are no longer “sitting home baking cookies for the grandkids, they’re out running marathons,” Holder said.

You can check out her blog she keeps to update her friends called “The Road to Guinness” at myjourneytoguinness.blogspot.com.

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