The Distance She'll Go
By: Stephanie Milot
Name: Katie Gibson
Although she lives over 3,000 miles away, Katie Gibson, 26, is no stranger to New York City. Katie, a resident of Derby, England will be running her fourth ING New York City Marathon on November 6, 2011.
In 2010, Katie took the first step to fundraising for the 2011 marathon by picking a charity. "When I was looking up charities to run for," says Katie, "I searched charities that had to do with disabilities, each supporting research and the quality of life." She found the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to be the perfect fit.
A charitable past
She also pushed herself to run 33 miles on a treadmill for Get Kids Going, a charity in the UK. The charity's goal is to supply sports wheelchairs for disabled children. "I feel incredibly lucky to have the benefit to be able to run and make a difference to other people," says Katie, "it means a lot to me."
Katie's workout routine consists of running four to five-days-per-week, including running with her puppy, core workouts, and speed training once per week. She is self-motivated to constantly test her running abilities. "The easier the distance gets," says Katie, "the harder I push myself." She also has a personal trainer named Wai Ling Shin who checks her progress every Thursday.
"I've never not finished it," says Katie, "but in terms of speed, I've not had a good time yet in New York, so it means a lot to me to train hard and run faster." Her goal for the 2011 marathon is to finish around four and a half hours. "But if I can get under four hours," says Katie, "I'll be ecstatic!"
The amazing city
Additional support at the 2011 marathon will come from Emily Cowling, Katie's sister. In 2009, Katie's trainer Wai Ling Shin ran with Emily so that Katie could race, and in 2010 Emily was a spectator, as she will be this year. Last year, Emily sent her motivational text messages throughout the marathon reading, ‘Run faster. Run harder.' "She was my personal trainer by mobile phone," jokes Katie.
It's a piece of cake
From her past fundraising success, Katie not only recommends gaining sponsorship through local charity events, such as cake sales, but also through the power of the Internet. "Social media is a great way to get your friends to support you and donate," she says, "and it goes straight to the charity."
Distance is not a measure of closeness
Despite the physical distance, Katie stays connected to the Reeve Foundation through the Internet. She reads up-to-date information about the Foundation through emails, weekly newsletters, and the Facebook page.
The benefits of running
"I really do love to run, and everyone thinks it's amazing that I can run a marathon, but I think it's amazing that people who don't like to run still put themselves through all that just for charity," says Katie. "If I can do it and I love to do it, I might as well do some good with it as well."
If you would like to support Katie Gibson and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, check out Katie's donation page.
You can also check out Katie's blog to read more about her marathon preparation.