NEW YORK - This weekend thousands of runners will hit the city streets for one of the most high-profile races in the world: The New York City Marathon. But, also this month there will be another important race. It is one with far less notoriety, also for a very significant cause.
For this particular marathon, there's just one runner.
"It's a minimum of 26 miles. Some of them have been up to 36 but this year will be 27 to 30. on the streets of Manhattan," said Dr. Peter Soboroff.
Every year, around this time, Dr. Soboroff gets ready for his own big race. He runs as many as 30 miles through the streets of New York City and beyond. This is no ordinary marathon.
"The running joke there - pun intended - is that I do these things myself and then declare myself the winner," he said. "This is an annual event I do to raise money for senior cat rescue. Senior cats, a very much underserved portion of the rescue world."
Dr. Soboroff is a veterinarian. His office -- the New York Cat Hospital on the upper west side..works with several groups that help rescue senior felines.
It's an animal population often overlooked. He says the rehabilitation and treatment can be complicated and very expensive.
"So if I can raise some money to help these people do their thing, get these cats out of the shelters, provide them the necessary medical care and find them, you know, foster and forever homes. this seemed to be a no brainer."
It went from an idea to a mission with his feet on the pavement. His annual New York Cat Hospital Senior Cat Rescue Marathon -- all by himself -- is now in its ninth year. Over all of these years, the doctor has raised more than $200k. He'll run his "one-man-marathon" later this month on his 60th birthday.
"Every year I try to think of something interesting to do. I've done a midnight marathon, a loop around Manhattan, a tri-state marathon, I've crisscrossed all the bridges that enter and leave Manhattan."
This year he says he'll be back on the streets of Manhattan where his route will trace a picture of a cat.
"That's where my help can come in. We can provide these cats necessary medical care and get them to these rescue organizations who will then find them foster in forever homes."
So far this year, in only about 2-3 weeks, Dr. Soboroff has raised more than $20,000. He expects it will get to $50,000 by the time he does his race bringing his total after 9 years to around a quarter million dollars.
For more information go to his website:
All funds raised will be collected by me and distributed to Frankie's Feline Fund, CatFixerNY, and Paws Crossed Animal Rescue — all registered not-for-profit rescue organizations. Monies will be specifically earmarked to help senior and special-needs cats.
You can follow his run live on Twitter (@peter_soboroff) to watch the picture unfold.