Pine Valley teacher completes all six major world marathons

Posted at 11:21 AM, Jun 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 11:27:04-04

Pine Valley sixth grade teacher Jennifer Donato recently joined some pretty elite company. When she's not in the classroom, Donato is usually running, a hobby she picked up a few years ago. In April Donato did something less than 1,000 people have ever done -- finishing her sixth and final major world marathon in London.

The other major marathons include Boston, New York, Chicago, Berlin, and Tokyo. Donato finished them all.

"Sometimes I think about it and I'm like I guess it is a big deal," Donato said with a smile. "They were dreams in my head that oh, someday I'll do that, but I've actually done them and to think about is like wow, I did it."

Her passion for running is front and center in the classroom. Everywhere you look, signs of encouragement from her students, pictures of the cities she's traveled to and stickers that read '26.2'. Not bad for someone who never thought she'd be able to do a marathon, let alone the six most prestigious road races in the world.

"A friend of mine, I was running with her one day and we were like, oh, we should do a marathon. Kind of crazy talk, and we did and I don't know, I didn't want to do another one after that one."

Despite a hectic few months filled with travel and running, Donato isn't stopping anytime soon. Just last weekend she finished the Buffalo Marathon, but the highlight of her weekend wasn't crossing the finish line -- It was watching some of her students from Pine Valley finish the Buffalo Marathon 5K.

"I try to tell the kids, first of all about goal setting, I want them to see that anything is possible in life if they put their mind to it."