WYOMING — Paul Swiderski enjoys running for fun, but now he’s running for something more.
The 41-year-old Wyoming resident will participate in the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) New York City Marathon on Nov. 1 to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Started in 1970, the marathon has donated to various charities such as the Pat Tillman Foundation, Project Purple and the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund.
Swiderski has raised money through an online page and, as of Oct. 22, has brought in over $1,900. His goal is to raise $3,400, the minimum requirement for the American Cancer Society.
Cancer has impacted people close to Swiderski.
“I’ve known four people who have died from cancer and two who are cancer survivors,” he said. “I know I’m not alone in the fact that cancer touches everybody. My mother is also a breast cancer survivor.”
Swiderski began running a few years ago to become healthier. The New York event will be his first marathon.
After joining the YMCA with his wife, Swiderski began running on the treadmill and found he enjoyed it.
He started small, running local 2ks, 5ks, mud runs and half marathons.
“I figured I was ready to start doing a full marathon,” he said. “My dream race was always to run the New York City Marathon. I’m not fast enough to qualify for a good finish, but my best chance to do it was for a charity close to my heart.”
To help prepare for the 26.2 mile race, Swiderski sticks to a strict diet and runs five to six days a week.
He has also done cross training such as yoga, walking and boot camp-style workouts.
Swiderski has sought advice from others who have participated in marathons.
“I’m a little bit both nervous and excited,” he said. “From what I hear, the New York City Marathon is a 26.2 mile block party and I’m looking forward to meeting new people as I go through it and thinking about the people I’m running for. I do know a few people who have run races like the Boston Marathon, the Philadelphia Marathon and the New York City Marathon and their advice is just focus on the finish line.”
Swiderski’s goal is to finish somewhere between four and five hours.
When the race is over, he plans to relax for a while, but has his sights set on another marathon next year.
“The first thing I’m going to do is spend time with family in New York after the race and start focusing on running the Steamtown Marathon next year,” Swiderski said. “I will also be finding local organizations to support while I run Steamtown next year.”