When Kate Patton Regal joined Wediko in 1995 as a direct care counselor, she had no idea that she would dedicate her professional career to children’s mental health. As a therapist and clinical social worker, Kate is committed to the children, families, and schools who partner with Wediko. Through these years, Kate has also been a runner.
Having raised funds many times by running the Boston Marathon, Kate saw the mutual reward of her efforts. She coupled her love of Wediko and her flair for athletic challenges to spearhead Wediko’s athletic fundraising events for many years.
“Now, I’m turning my efforts to fundraise so that more children and their families can receive the much-needed help to overcome mental health challenges they may encounter”, she said.
A fervent marathon runner, Kate will be participating in the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon as a member of the Wediko charity team for the 2nd time.
In an interview with the Wediko Communications Manager, Dillon Kamutenga (DK), Kate Patton Regal (KPR) explained how she started to run for charity as well as her participation in the forthcoming TCS New York City Marathon to be held on November 5, 2017. Below are excerpts from the interview.
DK. What motivated you to be a runner, share with us the background?
KPR. It was actually running for charity! I was running casually with a friend a couple of times a week and found out about the Boston Marathon charity program. That inspired me to sign up and run my first marathon back in 1998. I’ve been basically running marathons or participating in endurance events ever since.
DK. What is the objective of your participation in the New York City Marathon?
KPR. The TCS New York City Marathon is a world class event – and literally where the world comes to run. I love it. Now that Wediko provides such comprehensive and important services for NYC school children, it’s a great partnership. Of course I raise money for all of Wediko’s programs – so that we can effectively meet the needs which change every day. I have dedicated my entire professional career to Wediko. I am thrilled and honored to run a marathon to support this work. My goal is to raise $7500.
DK. Any lessons learnt from your participation in the previous Marathon?
KPR. I ran the NYC Marathon in 1999 and 2002, so when I returned last year it had been awhile. I remember loving it then, and I loved it again. The crowds are unbelievable – they definitely rival Boston’s. I think the other thing I remember from years back is to have patience at the start. There are A LOT of people running (50,000?) so I just try to take it all in as we leave Staten Island and enter Brooklyn. I try not to worry about my pace or finish time. It helps to remember why I am running after all.
DK. Do you have a target time or the plan is to reach the finish line?
KPR. As I mentioned, I try to take it all in. The opportunity to run New York and the marathon experience is simply incredible. I try to enjoy the whole thing and not get too worried about my pace or my finish time. I do the best I can – while also enjoying the crowds and the experience.
DK. Your preparations, what’s exciting and or challenging. Any key highlights?
KPR. I started running marathons fresh out of college – almost 20 years ago. I was a lot younger then! Now I have three small children, so training time is harder to carve out. I try to mix in biking to work to cross-train and to help ease the time burden of training. I do love to share with people the amazing work that Wediko does. Fundraising on Wediko’s behalf gives me the opportunity to tell more people about the children and families receiving support and the impact of this support on school communities.
DK. Any word of advice to potential runners?
KPR. The biggest hurdle to running a marathon is the desire to do it. If you can run a couple of miles, you can run a marathon. Running for Wediko, and probably any charity, really helps when you hit a wall on a long run, or training gets particularly challenging. Just remembering the children and families helped by Wediko, who otherwise might not get the help they need to get through a school year, makes miles go by with more ease. It’s all worth it.