Member Spotlight: Ben Jones

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2015 TCS NYC Marathon on November 1st!     

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is my home town of St.Kilda which is part of the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne Australia. The beach side coastal views are great for taking my mind away from whatever pain and stress my legs and lungs are feeling. Plus there’s always a plethora of people walking dogs along the running tracks so that’s fun in breaking up the monotony of running solo!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
A bit of a mixed bag, I love some Foo Fighters, U2, Robbie Williams, even a little Tay-Tay (Taylor Swift…am I allowed to admit that?!)  But my playlist is a bit of a mixed back and it generally depends on mood. I just have to remind myself that even though I can’t hear myself signing along while I’ve got my headphones in, others can…which would explain the strange looks I get sometimes!!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Anything pasta! Spaghetti bolognese, fettuccine carbonara, lasagna, chicken pasta bake…I’m pretty easy to please!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I’ve always played sport in which running has played a big part, but in just pure running terms, really only since the start of this year as I set my sights on ticking of a bucket list item before my hair got any grayer and my stomach grew any bigger!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Just to set my alarm not once, twice but at the very least three times. It’s not that I’m a deep sleeper, i’m just a bit of a panic merchant with things like that! Most likely Ill be setting it 6 times on the morning of November 1st!

Why did you choose to run this event?
Well, I just thought if this is the only marathon I run (and that’s a big if, as I’ve been told I’ll catch the marathon bug and want to do another one after this) then why not make it one of the most iconic in the world. Oh, and we, my wife Aimee and I, just so happened to have already planned to be in the city for our honeymoon so although it’s an odd activity for that kind of celebration i thought it was a sign the marathon planets were aligning for me!

Tell us a little more about yourself
Well I’m a sports fanatic. I work on a 24/7 sports radio station (the only of its kind in Australia) and also commentate on Australian Rules Football (that weird game where we don’t wear pads and kick/throw/and catch!) and soccer. I’ve played just about every other sport I could, from tennis, golf, cricket and basketball.

I’m a CASUAL Clippers fan, haven’t got an NFL team yet, but am open to suggestions! I’ve been to 2 FIFA World Cups including the greatest 3 weeks of my life in Brazil last year!

I was married to my partner of 7 years in the beautiful Aimee in January. I come from a big family which has a large Welsh heritage. I’m the proud father to a 10 month old pugalier puppy/terror…oh, and I’ve never ever been to New York, or America for that matter. So it’s      going to be a big trip when we fly out on October 15 to see San Fran, L.A, Vegas, NYC, New Orleans and Memphis!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
Just that all the work, preparation and effort will not only help me get to my goal of finishing the race, but that in turn through the funds raised will help kids get the opportunity to also one day run their own marathon and tick off their bucket list items!

In the social media interactions I’ve had, and being so far away from everyone back here in Australia…I’ve been overwhelmed with the real family feel to the group, and can’t wait to meet some of my TFK brothers and sisters in November, both pre-race and for a beer or three afterwards!

Connect with Ben via the links below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BennyJones83
Instagram: https://instagram.com/bennyjones35
Twitter: https://twitter.com/benjiman1983

Vegan Pesto & Vegetarian Lasagna Recipes

As long distance runners who put physical demands on our bodies, we need to replenish our bodies nutritionally. Eating foods that are abundant in season are not only delicious, they provide us the necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need for the current season and the season ahead. The vegan pesto and vegetarian lasagna recipes below are great for carbo -loading before a long run and are perfect for a post-run recovery meal as well. Recipes submitted by TFK coach Jennifer Hessmer.

Vegan Pesto

Ingredients:
1 medium to large bunch basil. Leaves only (1 cup tightly packed)
1-2 medium clove garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs tsp chickpea miso (you can use 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese)
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts

Preparation:
1. wash basil by swishing leaves in water; dry in salad spinner or between
paper towels.
2. turn on food processor and drop in garlic until minced; turn off
processor and add basil. Continue processing, adding oil, then miso, salt
and nuts through feed tube until mixture is creamy but not completely
smooth.
3. store pesto in jar covered with a thin layer of olive oil in
refrigerator.

Serve with tomatoes or as a dip with crudite, crackers or bread. You can toss this on your favorite fish, eggs, vegetables or pasta dish.

Vegetarian Lasagna

Ingredients:
1 box of no boil noodles (I use gluten free rice noodles)
6 tomatoes – and 16 to 32 oz of sauce
Greens – Spinach or Swiss chard – 1 large bunch
2 eggplants – medium
2 onions
2 peppers
Mozzarella cheese ( you can use vegan cheese as a substitute)
2 tbls olive oil
Salt to taste. Add dried hot red pepper, oregano, basil to veggie mix to taste.
1 lb of ground beef or turkey (optional) – Brown the meat and add leftover sauce. Serve on side for meat eaters.

Preparation:
1. Slice up eggplant, onions and peppers, salt to taste (absorbs some water) and roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
2. In 9” x 13” pan, layer as follows: olive oil, sliced tomatoes, noodles, greens, noodles, cheese, roasted veggies and any spices, noodles, tomatoes, cheese. Add sauce to make sure all noodles are covered. Use extra sauce for the meat sauce on the side.
3. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for at least one hour. Remove cover and cook as long as needed for top layer of cheese to melt and brown a bit. Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes.
4. Cook meat in a skillet, add sauce and serve on the side.


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

 

Member Spotlight: Robyn Hamilton

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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?
My favorite place to run is Fort Lauderdale Beach with my running group. The support and friendships I have with this group is just amazing, and running on the beach in South Florida is just beautiful.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I love to run to Electronic Dance Music, I have so many favorites!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Always cheese pizza.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
Running was introduced to me by my Dad, and I really go into it seriously after my second daughter was born in 2010.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I always set out my outfit/gear and create a “flat Robyn”. Of course I have to take a picture of it too for my Instagram.

Why did you choose to run this event?
I chose to run the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon because it has always been my dream. I also chose to run with TFK, because I wanted to make my dream even more special by running it with purpose. Being able to share my love for running with the kids and run the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon with TFK will make the most memorable and exciting experience of my life. To top it all off I am running with 10 other amazing women from my running group that are also Team for Kids runners, our team name is Fit for Kids.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I live in South Florida in a city called Miramar. I am originally from West Virginia. This year I have been married to my husband Paul for 10 years, and we have two beautiful daughters ages 7 and 5. I love sharing my love for running with my kids, and we have ran numerous 5ks together. My hope is that one day they will also love running as much as I do, or share a similar passion in another sport. I run with a couple local running groups, and I am challenging myself to run 1,000 miles in 2015. Besides running I love to travel, we go to NYC at least once per year for the Christmas season.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
When I was young I was overweight and my father decided to start walking with me every evening after dinner. Those walks eventually turned into running, and I lost a ton of weight! This is how I was introduced to running, and I always tell my Dad the reason I run today is because of him. Not all kids get this opportunity from their parents, and being able to raise money so that they do is really special to me. I want to share my passion for running with as many people as I can!

Connect with Robyn via the sites below:
Instagram: https://instagram.com/robynhamilton77
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robynhamilton77

#ReasonsToRun: To Run Out of Excuses

Have you ever said any of the following: I’m too tired to run this morning. It’s too hot, I’ll wait till later. Wait, I just have to answer this email. I think I feel a cold coming on so I better not run. I don’t have time to run. My socks don’t feel right. I’m still sore from yesterday’s run. The list goes on. You can add some of your own I’m sure. But we run anyway because deep down inside we know that once we run out of excuses and make it through mile one, the stress, the burdens, the excuses all vanish and are replaced with a feeling of freedom. And running with TFK brings a sense of community, camaraderie, and encouragement! Running brings us back to a purity and simplicity that is sometimes missing in our lives and no excuse is worth missing out on that.

This just one of our Reasons to Run. What’s yours?


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.

Member Spotlight: Alyson Hockett

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?
Jackson Hole, WY because wherever I look, it’s beautiful. Last winter I was running near my home and saw something out of the corner of my eye. Six bison were ambling across the bike path. I started looking for a tree to climb — just in case — but they ignored me and moved on. One doesn’t get an experience like that in most places.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I rarely run with music.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Chocolate milk, then a walnut Gorgonzola salad with chicken. So good.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I became an empty nester at 53 and thought it was time to start a new chapter in my life, so I hired a coach to help me train for my first sprint triathlon. Running was my challenge — I started out running 100 yards/walking 100 yards. It was a process. My training evolved. I completed my first marathon at 56 and my first full Ironman at 57. The great thing is, I started out so slow — I keep getting fast even though I’m getting older. That’s kind of nice!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Well for years I wore the same good luck visor for every event, but it’s gotten so disgusting . . . I now have a new visor to test out for 2015. I wear it when I train, but to be honest . . . I still grab the old grubby one on race days.

Why did you choose to run this event?
My husband and I visited NYC for the first time in 2014 and loved it. It just so happens we were there the weekend of the 2014 NYC Marathon. It looked like so much fun, I had to give it a try. My husband isn’t running the event, but he’s the best cheerleader ever AND he love NY pizza! (Shhhh, he’s from Chicago).

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
Anytime you can do something you love, like running, and can raise awareness and do something positive for others, you feel like a success. It makes running a marathon even more special.

Connect with Alyson on Facebook via this link: www.facebook/alyson.hockett

Member Spotlight: Elizabeth Rowe

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I’m running the TCS New York City Marathon with TFK for the second year in a row!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
Cat Hill in Central Park, but not because I like running hills (I don’t). I love Cat Hill because every time I run up it, I remember last summer when Bruce Stark cheered and ran us all up the hill multiple times during long training runs. The best moment was when I realized he had put his Team for Kids jersey on the cat. It’s impossible for me to run Cat Hill now without smiling at that memory.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I don’t usually run with music–I’m all about chatting with my running partners. Though, on second thought… if Jackie Gossip’s rendition of “The Final Countdown” during the last few miles of long runs counts, then that is DEFINITELY my favorite. She also does a nice rendition of Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle.”

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Blueberry oatmeal pancakes.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running by the monuments in Washington, DC when I was an undergraduate. I mostly did it for the fresh air and the nice scenery, but I quickly fell in love with the sport. I was hooked, and I registered for my first marathon the following summer.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I lay out everything I’m going to wear the night before a race. I pin my number onto my shirt (because I can’t be trusted to pin it on straight in the morning), and I triple-check that my running watch is charged. Also, sometimes a little self-deception goes a long way: I went through a phase where I only could fall asleep the night before a race by telling myself I wasn’t actually going to run it in the morning (even though I totally was).

Why did you choose to run this event?
It’s such a privilege to raise money for such an amazing cause, and I had the best time running the TCS New York City Marathon last year with TFK. Race day felt like one (very) long victory lap with all of my running friends. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to experience that again.

Tell us a little more about yourself
When I’m not running, I am likely either reading or creeping on other people’s dogs at the nearest dog park.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
TFK has the best people, period. Everyone is so genuine and kind, and it is such a privilege to get to spend so much time with such a stellar group. Everyone believes so strongly in the cause, and is so eager to share their love of running. I’m proud every time I don my green singlet!

Connect with Elizabeth via the link below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.rowe1401

Member Spotlight: Ishita Singh

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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?
Along the Hudson River, from 57th street up to Harlem: running-wise, it’s ideal — wide path, usually uncrowded, relatively flat, lots of shade with water fountains along the way. It’s also pretty quiet, which allows me to really get into my head and focus, whether it’s on how I’m running, or my problem of the day, or on the new song I’m obsessed with, etc.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I like anything with a good beat, but my favorite “I’m struggling right now and need to get pumped up song” is “All I Do Is Win,” by DJ Khaled with Rick Ross, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and T-Pain. It’s great to cue up right before that big hill or the last little stretch before the finish line (and it’s a sometimes much-needed reminder that regardless of where you finish, every race is a win).

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I don’t get hungry until about an hour after a race, and then I always want eggs, in whatever form I can get them — poached, scrambled, fried, in an omelet, whatever. This works out nicely for me, since most races end right around peak brunch time.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
A few years ago, I was in between apartments and living far from my gym. On a whim, I started exploring the area along the Hudson River, and realized that it’d be a nice spot to run. I’d never really run before (at least not since the days of high school gym class), but I really needed a workout and that Hudson River area looked doable. I started out with 2 or 3 mile runs, then started running a bit longer, and then a bit longer — I realized that running was a great way to clear my head and kind of disengage from the world for a bit.

Even now, when I get extremely busy or stressed out, I like to go for a run to get away from everything for a bit (or use that time to think things out without outside input).

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
The night before, I set out my race clothes (including my socks and underwear!), bib, safety pins, hair ties, and anything else I’m bringing with me.

The morning of the race, I wake up an hour before I have to leave and make myself a peanut butter-banana sandwich on one slice of whole-wheat toast. (I’m very particular about the sandwich.)

Why did you choose to run this event?
When I started running a few years ago, I told myself I’d never run more than a 10K. A year later, that 10K became my first half-marathon (on my 25th birthday!). But I told myself, 13.1 miles — that’s it.

After a few half marathons, I began thinking about doing a full — halfs, while still challenging, were becoming more manageable. I witnessed the excitement and buzz of the TCS New York City Marathon outside my apartment on First Avenue last year, and I began to entertain the idea of running this event.

Tell us a little more about yourself
In addition to the fitness and the “clearing my head” aspect, I run so that I can eat! I love food in all its forms, but especially when it’s drizzled with chocolate or topped with melted cheese. I blog about cooking and eating at bitesoutoflife.com.

When not running or eating, I work at HuffPost Live (live.huffingtonpost.com), the streaming video arm of the Huffington Post. It’s a ton of fun, and not just because I can spot celebs from my desk.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
The prospect of running throughout New York City and finishing in Central Park is really appealing to me — this city has been my home for nearly 9 years, and I’m excited to experience it in this new way.

Connect with Ishita via the links below:
Instagram: https://instagram.com/ishita001
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ishita_singh