When strength, not speed, wins the race

Jun 27, 2014

The Allegretti home gym is a sacred place. It’s where Carl Allegretti, chairman and CEO of Deloitte Tax LLP, blows off steam by bench-pressing 260 pounds. It’s where his youngest son, Nicky, prepares for games as a starting lineman on his high school football team. It’s also the gym where the Allegretti’s oldest son, Joey, battled back from leukemia. “This is where we rebuilt Joey,” said Carl. “He would have chemotherapy in the morning and then come here to lift in the afternoon.”

A Strong, Personal Commitment

The regimen that Joey tackled in the home gym, under the watchful eye of Carl, Nicky and mom, Tammy, supplemented the care he received at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. As a show of thanks, Carl decided to raise money for the institution by running the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. He raised $81,000 that year for the hospital.

Carl’s efforts earned him the first-ever Richard M. and Maggie Daley Award in 2011. The award is given to the marathon participant who raises the most funds for charity. Most of the funds he raised were a personal gift, said Carl, who prefers it that way. “When they save your son’s life, it makes it pretty easy to give back,” he said.

Tunnel Vision

For the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Carl raised a total of $150,000 for the hospital. His family is ready to see the 52-year-old, former college football player hang up his marathon shoes, but Carl keeps on running. “I’m not a good runner, but I love going out there and doing the best I can,” he said.

Carl and his family are guided by a message painted on the wall of their home gym, “Tunnel Vision.”

“Every step hurts,” said Carl, “But it’s all about giving back. That’s what motivates me to run.” He offers these words of wisdom to fellow runners: “Whatever has motivated you to run and collect money, it’s got to be important to you so don’t stop, don’t quit, finish the race.”

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