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Macon Home to Two New Record Holders


How many Guinness World Record holders do you know?

Well Macon County has two new ones in Troy and Cathie Johnson.

The two recently completed the Triple 7 Quest. That was to complete 7 marathons, in 7 days, on all seven continents. That would entail the couple running 26.2 miles per day, for an entire week. The entire distance of 183.4 miles is the equivalent of running from downtown Nashville along I-40 all the way to Knoxville in a calendar week.

In anticipation of this task the couple ran in the Savage Seven in Florida, in which they ran in seven marathons in seven days in December of 2014 near Ocala, Florida. With that feat behind them a group of runners set out to make history.

(Note: Times and dates might not make sense as the Johnsons were travelling across multiple time zones. So most times are local to where the Johnsons were running.)

Their odyssey began in Melbourne, Australia in the Carlton Classic on Feb 8th 2015.  At 11:40 pm they flew to Abu Dhabi, UAE and landed at 7 am on Feb 9th and at 10 they began the Abu Dhabi Striders Marathon. At 2:30 am (local) they flew to Paris, France. On Feb 10th they completed the Torcy International Marathon and by 9 pm (local) that night they were on a plane for Tunis, Tunisia. At 1 am on Feb 11th they completed the Marathon Carthage, finishing around 7 am.

They left Tunisia (not in a DeLorean, and not with Michael J Fox) at 2:35 pm and landed in New York, via a layover in Rome, Italy, at 6:35 pm which is a 12 ½ hour total travel time. After some sleep and food they ran in the Lincoln’s Birthday International marathon on Feb 12th in the snow. They left New York at 8 pm (local now) on the 12th and arrived in Punta Arenas, Chile, via Santiago, at 2:30 pm on the 13th, which was a 14 hour trek. Following a delay they ran in the Southern Cross Marathon that evening. So far they had completed 6 marathons in six days.

Now Mother Nature doesn’t operate on anyone’s timeline. After boarding a plane at 2:30 am (local) in Chile and being about 30 out of King George, Antarctica, the plane was turned around because the landing strip was closed due to weather and no visibility on Feb 14th. Following a number of setbacks, and a few members of their party going home, they finally landed in King George at 7:30 pm on Feb 18th. After a number of other challenges they completed the Penguin Marathon on Feb 19th.

Their quest complete; they ran Australia to Asia to Europe to Africa to North America to South America and finally to Antarctica. Officially the journey was completed in 12 days.

Troy then came home and applied for three separate Guinness Records and two were approved. They now hold the Guinness World Record for ‘The Oldest Married Couple to complete a marathon on all 7 continents, (129 years, 109 days)’ and ‘The Fastest time for a Married couple to complete a marathon on all 7 continents (12 days, 3 hours, 36 minutes, and 41 seconds).’ The couple has also completed over 247 marathons or ultras, ran a marathon in all 50 states (twice), and competed in marathons in over 16 countries.

Troy is a 1965 graduate of Macon County High School and Cathie(Gregory) is a 1971 graduate of Red Boiling Springs High School. Since returning to Gamaliel Road in 2005, they have been inducted in the Macon County Sports Hall of Fame in 2014 and belong to many numerous running groups and clubs.

Whoa! I cannot imagine traveling that distance in that time, much less running 26.2 miles every time my feet touch the ground after flying. Congratulations to Macon County’s newest Guinness World Record holders.