Four days shy of turning 50 years old, Valerie Bertinelli gave herself an awesome birthday present. She ran, and finished, the 114th Boston Marathon.
“I did it,” she told Fancast.
Her time? Five hours, 14 minutes, 37 seconds.
Bertinelli, who began running last year to keep herself in shape after losing more than 40 pounds on a celebrated diet, ran the marathon to raise money for the Boston-based Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Through donations, she raised more than $16,000.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support and encouragement,” she wrote on her website. “This was such a challenge. Every time that I thought my legs would give out, I remembered the many, many Dana-Farber Cancer Institute patients that I was running for. So here are some thoughts:”
“The gals at Wellesley College spanned the halfway point and they all had signs saying: ‘Kiss me, I’m a freshman! Kiss me, I’m a senior!’ It was great – and then I’d get passed by a runner pushing a patient in a wheelchair, and I’d think, “OK, God, thank you for the reminder. Thanks for reminding me why I’m here!”
“I listened to a lot of Pink and one of the most moving songs on m iPod was Leona Lewis’ “Happy.” I am so happy to have this experience and it meant so much for me to run for these patients – these people and their parents. I hope this race meant as much to them as it meant to me.”
“It’s what helped me across the finish line. It was a hilly, hard race – they talk about “Heartbreak Hill” at Mile 20, but it was the hills that started at Mile 16 that killed em. I wonder if it’s anything like childbirth – that you forget how hard it is so you decide to sign up automatically the next year.”
After the race, Bertinelli planned to celebrate with a glass of champagne. Next up, she starts taping her new TV Land sitcom, ‘Hot In Cleveland.”