1st New York City Marathon
Back in college, many of Francesca’s friends were student-athletes on the Quinnipiac cross country team. She watched from afar as they ran competitively then, but today, they share laughs over the fact that the roles are reversed. Francesca is excited to join United Way of Long Island’s Team Mission United, raising funds for veterans and Long Islanders affected by COVID-19 ahead of this fall's New York City Marathon.
Francesca is friends with nurses who were on the COVID-19 floors during the height of the pandemic, which allowed her to see the impact of COVID-19 in those closest to her. And with family members who served in the Navy, Marines and Army, veterans have always played a major role in Francesca’s life. This year, it’s her turn to give back to them.
“I’m really excited to put out there how much I support the people who put their lives on the line for us every single day,” Francesca said. “It’s a thing I want to make sure gets brought up again and again not just during the marathon. This is something I’m going to support going forward. I definitely want to get word out there and have people really understand what comes after a veteran’s years of service. It takes a part of their life that people may not truly think about.”
A Huntington native, Francesca is an audit and assurance senior at Deloitte. She grew up playing volleyball and softball, but didn’t start running recreationally until she began taking classes at a fitness center a few years ago. There, she made new friends and joined a local running group. She has since run multiple 5Ks and three half marathons.
“Prior to the running group, I was super self-conscious when it came to running because I never felt like I could do it,” Francesca said. “Then I joined that group and started to run more than usual and really saw I could do it. Ever since then, now it’s just a daily thing. I don’t think I can go a day without it. Now it’s something I like to push myself and see how far I can go.”
Francesca’s running group, Running on Fumes, gives her the opportunity to train alongside close friends multiple times per week. But more importantly, it has helped her find a passion. Now, Francesca is using that passion to raise funds for a cause close to her heart.