Member Spotlight: Kathryn Gazso

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2015 TCS New York City Marathon!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I love running on the Bronx River Path — it’s meandering and quiet and shady! Since I started training with TFK for the marathon, I’ve loved getting back into the city to run. Central Park is exciting – it’s the complete opposite of my home path – and so it provides a different level of motivation and fun.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I only run with music when I run by myself. Otherwise, Amy and I spend most of our run talking. Our husbands tell us that if we’d just “shut up” we’d finish a lot quicker.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
The first thing I do after a run is have a glass of chocolate milk. I love the stuff, but I am probably the worst person to ask since I don’t eat any one thing after a run. A few times I’ve gone out to the local bagel shop to grab a sandwich- they make the best healthy chicken salad — it’s filled with chicken, Craisins, and apples. It’s awesome on a multi-grain flagel.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I ran on and off after college, though once I had my children, taking care of myself wasn’t the top priority. When my father-in-law got sick in February 2012, it was a tough time for our family. I needed time to think, so I downloaded the Couch 2 5K app on my phone. Another mom in town (Amy Fraley, another TFKer) found out I was running and asked to join me. We ran a 5K together. Then she started encouraging us to run farther. We ran the More Half Marathon together in April 2013 (which was my first, her second) and a few others after that. I was hooked on running, and I had a new friend!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Before long runs or races, I lay everything out the night before. I even have a post-it note on the kitchen door reminding me of everything I need to bring with me so I don’t forget anything. I’ve also been eating the same thing every Friday night (or night before the long run) since July (chicken, broccoli, and pasta). I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before every long run; I’ll probably have one with me on 11/1.

Why did you choose to run this event?
When I first started teaching 18 years ago, my students interviewed me for the school newspaper. Their question to me: What is one goal you have in life? I quickly responded, “To run the NYC marathon.” I had watched marathons before – throughout college (in Boston) & living on the Upper East Side (after college). I was always inspired by the runners, and I just wanted to follow in their footsteps someday.

Amy & I tried to enter through the lottery this year, deciding now was the time. We didn’t get lottery entry, but decided this was what we really wanted to do. We thought a lot about which charity — because I work with kids, I loved TFKs mission. I work at a school where students are fortunate to have plenty of opportunities to be involved in athletics, and I see the positive impact it has on them. I was happy that achieving my goal would help so many students.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I grew up just outside the city in Yonkers, and I live there now with my husband, 2 children (Owen and Ava), and dog. I’ve been a high school English teacher for 18 years (the last 14 in an all-girls school), and I honestly LOVE what I do. Working with kids is a gift, so I was excited to have the opportunity to do something like this FOR KIDS. I do love to do service work — I’ve traveled to Mississippi and the Dominican Republic to build homes and work in schools, and I’ve worked with Habitat for Humanity in Yonkers too. It’s important for me to teach my own children the importance of serving others and giving back to the community.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
What excites me most? The whole thing, honestly. I cannot wait to start that climb up the Verrazano – I get chills just thinking about it — or beginning that descent from the Bronx onto Fifth Avenue. I love that I’m running alongside my friend (we’ve promised to cross the finish line together). And as someone who has always been committed to service work, I’m excited that I can engage in a project that serves kids. And running with TFK was the best decision I could have made — it is the most amazing, supportive group of runners out there. We’ve really been each others cheerleaders for 5 months now.

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