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On February 26, 2007, Jeanne Stawiecki completed the Antarctica Marathon unofficially breaking the world record, completing marathons on seven continents in 141 days. This breaks the previously set record by 68 days. In March, she sets her sights on Mt. Everest. If successful, it is believed she will become the first woman in the world to summit the highest peak and complete a marathon on each of the seven continents. At age 56, she may well also be the oldest woman to reach the seven summits.

Jeanne completed the marathon in 5:22:08, placing sixth out of all female runners and first in her age group. The winning female completed the course in 4:54:50. The course on King George Island off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula is particularly challenging. It loops through the scientific research bases of Uruguay, Chile, China and Russia, brings runners across streams and huge mud flats and up a large glacier twice. Runners also faced temperatures of 15 degrees F., snow, and gusts of wind to 40 miles an hour.

About Jeanne Stawiecki
Optimistic despite several health issues that set back her schedule, Jeanne leaves on March 29 for Mt. Everest to complete her quest to become the first woman in the world to run a marathon and summit the highest peak on seven continents — an endeavor she is financing herself through hard work and determination.

Jeanne Stawiecki, one of five children, grew up in the Massachusetts factory town of Webster, MA. At age 16 1/2 she got a job in a shoe factory working as the mail girl. Wanting more out of life, Jeanne worked to put herself through nursing school, where she was told to take up smoking to relieve stress. A self-described former 2 pack a day smoker and a poor performer in sports for as long as she can remember, Jeanne did not begin exercising seriously until she turned 44. After deciding to give up smoking for financial reasons, Jeanne started exercising to prevent weight gain. At first, Jeanne could only walk — and not very fast without getting winded. Gradually she began to run part of the route and, later, the entire route. Distance running became a way for Jeanne to relieve stress, but after a number of years, she became bored with running. Jeanne took up climbing in her 50’s at a colleague’s suggestion. At age 50 she took her first trip out of the country, a trek in the Himalayas. It was this trip that sparked her interest in the Himalayas. Having made the decision in middle age to turn her life around, today Jeanne is the vision of health and athleticism.


Heather Conover

Paula Green