Angela Tortorice ('89) needed something to help her get through her divorce.
She took up running as a way to work through the challenges that come with life.
That activity turned into something more as she decided to train and run her first marathon after learning about John Tortorice, her former husband, being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Since then, she kept going with what would become a 25-year journey of running marathons and raising money to find a cure for MS.
All of those years led her to earning a Guinness Book World Record for "Most Marathons Calendar Year – Female" and something more.
"I have met so many lifelong friends along the way and the accomplishment of being the first woman in the USA to complete 1,000 marathons was just an added bonus," Tortorice says.
When Tortorice first came to UNT, her original intent was to study in the College of Music. But after personally seeing how competitive it was, she decided to go in another direction.
She chose to pursue a degree in accounting instead and learned quickly that it was a great career path that was in high demand.
Along with learning about taxes, auditing, internal controls and studying for her certified public accountant exam, Tortorice played tennis with members of the UNT tennis team and was a member of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls.
Not only did she like that the campus is centrally located in DFW, but she also has cherished memories from her time in college – from the friends she made along the way to gaining financial independence because of her career choice.
In 1989, she graduated with a bachelor's of science degree in accounting control systems and became a certified public accountant.
She went on to work as a CPA in DFW and is currently an accounting specialist for TXU Energy, where she has been an employee for over 25 years.
During her career, she continued to maintain a healthy lifestyle and routine to train for marathons – from waking up at 5 a.m. to get in a run before work to working out during her lunch break.
"The key is making it a habit by doing it at the same time every day, plus you know you will feel better when you are done," Tortorice says. "Working out not only boosts your energy, but also improves your mood and your health."
Tortorice has even taken it upon herself to compose a biking team at TXU Energy in the fight against MS.
"I put on marathons for MS and also lead the TXU Energy bike MS team," Tortorice says. "The TXU Energy team has raised over $1.3 million and I have personally raised over $170K."
All of her hard work and training have led her to achieving the impossible.
On April 2, Tortorice ran her way to completing her 1,000th marathon at this year's Irving Marathon, where she crossed the finish line at the Toyota Music Factory.
"I never imagined when I started this, I would achieve it, but about a year ago I began to see that it was possible," Tortorice says.
According to the world mega marathon list, she is now the first female in the U.S.A. and the youngest female in the world to reach this achievement.
She's looking forward to keep that streak going and hopes to complete another "Ironman" triathlon. But for now, Tortorice is proud of herself of what she has accomplished and hopes to spread that courage to other women around the country.
"I think it is pretty nifty that not only did I receive the record for the most marathons calendar year in the female category, which is 129, but I am super proud to lead the ladies in the USA for the most in our country," Tortorice says.