Annie Onishi: A Glutton for Punishment

Annie Onishi

Annie Onishi, 28, a resident in the Department of Surgery, has been a competitive runner since childhood. A seven-time marathon runner, she prefers "Marathon Sunday" to Christmas morning.  

When did you start running, and why? And what is the longest distance you have run? 

I started running when I was 10 years old because I wanted to break the Tamaques Elementary school record for the girls’ mile run. My training consisted of running around the block until I couldn't run anymore, and push-ups.

I've run seven marathons, but in Boston one year I ended up running 27.1 miles because it was really hot so I was zig-zagging all over the place getting water.

Why are you running the NYC Marathon? 

I'm off that weekend and have nothing else to do.

What is your goal on race day?  

My goal is to finish without ending up in the hospital and beat my senior resident Mauer Biscotti.

Does this distance— or this particular race— have any special meaning for you?

This is my fourth NYC Marathon. I actually prefer Marathon Sunday to Christmas morning. My favorite parts are the Verrazano Bridge with the NYPD choppers and the FDNY fire boats, Fourth Avenue through Williamsburg, and then I always look forward to seeing my family in Harlem. Also there are these taeko drummers in the Bronx that get me pretty fired up.

What gets you through your long training runs?  

A big sandwich and a chocolate milk at the end.

Have you had any particularly special moments during your runs? 

This has been a good year for celebrity sightings: Malcolm Gladwell (author, spotted in Riverside Park in the 160s), Al Roker (beloved weatherman, spotted in Central Park on the Upper West Side), Scott Jurek (ultrarunner, spotted on a random trail in Wyoming), and Mario Batali (celebrity chef, spotted in Battery Park. He was not running.)

Do you see any relationship between your work and your running?

Surgery residency is a lot like marathon running. You have to be a masochistic glutton for punishment with obsessive compulsive tendencies.