Meet Cathy Capy-Cantu! Cathy is a K-12 school administrator for Orchard View. She has a deep love of working with kids and finding a way to connect “school” to “life” and wants to help transform our traditional system. Cathy is also a single mom to two amazing young humans, Antonella and Marina, is partner to the love of her life, Ryan, and gets to be a bonus person to two more amazing young humans, Sophia and Caleb. She has lived in Muskegon most of her adult life and loves to be involved in helping the community through service, including as a Board Member for Run Muskegon!
As a part of our Runner Spotlight, we also asked Cathy to answer a few fun questions:
1. How long have you been running?
I did not “pick up” running until my late 20’s. I had spent much of my youth (13-22) as a heavy smoker and because I didn’t think I was particularly good at any sports, I just stopped trying. However, after I quit smoking and vowed not to gain any more weight than I already had during college, I decided I needed to try something new. I started with “Walking Away the Pounds” (VHS tapes) and slowly started getting myself into a movement routine. It didn’t take long before I wanted to try running. It was daunting at first. My goal was to simply run for 4 minutes without stopping. I ran my first 5K 6 months later. It was slow, but I did it! I ran my first half marathon a couple of years later! I took some extended breaks away from the sport while having my babies and navigating those early years of motherhood, but have been running consistently for many years now. Some years are heavier mileage and racing than others, but running has simply become a part of my life and how I manage stress, anxiety, and all the other things life throws at me.
2. Do you race? If so, what is your most memorable race experience?
I do race. I love racing. I rarely make it to any podiums or receive a medal other than the finishers’ medal, but racing is always about competing against myself and being a part of the community of runners. I have had many memorable race experiences, but I think my most memorable is my first marathon. It was the Holland Haven full in 2021. It was after 8 months of running the most volume I had ever run, having already run 4 half marathons and a couple of 5ks prior to training. It was 80 degrees at the 7:30 start in Grand Haven with 90% humidity. I started out strong, but the heat, humidity, and hills were doing me in by the half marathon point. And that’s when my partner first met me with cold water, a cool towel and a kiss to keep me going. He proceeded to stop every two miles to wipe me down with a cool towel, add ice to my water vest, and cheer me on. I had to take walk breaks by mile 18 and I was MAD. I was hot. I was miserable. But I finished. My partner was at the finish. My kids were at the finish. I was proud of what I accomplished.
3. Ever run in a costume? If so, what?
Not really. I am pretty routine oriented and a costume is hot and gross. I did run wearing my ugly Christmas sweater and leggings this past December with our Wednesday night run group. It was very uncomfortable but it was a fun time.
4. Only running shoes for me are…
I’m an ASICS GT 2000 girl. I have tried a few others but always come back to those for road running (though I do love my Brooks trail shoes when I take the time to get out into the woods)
5. What is your worst running-related injury?
In 2021 I was on a mid-week training run a block from home, sprinting to the end like I normally do when my foot hit a broken piece of concrete and I went down. Hard. After hobbling home on a foot I could bear no weight on, bloody from the fall, my foot was already purple and the size of a small watermelon. Though it was “only” a sprain, you would have thought it was broken. However, I listened to my doctors, coaches, and running pals and did not run through the pain. With the help of braces and sleeves, I was even able to run a very slow half marathon 6 weeks later and my full marathon (the awful one, see above), a couple months after that.
6. Hot or cold weather runner?
My preference is about 40 degrees. But if I had to choose, I would go with cold. I can always add layers, but there is only so much clothing one can take off while running before becoming too uncomfortable and socially unacceptable (and possibly criminal LOL).
7. What is your motivation for running?
I think of running as the thing that has “saved” me in so many ways and from many different things over the years. Most notably, I attribute running and what running does for me mentally to helping me make the hardest decision of my life, to leave my marriage, and also the thing that helped me (and continues to help me) heal from that and so many other things.
8. If I didn't run I...
Would probably have a lot more other time since I am on the slower end of running LOL. But I also don’t do well with down time so I would probably become some crazy heavy lifter or something because I will never be a triathlete- I don’t like swimming and my butt only likes a wide seat on a bike.:)
9. I can't run without…
Water. It is both a habit and the fact that I just plain drink a lot. I always have water. I am the dork with the water vest even when I am only running a couple of miles.
10. What's the farthest you have run at one time?
A marathon unless you want to count Ragnar…