Charity Motivates Greenwich Woman's Return To Marathon

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Greenwich's Deirdre Hopkins will run in the New York City Marathon on Sunday. It will be her third time running the race. Photo Credit: Contributed by Deirdre Hopkins

GREENWICH, Conn. – Greenwich runner Deirdre Hopkins has switched from running road races to doing trail runs over the past few years. In Sunday’s ING New York City Marathon, she’ll return to the streets with a new objective.

Hopkins, 50, will run with a team from SAC Capital to raise money for the Robin Hood Foundation. The group targets poverty in New York City by finding funds and partnering with 200 of the city’s most effective anti-poverty programs and schools. Readers can support Hopkins through her fundraising page by clicking here.

“I’ve never done a marathon for charity before,’’ said Hopkins, who has run the race twice, the last time in 2005. “Sometimes it’s hard to ask for money. With this charity, every dollar will go to the cause. I feel good about that.”

Hopkins’ first marathon was in Philadelphia in 2000, and she also ran New York in 2003 and 2005. But she switched to trail running because she found it easier on her joints. “I run in the woods now, but I always wanted to do another marathon,’’ she said. “I always had this question in my mind, could I come back and still do it. This is as good a time as any to find out.”

When SAC Capital formed a team to help the Robin Hood Foundation, she was quick to embrace it. “It’s gotten quite a few employees involved,’’ Hopkins said. “It’s a nice way to do a marathon.”

Hopkins enjoyed her previous New York runs because they provided views of the city she had never seen. “I grew up in Westchester and never saw the Statue of Liberty,’’ she said. “I’ve never been to some of those neighborhoods until I ran through them. It has great crowd support. And it’s the antithesis of running in the woods. I feel pretty fortunate that I can do both and enjoy both.”

Hopkins, a single mother of four children, feels slightly undertrained for the race. Work and family commitments have prevented her from doing the training she feels she needs. But she hopes her trail running background will help. Earlier this month, she won her age group in the Paine To Pain half-marathon trail run in 1:54:18. She was nearly 10 minutes ahead of her closest age group competitor in the New York race.

If she has a good day, Hopkins could run under the four-hour qualifying standard for the Boston Marathon. She qualified once previously but missed the race due to injury.

“Boston would be a nice goal, and I think I have the potential,’’ Hopkins said. “I think I’m a little stronger because of the trail runs. I’d love for it to be my best marathon.”

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