Despite debilitating injuries, Queenstowner Pauline Bianchi can’t wait to make the start-line of Sunday’s New York City Marathon.
The 48-year-old art gallery owner has had the world’s biggest marathon, which attracts more than 50,000 runners, on her bucket list after visiting the city 18 years ago – partly as it’s the world’s art capital.
Three years ago, she was going to run it with two friends but had to pull out after cracking her head open on her front doorstep.
This time she was training well, with a personal trainer, but ripped a ligament in her left knee that’s still troubling her.
Two months ago, she also spent two weeks on her back with sciatica. She buoyed herself by watching videos of runners finishing the marathon, and says the experience “probably helped my mental strength to complete the race”.
As a result of her injuries, she’s dropped her training intensity and is now aiming for 5hr 50min, rather than 4:40.
Bianchi, who has her partner’s quote, ‘commit, this is it’, printed on her race T-shirt, says with more than a million people lining New York’s streets, “it’s just going to be electric, and all that energy just pulls you through”.
“Even though I’ve still got a few injuries in the shadows, with a few Nurofen on the day and a positive attitude, I’m going to get there, no problem.”
She’ll start the run alongside part-time local, Lenska Papich.
Meanwhile, Arrowtown developer/builder Wayne Foley is also ticking off a bucket-list item in New York this Sunday.
He ran his first 42km race, the Queenstown International Marathon, last November.
Having been picked out of a ballot back in February to run the New York City Marathon, he’s specially looking forward to having his wife Julia and two London-based daughters and two New Zealand-based sons there to support him.
His training’s been different this time “because I didn’t have to lose a whole heap of weight to start with”.
“And through workload and being crook with the flu, I really didn’t make a good start until about 10 weeks ago.
“But based on my longer training runs, I should be able to at least match last year’s Queenstown time – 4:43.”
The 58-year-old’s also enrolled again for November 17’s Queenstown International Marathon.
He’ll decide whether to run it based on how he pulls up after Sunday.