Chicago nun becomes 1st woman to complete treadmill marathon, raises over $94K for West Humboldt Park Mission

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago nun has become the first woman to run a complete marathon on a treadmill. She accomplished the feat to raise money for her Mission.

Sister Stephanie Baliga of the Mission of our Lady of the Angels set out to run the 26.2 stationary miles after the Chicago Marathon was canceled. She said she's been running since she was 9 years old and ran in high school and college.

So far, she's raised over $94,000 for the West Humboldt Park organization.

"It became this incredible, beautiful fundraising experience," Baliga said. "I had a great time."

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She was able to see people from all throughout her life via Zoom as she completed the run in just over three and a half hours.

The money will go to the community, whose need is extraordinarily great right now, she said.

"We are so grateful for the prayers, donations, and other incredible ways of support," the Mission said.

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Sister Stephanie Baliga and Sister Alicia Torres are fundraising to pay for renovations to the Mission of Our Lady School building in Chicago's West Humboldt Park neighborhood.



Baliga wanted to thank Deena Kastor, her childhood and college hero -- and bronze medalist in the 2004 Olympic Marathon -- for joining her for the final mile, and Coach PJ Weiland for turning the event "from Sr. Stephanie running a marathon on a treadmill with a boom box in her basement to a multimedia and incredible international event."

Visit www.olagiving.com to donate to Beliga's cause and www.missionola.com for more information.
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