Her NYC Marathon Story

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Kathleen Adonolfi, 38, is a speech pahtologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Queens. She lives in Bayside and ran her first New York City Marathon this year. She began running seriously eight years ago, mostly along the path next to the Cross Island Expressway.
Three weeks before the big race, Adonolfi (c.) trains in Flushing Meadows Corona Park with Jenny Hwang, a blind runner who has competed in four marathons this year alone. A member of the Achilles International, a running group that guides disabled runners, Adonolfi never considered doing a marathon until last year. That’s when she ran half the race with a woman who’d been brain injured in an accident. “She really inspired me,” she says. Additionally, in the days before the race, Adonolfi raised $5,000 in pledges for the Achilles runners program.
Three days before the race, Kathleen goes shopping for pasta — and a good sauce — for the carbohydrate-loaded meals she'll have to eat before the marathon.
Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City is about halfway through the 26.2-mile chase, so that's where Kathleen's rooting section of friends and co-workers gathers to cheer her on.
She started at 11 a.m. and finished at 4:40 p.m. And all she has to show for it is that medal, a mylar blanket and a smile that says it’s finally over.
Kathleen’s watch at the end of the race delivers the final verdict: five hours, 40 minutes and a little extra distance for a short, mid-race detour to use a friend’s bathroom.

“Set a plan. Follow the plan.”

That’s the simple formula Kathleen Adonolfi when she decided a year ago to run in the New York City Marathon for the first time.

The 38-year-old speech pathologist from Bayside has been running seriuously since 2009.

“But there is a big difference in running and running a marathon,” she said.

A volunteer for Achilles International, the group that aids handicapped runners in competitive races, Kathleen ran the second half of last year’s NYC Marathon with a young woman who had suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident.

“It inspired me,” she said. “If they could do it, so can I. I wanted to be a part of this.”

We followed Kathleen through her final few weeks of training leading up to last Sunday’s race through the five boroughs.

Here’s a glimpse of her journey.

Updated 3:23 pm, November 9, 2017
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Reader feedback

Ricardo from Jackson Heights, Queens NY says:
Congratulations Kathleen!
Thank you so much for all your support!
Nov. 11, 2017, 9:41 pm

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