By LIZ BUTTON
For the third summer in a row, David Carraturo of Tuckahoe will participate in the RBC Decathlon to raise money for Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
In 2013, Carraturo, who has run several marathons and Spartan races, placed fourth in the competition’s over 40 category and was the overall winner in the bench press, putting up 175 pounds 42 times.
Founded in 2008, the RBC Capital Markets decathlon, to be held on June 22 at St. John’s University in Manhattan’s financial district, is a networking and fundraising event for financial service industry employees. Over the last five years, the 10-event competition geared toward the men and women of Wall Street has raised more than $3.6 million for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center pediatric cancer research.
Since he first started the decathlon, which includes 10 events that test speed, endurance, agility and strength, Carraturo, a 49-year-old financial professional at IRC Securities, has raised more than $10,000. Currently, he said he has raised $2,500, nearing the $3,000 minimum necessary to compete.
Last year, another local resident, Goldman Sachs employee Andrew Hogue of Bronxville, won the over 40 category and the 800-meter race overall, finishing in 2:11. Carraturo said Hogue excels at such running events. He and Hogue, who will also participate in 2014, became friendly through the event and have since discovered they work out at the same gym.
Carraturo said he got involved in the competition after his mother died in 2011, when he was looking for a way to get involved in charity work. He lost his father to pancreatic cancer in 1979.
“Last year, I was invited to the Sloan Kettering facility for a pre-event get-together,” Carraturo said. “There, I learned there is an 80 percent cure rate for children’s cancer, but in the economics for a pharmaceutical company, with a market that is so slow, funding for sample drugs and infrastructure just isn’t there. So every dollar that we provide for Sloan Kettering goes a long way to help that other 20 percent.”
Carraturo also participates in other fundraising efforts back home in Tuckahoe.
He and his wife are involved in the Louie Bellantoni Scholarship Fund of which he is a charter member. Each year, members organize a casino night to raise money for scholarships for graduates of Eastchester and Tuckahoe.
Carraturo is also a member of the Eastchester Rotary Club and will soon take over management of the Interact Club for high school students in the area.
“At its core, The RBC Decathlon is a fundraiser,” co-founder Marc Hodulich said. “Participants not only represent their own firm, but ‘Team Decathlon’ as Wall Street comes together to fight pediatric cancer.”
Former finance industry professionals and track teammates at Auburn University in Alabama, Hodulich and Dave Maloney founded the competition as a sporting event for friends and coworkers, but realized it had potential to be more.
In 2009, they expanded the event in honor of their mothers, who are both breast cancer survivors, bringing together Wall Street professionals to participate in athletic events to fundraise for pediatric cancer research.
Gaining global press coverage in 2009 when Bloomberg News reported on their first attempt to crown “Wall Street’s Best Athlete” and getting RBC to step in as the title sponsor in 2012 were both huge steps in the growth of this event, Maloney said.
The decathlon’s 10 events and heats are comprised of age divisions with 15 to 20 competitors each: a 400-meter run, an 800-meter run, 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle agility drill, the vertical leap, football throw, a 500-meter stationary row, bench press, dips and pull-ups.
Participants can compete individually and raise a minimum of $3,000 or, in teams of three which must raise $10,000 to compete.
In 2013, 150 competitors raised $1.4 million.
This year, Carraturo, who played football at Eastchester High School and at Iona College in New Rochelle, said he is asking his donors for “performance-based contributions,” which will vary based on whether his scores reach or outpace the performance goal he sets for himself on one “marquis event.”
“People can give a specific dollar amount or can give based on my performance. I like that better because it makes me work for it,” he said.
“[The competition is] designed so anyone can do it. Individually, these are all easy events, so people can make their own attainable and reasonable goals,” Maloney said.
To train, Carraturo said he has been using exercises normally practiced by football players: weight lifting, football and sprinting drills on the track at Bronxville School. Last year, he did a lot of training with his nephews, who play football in Tuckahoe, he said.
“For the most part, I don’t stop working out during the year,” he said, “I focus on three of the events—bench press, dips and pull-ups—and incorporate those three at a very high level, whereas besides that I do running, jogging and sprinting.”
Last year, 1996 Olympic decathlon gold medalist Dan O’Brien competed in the RBC decathlon and raised $100,600, but Carraturo said he and Hogue finished with better overall scores than O’Brien.
Former 1992 Olympian bronze medalist Dave Johnson will also compete this year.
Carraturo said he is very interested to see how he does against O’Brien, who though in his 50s is still an incredible athlete. Last year, he said, he garnered 60 more points than the former Olympian.
To donate to Carraturro’s or Hogue’s cause, go to the RBC decathlon website and search for the athletes’ names.