SCHROON LAKE Nancy Belluscio has watched the Adirondack Marathon. This fall, motivated by tragedy, shell run and walk.
Belluscio, who operates the Tumble Inn Bed & Breakfast in Schroon Lake, will do the 13.1-mile half marathon Sept. 16 as part of the Team in Training Program of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She hopes to raise $2,000.
A retired health and physical education teacher from Haldane High School in Cold Spring, NY, Belluscio will be running in memory of former student Kristen Faust. Faust, age 26, was a marathon runner who suddenly died of an undiagnosed heart arthymia shortly after running her last race the 2006 Adirondack Half Marathon in Schroon Lake.
She was always very close to me, Belluscio said. She lived around the block from me. I was her junior high and high school health teacher and I was at one point, her volleyball coach.
She didn't realize I had retired and was living in Schroon Lake, she continued. At her wake, I saw the Vermont Marathon medal in her hand and when I commented about it, I learned she had also just completed the Schroon Lake half marathon. Next to her casket was the carved bear she had been given as an award for it.
After her wake, I sat in our meadow and thought about Marathon Sunday, Belluscio said. I had watched much of the race as I had a full house of marathoners at the inn. One of my clients, I was told, was getting sick on the east side and I was watching to see if she had made it. I recalled that I had seen Kristen, not knowing it was she. It was so quiet and I saw someone going down the hill with very big and loud feet. She was tall, blonde hair. I had timed all of the home basketball games and I know how Kristen ran.
Faust was an outstanding high school basketball player, leading Haldane to the state championship and being named MVP of the state tournament.
She graduated from SUNY-Binghamton with dual master degrees in social work and social science and was pursuing her doctorate in social work at SUNY-Albany at the time of her death.
Faust ran the Schroon Lake half marathon as part of the Team in Training Program of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Running in memory of her father, who died of cancer in 2005, she raised more than $10,000.
I have decided that I will walk the half marathon and run the downhills, Belluscio said. I want to do it for Kristen.
Donations can be made on line at www.active.com/donate/tntnyvt/tntnyvtnbellus or sent directly to Belluscio at the Tumble Inn Bed and Breakfast, 875 US Route 9, Schroon Lake 12870. Checks should be made payable to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
The last time Kristen was with her family was at last years race in Schroon Lake.
Her family is staying at our inn the week after the marathon to honor her memory, said Belluscio, a two-time cancer survivor herself.
Completing the 13.1-mile race will be a challenge for Belluscio. She used to run the 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) race in Schroon Lake years ago, but hasnt competed in a long time.
I never thought I would like to do a marathon and I also started getting hip pain when I ran, she said. Running a B & B doesnt allow me to train as I would need to for strictly running, but I have managed to get a training partner and we are now up to 10 miles.