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17. Marco Li

When Marco Li noticed he was always one of the last runners to finish Elementary School XC races, he was so determined to improve, he started running every day when school ended. Two years later, he won the TCDSB XC Boys race and the rest is history. Or so he thought.

Marco had some success in High School and eventually attended Queen’s University, making the travelling XC and track teams. While Marco’s times his first year at university were nothing to brag about, he was once again determined to improve. Over the Summer, Marco ran 25 kilometers every day and, when he returned to Queens as a sophomore, Marco was one of the top two runners on the team. Marco would ultimately suffer stress fractures in his shins, ending his running career.

Every day after school I’d go and practice and run to get faster and faster because I didnt want to finish last and…a year or two later, I won the TCDSB XC Senior Boys race in grade 8 and I kind of fell in love with it

Marco Li

More than 10 years would pass before Marco would return to sports, only this time, it was road cycling and cycle cross where he competed on the pro circuit for a period of time before he and his wife started a family; realizing he no longer had the time to compete, Marco started running again.

Marco’s return to running was a series of fortuitous circumstances. Initially, Marco ran as a teacher in the TDSB, while his students trained for XC races and eventually he would get introduced to Seanna Robinson, founder of the Lower East Siders run club in Toronto. From there, his journey would take him to MB Performance, Black Lungs, and eventually, to his latest training partner, Lyndsay Tessier. 

Marco’s success as a runner is astonishing and his journey is a lesson in grit and determination.

To learn more about Marco, you can follow him on Instagram at: @_ocramli_


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