CHICAGO — When Nicholas Amigoni says he views running as a way to see the world, he means it.
The Uptown periodontist has run 63 marathons, including at least one in all 50 states. The 59-year-old also finished 26.2-mile events in Tokyo, Berlin and London. His goal is to complete marathons on all seven continents — yes, there are marathons in Antarctica.
And he's done all this since 2008. He started running that year to lose weight — at the time the 6-foot-1 Amigoni weighed 215 pounds; he's now 175. He began with a one-mile jog on a treadmill, followed by three miles of walking. The one-mile runs became two, then three and four. He then took his runs outside, building up mileage on the Lakefront Trail.
He signed up for the Chicago Distance Classic half-marathon in August 2008 and when he finished, Amigoni said he "was hooked" on the sport.
His first marathon came less than a year later at Disney World, and Amigoni finished in an impressive 3:33:14, about an 8-minute-mile pace. In the seven years since, he's crossed 62 more marathon finish lines, in every single state, including four times at Boston. In January, he completed the 50-state challenge in Maui.
"Running has been a big part of my life," said Amigoni, who averages about 200 miles a month.
Amigoni travels extensively and has run in Turkey and in Cape Town, South African and in a fenced-in portion of a game preserve. He's planning a marathon in Cuba in November, hopefully one in South America next year, with other continents to be determined.
When he's in Chicago during the summer, Amigoni runs with the Clocktower Runners group, which starts at Marovitz Golf Course clocktower and heads north or south on the Lakefront Trail.
And when he runs now, Amigoni thinks of his younger sister, Mary, who died in 2014 from breast cancer at age 50. Mary had been one of his biggest supporters during his Boston runs. He finished the Boston Marathon last year in her honor, adding a "For Mary" stitching to his event jacket.
"Mary's memory is what motivates me now," he said.
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