A Sound Mind in a Sound Body

Andy Tallevi has participated in the Half Marathon of the Mississauga Marathon every year since 2009. Andy is 63 years young and has an incredible personal goal. Since 1983, Andy has been running upwards of 1,000km every year, and on September 4th, 2022, he will be achieving his goal of running 40,000km (the earth’s circumference at the equator) after 40 years.

Running has helped Andy in many ways in his life. He strongly believes in the motto, ‘Anima Sana In Corporum Sano’ meaning ‘A Sound Mind In A Sound Body,’ which has helped him in difficult times. “I encourage everyone to dedicate themselves to a lifetime of regular physical fitness, running or whichever exercise you choose. When you get to a certain age, you realize how immensely important this is,” says Andy.

Throughout high school and university, Andy focused on his studies. Majoring in Science at university left Andy with a demanding course load that left Andy with barely any time for exercise. Andy realized that exercise was what he was missing. After reflecting on the fun times he had playing hockey and soccer with his friends as a child, he promised to get back into the routine of physical exercise. Andy began cycling with his friends every Sunday and covered many miles in and around the GTA. He then decided to get into running and was in shock when he realized that he could barely complete five laps on an outdoor track, despite all the regular cycling exercise he had been getting. He was determined to improve, and over the course of the year, Andy worked his way up to logging 1,000km and ran his first 10K race.

Completing this gave him a great sense of accomplishment, but he found running a challenging sport to stay motivated in. Different people have different ways of motivating themselves to complete a task, and had it not been for an ad he saw on television about the 1983 New York City Marathon, Andy may have never put on his running shoes again. Andy’s passion for running was ignited upon watching Rod Dixon and Geoff Smith (among the top marathoners of that time) strategically plan to win the prestigious NYC Marathon. Smith led that race almost the entire way while Dixon held back and slowly “reeled” in Smith, meter by meter, only to dash past him in the last 100m and win the race.

I’ll miss that ‘fire in the belly’ commitment that got me out of bed at 6:00am on cold snowy -10C days, hitting the road for the next run and logging more miles. After 40 years, it’s become a part of my normal daily life,” Andy says about being close to achieving his goal. As for what’s next for him, Andy wants to encourage others to be as physically and mentally fit as they can by being a mentor to others. He has already inspired his son and daughter to take up running, which they all do together often.