Thursday, September 29, 2011

SPOTLIGHT: Richard Maciejowski

Each week we will be picking members to spotlight to tell their Alzheimer's story and why they are running in this year's New York City marathon. Check in each Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday for new updates on who will be spotlighted and get to know your teammates...(each person is picked at random)

I started running in 2010 and never thought I would be able to run a Marathon, I had participated in team sports my whole life and running was never appealing to me. I began running to get into better shape and it with each passing week I wanted to tack on more miles. I began participating in NYRR race’s with my brother, who has been running since High School, and started to really get into it. We decided to enter the marathon lottery together (there is about a 10% chance of being selected through the lottery I think.) He was selected, I was not. I was actually kind of relieved that I wasn’t going to have to undertake the rigorous training I knew it would take to run the marathon! A few weeks after the lottery I spoke to my boss, Anne McBride, about the marathon and she mentioned her relationship with Lou-Ellen Barkan and encouraged me to pursue getting a spot on team R2R. I decided to apply to the team and was so thrilled to be accepted. At first, my reasons for getting on the team were very selfish, the fact that I could raise money for a charity was in the back of my mind. My feelings changed when I joined the first team meeting by phone and heard all of the stories from my teammates about running for a loved one, I thought it was very inspirational. I decided that the least I could do was teach myself about Alzheimer’s so that I could truly have a connection with the disease while I trained to raise money for the Association. I quickly learned that almost everyone I spoke to was related to or knew someone afflicted by the disease., including myself. I had a conversation with my mother 2 months ago and found out that my grandfather, who is 86, has started to show signs of dementia as he has gotten older. Now, I can truly say that running and raising money with him in my mind has made the long runs enjoyable. I’m so happy I was able to find my way to the team!

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