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Westport Moms Ready to Go the Distance

Westporters Gina Beranek, Patricia Minarro-Alanis, Karen Jacobs and Maureen Lynch are four busy moms on the run — literally. Since September, these Saugatuck Elementary PTA members have been training for the New York City Marathon on Nov. 7.

Training for the 26.2-mile marathon, which attracts more than 100,000 applicants annually, calls for more than the occasional run: It requires serious commitment.

"We are running at least four times a week," said Gina, mother of three who's running for the Fresh Air Fund .

Karen, a mother of two who's running for the Chad A. Jacobs Memorial Scholarship Fund set up in memory of her husband, who died this June, added, "We run in the rain, too."

Under the direction of their coach, Tammy Kiernan, these moms train long and short distances. In their last "big run" on Oct. 14, they put in 21 miles. And on Tuesday, they ran 11 miles.

Although they are in the last stages of training, these road-running moms will be in workout mode until the week of the marathon.

Gina and Patricia are new to the world of running; both started running this past spring when they took part in a half-marathon. And even though Karen and Maureen have been running for years, neither has run any long distances.

Gina, Maureen and Karen credit Patricia with the decision to run the marathon.

"When I did the half-marathon, I was so happy with myself. I decided if I could do the half-marathon, I can do the marathon," said Patricia, mother of three who's running for Team for Kids . "Beside the accomplishment, I think it's a great example to our families."

Her enthusiasm spread to her friends and soon, all four found themselves registered for the marathon.

"There are a lot of people out there who've done it and never thought they could," said Maureen, mother of two who's running for the Hole in the Wall Gang . "It's been uplifting."

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