Fast-Footed Faculty

By Lauren DiGregorio


On a brisk Sunday morning, November 7, 2021, some of New Hyde Park Memorial’s faculty members participated in the New York City Marathon. After the cancellation of the 2020 NYC Marathon, many runners were ecstatic to hear the race was a go. This year was the 50th anniversary of the event that stretched along the five boroughs; it started in Staten Island and ended in Manhattan at Central Park. After 26.2 miles, Ms. Esposito, Ms. Del Santo and Mr. Barbieri all completed the marathon and got their medals.


Q: How long did you train for the marathon? Did you have a set workout schedule? Did you feel prepared?

Ms. Erin Esposito: Just some background, I also ran the marathon in 2018. This time, I started my training much later because I didn't know I was running until mid-September. With only about 6 weeks to train, I had to accelerate my training. I had to improvise to make sure I could finish 26 miles. I did my long runs on the weekends and did shorter runs after school. Normally, I would run anywhere from 3-10 miles on the weekdays and then did 10-22 miles on the weekends. I felt pretty confident going into the race but I’m pretty sure I could’ve used a few more weeks of training.


Q: What made you want to run the NYC Marathon? Have you ever run a marathon before?

EE: I was fortunate to run for a wonderful non-profit called “Roads to Success.” They are based in NYC and help students in poverty achieve amazing goals. As an educator, I was passionate about raising money for this group and even saw the students during the race at mile 20!


Q: How long have you been a runner? Did you ever imagine running a marathon as big as the NYC Marathon?

EE: I have always played sports and enjoyed running. My first half marathon was around 2007. Mr. Kowalczyk and I decided to train and run that first race together. As the years have gone on, Mr. Kowalczyk has definitely become an elite runner. I enjoy running and try to run as often as I can. I love that the entire social studies department has done so many races and they all continue to inspire me to sign up for more races. When I first ran the NYC marathon, I couldn’t believe I was going to complete it. Now, I can’t believe I did it again!


Q: How was the atmosphere during the marathon? What was it like running on streets normally filled with cars?

EE: Marathon Sunday is the best day in NYC! The entire route, which spans all five boroughs, is closed off from traffic. There are literally tens of thousands of people lining the streets. They have live bands, DJs, the best signs and even food and drinks for all the runners. It is the most amazing atmosphere. This year, Mr. Kowalczyk, Mr. Sime, Ms. Burkhard, Mr. Laugen, Ms. Madigan and Ms. Vosswinkel-Blum were all there to cheer all of us on. What a day!


Source from @nhp_athletics

Ms. Esposito runs in the marathon surrounded by other runners, full of emotion.


Q: How long did you train for the marathon? Did you have a set workout schedule? Did you feel prepared?

Ms. Christina Del Santo: I signed up last year to do the marathon but due to COVID, the marathon ended up getting canceled. This year I found out around May that I was able to enter. I started my training the first week in July. Over the course of the months I was able to get some nice workouts and long runs in so I was able to feel super prepared! I definitely was, I had a goal of running it in 4 hours and I was able to finish in 3 hours and 44 minutes.


Q: What made you want to run the NYC Marathon? Have you ever run a marathon before?

CD: I have never ever run a marathon before! I wanted to challenge myself and see how it would be and made a decision to team up with a charity! I joined with Project Purple, a pancreatic cancer foundation and raised around $4000 in honor of my Aunt Jo who passed away a few years ago from it and recently lost a family friend, Emily Cardone, as well to this cancer.


Q: How long have you been a runner? Did you ever imagine running a marathon as big as the NYC Marathon?

CD: I have been competitively running since I was in 4th grade! I ran cross country and track for New Hyde Park and then ended up at Siena College running for their cross country team! Never ever in my wildest dreams did I see myself running the NYC marathon!


Q: How was the atmosphere during the marathon? What was it like running on streets normally filled with cars?

CD: The atmosphere was absolutely wild! Thousands of people lined the streets of NYC that day. From the second you cross the Verrazano Bridge into Brooklyn and run up towards Central Park, the yelling and cheering was deafening. I had my name on my jersey and people were screaming my name, giving high fives and just absolutely cheering everyone on! The most electric race I have ever participated in! Running down 1st Avenue was just a mind blowing experience, you’re in the middle of the road and everyone is cheering you on! A feeling I’ll never be able to recreate again!


Source from Christina Del Santo

Ms. Del Santo poses with her medal after running in the NYC Marathon.


Q: How long did you train for the marathon? Did you have a set workout schedule? Did you feel prepared?

Mr. Craig Barbieri: I used a 16 week training program to prepare for the marathon. My training days were Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. I felt very prepared for the marathon after completing several long runs on Sundays of 18, 19 and 23 miles.


Q: What made you want to run the NYC Marathon? Have you ever run a marathon before?

CB: The NYC Marathon was an event that was on my sister's bucket list. Diane told me that I needed to run it with her. We ran for a charity called Team Tisch MS. Our brother, Donald, was a patient at this research center that is seeking a cure for multiple sclerosis. We ran in his honor and for our sister, Susan, who continues to struggle with this disease. It was our first marathon.


Q: How long have you been a runner? Did you ever imagine running a marathon as big as the NYC Marathon?

CB: Diane and I were both competitive runners from an early age. We ran an event at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx when they handed out flyers for the first NYC Marathon. Running in the 50th NYC marathon made it an extra special event.


Q: How was the atmosphere during the marathon? What was it like running on streets normally filled with cars?

CB: The atmosphere of the NYC marathon was electric, like one big block party! It was awesome and one I wish everyone could experience. I certainly did!


Source from @nhp_athletics

Mr. Barbieri, right, runs along with his sister, Diane, in the NYC Marathon.