Tony Anderson, a northern Michigan runner and 54-year-old father of three and grandfather of two, is on a mission to run a marathon in all 50 states. And he’s completed 35 so far, including the Marine Corp Marathon, New York City Marathon, Boston Marathon and Big Sur. He’s also tackled trail marathons, including Pikes Peak in Colorado, as well as the Goofy Challenge at Disney World.
His reason for chasing this ambitious goal is more than a “bucket list” kind of thing. This endeavor is special because it’s tied to an organization that’s near and dear to Tony’s heart: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Michigan.
Having grown up without his father — his dad died in a car accident at age 28 — Tony understands both the pain of losing a parent and the importance of having mentors to help guide a child following this profound loss. Heather talks with Tony, a huge Green Bay Packers fan who serves as general manager of Cherryland Electric Cooperative, about his dedication to running and commitment to helping children connect with mentors. He created Marathon 4 Kids to help raise funds, through his marathon running, for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Michigan. He’s raised almost $210,000 so far for this organization.
Heather and Tony talk on the MRG podcast about his most memorable 26.2 races — “I’ve never felt more like an American than when running the New York City Marathon,” Tony says), what it means for him to be helping raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters, the impact his running has had on his own family (he’s been married for 32 years to his “last prom date, Mary, and they have three grown children and two grandchildren), how he broke the 4-hour mark at the Boston Marathon in 2011, and the marathon he is eyeing for his 50th 26.2. (Hint: it involves a “flying pig”) He also talks about his most recent health journey — having a hip replacement — and how this hasn’t stopped him from running. {Listen to Heather and Tony’s conversation on the latest Michigan Runner Girl podcast episode by clicking on the player link at the top of this post}

*If you enjoy what you’re hearing on the Michigan Runner Girl show, we’d be so grateful if you’d take a few moments to write a review on iTunes. This will help more runners and Michigan lovers like yourself find the podcasts. Thank you!! Also, the quickest way to get the podcasts is to subscribe to the show via iTunes or via Stitcher or your favorite podcast app. 

A special thanks to Mike Moran, Mike Youker and Jonny Tornga of Quarter After Productions in Traverse City, Mich. for producing the show. Check out this studio’s work here.

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