By Cynthia Martinez
Associate Director of Youth Ministry
Three years ago, I challenged myself and trained hard for my first half-marathon. I remember being so afraid of what it meant to train for 13.1 miles. I had only participated in one race which was a corporate 5K race back in 2002. Though I consider myself pretty fit, training for pavement pounding week after week takes a lot of will power and discipline. Nevertheless, I can proudly say that I am the owner of four medals, each one representing the different half-marathons I have completed in the past three years.
“New York City is my track” is the motto I have embraced. Ever since I began running, Riverside Drive and the West Side Highway have become my training grounds. One of the best experiences during my training was getting access to all of the sights in Central Park, Ft. Tryon and the Cloisters. Who can even feel exhausted when there is so much beauty to explore?
I have to thank the “Runner’s High” I heard so much about, for getting me to where I am now. Once I completed my first race, and the subsequent ones, I knew that one of my goals was to eventually run the full marathon. The year that I ran my first half-marathon, I had also ran to fundraise for an organization that works to help young girls develop healthy lifestyle and self-respect, in order to reduce the numbers of eating disorders and teen pregnancy.
When I wasn’t accepted to the ING New York City Marathon through their lottery system, I knew that I would still do it for a charity. I found out about Team Catholic Charities NY through a friend, and when I did the research, my heart leapt – I knew I had to try to get on this team. As I learned in my previous experience in running for charity, when I am running for a good cause, I am fueled to train even harder, because I know people are counting on me. As I train, it means so much more to me that my own physical endurance will in the end provide physical aid to those who need it most.
As the Associate Director of Catholic Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of New York, it is an honor to run for Catholic Charities, who has a longstanding tradition of putting others FIRST and treating them with the dignity that they deserve. I have personally worked with Catholic Charities, and for me it means that I am not only running for an organization – I am running for my family.
- Support Cynthia’s fundraising goal for Catholic Charities and cheer her on as she trains for the 2012 ING NYC Marathon.