After tackling the “Ker-a-thon,” a 106-mile run and a 6-mile swim in a single effort, in March, Kerri Kanuga is ready for her next challenge – the Keys100.
The race on Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17, is a 100-mile run, from Key Largo to Key West in Florida.
Kanuga says she is training “just as much as I did before the Ker-a-thon,” and is focusing on running and using swimming more for cross training and recovery.
“I recovered very quickly after the Ker-a-thon so decided to continue with my fitness level and see what my body can do in a foot race – without a 6-mile swim ‘warm-up.’”
She added, “I really think the swim training strengthened me for the 106-mile running portion of the Ker-a-thon, giving me overall fitness and endurance. I try to go swimming after my long training runs as it helps with recovery and to help shake things out.
Just like in her epic swim and run on Feb. 28 and March 1, she’s raising money in the name of Hannah Meeson, a 7-year-old girl battling brain cancer, for the St. Baldrick’s Society.
She’s aiming to raise more than $35,000 with her runs and swims, all for St. Baldrick’s, which raises funds child cancer research. She raised a little over US$5,000 in the Swim Around Key West event last year and another US$27,491 in the Ker-a-thon.
She has dubbed her upcoming Keys100 attempt this weekend as “Hundred for Hannah.” “Hopefully I will raise some funds and at a minimum, awareness, running the Keys100,” she said.
To help her with her fitness and training preparations, she also has a new training partner – a tire.
“My coach has introduced a tire for me to pull over the last few weeks. I have been spending so much time with my tire. I have given it a name – ‘Tyrone.’ Tyrone has taken my training to a new level and really helped my running form.
“I know this sounds crazy, but it is a lot of fun. I encourage everyone to try it. I am happy to let them take mine for a spin.”
Kanuga had hoped to run the Keys100 previously, but kept getting injured. “I am happy to report I am injury free and looking forward to finally being able to complete this event and tick it off my bucket list,” she said.
The Keys100 will be Kanuga’s first 100-mile race. “It will be a hot one on the Overseas Highway from Key Largo to Key West, offering little to no shade, with temperatures as hot as or hotter than Cayman.”
She’s not aiming to make any specific time, saying, “My goal, as with any sporting event I enter, is to finish.”
To support her on her run, she’ll be accompanied to the U.S. by her communications coordinator, Tatum Jose. “She will be working just as hard, if not harder, than me throughout the race,” Kanuga said. “She always makes me laugh and has a great work ethic so I am confident she will pull me through.”
To donate, visit www.stbaldricks.org/fundraisers/KerAThon.