Ultramathoner’s race breeds victory and unexpected results


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – We don’t find our pet, our pet finds us, right?

That’s never been more true for Francesca Muccini. The Belmont professor and ultramathoner found more than success in her races, she also found family.

“It takes a little bit of insanity, I have to admit,” she said. “But you want to push yourself and see how much you can give.”

As it turns out, she has a lot to give. In early July, Muccini ran 314 miles across the state of Tennessee.

“No you don’t sleep. It depends on how you approach the race, but I didn’t sleep more than a hour and a half.”

Pushing through the pain and lack of sleep paid off. Muccini ran the Vol State Road Race in just under 83 hours, breaking the previous female record held by her of 100 hours.

“When you run longer races, you’re not racing with other runners, of course that’s part of the game, but it’s mostly about your own race, your individual goal, your determination and your will power.”

Although she did win the race against herself and every other female competing, she also ran faster than a lot of male runners. Muccini posted the third fastest time ever male or female.

“I felt an extreme pride being a female among those guys.”

Running has brought Muccini a sense of calm in her life, but a few years ago at this very race, it brought her something unexpected.

“All of a sudden, I saw this dog approaching me, running with me. So somebody called animal control and they took her away, but she had already run like maybe 5 or 6 miles with me.”

The story is just beginning.

“I just couldn’t stop thinking about that dog so I asked my husband, let’s just call the shelter in Jasper and see what happened to that dog. So we called and they said she’s there, nobody claimed her. So, we drove to Jasper and we adopted her and she’s just the sweetest, the best dog I’ve ever had.”

Despite a preference to run alone and with no music or distractions, Muccini said her dog, Scialla, runs at least once a week with her.

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