Going the distance: Westfield woman completes six world major marathons


Christi Dee’s first-ever running race was the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in 2006, and it wasn’t exactly by choice.

“I was basically peer pressured by good friends into signing up for that race,” she said. “I probably had no business running it, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Crossing the finish line was kind of like a feeling I loved.”

Dee ran her first full marathon in 2008 in Chicago. The 42-year-old Westfield resident learned at that time that there was a group of marathons called the World Marathon Majors. At that time, there were five majors: Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London and New York. Since then, Tokyo has been added and Abbott has come on as a sponsor.

“I put those on my list to run one day,” Dee said of the majors. “There are over 12,000 finishers, and less than 3,500 are female. It’s right about 1,300 female finishers in the United States.”

Dee, who is a business and operations manager for Salon01 in Carmel, moved from Carmel to Westfield 13 years ago. She completed her final major by finishing the Boston Marathon April 17.

“To run the Boston Marathon, you have to produce a qualifying time at another marathon, so it’s a pretty speedy time for your age group,” Dee said.

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Christi Dee with her medal after completing the Boston Marathon in April. (Photos courtesy of Christi Dee)

Her friend, Noblesville resident T.J. Dailey, coached her to achieve that qualifying time for Boston.

Dailey said Dee overcame injuries in 2021 and 2022 that might have caused other runners to take a break. Instead, Dee achieved her qualifying time at a marathon near Las Vegas in April 2022.

“Her Boston qualifying race was just another example of that determination,” Dailey said. “She needed to run 3 hours, 40 minutes to qualify, which is 8:23 per mile. Her pace over the first 18 miles was 7:50 per mile, but, at that point, it was getting really hot, and she had developed a blister about half the size of her foot due to the extreme road camber. Her pace fell significantly because of that blister, which would typically result in a DNF, or at best, a slow walk-it-in. She did neither of these things and still nailed her time.”

Dee said overcoming injuries has been part of her accomplishments.

“It feels just surreal that this journey that I’ve been on for so long has come to an end,” she said. “But I just relish every mile that it took to get there – the training miles as well as the races. Every single one of the six world majors was unique in its own way, and I love them all.”

Dee said it has been a great way to combine two things she loves: travel and running. In accomplishing the goal, Dee said she wanted to set a good example for her two stepdaughters, Maren, a senior at Westfield High School, and Mia, a sophomore.

Dee said she wanted to show you can complete a huge goal if you put your mind to it.

After completing the Chicago Marathon in 2008, she completed the New York Marathon for the first time in 2014 and Berlin in 2019. She signed up to compete in London and Tokyo in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic canceled both marathons. She completed London in 2021 and Tokyo in March, six weeks before the Boston Marathon.

She has completed 39 marathons.

“I’ve met an incredible network of people in the running community, especially here in central Indiana,” she said. “Everyone is really supportive of each other.”

Dee said local runners are fortunate to have trails such as the Monon and Midland to train. Dee also has competed in ultra-marathons, most of which are 50 kilometers or 31 miles.

“I’ve also run 50-milers,” she said. “I ran 40 miles on my 40th birthday on my own around here on June 25, 2020. I had friends with me, parts of the 40 miles.”

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Christi Dee displays her six star medals for completing the major marathons.

Next goal

Having completed the six major marathons, Christi Dee has established her next goal of running marathons on the rest of the continents.

She has completed marathons on three continents: North America, Europe and Asia. She has plans to complete marathons in Africa, South America, Australia and Antarctica.

She plans to save Antarctica for last, hopefully the year she turns 50.

In the meantime, she will run the Chicago Marathon for the 13th time in October.

“Chicago holds a special place in my heart, but I think my favorite marathon has been Berlin, which was my first International marathon and I performed really well that day,” she said. “It was amazing to feel like I was taking this giant step forward, eventually reaching my goal.”