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Katie Grindley: Running for a “PAWS” Greater Than Herself

On November 6, Katie Grindley will show the world that she’s more than your average animal lover. She’s running the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon on behalf of PAWS Chicago, one of the largest cage-free and no-kill shelters in the country.

Funds raised for PAWS provide shelter, food, and medical care for homeless, sick, and injured pets, and go toward maintaining free and low-cost spay and neuter clinics in low-income communities, helping to prevent pet overpopulation.

In preparation for her first New York City Marathon, the 30-year-old Chicago resident has trained with Team PAWS, raising thousands of dollars for the organization along the way.

But this isn’t Grindley’s first go-round at 26.2 miles. In 2014, she signed up for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, knowing immediately that she wanted to run for a charitable cause. When her brother, a PAWS volunteer, introduced her to the organization, she instantly knew it was the right fit. Grindley joined Team PAWS and met her fundraising goal of $1,000. She completed the race again in 2015, raising $1,500.

For her first race through New York City’s five boroughs, Grindley wanted to go big. Teaming up with her younger brother, Michael, who is also a member of Team PAWS, she set her highest fundraising goal yet. Together, they aimed to raise $3,000, the amount needed to save the lives of nine homeless pets.

Katie and Michael have secured donations from SPiN Chicago, Lagunitas Brewing Company, the Chicago White Sox, local restaurants and retailers, and friends and family. As of October 20, the brother and sister duo have raised well over $3,000.

To say thank you, Katie is dedicating each mile of her marathon to the pets of her donors and writing the pets' names on her cherry-red Team Paws singlet. 

“I know firsthand the love and joy that a pet can bring to a family and I am so excited to run for the dogs and cats at PAWS Chicago who have yet to find their homes,” says Grindley, who has an adopted cat named Sophia Loren and a dog named Moose—and can’t imagine life without them.

By Elizabeth Laseter

GET YOUR STORIES ON. Read more inspiring stories from runners chronicling their journeys to the TCS New York City Marathon starting line.

TUNE IN. The 2016 TCS New York City Marathon will be televised live on Sunday, November 6, on WABC-TV, Channel 7 in the New York tri-state area from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET, and for the rest of the nation on ESPN2 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET.