"I ran and ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened.” Wilma Rudolph, polio survivor and Olympic Champion


Mary McManus was a stranger to athletics because she contracted paralytic polio at the age of 5 but she managed to run the 2009 Boston Marathon at the age of 55. When Mary was diagnosed with Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease in December 2006, she decided she was not going to take the diagnosis sitting down. She got still and asked for Divine Guidance. The answer to her prayers came in the form of a poem, "Running the Race." A spigot was turned on in her heart and soul. Poems flowed out of her inspiring mind, body and soul to heal through the power of visualization. In May 2007, Mary took a leap of faith leaving behind her award winning career as a Social Worker at the VA to heal her life from the effects of childhood paralytic polio and severe childhood trauma at the hands of family members.


"Running the Race" foreshadowed her Boston Marathon run despite all appearances to the contrary. As Mary sat in a leg brace, using a cane and a wheelchair for mobility, and having been told to prepare to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair, Mary imagined herself winning a 10K race. Seven hours and 49 minutes after toeing the starting line at Hopkinton, Mary crossed the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon. Mary’s story has inspired thousands with her message of healing, hope and possibility. Out of the rubble of her past, Mary dug deep to discover the treasure of who she was always meant to be. Her Spirit shines with brilliant resilience as she conquered every challenge going the distance on the roads and in her life: a woman transformed from the once devastating effects of polio and trauma to one who embodies the meaning of endurance.


Mary holds a BS in Communications from Boston University, an MSW from Boston College and many fond memories of her veterans and their families who blessed her life when she worked at the VA . She lives in Chestnut Hill Massachusetts with Tom, her husband, her soul mate and the man who has gone the distance with her for the past 40 years.


Welcome to Mary's website! May you find inspiration in your journey and know that you too can go the distance whatever the challenge.

Proud to be a part of Friends of Blue Diamond Athletic Displays, Inc. Worth Checking Out Their medal display adorns the header on this website and showcases my medals. Read my blog about this wonderful company!

If you ride the MBTA in Boston be sure to look for my books, "Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance" and "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life" as part of the BooksontheT program.

David R. Hamilton, Ph.D. is releasing a new edition of his book, "How the Mind Can Heal the Body." Look for it on October 7th. My use of imagination, visualization and poetry to heal the effects of childhood paralytic polio and trauma is one of the healing stories included in this 10th year anniversary edition of his book.

Be sure to listen to my interview with Carl O. Helvie on the Holistic Health Show.

Read my article about running my first Tufts 10K in October 2008, "Running with God."

Follow my adventures on my blog, Going the Distance.

Subscribe to My YouTube Channel.

Purchase my books on Amazon.

Signing coming home

***COMING SOON*** The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953 Celebrating Ten Years of Running