NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – With seven months until race day, this is around the time when most people training for the New York City Marathon.
But for one man from New Rochelle, this is the home stretch for a much longer marathon. He embarked on a journey inspired by his wife’s battle with cancer.
Tom Dente starting running marathons in a typical way.
“Well I figured that I, good mid-life crisis. I’m 40, might as well do something and see if I can push it out and do it and get it done,” Dente told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams.
But then his wife Liz was diagnosed with breast cancer and running took on new meaning.
“Is there a way that I could do this for five years because if you go through five years after treatment, that’s the magic milestone date,” Dente said.
In November 2008, Tom Dente quietly embarked on an odyssey to run at least one marathon per month for five years.
“He didn’t actually come out with the idea, he kept it private for a while,” Liz Dente told Adams.
One year in, Tom explained to his wife that he was running as a show of support for her.
“Tom, in some ways, is a very magical thinker and he felt like by doing this, it would potentially influence the outcome in some ways and I was just staggered by the idea,” said Liz.
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“I want to do something and also just kind of bring us back a bit, too. Because Liz had finished a lot of her treatments and it was a way to say there’s so much more to be done,” Tom told Adams.
So far, Tom’s marathons total more than 1,500 miles. He has run in Turkey, Iceland and Tanzania. For the couple, it has also been a spiritual journey.
“And I think what Tom has done with this is he said it’s a speed bump. We have so many things to do, there’s so many possibilities in the world, there’s so many races to be run or fun to be had, let’s go out there and have the fun,” Liz told Adams.
“Anything is possible, you can always do more than you think, but it’s always hard to start so just start something. Whatever you start and whatever you do, if you keep doing it, it can inspire those around you,” Tom said.
The Dentes run the New York City Marathon together each year, a tradition that began in 2009.
Tom Dente has run in about five dozen marathons and Liz is cancer-free.