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The True Grit of Abby Prothero
  by Francie Dennison  
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Update February 16, 2014: "Mission accomplished, off the bucket list!!!" Abby informed her parents today. She crossed the finish line in 2 hours and 31 minutes. Way to go Abby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Original Story

You may be planning on snuggling up with your sweetheart this Valentine's weekend, but Frank and Nancy Prothero's adult daughter Abby, who has been riddled with health issues for most of her adult life, plans to mark one more thing off her "Bucket List" and run in the Fort Lauderdale Marathon this weekend.

Abby was born and raised in Port Stanley, went to Arthur Voaden and got her start at the Kettle Creek Canvas Company. She currently runs a canvas company, Island Canvas Inc., in Toronto, working 24/7.

Abby registered to run the Florida State Marathon in Fort Lauderdale, which is a qualifying marathon for the Boston Marathon. "For too many years I have gone down to Fort Lauderdale and enjoyed watching from the side lines and often kicked myself in the ass on the flight home for not getting off my butt and registering for it," Abby informed her parents. "Although registering for it is the easy part; that is just a piece of paper. The training which I started back in November is very involved. I generally run 16 kms on Sundays, then on rotating days of the week it goes to higher and lower distances with rotating days of strength training with a trainer at the gym. I have learned an awful lot about the whole process and I have learned a lot about my own abilities."

"Since I was in my early 20's, I have had this doctor and that doctor telling me I shouldn't do this or I shouldn't do that, and I think I have just reached an age that if I don't do it now, I never will," she continued. "That's not to say I am going against the advice of doctors and just doing this; in fact, not a lot of doctors will give their blessing to the average healthy person to run a marathon, as they don't want to be involved in any underlying undiagnosed problems that could arise by the intense workout on the body."

Abby is not trying to beat any timing records. Her goal is to complete the last of her training this week, and then get to the start line with some 7,000 other runners and get to where she gets to. "Crossing the finish line would be nice, but getting as far as I have gotten so far has been a huge success. I feel stronger and healthier than I have in 10 years. I have spent the better part of 3 months completely changing my diet and getting up at 5:00 a.m. for training. I feel very strongly about doing this and ticking it off my list of things I have wanted to do. It has been a great learning curve, and with the absolute crappy weather we have had this winter, it has given me something to keep me from getting the winter blues that seems to have caught up with everyone else."

"We think there is some family history of persistence towards goals that are over and above the usual," said her parents. "Abby has already accomplished an amazing amount and we are glad to hear that she can set new goals that the average person would never dream of. We do not need to wish her success in this endeavour because she has already achieved it, but we will be cheering for her."

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