ROXBURY, NJ – Ledgewood resident Roberta Groner, a world-class marathoner, is planning to run a “Virtual Pittsburgh Marathon” past five Bergen County hospitals May 3 to raise money for hospital workers battling COVID-19.
Groner has raised more than $2,000 so far through a GoFundMe site. On the page, the Pittsburgh area native and former hospital nurse, who now works in a primary care center, said she felt a need to help.
“No longer working on the front line in the healthcare system, I sometimes feel like I am not doing enough,” she wrote. “What these doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, medical assistants, techs are doing daily to fight this pandemic is truly inspirational.”
She launched the site a week ago and raised more than $1,000 in the first day.
Groner planned to run in this year’s Pittsburgh Marathon on May 3. That event has been canceled due to the coronavirus, but runners are being urged to participate in “virtual” marathons.
“I have decided to run a virtual Pittsburgh Marathon on May 3 in honor of all that have been directly affected by this pandemic,” Groner wrote on the fundraiser site. “I would like to raise money to send some inspiration to our fearless leaders in this battle.”
Groner, a 42-year-old mother of three, has a personal-best marathon time of 2:29:09, attained in Rotterdam on April 7, 2019. She represented the United States at that year’s World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, finishing sixth.