Cadet: Hallie Patterson
Age: 27 | City: Long Island City, N.Y.
“You used to be a little…fat, right?”
That’s what a woman who runs Hallie’s laundromat asked her after she started running. “She was wrong,” Hallie says. “I wasn’t fat but rather somewhere south of fit and north of plus size.”
But less than a year ago, she could barely run for 5 minutes. But when her mother and sister decided to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon, she didn’t want to be left out. “The first few weeks of training hurt,” Hallie says. “But once l discovered a park where I could run a mile from my apartment, I never looked back. Running quiets my mind and makes me feel stronger. I have less anxiety. I feel invincible.”
She finished her first half marathon in February. “I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon and the rush was so amazing,” she says. “I immediately thought about doing a full marathon. After all, I was already halfway there!”
Vet: Michele Gonzalez
Age: 31 | City: Staten Island, N.Y.
“One of the most amazing moments in my life was crossing the finish line of my 1st marathon,” says Michele. “I’ve run bigger and faster marathons since then, but nothing will ever compare to that feeling.”
Michele fell in love with running during her time in the Army and deployments to Iraq. “Running became my rock, my best friend— the one constant in my life while everything around me was outside of my control,” she says. “I love sharing my knowledge and experiences with a runner who is on the path to her first marathon.”
“I think a lot of people want to run a marathon but feel they don’t have enough time to make it work,” she says. “I understand the time commitment necessary to train for a marathon while being a running coach and full-time mom to two little boys (2 years and 6 months). I Iove the feeling of setting a goal—sometimes one that seems completely unattainable at the time—and then working hard, day after day, to bring myself closer to that goal.”