Brooklyn teacher, musician preparing to run in TCS New York City Marathon

Joe Torres Image
Friday, November 2, 2018
Brooklyn teacher, musician preparing to run in TCS New York City Marathon
Joe Torres reports on the Brooklyn piano teacher, musician and marathon runner.

PROSPECT PARK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A Brooklyn woman, who balances being a piano teacher and musician in a local group, is also preparing to run in the TCS New York City Marathon.

Angela Ortiz is one of those people who somehow squeezes 36 hours of work into a 24-hour day.

The 38-year-old teaches piano to three dozen students. She also plays keyboards for the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra.

The 11-member band plays original music and also covers of popular songs, but with a Latin flair. It's her way of sharing the salsa music she grew up listening to, as the daughter of a Puerto Rican father.

"It's not music where people just sit and watch, although you can do that," Ortiz said. "But it's music where people get up and they move, and they show you their appreciation through their body."

But orchestra gigs and piano lessons aren't enough to satisfy this New York University graduate. Each and every day she laces up her sneakers and heads out for a run in Prospect Park -- a long run, as she prepares for the TCS New York City Marathon.

"It's one sport where you don't really need anything," she said. "You need equipment, you need shoes and that's it. And you just go outside and run. It's like being a kid. In no other capacity as an adult can you just run around like crazy."

Ortiz is not your everyday, recreational runner. She ran track and cross country in high school, took a break in college and hit the streets again about eight years ago.

This will be her ninth marathon, hoping to beat her personal best of two hours and forty-two minutes. She'll start the race with about 30 other world-class women runners.

"You always think afterward, 'maybe I could have run faster, so let me try again,'" she said. "And so you keep trying. You don't want to set limits for yourself. You just want to see how far you can go."

Managing her busy schedule just might be Ortiz's biggest challenge right now, which might explain why she's also looking forward to Nov. 5, the day after the marathon.


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