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The Most Important Mile of My Life: Anna Benvenuto

Anna (left, 35) with her sister

My most important mile was Thanksgiving Day 2012. My sister and I were out walking; she turned to look and me and said, "So, I've been running a little. Want to run for a while?" Having been obese for my entire life and never really run before, I was filled with feelings of apprehension and self-doubt.

 We ran a single mile, during which time I said, "I'm dying," at least 100 times. I, obviously, didn't die. The next day we ran two miles. It was exhilerating and set me on a completely new path.

I began running consistently throughout the winter, which is no small feat in Vermont in the cold, snowy darkness. It's also not easy to fit in between being a mom of two busy kids and balancing life as an OB/GYN. In May, one of my best friends, who had also just started running, suggested we do a half-marathon. We trained from afar, comparing notes and times and aches. We texted and called to compare notes on triumphs and setbacks. In October 2013, we ran 13.1 miles side-by-side. The following May, I paid my sister forward and challenged her to her first half-marathon.

Recently I hurt my knee and couldn't run for two or three weeks. After physical therapy and changing my running style, I have been happily running pain-free. Coming from a place where I couldn't imagine running, I suddenly couldn't imagine not running. Now I celebrate every mile completed.

Being motivated toward the finish line by her two children, ages 8 and 4.
Being motivated toward the finish line by her two children, ages 8 and 4.


What was (or will be) the most important mile of your life? We want to know.This is an ongoing feature on the website. Best way to submit is to email us your story with a picture: runmother {at} gmail {dot} com with “Most Important Mile” in the subject line. Please try to keep your mile stories under 300 words. Thank you!


5 responses to “The Most Important Mile of My Life: Anna Benvenuto

  1. This is such wonderful inspiration! I feel the same way, hospitalized recently for atrial fib (new onset) and am now getting back to running, started one year ago at the age of 56!

  2. Yay!!! Hi Anna!!! So glad to read this story!!! I remember when neither of us was much for running haha! Now I’m injured and haven’t been able to run in months, so I’m going to try and stay motivated so I can join you on a run sometime. Congrats on your accomplishments, you are amazing!

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