Couple laces up running shoes together - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Couple laces up running shoes together

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Athletes compete in the Buckshot Run for many reasons, whether it is running for the cause or the competition is pretty common but how about training for a bet?

"Our couch thanks us," Missy Sandberg says, who is training for another half-marathon.

From couch potatoes to half marathon finishers. 175 pounds is what one couple has lost together in the last two years.

"I think weight loss was always the goal but running turned into more of a hobby than it did as a workout, says Mark Sandberg, who ran his first half marathon in May.

"I've been to places where people have come up to me when she walks away and asked who I was with because they don't recognize her."

And it all started in what some might call an unconventional way.

"A person bet that we or I couldn't run that far so I decided to give it a try," Mark Sandberg says.

And that try turned into a completed task.  A goal that at one point, seemed impossible.

"The first time I went for a run was really tough, I don't think I made it half a block before I needed to walk. I think it took three months just to get to a mile," Missy Sandberg says.

Now, a mere five miles at the Buckshot Run isn't even enough for the couple.  Mark Sandberg ran 13 miles before competing in Saturday's race.

"I went out this morning at 5:30 and dropped off 4 bottles of water along the road." That way I'd have something to drink along the way," the couple says.

After nearly 14 years of marriage, they are each other's support system, even though their individual goals are very different.

"I'm trying to beat myself, he's trying to beat everybody else. That's not going to happen," Missy Sandberg says.

As for the future, they have it all planned out.

"When we go to these runs and you look up the statistics afterwards, you always see people that are 80 years old. That's going to be me," Missy Sandberg says.

The next race for the couple is the Whistlestop Marathon in Ashland. Missy hopes to beat her previous half marathon time, while Mark will be running his first full marathon, which he hopes to finish in less than four hours.

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