DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Angela Tortorice makes the grueling 26.2-mile marathon look like a stroll in the park. When the Dallas accountant isn't crunching numbers, she's collecting medals. She's preparing to run in her 1000th marathon Saturday in Irving.
"It's going to be a huge relief!" she shares with a laugh. "And I'm just super excited because a lot of friends and family are going to be there and I really would not have gotten this far without the support of all my friends, family and my company."
Tortorice says she wasn't a runner. Until she was... and like most seemingly impossible tasks, her journey to ultra-marathon runner began with a single step. And then another...
"Just walking like a quarter of a mile, jogging a quarter, walking a quarter, jogging a quarter until I worked up to running a full mile," recalls Tortorice.
She ran her first marathon in San Antonio 25 years ago. She says it was an emotional moment but one that she did not think she'd ever experience again.
"Definitely not. That day. I thought 'oh, there is no way I will go through this again!' "
But Tortorice was soon hooked on the peace and the community found while pounding the pavement... unable to stay away from that starting line.
"An ultra, soon after that, and then started running multiple marathons in a year and slowly worked up from about 10 to 20 to 30 to 50 and then 129 in one year, and that's when I got my Guinness World Record for most marathons in a calendar year, for a female."
Tortorice has logged marathon runs all around the world, and in all 50 states FIVE times. But there's more than medals at the finish line: after her husband, John, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Tortorice has been chasing a cure.
"As team captain through my company TXU Energy and our bike team, they've raised 1.2 million. I've personally raised over $165,000 for the cause. So, we're just working to find a cure."
She says researchers are making progress and that brings hope for the long road ahead.
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