Since her decision to step down as a member, and Vice President, of the Fort Lee Board of Education, lifelong resident Linda McCue is not sitting idle.
Those who know McCue know that she is an avid athlete, who runs, cycles, swims, trains constantly, and who, by her own estimation, has completed eight to 10 triathlons. But this summer, she's trying something entirely new.
"I'm training for my first marathon," McCue said. "I'm on the SYTA Youth Foundation running team and I'm competing in my first marathon in Utah this June."
The SYTA Youth Foundation Run Team raises money for youth to travel with their schools or youth organizations. Members of the Run Team fundraise on behalf of the SYTA Youth Foundation, train and participate in a marathon or half-marathon, and run in honor of a student who has been chosen to receive a Roads Scholarship.
McCue is training for the marathon with SYTA Board of Trustees Member, Ellen Lurz who resides in Wayne. Lurz, who has run 20 marathons, is co-captain of the team running in Utah.
McCue said she met Lurz when she was looking for a swimming coach to train for a triatholon. They immediately hit it off and since then, McCue said that Lurz has convinced her to take part in many events she would have never done on her own.
"Ellen has had me propel from buildings and run long distances," McCue said. "Everybody needs a friend like Ellen--she is a motivator."
Lurz confesses that she was not always an adrenaline junkie. Her athletic transformation began with a New Year's resolution to be more charitable, but in a way that she could do more and give more than by just writing a check.
In looking at charities she came across the Leukemia Foundation who was sponsoring a marathon fundraiser event--one mile to a marathon.
"I told myself one New Year's Eve that I would go from one mile to a marathon," Lurz said. "And now I'm training to run my 21st marathon."
In describing her friendship with Lurz, McCue says, “She’s very active in fundraising events. She’s very active in things and always raising funds for something.”
McCue said that she and Lurz bike, swim and run together all the time, and that when Lurz asked her if she would like to rappel off a building, her answer was, “Sure, why not?” When she asked her if she would like to run a marathon in Utah, McCue answered the same.
"Life is all about the experience of living it," McCue said.
McCue and Lurz are currently raising funds for the SYTA Foundation. Last year Lurz's team raised $87,000. This year's fundraising goal for the team is $100,000. To help reach their team's goal, McCue and Lurz were at Biggie's Clam Bar in Carlstadt on Superbowl Sunday selling boxes to raffle off donated gifts.
McCue and Lurz both say that Biggie's owner, Rose Marie Ranuro, is committed to the community and helping people in need.
"She's always been very kind to us," McCue said.