2013-11-08 / People


Runner raises money for Camp Sunshine
By Michael Kelley
Staff Writer

Erin Dawson-Chalat Erin Dawson-Chalat CAPE ELIZABETH — When Erin Dawson-Chalat ran the New York City Marathon Sunday, Nov. 3, she didn’t have a watch to track her time. In fact, she wasn’t monitoring her time at all.

That’s because the Cape Elizabeth resident ran the 26.2- mile road race not for herself, but to raise money for Camp Sunshine. Dawson-Chalat, an obstetrician-gynecologist with Coastal Women’s Healthcare in Scarborough, finished the popular marathon in 3:19.29.

“I love Camp Sunshine. It is such a great organization. I thought it would be a good way to raise some money and not run for time, competition or for myself,” said Dawson- Chalat, who raised 2,775.

Dawson-Chalat said she first became aware of Camp Sunshine when her husband, Josef, an architect, did some work for the organization, which, since 1984, has been supporting children and families dealing with lifethreatening illnesses.

“Marathon running is such an individual sport,” Dawson- Chalat said. “To be able to run it as part of a team is going to be fun,” she said before the event.

“To run for charity is inspiring. The atmosphere is so positive. It makes for a great experience,” she went on to say.

Dawson-Chalat is no stranger to the New York City Marathon, or marathon running in general. The New York City Marathon, which is in its 43rd year and cuts through all five boroughs, was Dawson-Chalat’s first marathon in 2006. The very next year, she did the marathon again.

Since then, Dawson-Chalat has participated in two or three marathons a year. The last one she ran was the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, which took place Oct. 13. Dawson-Chalat finished the race in 3:01.18. Although her time was just off her goal of three hours, it did place her first in her age group, women 50 to 54. More than 40,000 runners competed in the marathon.

Normally, she said, she would not tackle another marathon so soon after finishing one, but the opportunity to run in New York City while raising money for Camp Sunshine was an opportunity she couldn’t say no to.

“I really believe in it,” Dawson-Chalat said of the work Camp Sunshine does. “It is a beautiful place that helps children and families with life-threatening illnesses.”

Marathon running takes a lot of training, and Dawson-Chalat said she is lucky to have “so many talented runners to run with and train with.”

Although her work as a doctor and role as a mother and wife takes up a lot of her time, Dawson-Chalat said she still finds time to run six or seven days a week, sometimes twice a day.

She said southern Maine has no shortage of trails and routes to run. Among her favorites are the Eastern Trail in Scarborough, the Green Belt in Cape Elizabeth, Baxter Boulevard in Portland and Mackworth Island in Falmouth and Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport.

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