#ReasonsToRun: It Feels Good!


Running is a natural defense against the stress we encounter in our daily lives. As most of us runners already know, going for a run is a wonderful way to work off daily frustrations. The “runner’s high” produces a calming effect that seems to reduce stress and anxiety, and the euphoria it produces can have a positive effect that lasts all day.  When you run, you leave all the negativity  – the difficult boss, the recent breakup, the bad date, the too big birthday!  –  behind and it’s just you and the open road. For a few minutes of the day, you feel free.  You don’t have to answer that text or voice mail.  As adult runners, we get this. But how great that kids in our youth programs, some who live in very difficult situations, also feel the power of running and get that positive charge in their day as well.

Running doesn’t fix everything, but it’s a good place to start. And running with Team for Kids will help get you and our kids feel the power, the rush, the high, and the beauty of running.  Now go out for a run and sign up to run with Team for Kids in 2016! We are currently open for the United Airlines NYC Half, the BMW Berlin Marathon, and the TCS New York City Marathon. If you are interested in running both the United Airlines NYC Half and the TCS New York City Marathon, then sign up for our Big Apple Challenge!

For more information on how to support NYRR youth programs and sign up to run with Team for Kids visit: https://runwithtfk.org/

Share your reasons to run by using #ReasonsToRun #teamforkids and tagging Team for Kids in your post on Facebook and @TeamforKids on Instagram or Twitter. You can also email us a photo and your reason to run at teamforkids@nyrr.org with #ReasonsToRun in the subject line for a chance to be featured.

Alumni Spotlight: Noah Lam

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What events have you run with Team for Kids?
I ran the 2008 New York City Marathon, 2009 New York City Marathon, 2015 TCS New York City Marathon with Team for Kids.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
Knowing that my running is bigger than just me. The excitement and cheering spectators gets the blood flowing, but getting to know and becoming friends with real solid people like Irapaul Turner, Jackie Gossip, Wolfgang Wander, Bruce Stark, Asteria/Sid Howard, Vincent Corso, Joseph Kolisky, Drew Swiss, Sandra Cotuna, and so many more!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is where ever my wife or kids are running. It’s because of them that I am running!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Sans music for 7 years. During my first marathon, my friend ran with me for a little bit, so in order to talk to him, I pulled out my ear buds and that was the last time I ever listened to music. I now listen to my body and stay in tune with it. Plus I want to hear my wife or kids or friends if they want to have a conversation, because I think we don’t talk enough in this electronic society that we live in.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Simple: Burger, Fries, Onion Rings and a Vanilla Milk Shake!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
After watching Forrest Gump run across America, I thought, heck, I should be able to do a marathon, so I chose the 2008 NYC Marathon and Team for Kids to make sure I did not back out!

I remember all of the promises that I made to take care of myself and I eventually ballooned to 245 pounds. My integrity was important so I stuck with it and now I have done 11 marathons and 1 Ironman, and I am back for more!!! So far I am down to 185.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
The only thing that has been consistent has been Pasta and Meat Sauce. The other thing seems to be missing my scheduled bedtime for more sleep and that is because I am way to excited for the next day to begin.

Why did you choose to run with Team for Kids?
Because I wanted to live longer for my kids, what better way to honor my children then by supporting other kids, because I know if I was not around that I would want my kids to have every opportunity to be healthier!

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a happy Father of 3 wonderful kids, and married to an amazing wife. We all have done at least 5k and triathlons and live on Long Island. I love to laugh at the stupidest things and always looking for something strange and funny to break up the levity of any tense situation, because life is to short to be taking so seriously. Having said that I do have a goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon and Ironman World Championships in Kona. Both goals at one time seemed impossible, but with the support of Team for Kids and my family, it’s getting closer!

What would you tell someone who was considering running with Team for Kids?
Always follow your heart in choosing a Charity to support, otherwise it won’t be as meaningful. If you choose to support Team for Kids, hundreds of thousands of kids will get a running head start for a healthier life!

Connect with Noah via the links below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noah.lam.5
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RunWithNoah
Twitter: https://twitter.com/runwithnoah
Instagram: https://instagram.com/runwithnoah
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/noahlam
Blog: http://www.runwithnoah.com/

NYRR Youth Jamboree Presented by Tata Consultancy Services

Over 2,500 kids age 3 to 18 from all over NYC, along with dozens of seniors, filled the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory for the NYRR Youth Jamboree Presented by Tata Consultancy Services on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Team for Kids fundraising dollars help make events like this possible. Thank you Team for Kids runners!

Visit our Facebook album linked here to share photos with your donors and let them know the impact their funds are having on our youth!

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Member Spotlight: Sara Weisel

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2015 TCS New York City Marathon!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
About three hours away from where I live there is a beautiful and secluded trail called Horse Shoe Bend. The trail winds through the forest and along a river that is fed by snow melt. The trail is my favorite place to run because the air is cold and crisp, the trees are always green and there is a sense of peace in the wilderness. An exciting bonus is seeing some wildlife (my husband saw an elk)!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Any and all dance music!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Chocolate almond milk and watermelon is my favorite post run meal. After a race, I always indulge in my favorite candy: Extreme Sour Patch Kids!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My mom ran her first marathon when I was about two years old and when I moved home in between college and graduate school she asked if I would train with her for her second marathon. I had never run more than 5 miles at that point, but decided to go for it anyway. We trained together all summer and finished the 2010 Portland Marathon together. That was the real start of my love of running.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Just get in bed about two hours before I want to fall asleep. My mind is usually going pretty fast and it takes some time to visualize my race and calm my mind.

Why did you choose to run this event?
I picked the TCS New York City Marathon because I could accomplish two things: give to a good cause and achieve my life time dream. I know training and the NYC Marathon itself will be challenging, but most importantly, when the running gets hard I can think of the kids who will benefit from the funds I have raised. Running for Team for Kids makes the experience that much more fulfilling.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I see life as one big adventure. I love to travel, learn new activities and spend time with my loved ones. I make sure to balance being active and on the go with naps, reading and red wine. And at the end of the day, I make sure to focus on one thing I am thankful for and one thing I am excited for in the future. It helps me keep grounded.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I am excited and honored to make a difference in the lives of kids through running. I volunteer as a running buddy at a local elementary school and I have seen the impact of programs like Team for Kids. But specifically, as a TFK runner I get to raise attention and funds for youth programs that will truly make a difference in the lives of kids. There is always a point where running gets hard. But I find it motivating that I’m not just running for myself. I’m running for my supporters, my donors and the 200,000 kids who will benefit from Team for Kids programs. Also, I live outside of Seattle, WA and this will be my first trip to the Big Apple. I can’t think of a better way to tour the 5 boroughs than with my running shoes and 50,000 other people!

Connect with Sara via the link below:
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sara.weisel

Member Spotlight: Kathryn Gazso

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2015 TCS New York City Marathon!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I love running on the Bronx River Path — it’s meandering and quiet and shady! Since I started training with TFK for the marathon, I’ve loved getting back into the city to run. Central Park is exciting – it’s the complete opposite of my home path – and so it provides a different level of motivation and fun.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I only run with music when I run by myself. Otherwise, Amy and I spend most of our run talking. Our husbands tell us that if we’d just “shut up” we’d finish a lot quicker.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
The first thing I do after a run is have a glass of chocolate milk. I love the stuff, but I am probably the worst person to ask since I don’t eat any one thing after a run. A few times I’ve gone out to the local bagel shop to grab a sandwich- they make the best healthy chicken salad — it’s filled with chicken, Craisins, and apples. It’s awesome on a multi-grain flagel.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I ran on and off after college, though once I had my children, taking care of myself wasn’t the top priority. When my father-in-law got sick in February 2012, it was a tough time for our family. I needed time to think, so I downloaded the Couch 2 5K app on my phone. Another mom in town (Amy Fraley, another TFKer) found out I was running and asked to join me. We ran a 5K together. Then she started encouraging us to run farther. We ran the More Half Marathon together in April 2013 (which was my first, her second) and a few others after that. I was hooked on running, and I had a new friend!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Before long runs or races, I lay everything out the night before. I even have a post-it note on the kitchen door reminding me of everything I need to bring with me so I don’t forget anything. I’ve also been eating the same thing every Friday night (or night before the long run) since July (chicken, broccoli, and pasta). I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before every long run; I’ll probably have one with me on 11/1.

Why did you choose to run this event?
When I first started teaching 18 years ago, my students interviewed me for the school newspaper. Their question to me: What is one goal you have in life? I quickly responded, “To run the NYC marathon.” I had watched marathons before – throughout college (in Boston) & living on the Upper East Side (after college). I was always inspired by the runners, and I just wanted to follow in their footsteps someday.

Amy & I tried to enter through the lottery this year, deciding now was the time. We didn’t get lottery entry, but decided this was what we really wanted to do. We thought a lot about which charity — because I work with kids, I loved TFKs mission. I work at a school where students are fortunate to have plenty of opportunities to be involved in athletics, and I see the positive impact it has on them. I was happy that achieving my goal would help so many students.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I grew up just outside the city in Yonkers, and I live there now with my husband, 2 children (Owen and Ava), and dog. I’ve been a high school English teacher for 18 years (the last 14 in an all-girls school), and I honestly LOVE what I do. Working with kids is a gift, so I was excited to have the opportunity to do something like this FOR KIDS. I do love to do service work — I’ve traveled to Mississippi and the Dominican Republic to build homes and work in schools, and I’ve worked with Habitat for Humanity in Yonkers too. It’s important for me to teach my own children the importance of serving others and giving back to the community.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
What excites me most? The whole thing, honestly. I cannot wait to start that climb up the Verrazano – I get chills just thinking about it — or beginning that descent from the Bronx onto Fifth Avenue. I love that I’m running alongside my friend (we’ve promised to cross the finish line together). And as someone who has always been committed to service work, I’m excited that I can engage in a project that serves kids. And running with TFK was the best decision I could have made — it is the most amazing, supportive group of runners out there. We’ve really been each others cheerleaders for 5 months now.

Oatmeal Cherry Cookies Recipe

Coach Gail’s 16-mile marker oatmeal/cherry cookies!


  • 1/2 Cup(s) (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 Cup(s) light brown sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon(s) vanilla
  • 1-1/2 Cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon(s) Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon(s) salt (optional)
  • 3 Cup(s) Quaker®Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 Cup(s) dried cherries or cranberries or raisins – I used cherries
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dark or semi sweet chocolate bits

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add other ingredients and  mix well. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets or on parchment paper. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

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Recipe by Team for Kids staff member Gail Kislevitz

Do you have a recipe and photos you would like to share with Team for Kids runners? If so, email it to teamforkids@nyrr.org along with a photo for a chance to be featured!

Member Spotlight: Pierino “Pev” Gattei

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2015 TCS New York City Marathon!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I love running through my home town of Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, England. I can feel my improvements in my running by the way I feel when I get to different parts of the town, especially as the area is quite hilly.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I currently run with Muse in my ears, especially their new album – I’m turning myself into a running super drone!! I am still building the soundtrack to my marathon – I know I will find the last stretch tough and so I will choose songs that will motivate me to keep those legs pumping.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Following a run, I enjoy tuna with vegetable rice.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running on a daily basis 20 years ago when I was playing local football (soccer), and then lost touch as I let my life and work get in the way.

I decided late last year that I was going to get back in touch with my lost passions following some changes in my life. I seek to be more charitable and fitter, and running with TFK in the NYC Marathon is a perfect combination.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I wear the same pair of blue shorts I wore when I ran regularly when I was younger – I intend to retire them following the marathon.

As I start running, I imagine I’m running the last 200 yards of the marathon and allow the great feelings to rush through me in my run.

Why did you choose to run this event?
In no order of importance, I wanted to truly test myself and prove that I am capable of running a marathon. I have also never been to New York. I want my charitable activities to be on a global scale and not just local to me in the UK. I wanted to signal how serious I was to those people I know that I am committed to raising monies and becoming a better man. I am working on a number of projects about self-improvement and my journey is one I will be sharing in the hope of inspiring others to take up running, being charitable and maybe having the courage to run the NYC marathon in the future.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I grew up in the small town. My parents are a mixture of Italian, English and Welsh. I gained a deep love of reading, science and football from my family.

At school, I excelled at mathematics and physics, and was fortunate to read mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge where I gained two masters degrees.

On leaving university I spent a year in Italy, before training as a Chartered Accountant in London in 1995. This has been my profession ever since. I have worked in many industries and I currently manage world-class financial operations for a world-wide service management business.

That is the formal CV out of the way. I actually consider myself the following…

I am the father to three amazing children, who teach me so much about life and myself. I want to be the best father I can be for them and this is a large part of my continuing personal development.

I am a passionate writer, currently finishing my first children’s novel, which will be available later this year. This is the first in a series of six. I am also working on a few other writing projects, including a science fiction thriller trilogy, and ad hoc projects to support my blog (www.sophrosynergy.com) and my mission.

I am currently in the process of launching a charity to help people who suffer from hunger, poverty and deprivation.

I volunteer my coaching services to help men deal with relationship breakdowns. I am a qualified Strength Deployment Inventory practitioner, providing workshops for businesses and teams who seek to increase their productivity through a better understanding of relationships and conflict.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I am excited by the prospect of helping TFK continue to achieve their mission in a place I have never visited over a distance I have never run. I am excited by the challenge I face to help those who may face daily challenges as part of their lives.

Connect with Pev via the sites below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pev.gattei
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophrosynergy
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pierinogattei