Mike Fanelli

Mike FanelliMike Fanelli, 56
San Anselmo, California

“I perspire to inspire”

What can you say about a guy who has logged over 100,000 miles of running by age 56; completed 100 miles in 16 hours 40 minutes; run a marathon in 2 hours 25 minutes; run a mile in 4 minutes 16 seconds, - and 4 minutes 56 seconds at age 50; won and placed highly in numerous marathons, and served as Head Coach of the USA National Track and Field Team in 1992, 1996, and 200?  What can you say but…Wow!

It makes sense that this endurance runner is a former Marine who has never known the meaning of ‘quit.’ He loves the beauty of his sport and he loves to compete. But his motivation to run underlies a lifelong passion to promote fitness and to practice what he preaches to an extreme.  And now he’s taken on a new challenge - switching from marathons through mountains to jailbreak sprints on a track in the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana.  Read on to see what this running expert has to say about attempting to turn back the clock- and his passion to inspire others to reach for their personal best.

Click Here to Read about Mike Fanelli's NSGA Personal Best Journey


We were eagerly anticipating having our 100,000 mile man complete his experiment to transition from endurance runner to track competitor at the 2013 National Senior Games Presented by Humana. But this was not to be. Despite the disappointment we share with him, his response and resolve to face the challenge provides ample proof that Mike Fanelli was a worthy choice to be an example of being your personal best. In Mike’s words:

Mike Fanelli

My quest to the National Senior Games was going well through the spring. I won the 800 meters at Wine Country Senior Games, the 3000 meters at Palm Desert Senior Games and the 1500 meter event at the Bay Area Senior Games held at Stanford University.

In mid June, however, I got some really bad news. I had been feeling "poisoned" and it was due to the retention of an astounding amount of urine...as much as 1000 CCs. Tests showed I had developed a severe prostate condition that will require surgery. It does not appear cancerous but iffy until surgery is done in September - they are waiting for the effect of drugs and catheterizations to lower my bladder's enormous current retention.

I am MOST disappointed to miss the National Senior Games. It was to be the peak of a long season with a lot of athletic discipline. I wanted to win the gold in Cleveland and see the Rolling Stones exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’m honored by this Personal Best recognition. However, in the end I will have 'no satisfaction' in 2013.

I should be able to begin training again and so have my sights set on competing on the track again in the spring. VERY high on my list will be qualifying for the 2015 National Senior Games...I've got some unfinished business there and intend to eventually have my 'satisfaction'. In the meantime, I shall use this obstacle as a stepping stone towards motivating others to aspire towards great fitness of both body and mind...I shall again "perspire to inspire" and beat this bump in the road.

In the end I shall prevail because I do not believe in any other possibility.