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Greenwich Runner Tackles Marathons for Charity

GREENWICH, Conn. – Greenwich’s Hugo Mujica runs for fun. And funds.

When the 54-year-old steps onto his 15th-straight starting line at the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, he will do so on behalf of Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center . Each time he has raced in New York, it has been for a charity.

In all, he has completed nearly 90 marathons, and several other longer races. He has raised over $200,000 for charities. People who want to support Mujica can visit his fund-raising page.

Mujica, a native of Paraguay, started running in 1997. “A friend of my boss invited me to run in the London Marathon for a charity, the Leukemia Society,’’ Mujica said. A boy from Greenwich had leukemia, and Mujica wanted to help.

The boy overcame the cancer and the experience has stayed with Mujica. “He survived and now he’s this big guy,’’ Mujica said. “After I raised money for this kid, I was so happy he survived. I felt good that I had been able to help him.”

Mujica kept on running. He has run in marathons in Chicago, Orlando, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and other parts of the United States. In April, he finished his seventh Boston Marathon. Many of the marathons have been run in the name of charity, usually for Sloane-Kettering.

“I like to do it for the kids,’’ Mujica said. “I’m so thankful for my sponsors that keep giving and never say no. The people in this country are very generous.”

Mujica says he has 120 sponsors who support him. Even during the economic downturn, sponsors have stuck with him. “I’m surprised,’’ he said. “I keep running and my sponsors keep helping me.”

He thanks his sponsors after each race with a hand-written letter to let them know that he finished the race. He has done well time-wise, including a best of 3:14:51 in 1999 in New York and 3:11:42 in San Diego in 2001. He still completes marathons in about four hours.

He has competed in three marathons this year and a 100-mile endurance race in Vermont. The focus, however, is less on his time and more on fund-raising.

“I don’t care about my time, when I do it for charity,’’ Mujica said. “I just want to finish. That’s the primary thing when I do it for charity.”

To view more runners from Main Street Connect communities running in the race, visit our websites in our other Fairfield County towns.

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