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Borgess' ‘Earn Your Mittens’ marathon challenge a success


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) – More than 60 runners took the “Earn Your Mittens” challenge over the weekend defying the much needed rest period recommended after completing a marathon.

To earn their medal, runners had to participate in back-to-back marathons starting in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Saturday, May 4 and ending in Kalamazoo on Sunday, May 5.

You may be wondering: why would anyone do this? Scott VanLoo, a runner that took the “Mittens” challenge, says you do have to possess a healthy amount of “crazy” to take on this type of task.

With 28 marathons already under his belt, VanLoo called the Mittens challenge a “great” experience. He added that it’s empowering to see so many people running marathons for the first time and that it helps to keep him motivated.

What fuels a runner completing a task of this size? For VanLoo, there are only a few essentials needed to keep him going. “For marathon distances, I personally can survive just on a few Roctane GU packets along with a couple oranges,” he said, adding that the pre- and post-race foods need to be as natural as possible.

The 60 participants taking the Mittens challenge wore orange bibs in Sunday’s race. Kalamazoo Marathon race director Blaine Lam called the Earn Your Mittens challenge “a huge success” and says it will be returning for the 2014 marathon. Borgess’ Run for the Health of It campaign organized the dual-state event.