FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Before Fairfield’s Heather Maulucci could calculate her mile splits, she found herself eight miles into her one and only marathon in Chicago in 2010.
“I did it to raise money for Teach For America,’’ said Maulucci, who will run the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday. “Because it was for a good cause, I said at least I’ll do the first five miles and then I’ll drop out. Before I knew it, I was already at eight miles. I didn’t notice how far I had run.”
The rest of the race wasn’t as easy. She finished in five hours and three minutes, a respectable time given her level of training. “I didn’t do the proper training,’’ Maulucci said. “The whole marathon experience took me by surprise. I didn’t know what I was in for. In hindsight, I’m lucky I didn’t get injured. I feel fortunate I wasn’t in a lot of pain. I was so inexperienced.”
Maulucci is hoping for a faster time in New York. She ran in the New York Road Runners series to earn an entry into the race and would like to finish in close to four hours. “That would be optimal,’’ Maulucci said.
Her running career dates to high school, when she ran on relays and on her cross country team in Massachusetts. She moved to Los Angeles after college and picked up running again. “I started running again because I could run outdoors year-round,’’ Maulucci said. “It became enjoyable again.”
She remembers watching last year’s marathon on television. “It was amazing, especially the elite runners, and how fast they finish,’’ Maulucci said. “It’s just a good feeling to be in such a large group of people. It’s good, positive energy.”
She recently transitioned from a career in the financial sector to a working as a freelancer in broadcast journalism. Maulucci figures her career choice might take her back to the West Coast. But one thing she’s determined to do first is cross the finish line in Central Park.
“I can’t imagine a better feeling to run down First Avenue and into Central Park,’’ Maulucci said. “I’ve never even been to Staten Island. To start there and finish in Central Park will be the experience of a lifetime.”