Bridgette recoloredI grew up watching my Dad run marathons. He was even crazy enough to run ultra-marathons (35 mile tortures). He may have passed down his eye color and sense of determination to me, but his desire to run marathons must be a trait that skips generations. I don’t like running. But in 2014, I ran the New York City Marathon in less than 4.5 hours.

I have been involved with Gilda’s Club for 4 years, and have been raising money for the organization through many of their activities such as the 5 Boro Bike Tour, and I was looking for more of a challenge.

In my career in medicine, I watch my patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments – their own personal marathons that they did not choose to run. I chose to run the New York City Marathon to challenge myself, and to push myself through something that I really didn’t want to do. I wanted to put myself in my patients shoes and the members of Gilda’s Club and show them that they are not alone in their fight.

As I tied up my running shoes every time I trained and on the day of the marathon dreading the miles ahead of me, I thought of the cancer survivors that had to push themselves to get up every morning, go to their doctor’s visits, get to work or school, and take care of other people’s needs.

When you run the marathon, you feel like you can’t go any further, but you don’t give up – much like the fight against cancer. Everyone who runs the marathon raises a lot of money for Gilda’s Club, and all the money goes to a good cause. Running down the streets of Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, the crowds cheering me on were so uplifting and helped me keep going.

I hope that everyone who runs this year’s marathon has as much fun as I had, and that the money that is raised for Gilda’s club uplifts the members as much as the roar of the crowds do when you cross the finish line! And for those of you wondering, although I say I will never ever ever run again, don’t be too surprised if you see me next November telling my dad to slow down.

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  • Bridgette Payne – 2014 Gilda’s Club NYC Marathon Team
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