Your Health

Leaps and bounds: El Camino YMCA member runs through barriers to qualify for NYC Marathon

Courtesy of El Camino YMCA
After giving birth to two children, local resident Patricia Kubala hit the gym. She joined the El Camino YMCA in Mountain View three years ago to lose weight and met instructor Kathryn Wolfe, who introduced her to the idea of a runner’s club. Kubala plans to run in the New York City Marathon next month.

Local resident Patricia Kubala, 27, is conquering much more than she expected nearly three years ago when she joined the El Camino YMCA in Mountain View to start taking care of herself again after having two children: She plans to run in the New York City Marathon Nov. 4.

Kubala has lost 47 pounds, a direct result of the three to five times per week she commits to showing up at the Y to work out.

“I have always loved exercise, but it seemed impossible,” she said in a statement. “Weight loss is a very mental thing. Before, I was so depressed because I didn’t have much interaction with people except for a play group. … If no one organized anything, then I’d be feeling down.”

The young mom said she found solace in the diversity of the El Camino YMCA.

“Literally, I can come here in the morning and just being around the people is enough for me to feel good for the day,” she said, adding that she appreciates the variation in ages, sizes and abilities.

Kubala is feeling anything but down as she trains for her second marathon – her first was in San Francisco. She said she found joy when Y group exercise instructor Kathryn Wolfe told her about a running club to keep her motivated. Her motivation grew when she was selected to participate in the New York City Marathon; participation is based on an entry drawing. She will run with 50,000 other people, including some of the top professional athletes in the world.

“My family thinks it’s pretty cool,” Kubala said.

She emphasized that she’s not aiming to improve on her best personal time, just to “finish the race strong and grow as a runner.” She wants her next stop to be the Boston Marathon.

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