Recent News

Runner Helps Celebrate 40 Years

March 13, 2017

Tony Sigmund to run marathon course for 40 days to raise money for Prayers From Maria

On May 21, participants, volunteers and spectators will celebrate the 40th running of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. If all goes well, it will also mark the 40th consecutive day that Tony Sigmund puts rubber to the pavement on the course that winds throughout Cleveland.

Sigmund, who hails from Lakewood, Ohio, will alternate between running a 10K and full marathon along the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Course for the 39 days leading up to the big event. On marathon day, he will tackle the course for the 40th time amidst more than 15,000 other runners and walkers. He’s attempting the feat to raise money for Prayers From Maria Children’s Glioma Cancer Foundation.

“I know it may sound crazy, but this allows me to combine two things that I’m very passionate about: the Cleveland Marathon and raising money for charity,” said Sigmund. “I hope other runners will join me for part or all of my daily runs. Prayers From Maria isn’t the only one that needs support!”

A personal trainer and active rehabilitation therapist, Sigmund has had both hips replaced in the past three years. He also ran the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon course for 27 consecutive days in 2004 as a fundraiser for various charities.

“Tony is a great guy. He’s a longtime supporter of the Cleveland Marathon and committed to giving back to the community,” said Ralph Staph, race director of Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. “Running a 10K or full marathon every day for 40 consecutive days is a daunting task, but if anyone can do it, it’s Tony.”

A full schedule of when Sigmund will be running the course will be coming soon. His quest starts April 12 and continues until his final run on race day. He’s inviting fellow Cleveland runners to tag along or find a charity that they feel passionate about to support in their own way. More information about Sigmund’s fundraising efforts can be found here:

The Prayers From Maria Foundation was founded in inspiration of Maria McNamara. Maria was enjoying life, taking dance lessons and playing with her brothers, when she was suddenly diagnosed with one of the deadliest and least understood childhood brain tumors. While Maria was receiving treatment at St. Jude, she made many new friends who were fighting just like she was. Maria started praying for them every night, hoping the doctors would find a way to make them better.

Those prayers continued until her own battle ended a year later on July 14, 2007. Maria’s selfless simple prayers became an inspiration that ignited a Movement. Those prayers of hope live on today through the Prayers From Maria Foundation and its annual 50-acre sunflower field, Maria’s Field of Hope. To date, Prayers From Maria has announced over $1 million in grants to fund the most meaningful and groundbreaking childhood brain cancer studies.

For more information about Prayers From Maria, Maria’s Field of Hope, and its impact on childhood brain tumor research, visit

For the past several years, the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon has hosted more than 15,000 participants each year for its weekend events, and race organizers are expecting a similar number this year. Caps will be in place for all of the races, and runners and walkers are encouraged to register early to avoid a sold-out race.

One of the 50 oldest races in the country, the 2017 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon will take place May 20-21. The following opportunities are available for people to participate in the event: full marathon, half marathon, 10K, 8K, 5K and Kids' Run. All events feature a walking division. Online registration, rates and further information are available at