Man motivated to run

NILES — People most likely have seen him running somewhere in the area during the past 20 years because he hasn’t missed a day.

Bo Marchionte, 45, who lives in Niles, where he also works as a wastewater operator, started running on Jan. 4, 1998, after he and his wife, Wendy, traded barbs over who could run the longest and farthest. Well, Bo proved his point, and as a result the city declared Jan. 4, 2018, as “Bo Marchionte Day” and issued him a proclamation during a City Council meeting on Jan. 3.

“He’s as respectable of a husband and father as he is a runner,” Wendy said. “I was the runner first and I said that I could go farther than him, and he started running to prove me wrong. And here we are, and I don’t run and he’s off and running.”

Wendy said Bo’s running has been a part of their life and she and their two children, Vincent, and Bella, who also runs, have fully embraced his dedication. There has never been a day in 20 years that Wendy said she thought Bo might not make his daily run, including the day both his children were born.

“We have 100 percent fully supported him,” Wendy said. “If there was a day where time was crunched, we would say ‘well, Dad needs to run.’ We all know it’s something he needs to do.”

Bo said there have been some times over the course of the 7,300 consecutive days he’s been out running that he thought he might not make it, but he always did.

“I’ve had days where I had a bad ankle, and I once got some sort of salmonella poisoning that was probably the worst I ever felt because it lasted three days, but I managed to get by,” Bo said.

Today Bo said he runs about eight to 10 miles a day and he loves it more than ever. On Jan. 3, he came to the city council meeting after running 12 miles at Mill Creek Park. He hopes to run an ultramarathon, or 100-mile race, someday. The ultramarathon goal was among the things he listed on his New Year’s resolution list from 1999 that also included staying healthy and happy.

“I love the therapeutic part of running and just getting away,” Bo said. “I love seeing nature.”

Council members and other city officials had numerous words of praise for Bo on his 20th anniversary.

“Well above the physical feats that you have accomplished, and they are fantastic because I don’t know that I’ve run 20 minutes in 20 years, I will say that honoring you is an honor,” Council President Barry Steffey said.