For 46-year-old marathon runner Angela Gonzalez, her age isn’t weighing her down – it’s actually given the proclaimed “Mayorette of Central Park” an added advantage while she competes.
“I feel like I have much more experience and more patience than I ever did,” said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, divorced for six years, was raised in Manhattan and currently lives with her 17-year-old son Jesse and her 10-year-old daughter Jaylene in Astoria. She will be competing with four other women as the “Marathon Moms,” in the ING New York City Marathon at 9:15 a.m. on November 1.
The “Marathon Moms” is a group of women whom were each chosen to represent their borough in the big race.
“It’s a lot of pressure because of my running background, but I’m honored to represent Queens,” Gonzalez said.
Since she was nine, this mother of two has been wearing out the soles of her running sneakers. She didn’t have to look far for her inspiration.
“My brother, who was in the military, has always challenged me when he came back from training or duty,” said Gonzalez, who works full-time as a fundraiser for the American Technion Society. “One day, I beat him in running – from then on, I couldn’t stop.”
The New York Marathon is a race that Gonzalez holds dear to her heart. It was the first marathon she ever ran – in 2003; Gonzalez turned 40 and completed the grueling 26.2-mile race.
“It was a dream of mine to do this race ever since I was a little girl,” Gonzalez said.
This single, but heavy-loaded mom has to balance her work, kids, and make time for herself to consistently train for this event. Gonzalez quietly leaves her house at 5:30 in the morning just to get her daily run in – she gets back with just enough time to help her kids head out to school.
On an average week prior to the big race, Gonzalez runs six to 10 miles a day on the weekdays and 15 to 20 distance miles on the weekends. Along with cardio, she also pumps free weights to build a strong core.
Along with her own training, Gonzalez is a certified level one USA Track and Field coach. With this certification, she coaches the NYC Bridge Runners Group – a group that runs though bridges around the city and works on stamina training.
Gonzalez looks to hit her stride and hold onto her runner’s high with the nearly 40,000 other people running this year.
“I just love running … you could say it’s my drug of choice,” she said.” I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”