When Steve Sorensen set a goal to run a marathon before turning 60, he and his wife, Carol, had no idea it would lead to them running in major races across multiple continents.
Since 2013, the Lone Tree couple has run all over the world. The couple ran with wildebeests, rhinos and zebras in South Africa, watched nearby penguins as they ran in Antarctica and saw many of the Seven Wonders of the World as their trek to run in every continent has continued.
Carol said when her husband first started talking about wanting to run a marathon as a 60th-birthday milestone, she had no interest in participating since she had already run in a marathon.
However, when Steve reached his first goal, he started researching and learning more about races held all over the world, Carol said she was not about to miss out on the opportunity to travel and see amazing things even if it meant more running.
“When we started looking at running in every continent, I had no idea where you would run in places like Africa or Asia,” Carol said.
The couple agreed that one of the most amazing and hard runs was the Big 5 race in South Africa. Calling it the “hill from hell,” to reach the finish line, the couple had to run up one of the steepest roads in the Southern Hemisphere.
Besides getting up the steep hill, Steve said it was fascinating to look around and see a herd of wildebeests running. The couple said there was some anxiety as local officials kept watch over lions nearby.
In Paris, the race started at the Arc de Triomphe, running down the entirety of the Champs-Élysées, past the Louvre, Norte Dame, the Bastille, into the Bois de Vincennes. They continued back on the Rive Gauche, passing Shakespeare and Co. bookstore, Les Invalides and into the Bois de Boulogne. In the shadows, the Eiffel Tower could be seen throughout the entire marathon.
“For us, it has really become all about the experience and seeing the world,” said Carol, 55. “You find that there is a true community around running once you get into it. We have truly met some of the most amazing people.”
To date, the couple has reached their goal, racing in North America, South America, Australia, Asia, Europe, Antarctica and Africa.
With each continent, Carol said they had to the rely on the training they were able to do in Colorado, finding a few surprises along the way.
Besides the tough hill climb in Africa, the couple said they were surprised at the climate in Antarctica, expecting it to be colder.
“You think you are going to be freezing the entire time and it is really not,” Carol said. “You do have to run on river rock and unstable areas. You do all this in moments where the sun is shining one moment and then snow is falling the next.”
Steve and Carol said they have gained so much in learning about the food and culture in every location.
In one marathon, Carol and Steve ran around Buddhist temples where they saw the locals plowing fields with oxen.
“Just understanding the splendor of running among these 2,000 Buddhist temples was amazing,” Steve said. “The people here have a love and care for everything.”
Steve said the children in the area saw Carol and ran up to her, giving her handfuls of wildflowers. Steve joked that one child gave him one flower.
“There is a true human connection with the people you run with and the people you connect with in every place,” Carol said. “It really gets you out of your comfort zone to open your mind and see the world through a totally different lens.”
Carol and Steve, both retirees from the corporate world, said they will continue to participate in as many races in other countries and here in the U.S. as they can.
Along the way, Steve started a photography business to sell images and document the journey.
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