Kaitlyn Kacsuta had just nailed one of her best runs at the 2013 Boston Marathon and was preparing to celebrate. Then, the bombs went off.
Kacsuta, a Bon Air native and third-year law student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, was deeply affected by the experience. So when she came home, she — like many Pittsburghers — wanted to do something for the cause. She and others from the area have been running a mile for each victim of the bombing — with a goal of reaching 178 while encouraging supporters to donate to One Fund Boston, to benefit the victims.
Kacsuta made it to Boston by way of Pittsburgh — she used her time from the 2012 Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon time to qualify (she also qualified in 2011.) She will run the 2013 UPMC Health Plan Half Marathon on May 5.
She is inviting local runners to join her on her runs ( my brother, Chris, and sister-in-law Bridget, helped craft A Day for Every Mile, A Mile for Every Victim — this video for the campaign.) I had the opportunity to interview and run with her, and my family, this past Saturday on the South Side Riverfront Trail. There were 9 of us, and lots of other runners on the trail with Boston tee-shirts and blue and gold, the colors of the marathon. It was good to see. I was deeply inspired by the simple process of running through our city with my own family — something we hadn’t done before.
And I was inspired by Kacsuta’s message, her upbeat attitude, and her honest desire to do something for her fellow runners, spectators and all those impacted by the bombings. I don’t doubt she’ll reach her goal. I suspect she’ll surpass it and I felt lucky to get to be apart of it one Sunday morning.
“I’m not trying to make this about me,” Kacsuta says. “I’m trying to get the word out that that’s where people should go to donate.”