Giving Back

For The V Foundation, ESPN’s Andy Katz fits half marathon into busy Final Four weekend

Andy Katz after finishing the
Andy Katz after finishing the Big D Texas Half Marathon.

This weekend’s men’s Final Four in the Dallas/Fort Worth area was a marathon event wrapped within a marathon event for ESPN senior college basketball writer Andy Katz. One personal, the other professional.

The personal: raising $4,166 for The V Foundation for Cancer Research by running in the Big D Texas Half Marathon.

The professional: covering the three Final Four games and many practices, news conferences and conducting interviews for multiple ESPN networks, programs and platforms.

The Katz Kounter: Balancing work and half-marathoning:

12:15 a.m. Left AT&T Stadium following National Semifinal coverage
12:45 a.m. Back at hotel
1:15 a.m. Sleep
6:00 a.m. Wake-up
7:00 a.m. Arrive at the Cotton Bowl for 8 a.m. race start
10:03 a.m. Finished the half marathon in a personal best 2 hours and 3 minutes (two minutes faster than his previous best)
12:30 p.m. Returned to AT&T Stadium for Sunday Conversation interviews
(All times CT)

The race was held yesterday at 8 a.m. CT, which made for less sleep than Katz usually might get on the day between the semifinals and championship, but the run didn’t conflict with his work responsibilities.

Katz, an avid runner and supporter of cancer research, signed up for the half marathon as soon as he learned it didn’t conflict with work. He spread the word on how people could donate via social media.

“I’m overwhelmed by the support for the cause of running for cancer research by reaching out to my followers on Twitter [@ESPNAndyKatz]. I was honored to put on my V Foundation shirt #TeamPat for Pat McCaffery, the teenage son of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, who is battling cancer,” Katz said. “I have had too many friends, family members and colleagues dealing with this dreaded disease. I wanted to do something and thought there was no better birthday present to myself – [Katz’s birthday is today] – than to give back to others.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to do something for the greater good,” he said. “The challenge was there for me to take on amid a hectic Final Four work schedule, but there was no way I would ever give up once I was committed to the cause.”

A Final Four edition of Katz Korner airs today at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU, leading into “Tournament Countdown: Road to the Championship,” at 4:30 p.m., followed by College Basketball Live at 5:30. College GameDay is on ESPN2 beginning at 7 p.m.
Tonight, after the title game, “SportsCenter at the Final Four” will air at 1 a.m. on ESPN.

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