Pearl River High School graduate Shannon McKiernan started training before she knew what she was training for.
"This summer I ran a lot," McKiernan said. "Coaches would see me running and ask what I was training for."
It was later that McKiernan, now an honors program student at RCC, decided she wanted to run the ING New York City Marathon Nov. 4 of this year.
"I've always wanted to, so why not?" McKiernan said. "There was not a lot of time at all to train. I've been running a lot, but it's worth it in the end."
The late decision is what led her to Team Fred. Because she was entering the marathon late, she needed a team to join. According to the organization's website, Team Fred has raised over $46 million since 1995 for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
"For it to be for a good cause makes it that much more rewarding," McKiernan said. "So many people are on board with me. Everyone is donating. It's great."
McKiernan raised approximately $1,700 in her first three weeks, bringing her nearly halfway to her goal of $3,500.
"The money that falls short will obviously come out of my wallet, but I'm hoping to raise more for this amazing cause," McKiernan said. "I'm very proud of what I'm doing and this community has been a great support."
To find out more about Team Fred or to donate, go to McKiernan's web page here. (Note the page shows only direct online donations so far, not her full total.)
McKiernan said she ran in middle school, but her primary sport at Pearl River was softball. She helped the Pirates win the state championship as a sophomore, then a fourth consecutive section title her junior year.
For now, McKiernan is still running every other day, slowly increasing the distance. She reached 20 miles Sept. 16, which is the most she will do until the day of the marathon.
"I think I could have run it (the full 26 miles)," McKiernan said. "It's going to be awful regardless, but I will do it without stopping. I will not go for a fast time. I just want to do it without stopping."