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After running 128 miles over 42 hours, Jenny Cavanagh called it quits at 8 a.m. on Sunday.
Running on just six hours of sleep since 8 a.m. on Friday, Cavanagh said she felt swollen. Her feet felt like twice their normal size, her right knee had a bulge and she was tired.
“I actually feel pretty good,” she said at the entrance to her gym in Weymouth as her dog, Summer, ran around her.
Cavanagh, of Weymouth, ran for a reason — to raise money, and awareness, for a Newburyport-based dog rescue, called Rescue Inc., that brings animals from the rural South to be adopted in New England.
Cavanagh said part of the reason she wanted to raise money for the rescue is one of her dogs, Summer, is a rescue dog from the South. It has been one of her goals, after she opened her gym, to begin volunteering more. After the pandemic started last year, she decided to dedicate this year to giving back, especially to causes near and dear to her heart.
She is also an ultramarathon racer and her 48-hour run was not the first to last for days on end. In addition to a previous 24-hour race she also participated in a 30-hour endurance competition two years ago that involved running and “all things physical,” including lugging tree stumps through a forest.
“Running for 30 hours sounded like a piece of cake compared to that,” she said.
The marathon left Cavanagh with the first runner’s high she’s had in a long time.
Cavanagh said she ran across the South Shore, including in Hingham, through the Wompatuck State Park, on city streets and walking paths. At night, she made a four-mile loop around her Weymouth gym.
Ryan McKinnon, who knows Cavanagh through her gym, ran with her for a few hours at night to keep company.
“It was a lot of fun,” he said.
Cavanagh said she focused on the thing she knew she could do to help the rescue.
“A lot of people are pretty passionate about animals, and I thought, with both of those things, I could combine them both and run for a really long time and try and raise as much money and awareness as I could,” she said.
Cavanagh said she began planning two months ago.
“Before I ran for 24 hours and I figured I could probably double that,” she said. “I thought of it kind of like an event, to bring awareness to rescue dogs and local rescues and also as a way to push myself physically, mentally, and see how much I could do. It was really a double benefit.”