Profiles in Power

by Elaine Doll-Dunn

I met her on-line through a mutual friend. Immediately piqued by her sense of humor and prodigious marathon schedule I determined to meet her in person as we both pursued our quest of a marathon in every state and DC. The big event turned out to be my birthday run in Albuquerque, NM on September 7, 2004. We found each other at packet pickup and spent the rest of our short stay together driving around in my rented convertible (Hey! It was my birthday!), getting lost, finding giraffes. (Another story.)

Meet Cathy Troisi, dedicated runner from Seneca Falls, NY. Cathy's personal goal is a world without cancer. After losing a best friend to cancer, she determined to do what she could do to eliminate that dread disease, which to her, translated into marathoning for research. "I believe in fund raising for cancer research through running. Losing family and friends to cancer has made this a personal mission." She quietly asserts, "The Jimmy Fund in the fall and the Marathon Challenge in April, both fund-raisers for Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, are marked in ink on my calendar every year."

Less than ten years ago, Cathy was a certified couch potato, but began walking with her daughter, extended the distance, and ultimately met up with Jeff Galloway, the charismatic coach who teaches a run/walk method of distance running. She was such an apt and able student that he laughingly calls her the "poster child" of his program. (Jeff will be at the race this year!) Because of this, because of her tenacity, and because of her dream, she has thus far raised over $50,000 for cancer research, been awarded the Humanitarian Award by the Fifty and DC Group for her selfless achievements, run 134 marathons/ultras, and is now closing in on her ancillary goal of a marathon in every state.

Look for Cathy at the starting line of the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon on June 6th. The fifty-eight year old athlete will be leading the pack down the trail with vivacity, verve, and a broad siding humor. Don't miss it.

Elaine's book on her 26.2 Marathons in 2000 is available!
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"I noticed her at seventeen miles. Running strong, powering up the hill from the fire station, cute little body shapely in black running tights and top... Soft silver hair haloed her head as she ran smoothly through the chill Boston air. I pulled up beside her and settled into her pace, "Hi, you're running well..." "Thanks, I feel good." "I'm doing research on women who began marathoning after the age of forty, do you mind if I ask how old you are when you started running?" "Not at all, I was sixty-eight when I started running and began marathoning soon after that." I did a quick double-take, thought for a moment then looked sideways at her. We had crested the hill and were moving at a comfortable talk/run pace. She grinned back at me impishly and said, "I'm seventy-five now, and... I'm a Catholic nun!""
- taken from Chapter 9 of Gotta Run... by Elaine Doll-Dunn.

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