Community Sports

Gig Harbor’s Christensen marathons her way into Guinness Book of World Records

Posted on March 16th, 2023 By: Lee Jorgenson

Editor’s note: This piece was submitted by community member Lee Jorgenson, who is a personal friend of the subject of the article. 

Tami Christensen of Gig Harbor recently returned from Tokyo, where she completed her 100th career marathon and the sixth leg of the Super Six marathon races.

We wrote about Christensen before she left for the Tokyo Marathon. Now that she’s back after finishing the March 5 marathon, we spoke with her about how the trip went.

Gig Harbor’s Tami Christensen completed her 100th career marathon, including each of the world’s six most prominent marathons.

Gig Harbor Now: Welcome home, Tami, how was your trip?

Tami Christensen: It was like a Clint Eastwood movie: The Good, Bad, Ugly and the Beautiful.

GHN: Sounds interesting, tell us about it.

TC: Flew to Japan with my daughter, we were having a wonderful time exploring the city, acclimating after our flight, researching the upcoming race, etc. This week would be the culmination of over 10 years of marathon racing for me, so I was pretty excited about it.

GHN: And?

TC: We went out for dinner on Thursday evening, and I made a big mistake and ordered some raw sushi.

GHN: Uh oh.

TC: Right about that. I was deathly ill for two days, couldn’t leave the room, and by race time on Sunday morning I was dehydrated, had no nutrition or carbs in my system, was weak to the extreme. The race hadn’t started, and I was completely running on empty.

GHN: Major bummer, travel all that way, and have to cancel:

TC: Oh no. No canceling with this girl.

GHN: You went ahead and ran?

TC: Yep.

GHN: What was your time?

TC: 3:45, higher than normal, but I was pretty happy under the circumstances.

GHN: I’ll bet!

Runners crowd the streets of Tokyo for that city’s marathon.

TC: There’s more, I had exactly two hours and fifteen minutes after the race to get back to our hotel, shower, change and race for the airport. If we missed our flight, I would have had to rebook for another five grand.

GHN: But you made it

TC: Yes sir, with five minutes to spare.

GHN: Tami, please help me understand this correctly. You had a severe case of food poisoning two days prior to running a 26.2-mile race. How is that humanly possible?

TC: I could not have flown all the way to Tokyo and not run that race. That is not in my DNA.

GHN: You didn’t win the race, that would have been too much to believe, but this is one of the gutsiest performances I’ve ever seen. Congratulations, you are one tough cookie.

TC: Thank you, but that’s not all.

GHN: OMG, there’s more?

TC: Shortly after arriving home, I was informed that the 2023 Tokyo Marathon had the most runners ever earn their Six Star Medal in a single race, which set a Guinness World Record.

GHN: What is a Six Star Medal?

TC: It is recognition for having completed the New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Berlin and Tokyo Marathons. Those are the world’s Premier Marathon Races.

GHN: Congratulations, Tami. On your Guinness Record, on gutting out the Tokyo, on having run in exactly one hundred marathons. On making Gig Harbor very proud of you.

TC: Thank You.

GHN: What’s the next chapter going to bring?

TC: I’ll still be running every morning but hoping for a little less drama.

GHN: Maybe you should sign up for the Iditarod Race in Alaska? But please, take a personal chef with you.

Tami Christensen of Gig Harbor overcame a nasty case of food poisoning to complete the Tokyo Marathon.