Michael-Ann McAboy and her husband, Mike, in front of the Washington state statue at the World War II Memorial during their September trip to Washington, D.C. COURTESY PHOTO

Back in stride: Kent woman beats cancer, realizes goal to run in the New York City Marathon

Ready for a run of a lifetime, Michael-Ann McAboy was abruptly tossed into a race to beat a terrible disease.

A sudden diagnosis of breast cancer early last year sent the Kent woman scrambling to find answers and aggressive treatment.

A year later – almost to the date of her last radiation treatment – McAboy is fit and back on her persistent feet. She joins more than 50,000 runners from throughout the world to run the prestigious TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 5, (6 to 9:30 a.m., ESPN2).

“I’m healthy, I feel great. I wasn’t going to pass up this opportunity,” said McAboy, an investment manager for a family office in downtown Seattle who frequently visits New York City on business. “Knowing that I’m doing a marathon this year kept me running and doing all that I could in 2016. It was a huge inspiration to stay healthy and active.”

Crossing the finish line in Central Park has always been the goal for McAboy. Confident she would survive her diagnosis and fight through her treatments, McAboy deferred her race entry and committed to run New York this fall.

McAboy underwent a grueling 2016 to regain her stride, overcoming three surgeries, energy-sapping rounds of chemotherapy and intensive radiation treatments.

Gradually, she began to walk, jog, then run again.

New York represents McAboy’s return – and only her second attempt – at the 26.2-mile distance. The former Decatur High School runner who grew up in Federal Way, finished the 2014 Skagit Flats Marathon in Burlington with a time of 4 hours, 35:44.1 minutes.

No speedster, the tall and lean woman, a graduate of Central Washington University graduate in Ellensburg, hopes to finish her Sunday tour of the Big Apple’s five boroughs in five hours at a pedestrian but comfortable 11½-minute-mile pace. Waiting for her at the finish line will be her husband of 28 years, Mike, and one of her two sons, 22-year-old Jared, a professional dancer who lives there and went to New York University. The Kentridge High grad previously trained and starred at Kent’s Allegro Performing Arts Academy.

McAboy didn’t run competitively and consistently until her later years. For a brief time, she joined her other son, Austin, 26, a Boeing engineer, for obstacle-course races. But those spartan-type events required strength, and McAboy wanted to compete in comfort by returning to what she likes to do best – run fluid, run long.

“It’s the best body-transforming exercise you can do. It’s just my thing,” she said. “When you finish, you feel so good. It’s very rewarding because it’s tough.”

Tough describes a woman who will run Sunday’s marathon with a stress fracture in her lower left leg. Doctors cautiously gave her the green light to run and compete.

“I’m going to do it. What the heck, right? I’m not going to hurt myself more,” McAboy said of her injury. “I’m happy to push through and get this done and call it a huge success.”

Besides, McAboy has been through much worse. She beat cancer. Her prognosis is good.

“Knowing that I had to run kept me positive,” she said of her plight. “It kept me going – through the sickness, the surgeries, losing of my hair, the emotional (toll). … Running kept me focused on a goal to do the New York Marathon. It kept me grounded, motivated and inspired.”

She will proudly wear nearly all pink – skirt, shirt, hat – to promote breast cancer awareness and the importance for others to get screened.

“If I not had the mammogram,” she admitted, “I may not be here today.”

More in Sports

Royals get a hefty donation from Seahawks

After the Seattle Seahawks upgraded their state-of-the-art weight room at the Virginia… Continue reading

Muncey, Cakewalk score stakes wins

Muncey and hot-riding Javier Matias wore down Harbors Rule in the final… Continue reading

Kent-based T-Birds expect NHL in Seattle to boost crowds; youth hockey

‘It’s going to be a very good thing,’ team vice president says

Back on the ice: Thunderbirds open training camp Aug. 20

Preseason run includes scrimmages, full-length games

For You Only winning the Angie C Stakes. COURTESY TRACK PHOTO
WTBOA Lads, Barbara Shinpoch share Sunday spotlight

The Longacres Mile is in the books, but there are nine more… Continue reading

Law Abidin Citizen takes Longacres Mile thriller

Kentucky-bred 5-year-old captures $200,000 jewel at the wire

Stars to kick off 2019-2020 home opener on Nov. 30

The Tacoma Stars kick off their 2019-2020 home schedule at 7:05 p.m.… Continue reading

Kato back in the saddle at Emerald Downs

The amazing Akifumi Kato returns to Emerald Downs for a special riding… Continue reading

Kevin Orozco guides More Power to Him to victory in the $50,000 Mt. Rainier Stakes for 3-year-olds and up Sunday at Emerald Downs. COURTESY TRACK PHOTO
Championship Sunday: Preview Day recap

More Power to Him surges to win in $50,000 Mt. Rainier Stakes; No Talking Back pulls upset in Boeing Stakes

Taste of international softball

Acers welcome touring Chinese Taipei Olympic women’s team to Kent

Oh Marvelous Me, left, scoring an allowance victory on Aug. 26, 2017, is the likely favorite in the $50,000 Mt. Rainier Stakes for older horses. COURTESY TRACK PHOTO
Stakes quadruple-header set for Sunday

Mt. Rainier and Boeing stakes head 10-race card

Kent’s Bernard to drive Oberto Specialty Meats H1 Unlimited hydro

Test run set for Thursday on Lake Washington