Motivational Story – Anna’s half marathon success!

AnnaIOkay, some of you may or may not know that I really don’t like to use the F -word, but there are exceptions….and this is one of them. I F***** DID IT…; I did it AGAIN and shaved 15 minutes off my Toronto run in 2007!! I finished the half marathon in 2 hours and 43 minutes (I know, some of you were told it was 2:17; then 2:27; but because I am new to this – the time I saw was 2:27 (and I did see it; even asked a fellow runner if that was the right time and he said “Mais, Oui madame!”)so thought this was the marathon time – anyway it’s a funny story one – that I have to tell you in person – it involves one of the Kenyan runners; things that can only happen to your one and only ANNA. And remind me to tell you the story about Montreal’s version of a cheering squad!

What a feeling to be running the streets of Montreal – I have never even driven on some of those streets let alone run them!

The ones that I did recognize brought me back to my youth – To park Pere Marquette, where as a kid I would feel self conscious to get on the teeter-totter because I was heavier than the other kids; and here I was running past it! Then, running by my old high school – where my gym teacher would constantly point me out as being the slowest to finish the “participaction exercises” – Well, here I was running a half marathon. I tell you my bladder was very close to my eyes because I think I cried most of the run! My parents and sister Connie came to cheer us on; my cousin Gaspare and Nelson were there in full force –they made me cry too!

My last 300 meters running into the Stade Olympique – on my borrowed ipod listening to  “A Moment Like This” by Kelly Clarkson – and what a moment it was when I saw 00:2:27:38….I was in shock….and even more shocked when my name was announced Anna Iacono, from Toronto, finishing in at 2:27!! I know it’s not about the time – but this is a huge deal for me. At that moment it meant a lot.

As I sit here and write this – it really does not matter what the time was; or how much faster I was than the last time. What matters is that I did it – again.  As my good friend Junia tells me  “Anna when you make it to the START LINE, that’s what really matters.” I could not have done it without ALL OF YOU.

A special thank you to my sister Rosie; what an honour she gave me for being able to cheer her into that stadium – she ran her first half marathon and she did amazing. It was awesome to see my sister cross that finish line – after a year of training and after losing 125 lbs!! Her determination and drive are a true inspiration.

THANK YOU for all of your good wishes; your notes, your text messages, your phone calls, your e-mails and some of you even dropped by our house and some of you at my parents’ house! I want you to know that I kept all your notes and messages in whatever form they came with me as I ran – seriously, I printed and pasted them all on a word document and I RAN WITH THEM…you were all very close by. The closest was my husband ROSS – what can I say? He makes me laugh when I want to cry; and cry when I want to laugh (he basically had me qualifying for the Boston Marathon with the 2:17 time!! – he’s new at this too! ).  I love him for that and he pushed me forward…..and to think it all started at the Loretto Abbey Hill…..Ross, you know exactly what I am referring to.

So, my friends and family – I love you all very much – THANK YOU- THANK YOU– THANK YOU for allowing me to “vacuum you” into my every whim – whether it be the Turkey Challenges; the Zumba Parties and yes – even these runs that I do. I could have NOT done it WITHOUT YOU.

Anna Iacono



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