“It was an amazing experience.”
That’s what Warwick’s Kristin Jedziniak reported after running and finishing her very first marathon last Sunday - the New York City Marathon.
“It’s one giant party in all of New York City,” Jedziniak said. “All for us runners.”
Jedziniak, a night nurse at Maria Ferrari Children’s Hospital, ran as part of a team with other Westchester Medical Center employees to raise money for their various hospitals. She started her running journey after her first bout with breast cancer 10 years ago. She’s beat it twice. Her experience as a breast cancer patient partly inspired her to change careers and become a nurse.
Jedziniak herself raised more than $3,500 for Maria Ferrari Children’s Hospital.
Sunday morning was a perfect day for a marathon with temperatures at 45 degrees in the city and clear skies.
“It was a beautiful day for a run,” Jedziniak noted. “I felt so loved. The encouragement from complete strangers was truly uplifting.”
Jedziniak said she read a quote somewhere and kept repeating it to herself while she ran. Paraphrasing, it said if you doubt there is love in this world, run a marathon.
Her favorite part of the marathon, though, was when she saw familiar faces.
“My favorite part of the marathon was seeing my family at mile 15/16, coming off the 59th Street Bridge,” she said. “I saw the signs my son and his friend made and was so thrilled to see them all.”
She paused for a few quick high fives and was on her way with another 10 miles in front of her. She saw other friends along the way holding signs, wearing T-shirts and cheering her on.
The New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world with tens of thousands hitting the pavement through all five boroughs. This was the 49th running of the marathon, which began in 1970 with 125 starters and 55 finishers. The inaugural race was held totally in Central Park.
Jedziniak crossed the finish line in Central Park 5 hours and 45 minutes after starting the race on Staten Island. She was one of 53,629 total finishers, and one of the 22,742 women who finished.
Running 26.2 miles is no easy task. Jedziniak said her feet were sore and her legs ached a bit but nothing too bad.
Might she attempt it again? She’s not ruling it out.
“Prior to the run I swore I wouldn’t do it again. I was one and done,” she said. “I’m reconsidering that now.”