Local runner decides to help relief effort, despite canceled marathon

Posted at: 11/02/2012 11:25 PM
Updated at: 11/02/2012 11:51 PM
By: Don Hudson

Wendy Abbott was running for reason; to bring attention to victims of strokes. Instead, she'll be bringing food and supplies to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Friday morning, Abbott was set on running the New York City Marathon in honor of the National Stroke Association.

Abbott says, "I spent so much time fundraising and so many people supporting me in a cause I feel strongly about. And don't want to let all those people down."

The marathon would have been the Brighton woman's 13th and it would have been very personal.

"This has been a 14 month journey for me," says Abbott. "From the day I had my stroke until this weekend."

But everything changed Friday afternoon.

By phone from New York, Abbott says, "While I was on the way to the airport I heard the news that the marathon was cancelled."

The 37-year-old woman had a decision to make. She decided that she would still go to New York City. Instead of doing a lot of running; Abbott would do a lot of volunteering.

She says, "We're going to spend the weekend volunteering doing whatever we can to help out with the relief effort."

Even before she learned of the cancellation Abbott told us she had already planned on doing one day of volunteer work.

"I can't just go there and have a good time, says Abbott. "I want to do my part as well. Maybe it is only 8 hours on one day, but that's what I can do."

Now she will do even more.  While she regrets she won't be able to run for a cause so close to her heart, she believes this is the right thing to do.

"Absolutely on the one hand it is disappointing after putting in the effort and the training," says Abbott. "I have to think it's the right decision and there are more important things to put our effort towards."