Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dad, Daughter to Race with a Cause in Mind

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dad, Daughter to Race with a Cause in Mind

Article excerpt

Gary Zangaro doesn't know how many years he would have been able to spend with his mother, but he knows that whatever time he might have spent with her was cut way too short when his mother, Patricia, died following a battle with cancer on Oct. 14, 2012.

He's hoping his efforts will help the sons and daughters of other mothers to avoid the heartache and loss he and his family have experienced from cancer.

Losing a loved one to cancer has been an all-too-frequent occurrence for Zangaro and his family.

"My grandmother and my grandfather also passed away from cancer," said Zangaro, the athletic director and transportation director at Holy Family Academy, the Emsworth-based school, which opens its doors this fall to its first class of incoming freshmen.

Since retiring from the Port Authority as the assistant operations officer in 2006, Zangaro has officiated in five WPIAL sports: softball, basketball, football, soccer and volleyball.

Zangaro has to run extensively when officiating basketball, football and soccer, and a lesser amount with softball. But the distance he runs in those sports doesn't come close to the 13.1- mile distance he and his daughter, Jordan Corcoran, will be traversing when they compete in the Nike Women's Half Marathon Oct. 19 in San Francisco.

The pair will fly to San Francisco Oct. 17 and plan to return to Pittsburgh Oct. 20.

Despite its name, the event is open to men and women, provided a runner is competing for a charity or successfully negotiates a lottery that is becoming more common in popular races.

The former is the case for Zangaro and Corcoran, who are part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team In Training that has competed in several distance races all over the country.

Corcoran, a 27-year-old Ross resident, works for the society's office in Pittsburgh, and was motivated by what she observed when she accompanied some runners from the Pittsburgh area who were raising funds while competing in the Nike Half Marathon in April in Washington, D.C.

"I was so inspired by the race and what the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society does for these runners that I wanted to fund-raise on my own," she said. …

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