Masters runner making strides on track, in life

Paul Pendelton and his son at the East River Park running track at E. Sixth St.

Paul Pendelton and his son at the East River Park running track at E. Sixth St.

BY FRANCIS BISHOP-SCHIRO | On Sept. 14, Paul Pendelton, a 43-year-old Lower East Sider, won the masters division of the prestigious Palio Half Marathon (13.1 miles) in Saratoga, N.Y.

Competing under ideal weather conditions, Pendelton placed 11th overall out of a field of 1,200 runners.

A construction manager, Pendelton usually puts in a 60-hour workweek. He is married with two young children, so his home responsibilities are significant, as well. His wife Samia and daughter Mayassa, as well as son Saeed are his strongest supporters.

Pendelton is a personable athlete always ready and willing to help another runner. Easily approachable, he’s always happy to share his athletic philosophy with others.

“To me this is a lifestyle — a commitment to health that not only benefits me but my family, as well as the community,” he said. “I find truth and comfort in the hard work I am willing to do to reach my goals.

“Athletics belongs to everyone,” he said, enthusiastically. “I’m not saying everyone should run, but I do feel some type of athletic activity is its own reward — a gift we can give ourselves.”

Pendelton currently runs for the L.E.S. Track Club and does speed work at the East River Park track, at E. Sixth St., two times weekly. When asked how he finds the time for this regimen, Pendelton stated: “I honestly feel that doing this is what gives me the energy and focus required in my outside life. I feel it makes me a better person, husband and father, and gives me energy to meet the demands of the day and the week.

“This is critically important to me, and I make the time for it. The sacrifices I sometimes have to make are 100 percent worth it. Also, time management is really a key to my success.”

Specifically, Pendelton started running, as he put it, “to deal with stress and anxiety in a healthy manner.”

He started with a five-minute run, and over his first year of the sport, was able to complete a 6-mile effort.

“I finished that run and had a wonderful feeling! I have never stopped running since,” he said.

He started his running life in 2012 and has “never looked back.” He has developed a lifelong commitment to running, one mile at a time.

Pendelton is currently targeting the New York City Marathon in November. He intends to be competitive and says he will be satisfied if he gives his best.

He also plans to run the indoor track circuit starting in December, with the goal of representing the L.E.S. Track Club at the U.S.A. National Masters Championships at 1 mile and 3,000 meters. He already ranks as a current All American (U.S.A. Track and Field Olympic Standards) at 1 mile, 2 mile, 5K, 10K and half marathon distances.

A proud L.E.S. resident and elite masters athlete, Pendleton will be a force to be reckoned with on the roads and track nationally, and, hopefully, internationally, as well.

Bishop-Schiro runs the L.E.S. Track Club. For more information, contact www.lestrackclub.com .

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