When pandemic lockdowns hit hard a few years ago, Navy spouse Alyssa Amos Clark wasn’t sure how she’d spend her time in Naples, Italy, where her husband was stationed. Never one to settle for boredom, she started doing what she says always creates “the best version of myself”— running. A treadmill marathon one day turned into 95 consecutive marathons in 95 days and scored her a place in the Guinness World Records. We managed to catch up with Clark, who calls herself an “endurance adventurer” to find out what keeps her motivated and what she’s up to now.
What was something important you did to accomplish this feat?
Making manageable parts that will then create the whole. One of the biggest things is what I call mental cheerleading, where you celebrate your accomplishments, so instead of saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I have 30 miles left,’ say, ‘Wow, good job. You did 30 miles. Yeah, you can do this. You’re over halfway.’
Why did you take on this challenge?
I had never thought about doing the marathons. I actually didn’t even know I was going to do it until I woke up and thought I’d run 14 miles or so, and it just kept going. So really, I think it was such a gift, because every marathon that I finished, none of them were guaranteed or expected.
After you realized you were on your way to breaking the record, did you ever want to quit?
Far less than expected. I would say only about three or four times. One big challenge was when we were PCSing internationally during a pandemic. At one point, when we were traveling on a military cargo plane, I ran a marathon in the middle of the night during a layover in Rothenstein, Germany.
How has the military lifestyle affected your goals as an endurance athlete?
With all of these moves, which have presented incredible opportunities, running has been the constant in my life. It’s been the friend that I get to keep when we PCS. And that’s allowed me to also meet new people in the communities that we moved to. I am a professional athlete now, too. So, it is a career that can move with me as well.
You now have a coach and sponsors on top of your job as an English teacher. What’s next?
I have full-time training every day also, so it’s busy. This morning I was up for a 12-mile track workout. I have a full race schedule, with a 240-miler in October and a few races over in France.