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Hamptons Life

Oct 13, 2009 10:54 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Going the distance for dad

Oct 13, 2009 10:54 AM

The sons of former Southampton Town Supervisor Vince Cannuscio, who died after a battle with cancer on December 6, 2008, will be running in the New York City Marathon next month to honor the memory of their father and do their part in the fight against cancer.

Twin brothers Aubrey and Mike Cannuscio, 40, along with their brother, Thomas Cannuscio, 33, decided to do the marathon last winter, shortly after their father’s death.

“I think Aubrey was the first one to suggest it,” Mike said. “Thomas’s wife Heather ran the New York City Marathon last year. Aubrey and I watched it and thought to ourselves that it would be nice to run New York. I think it was Aubrey that motivated the three of us to run in memory of our dad.”

The brothers will compete with Fred’s Team, a group of runners that raises money for cancer research for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. In last year’s marathon, 700 runners were part of the Fred’s Team group.

Cannuscio was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, but the funds raised will go to general cancer research. Mike, Aubrey and Tom have earmarked the money they raise specifically for The Aubrey Fund (unrelated to Aubrey Cannuscio), which raises money for pediatric cancer research. Since its inception seven years ago, The Aubrey Fund has raised more than $25 million for pediatric cancer research.

The New York City Marathon will take place on Sunday, November 1. It will be the first marathon for Tom, while both Mike and Aubrey have competed in marathons previously. Mike ran the Boston Marathon in the early 1990s with his sister, Carolyn, shortly after they graduated from college, raising money for cancer research simply because they believed it was a good cause. Mike ran the Boston Marathon again with Aubrey last year, raising funds for Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation, which also raises money for cancer research. At the time, Mike said he did not know the cause would soon become close to his own heart.

“We did it just because it was a good cause,” Mike said of doing the Boston Marathon last year. “My dad had not yet been diagnosed, but he was probably battling cancer at the time.”

Both Aubrey and Mike have been runners for most of their lives, starting as members of the cross country and track teams when they went to Hampton Bays High School. The twin brothers also ran cross country in college at the University of New Hampshire. The brothers have been training individually, for the most part—Mike and Aubrey live in the Boston area while Tom lives in New York City. Their sister Carolyn, who lives in the Philadelphia area, said she is going to hop in for part of the race but is not running from start to finish.

The fact that they are raising money for their father makes training easier, according to Mike.

“It motivates me to at least get out there and actually do the miles you need to do to run the race,” he said. “I think it will be a bigger impact when we’re out there running the race. I think it will be emotional and I think we’ll go through the tough miles more easily focusing on why we’re there as opposed to just trying to tackle it as a normal marathon.”

The brothers, who still have ties to the Hampton Bays area and visit frequently, have also done some of their training on the East End. Mike did a long training run from Moriches Inlet to the Shinnecock Inlet on September 11, his father’s birthday.

“That’s why I chose that day,” he said. “It was a nasty day, it was raining and windy. I didn’t see anybody else running that day.”

Thus far, the brothers have raised approximately $12,000, exceeding their initial goal of $11,000, but they’re hoping to increase that number before the race. For more information on their fund-raising, Fred’s Team and the Aubrey Fund, visit vincentcannuscio.com.

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Your dad was so very proud of all of you and so are we. Good luck in NYC. We will be cheering for you.
Aunt Angel
By luckygrammy2000@yahooo (1), Sayville on Oct 13, 09 9:38 AM
What a great way to honor your father. Best of luck with the run.
By dagdavid (646), southampton on Oct 13, 09 10:37 AM
Good luck to all you Cannuscio kids! I know you'll make your Dad proud.
By CMHART (1), Hampton Bays on Oct 16, 09 7:39 PM
Good luck - keeping his memory alive like that is wonderful.
By LovedHerTown (132), southampton on Oct 17, 09 12:30 PM