North Liberty dentist returns to Iowa after World Marathon Challenge

Friends and family of Deb Carneol wait to surprise her at the Eastern Iowa Airport on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.

After a week of physical and mental strain and stress, Deb Carneol returned home to a surprise.

About two dozen family members and friends greeted Carneol at the Eastern Iowa Airport on Wednesday, two days after she completed the World Marathon Challenge - running seven marathons in seven days on all seven continents.

"A lot of text messages from all these people saying, 'Keep going! Keep going!'" Carneol said while describing the effort needed to run the 183.4 miles. "I didn't wanna let anybody down."

"It was definitely mentally challenging," she added. "Physically, I was in some struggling parts through the third, fourth, and fifth marathons. Had some pretty bad leg pain - but made it through.

Carneol was one of two Eastern Iowans that completed the Challenge. Cedar Rapids police officer and "Survivor" champion Sarah Lacina arrived home on Tuesday. Carneol and Lacina trained for the marathons together.

The million dollar question: how long of a break before Carneol goes for another run? Not long, she says. She's planning on hitting the pavement again sometime this weekend.

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