Watch the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon Sunday, November 5 starting at 7 a.m. on ABC 7
NEW YORK (WABC) -- This has been a milestone year for Andrea Kantor. This school psychologist from Long Island celebrated her 60th birthday in July.
She also ran the Boston, Berlin, and Chicago marathons this calendar year and now prepares for New York City.
"The challenge was I'm doing three marathons in six weeks," Kantor said. "It was one of those things that you can't say no to."
Impressive as are her times including 3:44 in Chicago.
What's even more impressive, this comes after open heart surgery a year ago to repair a tricuspid valve that stems from a pacemaker that's even visible under the skin.
"I had a very, very slow heart rate. And every year as I got older and older it became slower and slower. In 2010 I was told that I needed a pacemaker. My heart rate was down to 18 beats a minute which is dangerously low," Kantor said.
"2020 I needed a battery change, but they replaced the entire system because I was what they call 'hard on my wires.' So they decided to replace the whole thing which is where the problem came in because a year after that I found out that I had a whole in my tricuspid valve. They think it might have been either from the wires or the laser procedure."
Andrea began a gradual return to running after surgery, her doctors told her it would take time.
"I think the big thing for them was there was no real comparison group for me. There's not too many marathon runners who have had this surgery. It's a very rare valve to have a problem with," Kantor said. "It's been an emotional rollercoaster. At times wanting to give up because I'm not the runner I used to be and at times saying, 'Well you can become the runner you used to be you've just got to keep working at it and it's going to take time like any muscle that needs to be rebuilt.'"
"So believe me when I go out every day for a run I am very thankful that I can still do this and do it well," Kantor said. "I try and say even if I don't have the best quote unquote running time I'm going to have a good time doing it."