When second grade teacher Katy Pettit hits the starting line in the Boston Marathon on April 15, students at Aquebogue Elementary School will be cheering her on and tracking her time to win a prize.
The students learned about the 26.2-mile race course during a schoolwide assembly on April 3. They each took a turn guessing what Pettit’s finish time will be, and they have the opportunity to win a variety of prizes donated by the school’s PTA and the charity for which Pettit is running.
This is the first time that Pettit, who has been teaching in the Riverhead Central School District for 25 years, has secured a spot in the race, running for Team Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. She already has the New York City Marathon, along with several other marathons, under her belt, but always had a dream to run in the Boston Marathon. She has been running on and off since high school, where she ran track, but 10 years ago started running consistently with a friend.
“We said we would always run marathons, and after my son suffered a critical brain injury, I took the leap and applied to the New York City Marathon to show him that you never give up,” she explained.
Getting invited to run in the Boston Marathon, she added, is a long and difficult process. She applied several times but never came close to getting accepted until this year, when she interviewed with Team Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. She is proud that she is working to raise $8,500 for the charity, which, according to its website, provides medically supervised summer camp free of charge to children with illnesses and their families.
“I truly feel fortunate to have this opportunity to help many children attend camp as a result of my amazing support network,” she said.