Marathon runner raises awareness for Parkinson’s disease

Photo courtesy of woolmark.com

By Shayna Scott
BU News Service

BOSTON – While most people are sleeping at 3:30 am, 25-year-old rug designer Anka Tezcan got up in the pitch black to begin his rigorous workouts in preparation for the Boston Marathon. For a former semi-pro soccer player with previous injuries, his seven-day workout routine and focus is intense.

Tezcan is running the Boston Marathon for a cause. He is running for his father who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Tezcan wanted to do what he can for the man he looks up to.

He is running the Marathon on behalf of Team Fox, a group created by actor Michael J. Fox who also suffers from Parkinson’s disease. The organization is dedicated to helping fund research for the disease.

Tezcan isn’t just determined to complete the race, but his drive has manifested into impressive fundraising skills. So far, Tezcan has raised $25,740, the highest amount raised by an individual for Team Fox.

Tezcan grew up as an only child with his two parents in the suburbs of New York City. He began running in middle school to get in shape so he could perform well during soccer season. He continued playing soccer throughout high school and played on a club team during his undergraduate career at Dartmouth College.

Tezcan continued to run throughout his soccer career, but once he completed his first triathlon about two years ago he became hooked by the running, swimming and biking aspect.

Photo courtsey of Anka Tezcan

After his time at Dartmouth, he followed in his father’s footsteps and pursued a career as a semi-pro soccer player. He moved to Switzerland and played on a fourth division team, but when he returned home to the United States for the summer, he became injured. When Tezcan was diagnosed with tendinitis, he started physical therapy but wanted to remain active so he tried alternative sports such as biking and swimming.

During that time, Tezcan developed a passion for biking and swimming. Once he recovered he wanted to start training for triathlons.

His former college roommate from Dartmouth, Alexander Steele describes Tezcan as a “dream chaser.”

Steele has seen Tezcan through his triumphs and challenges as an athlete. Originally, Tezcan wanted to be recruited from Dartmouth to play soccer, but instead he got accepted to the college on his own without an athletic scholarship.

During his freshman year, he trained hard for many months just to get a tryout for the soccer team. Tezcan didn’t get the spot he was hoping for, but instead he took it as an opportunity to play for the club soccer team where he thrived.

Tezcan was running on the treadmill and sent Steele a text last week asking, “How many more miles more than 26 should I run?” Steele knows Tezcan’s mindset and he would run any number of miles that he said, so he replied back “Do another 26.”

That is when he texted his other best friend from high school and mental coach Mark Glicini asking him for a quote to help fuel him through his first double marathon on a treadmill.

Something Glicini tells Tezcan often is, “if you want a different outcome, you have to do things differently.” 

Photo courtsey of Anka Tezcan

Glicini is a professional lacrosse player and a peak performance trainer who has been by Tezcan’s side through his athletic endeavors. They started off playing little league soccer together, but their friendship didn’t form until their sophomore year in high school. Despite being separated during their four years at college, their bond has only gotten stronger. 

Not only is Tezcan a motivated and disciplined person, he is obsessed with chasing the best version of himself.

“I love that there aren’t any limits as to what we can do,” said Tezcan.

The Boston Marathon is just the start of Tezcan’s race agenda for 2019. Once the race is over, he plans to run a half marathon in May and to compete in two Ironman Triathlons in June and July. In August, Tezcan will take his athletic ability overseas and complete in an eight-day Ultramarathon race through the Alps.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.