Just one year ago, Angie Zucchero wouldn’t have believed anyone who said she would run the Chicago Marathon.
But on Oct. 13, that’s just what she did.
The Burr Ridge police officer, best known in town as officer Angie, started training in April. Two weeks after completing her first marathon, the 48-year-old who always hated to run still has a hard time believing that she crossed that finish line.
Q. How did someone who hates to run end up running a marathon?
A. It all started back in December. A person came out to our church and talked about running the marathon to support World Vision. It provides clean drinking water to places that don’t have safe water to drink. As soon as he starting talking, I felt a stirring inside of me and I just wanted to get up and leave.
Q. What made you stay?
A. A friend took me by the arm and said, “Angie, we’re going to do this together.” My mouth was saying no while my hand was signing the papers.
Q. Had you ever run before?
A. The farthest I had ever run was 1.5 miles, and that was in the police academy 23 years ago.
Q. What kept you going through the training?
A. I can talk myself out of things very easily. But I had to do this. My friend kept telling me that every mile we ran was one less mile that someone else had to walk for clean water. That kept me going. There was a greater purpose.
Q. And what kept you going through the 26.2 miles?
A. A weird thing struck me as I was running. I came across an area with what seemed like hundreds of water bottles. Some of them weren’t empty. They were just thrown there like garbage. It made me think about how we take that resource for granted. That gave me what I needed to finish the last 5 miles.
Q. Did Team World Vision’s efforts benefit a particular community?
A. Our village is in Tanzania. They are going to break ground for a well in January or February.
Q. How much money did you raise personally?
A. I raised $1,460 of my $2,000 goal — $50 provides one person with clean water for life. The account stays open until the end of the year. To provide water for 80 people, that would be amazing.
Q. Has reaching this goal given you courage to pursue others?
A. Yes. Now, I know that if I can’t do something, with God’s encouragement, I can. Even the Saturday before the marathon, I was ready to call and tell them I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t have done it alone.
Q. How has the experience changed you?
A. It’s made my faith stronger. I know Christ will get me through things, even when I think I can’t.
Q. Do you now think of yourself as a runner?
A. No. That voice still tells me, “Remember, Angie, you don’t like to run.”