Marathon Monster Frank Bartocci Ready To #RunSiouxFalls
Many marathon runners have a race or two that they will never forget, for a multitude of reasons. Some will never forget the first race they completed. Some may never forget the race where they suffered a significant injury. Frank Bartocci will never forget the Dallas White Rock Marathon back in 1983.
Yes, it was his first marathon, but no, that’s not the reason why that race is cemented in his brain. Bartocci dedicated that race to the person who inspired him to run, his son Matthew, who had Cystic Fibrosis. “I started running to help manage the stresses of life and work and to be a role model to my son,” Bartocci said. “It’s a blessing that I’m able to run, so I push myself to run for those who can’t. I find that the tougher (the run) is, the bigger the challenge, the greater the opportunity for me to confront adversity, to manage and overcome and maybe grow in the process.”
The Dallas White Rock Marathon unleashed a running monster in Bartocci. The Rochester, Minnesota native has completed over 700 marathons and is nationally ranked in the top 10 in the United States. Bartocci, who’s 68, is attempting to run 100 marathons this year, and by the start of the Sioux Falls Marathon in September, he’ll have already run 65 marathons in 2016. If Bartocci can achieve his goal of 100 marathons in a year, he’ll have run over 800 marathons, another goal he set for himself. “I had achieved all my goals as of the end of last year, so now what?” Bartocci said. “What else am I supposed to do with myself?”
The Sioux Falls Marathon will be the second of nine marathons in nine days for Bartocci. He’ll run a marathon in Wisconsin the day before the Sioux Falls Marathon, and then he’s onto Montana. “I think and hope that I’m strong enough to do it without injury. Temporary discomfort is expected, but time will tell,” Bartocci said.
Bartocci has ran a marathon in all 50 states eleven different times, and well on his way to twelve times with only three states to go by the time he races in Sioux Falls.
At 68 years old Bartocci doesn’t plan on hanging up the running shoes anytime soon. He’s driven by the thought of continuing to run with his extended running family, as well as honoring his son, Matthew, who died six years ago. “When I look in the mirror, I wonder, who is that old guy? Where did he come from? I certainly don’t feel (old),” Bartocci said. “You gotta’ squeeze all that juice out of the grape, until you’re a raisin.”