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Man without arms or legs checks “marathon” off his bucket list in Calgary

Chris Koch, 37, completed the Calgary marathon on Sunday, his first-ever attempt at the distance, and finished in the middle of the pack.

Chris Koch

Finishing a marathon has long been an unchecked item on Chris Koch’s bucket list. He was set to complete his first-ever marathon in February at the L.A. marathon but was barred from racing because he uses a longboard, considered a safety issue by race organizers, instead of running. He was born without arms or legs.

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But on Sunday, at the Calgary marathon, Koch, a native of Nanton, Alta. can now check “completing a marathon” off the list as he finished the 42.2K race in 4:23:12 (4:28:38 gun time). He was 468th out of 807 finishers at the Sunday event, which was part of Calgary race weekend.

“It was an amazing day that was made even better by having my girlfriend Ally, my mom, and other family in Georgie and Todd participating in the 10K,” says the 37-year-old.

Koch has a partial right leg that he uses to propel himself and trains in a similar fashion as a runner logging upwards of 120K per week on his longboard. He supplements longboard training with resistance band exercises and stair repeats.

On Sunday, each of his 5K splits got faster and he negative split the race meaning his second half was faster than his first half.

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Calgary race weekend included a 50K, marathon, half-marathon, 10K and 5K. The half-marathon doubled as the Canadian championships. See who won the national title here.

Canadian Running chatted with Koch before Sunday’s big race. The full interview can be found here.

Koch ran the race in support of Inn From the Cold, a local shelter for homeless individuals and families.

According to the Calgary Herald, Koch will be attempting to climb to the base camp at Mount Everest for his next challenge.