Imagine a cool crisp autumn morning. Over 45,000 people will be stretching and jogging in place. There is an adrenaline high permeating the air. All are waiting for the signal that will begin the New York City Marathon.
This year, one of the West End's own will be running the New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 6. Anndrea Yetter, 25, of Saylorsburg is steadily training for one of the world's pre-eminent long-distance marathons, a total of 26.219 miles. Sponsored by ING, organized by New York Road Runners, it has been held every year since 1970.
Anndrea has been playing sports her entire life from soccer, basketball and running. She ran cross country for Pleasant Valley High School from 7th through 12th grade. She ran track 7th, 8th and 12th grades.
"After playing soccer in college, I became more of a 'runner' because I didn't have to train specifically for soccer," she says.
After she graduated from Lehigh University, where she played defense for the Mountain Hawks women's soccer team, she volunteered for Grassroot Soccer in South Africa in 2008-2009, an experience that she says "changed my life forever."
Grassroot Soccer is a non-governmental organization that does H.I.V. education and prevention.
"We didn't teach soccer to the kids but used activities that incorporates soccer. Soccer is a way to get through to the kids in South Africa."
"Grassroot Soccer will always have a place in my heart. Running in the NYC Marathon is a way I could get back involved and support the organization. The pain of running 26.2 miles is nothing compared to the struggles many of the children in Africa face on a daily basis."
She was a spectator/supporter at last year's NYC marathon.
"It was so incredibly motivating that I decided right then and there I was going to run in it this year."
Her training has her racking up the miles, anywhere from 30-40 miles per week.
"I've also been doing yoga every day, which has been my saving grace."
She has run one previous marathon and that was the Pocono Run For the Red in 2008.
Anndrea is currently living in Manhattan and working as a personal chef. She graduated from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, a culinary school that focuses on healing the body through food and natural health, in July and started with her clients in September.
"I absolutely love my job. It doesn't feel like work to me and I feel so blessed because of that. I get to make people feel happy, satisfied and healthy on a daily basis."
Anndrea has to raise $5,000 before the race and is looking for donations.
"Your support will help save lives through education and reducing risky behaviors that lead to HIV infection and eventually death from AIDS. It will also keep me motivated for the long training hours. There are several ways you can help. 1. Prayers. 2. Donate online through my link: http://www.crowdrise.com/teamgrassrootsoccer/fundraiser/AnndreaYetter. 3. Write a check to Grass roots Soccer and mail to PO Box 712, Norwich, VT 05055 with "Anndrea Yetter Marathon" in the memo line. 4. More prayers."