Greater Philadelphia Track Club

Mike Fanelli 1956 – 2023


It is with deep sadness that we note the passing of our long-time club member and generous sponsor Michael Fanelli. Following is a note from his wife Renay.

Dear Friends & Family,
It is with unbearable sadness that I share with you that Michael has passed away from brain cancer, at home, surrounded by loved ones. While he was a public figure in many ways, he was also a very private person. Because of that, he chose not to share his diagnosis broadly, preferring to live his life as if he was living, not dying.

A little over a year ago, Michael was diagnosed with glioblastoma. Nevertheless, he faced this journey in the same way he approached all he did in life: with determination, discipline, dignity, and optimism. As a coach, he often told runners to divide the race into thirds: “Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the final third, with your heart.” In many ways, it’s how he took on his illness. 

Through it all, he continued to do the things he loved, including running, of course. In October, he achieved his goal of reaching 115,000 miles run, the equivalent of traversing 4 times around the world. As many of you know, mentoring and coaching were lifetime passions of Michael’s. He truly believed that the world was a place of abundance and wanted to share that with others. And in the process, he had the privilege of influencing and inspiring so many along the way.

For Michael, the magic happened when pushed outside his comfort zone. In a podcast a few years ago, he said, “As long as I can come across the finish line…knowing that I couldn’t possibly have run one iota faster, that to me, that’s satisfying.”


Mike Fanelli, ,