He Vows to Run 30 Marathons in One Year
to Promote Breast Cancer Awareness
JC Santa Teresa put together a bucket list when he was in his 30s. “You’ve only got one life to live,” he explained, “ and you need to live it to the fullest.”
In 2000, he tackled one of the items on the list —he decided to run a marathon. “Everyone thought I was crazy,” he said. Since then, Santa Teresa has run 59 races.
In 2012, he is pushing himself to the limit. He has decided to run 30 marathons, during the year, to raise money for breast cancer awareness. His mother Delta Santa Teresa, was diagnosed with the disease five years ago at the age of 65. Santa Teresa’s goal is to raise $5,000 for Komen Greater NYC and has his own Ignite fundraising page on the Komen Greater NYC website.
Santa Teresa and his family are from the Philippines. When he was six, his parents left for the United States to build a better life. JC and his siblings remained in the Philippines in the care of their grandmother. “My parents thought they would be able to bring us over quickly,” he said. “But it took 10 years.”
He was very close to both his parents and thought, “I would live forever, and my parents would live forever.” But in 1999, his father died of emphysema at the age of 61. Eight years later, his mother received her breast cancer diagnosis. Her treatment included seven weeks of radiation. She was prescribed Tamoxifen, but had a severe reaction to the drug. Mrs. Santa Teresa, who turned 70 in May, is currently on Evistra and in remission.
Until this year, the largest number of marathons that Santa Teresa has run in a year has been 13. He works on the night shift in the Environment Health & Safety Department of Con Edison. At 49, he says he feels like he’s in his 20s.
“I got the bug,” he said when describing his passion for marathon running. In addition to racing, Santa Teresa hosts runners who come to New York City from abroad and mentors new local runners. He not only has developed a cadre of runner friends, but also has inspired others to try the sport. “My doctor, who called me crazy five years ago, is now running her first marathon this year,” he said with a smile.
So far this year, Santa Teresa has run 18 races in places as far flung as Mississippi, Alabama, Miami, New Orleans and Fargo, ND. Last weekend, he ran the “1/2 Sauer, 1/2 Kraut” marathon in Philadelphia. The race site that left the biggest impression on him was Detroit. “It was almost like a ghost town,” he said. “The traffic lights work on streets that are lined with empty buildings.”
Santa Teresa’s passion for running is matched by his passion for fighting breast cancer. Grateful that his mother is in remission, “I want to do what I can to bring an end to this devastating disease,” he explained.
If you would like to support JC’s efforts, please visit his Ignite fundraising page and make a donation.