By Eva Potter
When Mike Hutten of East Otto realized his 65th birthday was coming up in February 2013, he knew he wanted to celebrate in a special way.
An avid runner since the age of 42, Hutten said, “The NYC Marathon has always attracted me because I have a daughter who lives right in Manhattan.” Then, why not celebrate with a 26.2-mile run in New York City?
“I usually like to have a goal to achieve with my running each year, and since my 65th birthday is coming up, I guess I wanted this year’s goal to be something really special. In a way, it’s an attempt to combat the feeling of getting older,” he said.
As a registered emergency room nurse, Hutten understands the health benefits of exercise and took up running to control his high blood pressure.
Hutten said, “There were people at the hospital where I work who were interested in running and so it became a social thing as well as an individual experience.”
His daughter, who was on her high school track team, also inspired Hutten. In 1997, the father-daughter team ran their first marathon in Burlington, Vt. Since then, Hutten has run six marathons in various parts of the country.
The New York City Marathon is one of the largest and most popular marathons in the world. Runners can only gain entry through their lottery, guaranteed entry or their charity program. When Hutten learned he could get a definite spot as a fundraiser for EVERYBODY WINS!, he jumped at the chance.
The Everybody Wins! mentoring program promotes success in school and life for schoolchildren through one-on-one reading experiences with caring adults or older students.
“To me, it is an essential skill to read and comprehend what people are writing about,” said Hutten, who knew this program was a great match for him.
To prepare for this grueling race, Hutten trains when he isn’t working 12-hour shifts at the hospital.
“My base run is five miles, usually done near my home, and I add in longer runs of 8 or 11 or 17 miles as I get closer to marathon day,” he said.
As of Aug. 3, Hutten raised $770 toward his goal of $2,500, which he attributes to the “incredible generosity of my family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances.” He is working with Hog-Shed Studio Pottery, owned with his wife Elliott, to develop an incentive plan to reward donors. To donate, visit www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/michael-hutten/EWNY2012Marathon.