Race heartache as storm wrecks New York dream


David Powell

A CHESTER woman whose hopes of running the New York Marathon were dashed by Superstorm Sandy, is appealing for help to find a place at another event.

Mother-of-three Kate Cox, from Boughton, had secured more than £2,000 in sponsorship for her chosen charity, St Michael’s Hospice in Harrogate, Yorkshire, and was set to run in Sunday’s race.

The marathon was cancelled by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the wake of last week’s storm, which devastated parts of America’s east coast and left much of the Big Apple without power.

Now Kate, who had been training for eight months for the 26-mile run, is hoping that someone can help her secure a spot in an an alternative marathon so that she can put all her hard work to good use.

Kate said: “I had trained so hard for this marathon, at least eight months, and had managed to get in a 20-mile-plus run before I flew out here. There is nothing that anyone could have done about the hurricane and I can understand their reasons for calling it off but it is really gutting to have gone through all that training, raised the money for charity and paid to come out here and not have the chance to run.

“People were running round Central Park on the day the marathon should have been on and some were completing the course that the marathon would have taken anyway.

“I could have just run the distance around the streets here or in Chester when I got home but it just wouldn’t be the same, and given all the effort that has gone into this, I want to do an official marathon for all those who have sponsored me.

“People have kindly said that I can keep the donations that were made but I feel that I need to run a marathon to justify the donations made.”

Kate, a member of the Chester Triathlon Club, has run the Deva Divas triathlon and has also completed the Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds half-marathons and the Hell Run, a gruelling race which is known as Hell Up North.

She flew out to New York in the aftermath of what started out as Hurricane Sandy and witnessed first hand the efforts that are being made to get ‘The City That Never Sleeps’ back on its feet.

“There is a tremendous resolve from New Yorkers in the face of tough times,” said Kate, who is managing director at deWinter creative agency in Chester.

“People in the city have really come together to help each other. The tragedy of 9/11 has probably shaped the mindset of the city’s population.

“Luckily, we are based on the Upper East Side and haven’t really witnessed any of the problems that the hurricane caused but we have been told that if you go south of 34th Street then it is a totally different story.”

Kate is hoping that someone will come forward and help her find a free marathon place so that she repay the faith shown in her by her sponsors in aid of her nominated charity, St Michael’s, where her grandmother spent her last days.

“I know some people that have been able to defer their places to the London Marathon through their charities, but, as I am not running through a charity place but for a charity, I won’t be able to do that,” said Kate.

“Hopefully, someone will be able to see my predicament and help me gain a place at one of the big marathons, meaning I can complete my first marathon and justify all the fantastic donations that have been made to such a worthwhile cause.”

See full story in the Chester Leader

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