By Frances Wang

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Marathons and races across the nation have been canceled during the coronavirus pandemic, but that is not stopping one Miami woman from running.

This weekend, Caryn Lubetsky will be going the distance – 150 miles, straight through without stops. She’ll start in Miami Shores, head all the way to the end of Key Biscayne, to Homestead and back, and she’s doing it to raise money for children battling cancer.

“All of my runs are dedicated to trying to deliver hope and deliver cures,” explained Caryn, who has raised $300,000 for the Childhood Cancer Project in 3 years.

Caryn is the mother of 3 boys turning 50 next year. It’s a big milestone but she has already accomplished so many: she’s a nationally-ranked runner, a 2-time Iron Man finisher, and holds 2 Guinness World Records with her partner and friend, Kerry Gruson, a 72-year-woman who is quadriplegic.

In November 2018, Caryn and Kerry broke the world record for most triathlon races hauling another person completed in one month. In November 2019, the two broke another record for the fastest marathon pushing a woman in a wheelchair.

“I always think [Kerry] came to me to save me,” said Caryn. “That was beyond a gift.

Caryn and Kerry met after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, where Caryn who had qualified was with her family at the finish line when the bombs went off.

“We started to run,” remembered Caryn. “We experienced all of that as a family and it forever changes you. But at some point, in fear, in depression, you make a decision. You move on or are you going to let it envelop you.”

And then a few years ago, Caryn was given another reason to run when the son of her close friend was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

“My mantra [while running] is ‘This isn’t hard.’ Chemo is hard,” explained Caryn. “I chose this. Nobody chooses cancer.”

That’s why started Sunday at 8 in the morning, Caryn will run until she has completed 150 miles. Coronavirus pandemic or not, cancellation or not, she has a reason to keep going.

“We need to show these kids we’re never going to stop fighting during this time. Their fight hasn’t stopped,” said Caryn.

Caryn’s longest run so far has been 135 miles, which took about 33 hours and 42 minutes. That was in dry heat and with elevation. Will 150 miles in flat but humid South Florida might be more difficult? Caryn will let us know.

Frances Wang

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