Friday, July 12, 2019

Beyond the Finisher's Mat!

Tom and I rarely purchase photos from a race especially if we have taken photos and video along the way but I felt compelled to purchase a few of our Finish at the 50 photos from Capstone Photography

The reactions on Facebook to this photo and the video of Erin and I finishing the race

filled me with gratitude, delight and happiness.

Twelve years ago, when I set out on this to heal my life from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma, I truly had no idea where the path would lead. It led to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon:

and while it was a moment of redemption for me, I knew deep in my soul that it was a moment that was far greater than me.

My story of healing, hope and possibility and my journey of transformation touched and continues to touch people's hearts and souls in profound ways.

As Dave McGillivray wrote in his book review for "The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953":
A most unlikely runner stood to my right as I gave the oral command for the mobility impaired start of the 113th Boston Marathon on April 20, 2009. That most unlikely runner was Mary McManus. She overcame the childhood challenges of paralytic polio and years of childhood trauma to become a runner at the age of 53 years old and take on the challenge of the Boston Marathon at 55 years old. In “The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” you’ll be inspired as I have been by her courage, resilience and determination to overcome whatever obstacles life put in her path. Mary’s life story set against the backdrop of running in “The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” will leave you asking the question, “If Mary was able to accomplish all that in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds, what’s stopping me from being the best I can be?”

The cheers and outpouring of messages applauding my Finish at the 50 race feel wonderful but what is even more wonderful is the inspiration I bring.

At the age of 65 years old, I am still running strong taking on the challenge of running the ramps at Gillette Stadium for an evening race in the heat of summer. Heat and evening are typically not a good combination for someone living with neuromuscular challenges but that didn't stop me. People know that and they were inspired by the look of determination and persistence on my face.

Beyond the finisher's mat, I am still feeling the glow of that evening which was so much more than a race! Beyond the finisher's mat I reflect on the presence of angel Joseph Middlemiss and the blessing of being a part of Team Big Heart. Beyond the finisher's mat, I am reminded of how the body achieves what the mind believes, the power of believing in myself and my body's tremendous capacity to continue to heal. Beyond the finisher's mat, I am in awe of these past 12 years and the adventures I have been blessed to experience through running.

Beyond the finisher's mat I am deeply grateful for all the joy my body brings and the friendships forged through the sport of running.

Beyond the finisher's mat, I am happy with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and blessed that I can inspire others with what I achieved.

From my heart to yours
In Health and Wellness,

Be sure to visit my website at

Hear my interview with Kendra Petrone on Magic 106.7's Exceptional Women Show by following this link

My books are available on Amazon and "Feel the Heal" and "The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953" are available in Natick Center Cultural District at Paula Romero Dunbar's Celebration Boutique Paper Fiesta coincidentally located on Mile 10 of the Boston Marathon Route. Proceeds from the sale of books for July are being donated to The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation to support Tom's Falmouth Road Race. You can also donate directly by following this link.

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