Meet Our Team Birch Runners: Catherine Rinaldo

Our next runner on Team Birch anxiously awaiting their place on the starting line is Catherine Rinaldo. Catherine became involved with Birch Family Services nearly five years ago, allowing her to see the positive impact Birch has on individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. She was a founding member of our Young Professionals Board and has participated in many opportunities to volunteer at our programs and events. Catherine is ready to lace up her running shoes as a part of Team Birch on March 17. 

What motivated you to participate in the NYC Half?  

Catherine Rinaldo: I enjoy running and when the opportunity to run as part of the Birch team arose, I couldn’t pass it up! 

Why are you running to raise funds for Birch Family Services?  

CR:  The work Birch does to ensure adults and children in their communities have all the resources they need and all opportunities available to them is unbelievable and inspiring. 

Have you ever participated in a Half or full Marathon? If yes, what race(s)? What was your experience like?  

CR: Yes, I’ve ran in the Brooklyn Half and the Big Apple Half! It is so much fun. I’m not the fastest runner but the crowd and the other runners make the experience fly by. 

How do you prepare for long-distance runs, and what strategies do you use to stay motivated during the race?  

CR: I run at least three times a week and try to switch up my training between long distances runs for endurance and interval training for speed. I normally don’t listen to music during a race and let the crowd’s sounds cheer me on. A mid-race text from a friend helps! 

What are some of your other hobbies?  

CR: I love to read and learn new languages. I am currently taking Greek classes. 

Do you have any words of encouragement or tips for Half training for other runners?

CR: One foot in front of the other! 

What are you most looking forward to leading up to or on the day of the race?  

CR: I’m excited to see all the other runners.


You can support Catherine’s fundraising efforts here