WAYMART — Amy Neugebauer never participated in track or cross country in high school, but as an adult she's certainly been bitten by the distance running bug.
"I wasn't much of an athlete back then," Amy said with a smile. "If you told me even three years ago that I'd be running marathons, I would've told you that you were crazy. I couldn't even run a mile without stopping."
A guidance counselor at Honesdale, Neugebauer uses her newfound passion to help students clear even the highest hurdles in their own lives.
"Now, I really enjoy the challenge of marathon running," she said. "I tell my students that if I can run 26.2 miles they can achieve whatever goal they put their minds to."
Amy began training regularly with Team Runstar under fitness guru Jeannie Maritato in 2009. Through this Honesdale-based group, Neugebauer began with 5K runs. She then gradually worked her way up to more challenging events, culminating with her first marathon.
Since then, Amy has run Boston, New York, Steamtown and Las Vegas. By early 2013, she will have completed more than a dozen marathons. Next up on her agenda is a "date" with Ryan Leckey of local television fame.
The WNEP-TV reporter began his association with Allied Services and the NYC Marathon in 2010 when he chose 19 runners to compete with him. The effort was so successful he decided to make it an annual outing.
Last fall, "Ryan's Run" cruised through the Five Boroughs and raised more than $226,000 for Allied Services in the process. On November 4th, Neugebauer hopes to help Leckey generate even more money.
"I'm very honored to have been selected to run as part of Ryan's Run team and to support Alleid Services," Amy said. "They've been a Godsend to my family for the past five years."
Allied Services is a not-for-profit organization that specializes in assisting people with disabilities or chronic illness.
In its 53-year history, Allied has sought to to help them overcome challenges and reach their greatest potential.
"I think if all of us looked into our lives, we'd probably find someone who's suffered a stroke or been in some kind of accident who needed rehabilitation," Amy said. "Allied is an amazing place and it's right in our backyard."
According to the latest statistics, more than 1,500 Wayne County residents utilize Allied Services each year. And, Amy has a personal connection.
"A couple of years ago, my brother-in-law was in a bad ATV accident and Allied helped him out tremendously," she said. "I also had a close friend who suffered a terrible fall. Allied just does so much good for so many people."
Page 2 of 2 - On the Agenda
Before she heads off to the Big Apple for this year's New York City Marathon, Amy will be participating in an exciting event closer to home.
Keen Lake Cottage and Camping Resort will be hosting the 2012 Runstar 5K Walk/Run. This second annual event will take place Saturday, September 29th at the resort.
All proceeds from the race will be donated to local charities, most notably Wayne County ARC and Allied Services. Last year, the inaugural 5K generated more than $2,100 for the Dyberry Day Camp.
"I'm very excited," Amy said. "Everything went really well last year and we're hoping this year's race is even bigger and better."