Chuckling, “It didn’t bother me too much. We got first and second place.”
Rebecca is an incredibly fast, consistent and strong runner. She is quiet and even-tempered. She is very modest.
Rebecca has a healthy relationship with running. She always feels joy from running and has a positive response toward it. Never feeling like she has to run or has to push herself to get in a training, she always wants to run. “I just feel good when I’m done. And while I’m running, I feel in control of my body and I like that feeling.” She does admit that there have been days when she’d like to sleep in a little later, but overall “loves it.”
She liked it right from the very beginning, at age 10. Her mother picked running among all the other extracurricular, signing Rebecca up for the Mt. Olive, NJ town recreation program. She hit the nail on the head. Rebecca’s father even came to coach his daughter’s team. Rebecca was “slow” when she started but a year later with an increased in her speed came an increased love for the sport. Continuing in middle school and high school, she competed in the 800 meter and the mile on both the track and cross country teams. “I was more comfortable at the longer distances, I was in my element.”
Being on running teams helped Rebecca, a shy girl, develop her self confidence and build a tight group of friends. Rebecca’s middle, high school and college experiences were all enhanced because she was a track team member. She equally enjoyed the experience of running with being a part of a team. In college, she walked-on to Rensselear Polytechnic Institute’s (RPI) division three school’s track team. Along with an intense chemical engineering workload, she and the team practiced everyday (from 4 to 6pm running followed by weight training) and competed on Saturdays. Rebecca was dedicated and never lost her love for the sport. She set her 1500 PR of 4:47 in college. In both her junior and senior years she was the top placing female and captain of her team. But she will not share this information right away, she’s modest.
After college, Rebecca found her marathon motivation when she joined Team Utopia out of Albany, NY. This team had lots of marathoners in training and she got “sucked in”. In 2006 at age 23 she ran her first 26.2 race in NYC, finishing in 3:29:30. She literally followed in her father’s steps who ran this same marathon years earlier. “It was awesome. I felt good the whole time. I had my name on my shirt and at the end got confused, thinking ‘how do they know my name?’ But it helped, I didn’t want to let down these people who were calling for me.”
Rebecca ran the Philly marathon in 2007 at even faster 3:23. She had qualified for Boston with both races and completed the Boston marathon in 2008. She was disappointed with her time of 3:42. “Anything can happen the day of the race and Boston didn’t go so great. I knew by 10 miles in I was pushing too hard. I was psyched to run and went out too fast and then it just did not come together.”
Her best race was an invitational 5K in 2002. Although the weather was cold and rainy, with puddles covering the ground “…something just happened during that race. People pushed me and everything came together.” She finished in 18:40 and won a well-deserved Fruit of the Forest pie.
Rebecca moved to New York in 2008. She ran the Staten Island Half that year and noticed that the PPTC women were the fastest women’s team finishing the race. This motivated her to join the club. “I like how there are different people in this club doing different things but there is always at least one member running every (local) race. And after my first practice with the club Maggie (Deschamps) ran me home!”
Rebecca now works as a consultant for a pharmaceutical company in the chemical engineering field. She found that her experience with running has helped to develop her work ethic. She has seen how, if she works hard at anything, she’ll improve.
From time to time Rebecca and her finance run together as they continue to explore this city. But for the most part, she uses it as her “sane time… time to just zone out” as she plans on running a faster marathon while continuing to love and enjoy the sport.