Marathon in a Month inspiring Niagara residents to push their limits

Marathon in a Month medal

Niagara Falls International Marathon Inc. press release – When Mary Fraracci started hitting the streets for daily runs Aug. 1/2019, her goal was to log enough kilometers to earn herself a medal from the Marathon in a Month program.

With 16 days to go, the 91-year-old has already finished 42.2 km and is still going strong.

“Having the challenge of a marathon will help me keep to my goals of being active every single day, which is important for a good, healthy life,” said Mary. “I was looking forward to this. I just wish it were longer.”

Mary would log her kilometers by running laps of her neighbourhood, often with her walker, says her daughter Mariann Zorgel, another Marathon in a Month participant.

“Mom is always doing something,” said Zorgel. “She has a seemingly endless amount of energy. She’s always been active while raising three children, seven grandchildren and has five great-grandchildren. She’s given back in various ways and has spent time volunteering in her own community. She often receives compliments about her youthful energy from people ten or fifteen years her junior.”

The Niagara Falls International Marathon (NFIM) introduced the Marathon in a Month program at the beginning of the month, challenging participants to follow a training plan and run enough kilometers over the month to cover the distance of a full marathon.

NFIM’s road races, including the full marathon, half marathon, 10 km, and 5 km, are set for Sunday, Oct. 20. Marathon in a Month is part of NFIM’s free-running programs leading up to its main event and is meant for people looking to add daily fitness to their lives or those who already walk or run and want a bigger challenge and offers a supportive and motivational setting, said race director Diane Chesla.

“The Niagara community has been great to us and we are always looking for ways to give back,” said Chesla. “This summer, we offered free learn-to-run programs in addition to Run Niagara, our free Saturday morning 5km series, to promote healthy lifestyles and regular exercise and activity throughout the community.”

Jackie Sullivan, another Marathon in a Month participant, started running to lose weight and is done more than 65 pounds and is enjoying feeling more energetic and more motivated. She finishing her first 5 km in early June and is closing in on her goal of running 42.2 km over a month.

“We’ve met a lot of amazing people through our run programs this year that so inspiring, said Chesla. “It’s our favourite part and what keeps us doing what we are doing.”

Chesla said a celebration is set for September for the Marathon in a Month participants, where everyone will receive a special medal recognizing their accomplishments.