Meet Our 2019 NYC Marathon Runners

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Eddie Bifulco
I’m 30 years old and married what will be 2 years this October. We are fortunate enough to be new parents to a handsome little guy, Vincent, who is 6 months old. I am in the process of becoming a New York State certified crane operator – but have been in the trucking/construction business for 6 years. I had run cross country as a junior high school student but never pursued it past that. I never minded going out for a run but never kept up with it years after. I love to be active whether it’s stuff around the house, out with friends or keeping up with our little guy.

Why is Eddie excited to run for PALS?

When I was first offered the opportunity by Jamie, I knew very little of the organization- once I found out what the true mission was, I felt honored to be a part of such a great team. Knowing we, as a team, will be helping so many families in need is a blessing. When out training, it helps knowing we are all out running for a purpose! That’s why I’m excited to be part of the PALS family.

 

Katie O’Brien
My name is Katie O’Brien, I’m 24 years old and as a first-time marathon runner, I am extremely excited! Growing up, playing sports and running around were in my everyday routine! I played soccer, basketball and lacrosse all throughout high school. I then went on to play Division II lacrosse at Molloy College. My dream was always to partake in the New York City Marathon. I will be running alongside my brother, who like me is also very excited!

Why is Katie excited to run for PALS?

I’m excited to run for PALS because this organization has helped children, adults and families tremendously. To be a part of something so special really is such an honor, and I can’t wait to cross the finish line knowing I achieved such an incredible accomplishment while also supporting and raising awareness of this amazing organization!

Didier Baco
Ran NYC 2018 for PALS as well as 2019 Long Island icebreaker Half and 2019 Long Island marathon. Captain on Gulfstream at Talon Air. Running is my passion while on the road. Always like to explore new trails.

Why is Didier excited to run for PALS?

Great cause. Have a few very good pilot friends who fly for PALS.

 

Alex Kunar
I’ve been running in races for over 5 years now. My passion started when I ran a Spartan Race in Boston. Personally, I never thought I’d be able to run that sort of distance (9 miles). After that, I set goals and milestones each year as the marathon jumped to the top of my bucket list. I completed the Spartan Trifecta in 2015 and have run three half marathons since then. This will be my first marathon and I couldn’t be more excited.I grew up a soccer player with my father as my coach. Naturally running became the most important part of my workouts since that point.A little bit about me: I am a Buyer for an Aerospace company located in Hauppauge. I live in Farmingdale and my family is all located on the island. Being close to them is an important part of my life. The summer is by far the time I cherish the most. Playing beach volleyball, running outdoors, and BBQs with friends is where’s I spend most of my time.

Why is Alex excited to run for PALS?

Running for PALS is an opportunity of a lifetime. To start, they’ve given me a chance to accomplish a goal of mine. More importantly, they help those in need of aid. I didn’t know much about the organization until a few months ago but running with this team means a lot. Running for me is great, but running for a purpose with a committed organization is special.

 

Maja Petricek
I work as a lawyer in an Insurance Company. I am married and have 2 wonderful daughters. I have 6 years of running experience and have run over 7,000 km, 1 marathon (the authentic, in Athens) and more than 15 half marathons. I like nature, hiking, bicycling and I adore travelling with my family and exploring new places. I like helping others as much as I can, and in the last few years I was supporting various organizations through running – Unicef, Wings for Life, an organization that helps people with multiple sclerosis, children with heart disease etc. This year I am running in support of disabled children and of course for PALS 🙂 !

Why is Maja excited to run for PALS?

I am excited to run for PALS in support of all people who need their help and in support of my brother Ivan who is one of PALS volunteers! My brother and I live very far apart and this volunteer work is a way for us to connect and bridge that distance. And of course, it is NYC marathon, with great atmosphere, cheering crowds and I know I will be enjoying it every step of the way!

 

Lauren Boglino
I ran D2 cross country in college. I am currently a special education teacher!

Why is Lauren excited to run for PALS?

I am excited to cross this achievement off of my bucket list for such a great cause.

Ethan Newberry
I am a husband and father with a wonderful, supportive (and growing!) family. I love running (most days) and am looking forward to taking on the challenge of my first marathon, and for a great cause!

Why is Ethan excited to run for PALS?

PALS is an outstanding organization that provides a valuable service to patients and families by supplying flights and ground transportation to get them to the medical treatment they need. I am a big fan of what they do and am proud to be running for PALS.

 

Tracy Sutherlin
I was born and raised in Oklahoma City, graduated from Oklahoma State University, but I now consider myself a Texan. My husband and I relocated to the Dallas area in 2000 for his job and have been here for almost 20 years. I have a 16-year-old daughter and a-18-year old son who just graduated high school. I started running in the mid ’90s, mainly 5K’s and 10K’s, but didn’t start running long distances until after having kids (my quiet time). My first half was the Dallas Half/Full and my first full Marathon was a year later at again the Dallas Marathon. Since then, I’ve run 8 marathons including Boston this last April. I’ve been running with my two best friends since 2012 and they’ve been what’s kept me going. We now try to run one marathon a year and make it a destination race/girls weekend. They are both running NYC and one of them, Scottie is running with PALS as well:)

Why is Tracy excited to run for PALS?

To be honest I had never heard of PALS until Scottie mentioned she contacted them regarding attaining bibs. After learning about all the amazing things this charity has done, I can’t believe I’ve not heard of it before. I was sold! Both my children have a friend that have been diagnosed with Leukemia and have seen first hand the challenges a family struggles with while battling this disease. They have seen how having a compromised immune system can limit so many aspects of their lives and for PALS to take that burden off the shoulders of the families is priceless! I would love to spread awareness of this truly incredible charity and all the people that make families lives a little brighter during dark times.

 

 

 

Scottie Pabin
I am a proud Mom of two teenage boys, so as you would expect, running is a wonderful outlet for a busy mama. I run with my two best friends and have enjoyed running marathons including some of my favorites Big Sur, Boston Marathon, and Amsterdam Marathon.

Why is Scottie excited to run for PALS?

At one time, my family needed the help and assistance of an organization like PALS to facilitate a liver transplant for my sister. I am deeply grateful to those pilots who volunteered their time and aircraft just to help my family. I am looking forward to paying this forward and running for PALS. As a Texan, I also appreciate all of the relief effort brought by PALS to our state following Hurricane Harvey. I want to express my gratitude on behalf of my entire state. As I run the NYC marathon, I will have my sister and the state of Texas in my heart.

 

Jessica Foley
I am a health and physical education teacher. I come from a family of 6, with 3 younger sisters.

Why is Jessica excited to run for PALS?

I am excited to run for PALS because I think it is so important to give back. Knowing that I am running for an organization that will help people struggling through sicknesses and tragedies pushes me to work harder, running for something that is so much bigger than myself.

 

Bert Venner
I am a former D1 track & field athlete and my events were the sprints, 100m, 200m, 400m so long distance was anything over 1/4 mile. I started distance “running” a year and a half ago as the cardio part of a new 6-week eating plan to lose weight. In the beginning, I walked more than I ran to get the cardio in, and after losing 16 lbs in 6 weeks I decided to just continue the program. Eventually, I started slowly running more than walking and as I lost weight, the running got easier (total of 70 lbs lost). A year later I did my first 5k and 10k, then 1/2 marathon, and now almost 2 yrs later my first marathon. I’m married with two children and like working out and spending time with my family.

Why is Bert excited to run for PALS?

PALS is an awesome concept and I am honored to have an opportunity to represent such a great team. Giving rides to people in crisis who cannot afford to pay transportation costs to and from where the best treatments are located, regardless of how many times they need to go, is truly a life-changing experience. Pilots volunteering their time and resources to help others is tremendous, and I am excited to support that effort.

Jacqueline Raynor
My name is Jacqueline Raynor and I am 26 years old. I am a first-time marathon runner and I am very excited! I am an insurance broker and I live in Manhattan! Growing up, my sister and I played tennis competitively, and now we both decided to run the Marathon together!

Why is Jacqueline excited to run for PALS?

I am so excited to be running for PALS. PALS mission and purpose is so motivational and I am excited to give back to an organization that has done and continues to do so much. This organization motivates me to work harder and I am honored to have the opportunity to run for such a great team.

 

Kelsey Raynor
My name is Kelsey, I’m 27 years old and I’ve run a few half marathons in the last couple of years, but this will be my first full marathon ever! I am an Insurance Broker and live on Long Island with my husband and puppy, Reggie. Growing up, my sister and I played tennis competitively, and I’m so excited that we will be running the marathon together!

Why is Kelsey excited to run for PALS?

I am honored to be running for PALS because it is such a great organization! Reading PALS mission and all of the incredible stories, really inspired me to sign up and want to give back to an organization that has done so much for so many people. I know this will be hard work, but I am motivated and grateful for this opportunity!

Emily Heneghan
I am from Point Lookout, NY and this will be my first time running in the NYC marathon and my first time running a marathon in general! I help run my family’s restaurant in my town, J.A. Heneghan’s Tavern. I am the middle of 5 kids (2 brothers, 2 sisters) and have a niece and nephew and big extended family.

Why is Emily excited to run for PALS?

I am excited to run for PALS because it is a great organization that helps families in times of need!