1,860 miles. It's roughly the distance from Dallas to Quebec or a roundtrip to Chicago. For Luminant's Angela Tortorice, it's the distance she ran in marathons in 2011.
That's right, 71 marathons in 365 days. It was enough to exhaust seven pairs of running shoes and leave behind every other female runner in the country, because as of Dec. 31, Angela is the Female Marathon Maniac of the Year.
"This year has been extremely rewarding,” says Angela. "I have met so many new people, formed some lifetime friendships and received so much support from work, my friends and especially my family. There is no way I could list all the people that encouraged me and or helped along in my journey.”
It's a journey that started, really, in 1994, when Angela began running to stay fit. She started with three miles a day and after three years decided to ramp things up. She ran her first marathon in San Antonio in 1997.
"You're kind of like, ‘I'm never going to do this again as long as I live – what was I thinking?'” she remembers. "But a few days pass and you think, ‘When's the next one?'”
For Angela, it was two months later. White Rock, then on to Chicago and New York, then to a fateful run in Mississippi, where she met a member of the 50 States Marathon Club.
"At that point, I'd already run seven states, and he told me I only needed to run 10 to become a member,” Angela recalls.
And with that, she was hooked. In all, she's run 254 marathons (6,654 miles, if you're keeping track – the equivalent of a roundtrip cross-country trip and then some). And that doesn't even count her training. She typically weight trains or runs three miles at lunch and six to nine miles a few mornings per week. Beginning Oct. 1, as her marathon maniac goal came within grasp, she bumped up the weekend mileage – all of it fueled by oatmeal, egg whites, almonds, salad, fish and vegetables to keep her on track.
"This is like another job,” she laughs. "It really is; there's never a break!”
Now with more 2011 marathons than any other woman in the country behind her, she's set her sights on her next goal – acceptance into the Marathon Maniac's Hall of Fame.
"You have to run 51 marathons in 365 days for three years in a row to even be considered,” Angela explains. "I hope to reach that in March, and then we'll see if they vote me in.”
With dedication like that, how could they not?