Boardman couple completes 7 Marathons in 7 Continents


Boardman, OH (WYTV) – Over the last 30 years, Boardman’s Frank and Velma Verhage have run hundreds of races and completed a combined 42 full marathons. But their biggest feat may have come this past March, when they finished their final leg of 7 Marathons in 7 different Continents. At 67 and 68 years old, they are the ultimate marathon couple.

“We are right together, and I mean that gives me great joy, that we start it together and we finish it together,” said Frank.

“Maybe there might be a step or two between us,” said Velma. “But we try to finish at the same time.”

The two met at Youngstown Road Runners and have run hundreds of races in their 22 years of marriage. But 8 years ago, they decided to try something different, and run a marathon on all 7 continents.

“Each one of them has had such an influence in our lives,” said Velma. I mean, it’s such an experience that you know, you meet people from all over the world. Even Africa, it was like stepping out into the national geographic. I mean, it’s still back in time, just like it was.”

They had already completed the Boston Marathon together and started their journey abroad with Rome, Italy in 2007. Then went to Kenya and on to the Great Wall Marathon in Beijing, China. In 2012, they completed South America with a trip to Easter Island, then on to the Australian Outback Marathon, and finally finishing their journey in Antarctica this past March.

“A wonderful experience, you look to the heavens above and say, thank God, it’s over…now we can kind of rest and recuperate,” said Frank. “I don’t have any regrets. No regrets whatsoever. I mean. God has been great, he’s blessed us with the ability.”

And while their journey may be completed, they still stay very active…running, biking, and lifting at least three days a week.

“We’re not gonna slow down,” said Frank. “We may not run the same distances of the full marathon or the same pace.”

“You can succeed at anything you want if you really put your mind to it,” said Velma.

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