A Carlisle couple took togetherness to a new level when they ran the New York City Marathon together on Nov. 4

Krisjand Rothweiler, an officer stationed at the Carlisle Barracks, and his wife, Patricia, started running together while stationed in Germany, but took different routes to the New York marathon start line on Staten Island.

Patricia was selected to run through the lottery.

According to Runner’s World magazine, runners who hope to get to the starting line via the lottery submit applications in February for the November race. Only 16,211 runners were accepted out of the 98,247 runners who entered the lottery for the 2017 race.

Krisjand ran in support of a charity assisting veterans.

Krisjand finished the race in 5:40:20, and Patricia in 6:01:07.

Q. Patricia, for nonrunners, what does it mean to get into the New York City Marathon on the lottery?

A. I grew up in New York and have long had an affinity for the city. I knew getting in was a long shot, but I wanted to do my first marathon in a place that held great memories. Growing up, my dad often ran with my brother and I in five-mile races. He really instilled in us the importance of running and making it a family tradition. In 2011, just after finding out I was pregnant with my first daughter, I ran my first long race, the Prague 10k with my husband. We caught the “running bug” and began moving onto 10 milers and half-marathons. I decided to run the NY Marathon this year in remembrance of my dad and to show my daughters how to be strong and accomplish their dreams. Getting in on the lottery was both exciting and scary. It meant I would get to do something I really wanted to do, but that it would also take more training and preparation than any previous race.

Q. Krisjand, you ran the marathon as a charity supporter. What does that mean, and who did you raise money for?

A. After Patricia got in on the lottery (and I didn’t), I looked for a charity to run for so we could complete it together. I came across the Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans of America (IAVA.org) and thought that a perfect organization to represent. I chose it not only for their goals of helping veterans, but also because what they do impacts so many of my friends and family since both my mom and sister also deployed to the Middle East. Being able to further their mission while accomplishing a life goal with my wife was incredibly meaningful for me. Since completing the race, I’ve kept up with IAVA to continue to improve their participation in the NY Marathon and other activities to highlight the work they do for veterans. My fundraising is still open through the end of the year and can be found at: crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/2018-tcs-new-york-marathon-iava1

Q. How did you handle the training, especially with two young daughters?

A. Training was difficult to say the least. From finding time to working around (or through) the weather, it was never easy. I was probably able to train more regularly than Patricia, but we both ran a couple intermediate races as checks on our progress. We took the girls on some of the runs when we could, usually the ones under five miles. Our oldest (6) would ride her bike and our younger one (3) would scoot or go in the jogging stroller.

We also began as soon as we found out about the lottery results so we would have more than enough time to get ourselves conditioned. One thing that was kind of neat is incorporating our training into the rest of our lives. We ran training runs in Paris, New York, Miami, around PA and pretty much anywhere we could find the time and a route.

Q. How did race day go?

A. It didn’t really go as planned, but when does anything? We stayed in the city the night before, with my mother and her friend next door at the hotel so we would be able to take off early. Of course, our youngest didn’t sleep well, but that was countered by the extra hour for daylight savings. We were up early, around 6 a.m., so we could get our gear and catch the subway over to the ferry. The day was cool, but would be sunny and perfect for a long run. We got to the ferry and that’s where we saw the first crowds of runners, all excited and buzzing over the start.

Once on Staten Island, we were met by our IAVA coordinators, Sal and Victor, who took us to the start line, saving an hour of getting on the bus, where we relaxed and ate some breakfast while checking our gear and stretching.

It was really exciting hearing the corrals called up and then the first cannon fired for the elite and wheelchair runners. A short while later, we were lined up on the bridge. The cannon fired for our wave and we were off.

The hardest part was pacing early to avoid burnout. The view from the bridges was fantastic. Each of the five boroughs had their own personality and made the race amazing. It was the best I have ever seen NYC, with everyone cheering, playing music and pulling together to celebrate and support the largest marathon in the world with more than 50,000 runners.

The run went really well, for the most part. We had friends and family littered along the route; always nice to see a familiar face after a few miles. Our girls were waiting with my mom and some friends late in the race, providing a great boost of morale as we closed the last few miles. My oldest, Alexis, even offered to run the last 3 miles with Patricia; a runner in the making. The last few miles wound through Central Park and had less crowds along the route. This was probably the hardest bit as the sun set, the cheering was diminished, and we were mentally just wanting to be done. Finally, we reached the end and it was a huge relief and wave of personal satisfaction that is hard to describe. A lot of pride and tiredness all at one time; really, just amazing.

Q. What attracts you to marathons in general, and the NYC marathon specifically?

A. We ran our first race together in 2009, at our post 5k in Grafenwohr, Germany. From there, we entered several others. We ran our first 10k in Prague, then the Army 10-miler, then the Washington, D.C., Rock and Roll Half Marathon. After a few years of this, our girls were at an age we thought we could train for a full marathon and chose NY because it is the biggest (and Patricia’s ties to NYC)!

For us, 13.1 miles is an accomplishment, but still in the fun zone. 26.2 miles pushed this to a true life accomplishment and an example for our daughters to push themselves and accomplish their goals. NY was especially neat as it is an amazing city and getting to see it on foot over the course of the race is probably one of the best ways to see it.

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Email Tammie at tgitt@cumberlink.com. Follow her on Twitter @TammieGitt.


Carlisle Reporter

Carlisle Reporter for The Sentinel.