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Sound To Ocean...To Sound

Runner supports Leukemia Society

A local woman pledged an ambitious and challenging goal for herself, one that will test her body to its limit while benefiting cancer research. Later this month, Eva Casale plans on running from Oyster Bay to Jones Beach - and back. While the Ocean to Sound run is a popular 50 mile relay team event that takes a lot of training by itself, Casale is going to the extreme by running 100 miles all by herself, to raise money and awareness for cancer treatments.

Casale joined Team in Training in 2007, a year after donating a kidney to a stranger; an experience she says “changed her life.”

“I was in a position in my life where I wanted to help others,” says Casale, a Glen Cove resident. After becoming a kidney donor, she says she wanted to continue helping people and did her first race for Team in Training, the San Diego Marathon, in 2007. Since then she has done a number of events and the “ultrarunner” is also a coach for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

Casale is no stranger to doing the relay race solo: she has done the Ocean to Sound, a 50-mile relay race, as a team of one on three occasions, in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of LLS - Team In Training so she says she thought doing the course twice - covering 100 miles- on her own, would be a good way to support those with blood cancers and to raise awareness for the work that is being done to treat the disease. Casale feels strongly about the cause, noting that a lot of progress has been made over the years due to research.

“The money raised for the Leukemia Society goes to worthwhile research for medications to help patients live longer,” she says.

To train for the race, Casale runs 75-80 miles per week, logging 20-30 miles on weekends. She says likes running in Glen Cove, Old Westbury and coaches at the Massapequa Trail. She estimates it will take her about 20 hours to complete the run.

Normally, there are teams of eight people that run together, each member running a leg of the race. In Casale’s case, she will have a crew following her in a van, but plans on keeping both feet on the ground for the entire 100 miles. Though she does admit that she is still working out a strategy for the race, and might start out slow to keep her legs fresh. She will start at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, running from Oyster Bay to Jones Beach, and then turn around and run the course back with the race participants on Sunday morning. She says she expects the energy of the race to keep her motivated on her return course.

Getting through the race is as much of a mental challenge as a physical one, notes Casale.

“When my legs are hurting, I try to remember that my pain is temporary. What I am feeling is nothing compared to what those who are suffering are going through. I think positive thoughts.”

To donate or learn more visit www.goteameva.org.