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64-year-old stroke survivor will make the Hogeye Marathon her 544th marathon

Maria Bartoletti will run her 544th marathon before running in the Boston marathon, in less than a week.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Saturday, April 9, at 7 a.m. around 1,500 runners will fill downtown Springdale for the 46th annual Hogeye Marathon. Among the thousands of runners is a woman from Pittsburgh who's planning on running her 544th marathon.

Marie Bartoletti is 64-year-old is a stroke survivor. She took the opportunity to run on the Hogeye Marathon over another one out of state. This will be her 27th year running marathons.

"My first marathon was in 1995,” said Bartoletti.

The Pittsburgh Marathon was her first marathon. She completed it after several other small running competitions.

"I did 5k,” said Bartoletti. “It's hard to do."

However, it made her want to run more.

"I did one last week,” Bartoletti said. “And two marathons in a row, Saturday and Sunday."

As of now, she has completed 543 marathons running 14,226 race miles, which is the equivalent of running more than halfway around the world.

The Hogeye will be her 544th. She's a pacer, meaning, she regularly runs marathons on a set time. She'll run the Hogeye in five hours. Bartoletti will be easy to spot because she’ll be outdoors with bunny ears.

“It makes me feel good," Bartoletti said

That's why she kept running, even after her stroke in 2015.

"6 years ago, on Thanksgiving Day," said Bartoletti.

Her doctor says if she wasn't in such good health, she would not be alive. So, she keeps running.

"223 marathons since the stroke,” said Bartoletti.

The Hogeye Marathon will start on Emma Avenue and take runners past the city's five major parks and will include a portion of the Lake Fayetteville trail.

The course will be run primarily on Springdale streets, but sections will run through Johnson and Fayetteville, and a small portion of the 26.2-mile course will take place on the Razorback Greenway.

“The only road going to be closed all day is Emma Ave.,” said Holmes. “From Spring St. all the way up to about Shiloh will be closed all day.”

Organizers also say, to expect about 10-minute delays as they work to get runners throughout the course.

The Hogeye Marathon is asking for donations for those impacted by last week’s EF-3 tornado.

“We’re collecting old running shoes,” said Holmes. “Shoes gently worn, clothes and shoes for tornado victims.”

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