When we learned about Anne and her past, we reached out to her to see if there was interest in being featured in our “In the Spotlight” section. Her first reaction was she didn’t see a reason why anyone would be interested. Well, we will let you judge for yourselves.
From Accident Victim to Endurance Athlete
“Running is what makes me strong, mentally and physically.” Anne embraces this philosophy wholeheartedly.
In 1997, Anne’s life came to a sudden halt when a car accident left her in a coma for three weeks. Following a stint in a hospital bed for nine weeks, Anne faced a very long and demanding road to recovery. One of the hardest battles of her life.
The diagnosis at first was terrible, soul wrenching and emotionally burdensome. She was told that she would not walk again. Furthermore, the prognosis was that Anne would need constant care for the rest of her life.
The damage from the accident left Anne with a magnitude of issues to deal with. The more significant issues were:
- Anne had fractured her vertebrae C1 through C4
- Her jaw was wired
- She had lost sight in her left eye
- A specialist was trying to save her right eye.
Anne was in really bad shape and depression set in; she didn’t want to see anyone in this condition. She couldn’t speak; she had a tracheotomy and a halo on her head. Anne was fitted with this halo to hold her neck together while the vertebrae were given a chance to heal.
Anne’s strong passion for life, her family and love of running would not let any of this be an obstacle. Through her willingness to want to walk and run again, she started working hard with an attitude of being unstoppable. She passionately put all of her mental and physical energy into her recovery and therapy. Her days started early and ended late. Her mom moved from Spain to help provide Anne with additional family support.
It took Anne two years to get back to running. In 1999 she ran her first half marathon in Connellsville, PA. Although the first half was grueling, Anne was happy to be doing it and wanted to push herself even further. She set her sights on a higher goal, continually reaching for more. She set her target on marathons and ultras. Anne realized that her past was exactly that and left it there.
In 2006 she ran her first marathon, the Shamrock Sports Fest Marathon. Afterwards Anne sensed that her life was getting back to normal. Anne continue to run and in 2008 she ran her first 50K, the Lt. J.C. Stone 50K. She had come in second place overall!
Since then Anne has continued her passion for running and participated in marathons, ultra-marathons and even stepped into the triathlon world. She has earned the USATF Phidippides Award three years in a row.
In 2015 Anne was chosen as the Westmoreland Choice Athlete of the Year. She inspires to push forward and still sets her sight even higher.
Anne is currently working on 50 marathons in 50 states. She is also training to run the USATF certified North Coast 24 Hour Race in September, with a goal of running a 100 or more miles.
She finds herself participating in local races to support the community and many various charities. She now gives back a little every time she competes. She enjoys spending time with her husband Robert.
When Anne is not training she is instructing others to achieve their goals. In 2016 she left corporate America to follow her other passion, to help others through fitness and health. She became owner operator, a personal trainer and running coach at RWA Fitness. Now she spends a great deal of time helping others achieve their goals. We think if you look closely at Anne and her desire to help others, you’ll see a resemblance of a different kind of halo.
So now we ask you, do you think Anne is worthy to be “In the Spotlight”? We couldn’t be more honored to share Anne’s story with you.