Saturday Spotlight – Glenna Arato (3/7/20)


Name: Glenna (Wood) Arato

Age: 47Marital Status: Married to Michael

Kids: R.J (21) Kayleigh (19) Ashleigh (17)

Occupation: Registered Nurse, St. Charles Operating Room

Hobbies: Running (duh), Reading, Crocheting (yes I’m an 80 yr old grandma at heart), Barre, Traveling, and Foodie

Hometown: Waltham, Ma

Current Town: Mt. Sinai, NYCollege: Salem State College, CUNY Queensborough

Favorite Race: Boston Marathon

Frequent Running Spots: North Country Rd, Old field, Greenway (aka Rape Trails) and, 5am Track work Rocky Point HS, and of course the Selden Hills

So here it goes….

I was born and raised in Waltham, Ma then moved to Sudbury, Ma in 1986. My father was a builder and the housing market crashed so we had to move into a house he built and couldn’t sell. I’m the oldest of 4 children, 2 brothers and a sister who all still live in Mass. I grew up ice skating. My father wouldn’t let me play hockey, so I was forced to figure skate, hated it and switched to skiing instead. I was on the ski team in High School also a cheerleader. Both of my brothers got full scholarships to college and had brief NHL/AHL careers (thanks Dad).

I went to nursing school at Salem State and in my senior year my family was taking a trip in their RV to Florida, I convinced them to drive to Key West because I knew someone who had moved there and loved it. December 27th 1993 I visited Key West and stayed for 2 years. My parents were not so happy leaving their 21 yr old daughter who just quit her last year in college to take a job as a “shot girl” at Rum Runners on Duval street but It was the best time of my life!

I met my first husband in Key West, we were young he was the bartender I was the shot girl and the rest is history. He was from Long Island, after 2 crazy years in Key West it was time to grow up (and give our livers a rest). He got on FDNY and moved to queens and I sold my scooter and flew to NY to live. It was a huge adjustment getting reacquainted with the “real world”. I started back at school, got pregnant then married and moved out to Long Island. I miss my family everyday but shockingly I’m still here.

I started running when I was 30. I had 3 kids and remember putting the girls in the double stroller and my son on his bike and I started running to keep up with him. I’ve always done aerobics, back then step was a big thing, I belonged to Lucille Roberts. I was working night shifts at St. Charles in Labor & Delivery and between work and the kids I never had time to get to the gym plus they absolutely hated going to the gym daycare. My goal was to run 5 miles, to the hospital and back without stopping. It took a while but I did it and it took less time than going to the gym. I heard about the Cow Harbor race, that was my new goal and my first race. I couldn’t walk for days after.

I started to sign up for other races mostly ½ marathons. I had no idea about sneakers or watches or keeping track of anything. I was a complete novice. I just ran until I was tired then went home. In 2007 I trained for my first Marathon (NYC). I hired babysitters and basically ran in circles around my neighborhood stopping at friends houses for water. I finished in 4:20 it was so emotional and overwhelming, but I knew then I was completely hooked. Eventually I got a Garmin and some decent sneakers and started running more often. As the kids got older and everyone was in school during the day I was able to sleep a few hours and run longer. My goal was to someday run Boston.

In 2009 I trained for the Hamptons Marathon and qualified for the Boston Marathon with a 3:43. In 2010 I ran my first Boston Marathon it was my best running experience so far, It was a beautiful day and family and friends met me all along the course with signs and cheers. I ended with a 3:42 which qualified me for the following year. Boston 2011 was difficult to train for, weather was tough and my marriage was coming to an end. I decided to run it for “fun” I stopped along the way to see my kids and nieces and nephews. It was an enjoyable race because there was no pressure. I finished with a 3:55 and stayed out until 3am with my high school friends.

Since then I’ve run 7 more marathons and gotten remarried to the best husband ever! We travel a lot and enjoy our time together. He has never been a runner but he does a lot of road biking including 2 Grand Fondos (100 mile torturous rides).

I’ve had my share of injuries and set backs which I’ll discuss later this week. Last year after one of my big injuries I was volunteering at the Port Jeff Brewery 15k (the race everyone loves to hate) when I met Dominick LoGiudice who convinced me to come to the hills. 2 weeks later when I was ready to run, I showed up one Sunday morning with the help of Kathleen Ernest Cergol.

I never knew such hills existed on Long Island. It was a great push just coming back from an entire winter off. My first race with SHW was Shelter Island then I signed up for some 5ks which I had never done before. I find 5ks tough since I’m used to long distance and I don’t really settle in until mile 3 then the race is over. I just enjoy being with the group getting cheered on and cheering on others.

Right now I’m signed up for the 2 Rivers Marathon on March 28, It would be great to BQ but I’m coming off yet another injury and just hoping for the best, even with JaMe Pi bullying me!

Andrea Libutti Adams organized 16 of us mostly hillbillies to run this race so If I don’t qualify at least I know I’ll have a fun time with great people! I’m also back in school for my BSN that I never finished when I moved to Key West, maybe my parents will finally forgive me.

Running has been my saving grace. It has helped me through the best times and the worst. Since my kids have been little when they see me getting uptight they’ll say “Mom you should go for a run” I come back as a totally different person. It’s my therapy, medication and serenity.