HILLSDALE, N.J. — Hillsdale native Dan Sullivan has trained dozens of marathoners, but on Sunday he'll finally take the challenge head-on himself.
The River Edge resident, who has worked in the fitness industry for 17 years, will join hundreds of runners for his first New York Marathon.
Seeing the experience firsthand last year when two of his good friends ran inspired Sullivan to do the same.
Along with the training, the Crossfit gym owner is raising funds for the Army Ranger Lead The Way Fund which supports combat veterans and their families dealing with the health consequences of their service.
"That," he said, "has added an extra sense of focus, passion and determination on my part."
Sullivan also believes that completing the marathon will lead to bigger and better things as he continues his own personal development as an athlete, as a person and as a professional.
Having five other friends on his team running with him will also help, as will the cheering squad set of friends that he anticipates will be in attendance.
"I have incorporated a non-traditional approach with a focus on strength training and short distance running with only occasional long distance efforts," said Sullivan, who trained for one year. "I also consulted with several accomplished marathoners for race day advice and have a strategy/plan in place with my fellow team members."
As race day nears, however, he admits he's a little anxious but also "extremely excited and far more psyched than nervous."
Sullivan said he doesn't have a time in mind and will be thrilled with just finishing.
"Should I pursue additional races in the future, I will use this experience to establish a time to beat," he said. "But for now, no matter what time I finish in, it will represent a lifetime personal achievement."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.