Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott discusses fitness, running

Amy Freeze takes a run with Walcott as he trains for the Staten Island Half Marathon.
October 11, 2013 3:10:36 PM PDT
You would expect to see this man encouraging high school students in Brooklyn, but NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott also has something in common with them.

"I started one block run, and one run and gradually expanded it out," Walcott says.

What is surprising is that Chancellor walcott loved football growing up, but didn't start the sport of running until he was almost 60.

"The first mile is always the toughest, and then I'm in cruise control," adds Walcott.

Wolcott set a goal to run the New York City Marathon for his 60th birthday, which he did. Then he challenged himself to learn to swim, and completed a sprint triathlon. This weekend, Walcott runs the Staten Island ½, which is 13.1 miles. He is aiming to beat his personal best - 1 hour, 51 minutes.

"This year, training felt extremely strong, and I incorporated weights in the workout," says Walcott.

Walcott also knows it is a special race to raise students' spirits who will struggle after Superstorm Sandy.

"I was at a school yesterday in Staten Island, a number of the families are still displaced," he said.

Walcott believes fitness and running can be a source of and setting new personal goals can give individuals structure and purpose.

When Amy Freeze asked if Walcott would go for another New York City Marathon this year, he said 'I know, I'm boxed in, I'm boxed in!"

Officially, he is undecided, but he says running empowers him.

"It shows me anything is possible and limitless," says Walcott.