Ridgefield runner can't wait to do races, group runs post-COVID

Photo of Sandra Diamond Fox

Ridgefield runner Kathy McGroddy Goetz began 2020 with lots of goals. These included participating in shorter races to work on speed, and signing up for local races she loves, like the Run for the Cows race in Redding.

Her larger plan was to run the 2021 Boston Marathon in April, which has since been postponed to the fall.

A huge part of why she enjoys running is social, and she typically runs with groups of friends. So, when the pandemic struck, it was a double blow — canceled races and social isolation — all in an instant.

“We obviously didn’t know very much about what the risks were of being with other people, so for the first 13 weeks of the pandemic, I only ran by myself,” said McGroddy Goetz, 57, a mother of three who has been running for 40 years.

While she’s had more time to run since she’s now working remotely, without races to train for and company to run with, she began to lose enjoyment and purpose in the sport she loves.

She tried virtual competitions and time trials, but found it hard to push herself. “Especially when you start to hurt during a race when there’s nobody there cheering and there’s nobody there to try to catch,” she said. “It’s been a really good test of my mental will but I really look forward to getting back to in-person races again.”

Going forward, McGroddy Goetz described the future as “a balance of hope and being prepared while being resilient and flexible.”

She would like to run a half marathon in Kansas City, Mo., with her daughter Alysha, who lives in that area; and is keeping a close eye on Boston. “Maybe that’s not going to be an opportunity for me but I’ll have to roll with it.”

She would also love to get a group of friends together to do a destination race in the fall, followed by a spa day.

“We all need it!” she said.