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Busy Bride-To-Be Finds Time for Marathon, Too

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport’s Katherine Alvarez works full time, attends classes at UConn-Stamford and is planning her 450-guest wedding to Rocco DiLeo for May. To make her days completely chaotic, she spent the last few months training for the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6.

“I thought this is probably the year to do things that I’m not going to have the chance to do for a while,’’ Alvarez said. “Friends and family thought it’s like this big joke — I can’t believe your taking on so much of this. At the beginning, they weren’t confident I could do it, just because I have so many things on my plate. I thought what’s a better thing to do than to add something else.”

Alvarez works for an investment management company in Stamford and attends school two nights a week. “Running,’’ she said, “is a good de-stresser.”

Alvarez got into the marathon by running for the New York chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. Her grandmother died two years ago and suffered from arthritis. “I wanted to do something once she passed away,’’ said Alvarez, who has raised more than $2,700 for her charity. “Everybody loved her.”

Readers can support Alvarez through her fundraising page.

New York has a special appeal for Alvarez, a Westport native who lived in the city for about eight months a few years ago. “I remember watching it and I got chills, watching these random people I had no idea who they were. Every year since then, I’ve watched it on TV.”

Alvarez has run several road races in the area, including the Norwalk Mother’s Day 10, the Fairfield Half Marathon and the Minute Man Race in Westport. She followed a training plan developed by running guru Hal Higdon and, except for a bout with shin splints early on, has held up to the physical strain.

She has gone as far as 20 miles and eliminated coffee and alcohol over the past two months. Now it’s just a matter of completing the journey from Staten Island to Manhattan, she said.

“It’s a great feeling of accomplishment,’’ Alvarez said. “I want to be a part of one of the world’s biggest sporting event, and  I know that I can. I’ve got an amazing support team, families, friends and co-workers behind me.”

Alvarez won’t rule out running another marathon — but when is another matter. ”I could see myself in my late 30s or early 40s, saying I want to do that again," she said. "I can see myself doing it again, but not any time soon.”

View stories on other runners from Main Street Connect communities by visiting our other websites in Fairfield County.

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