This Runner Spotlight is all about Valerie, a long-time supporter of PAWS NY who has participated in the United NYC Half Marathon on behalf of PAWS several times! Splitting her time between NYC and Italy, Valerie is currently in Santo Stefano Belbo, Italy, and has a truly moving story.

“I recently battled Melanoma Skin Cancer, which did not allow me to run for seven months,” Valerie said. “My love for animals and my mental well being made me decide to run my third Marathon and I’m thrilled to be supporting PAWS again.”

While Valerie is very sad about the cancellation of this year’s Marathon, she is planning to run a future race and will be doing the Virtual Marathon from Italy this fall. Best of luck and we’re so glad you’re a part of our team!

Valerie with a dog
Valerie with a furry friend!

Why did you decide to run the Marathon? Have you participated in long races in the past?

I recently battled Melanoma Skin Cancer, which did not allow me to run for seven months. My love for animals and my mental well being made me decide to run my third Marathon and I’m thrilled to be supporting PAWS again.

Valerie running a previous race

What is your connection to PAWS NY? Why is this cause important to you?

I have run several Half Marathons for PAWS NY and I support the cause totally. Humans need to remain with their animals, especially when they are sick and not able to care for them. Our cats provide so much love and affection and I couldn’t imagine not being with them because of illness or financial reasons.

Do you have any pets of your own? Did you grow up with pets?

We have six beautiful cats. I have always grown up with cats, and I volunteer and support several rescue groups.

Valerie's Cat
One of Valerie’s cats

How long have you been running? What is your favorite place to run in NYC?

I started running at 40, which was 23 years ago. YIKES! My favorite places to run in NYC is Central Park and along the West Side near the Hudson River.

What do you do in your free time (besides run)?

I love to cook, travel, and just be outside. I still do some consulting and I volunteer with animals when I can.

Share 2-3 fun facts about yourself! What should we know?

I didn’t start running until I was older. I love cooking and sharing food with friends and family; being outside and enjoying life; helping others; learning Italian; and spending time with our kitties.

Is there anything else you want to share? 

I am currently living in Italy. During the lockdowns, I was training on a treadmill, so I am looking forward to running in the beautiful countryside when I can. I can’t wait to raise as much money as I can to support PAWS.


Click here to donate to Valerie and all the PAWS NY Marathoners.