Cranston resident Fran Parisi wrapped up his marathon career in style earlier this month as he finished the Tokyo Marathon and received the Abbott World Marathon Six Star Medal, which is awarded to …
Cranston resident Fran Parisi wrapped up his marathon career in style earlier this month as he finished the Tokyo Marathon and received the Abbott World Marathon Six Star Medal, which is awarded to runners that complete all six major marathons. Those marathons include Boston, New York, Chicago, Tokyo, London and Berlin.
At 61 years old, Parisi was thrilled to see his hard work pay off and have his medal waiting for him at the conclusion of the Tokyo race.
“It was pretty wild. I have a lot of people to thank, I’ve had a lot of great running partners, a very supportive wife. I did a lot of running by myself. It was very satisfying,” said Parisi.
Parisi began running at 49 years old as a way to lose weight, but soon after became addicted to the sport and has continued to run to this day.
“When I turned 49 years old, I stepped on the scale and I couldn’t see the scale. I went on a mission between 49 and 50 to lose weight and I haven’t stopped since,” Parisi said.
His first road race was the Gaspee Days 5k when he was 50 years old. A year later, he would travel to Boston to take on his first marathon and the rest was history.
“I kind of fell into it. I ran Boston first because my mom grew up on the race course and my grandfather was a firefighter at a famous firehouse on the race course. I then did all the domestic ones, I lived in Chicago, New York was easy to get to. Then I realized that I was halfway there and just had to travel around the world to get to the other ones,” said Parisi.
Parisi did not have a single favorite race, but took bits and pieces from each that he will remember forever.
Some of his favorite sights included Central Park and 59th Street in New York, Grand Park and Buckingham Fountain in Chicago, the London Bridge and Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
“When you get to the finish line, it’s very overwhelming, very powerful,” said Parisi.
Parisi had positive racing experiences but endured some adversity while training. He tore his ACL a year prior to Tokyo, so he was happy to be able to recover and push through despite some tough training sessions.
Now that Tokyo is in the rearview, Parisi does not intend on running marathons moving forward. However, he will always consider himself a runner and will continue to roam the streets of Cranston.
“I’m 61 years old, so I need to figure out what’s next, I don’t have anything on the docket. I ran through the streets of Tokyo three days after the marathon and I run at Roger Williams Park all the time. I plan on running as long as my knees hold up,” said Parisi.
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