Member Spotlight: Cardeux Nel

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Where do you live?

Hong Kong

What event are your running with Team for Kids?


What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?

Being a physiotherapist I have a great passion for helping people, especially children. Whenever I hear charity I am always in! It is an honor to be running this race as well as doing it for a good causeūüôā

What is your favorite place to run and why?

Well…. I moved to Hong Kong 5 months ago from South Africa. After 15 days of being here I decided I needed a goal for the year. At the time I had never even run a 21.1km and I am unsure what came over me but I thought it would be amazing to run a Marathon. And what better marathon do take part in then The New York Marathon. So basically to answer the question after all my rambling… My favorite place to run is right outside my doorstep… On Lantau Island Hong Kong. In the mountains and through the rural parts of this city.

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

“Oe… this is a great question. I love running with music. My playlists consists of:

Oldies – Purple rain , Spice girls, Queen, Eagles, Dreams by Gabrielle

Feel good ballads- Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Whitney Houston

Hip Hop and RnB. Kanye West, Run it by Chris Brown, Yeah by Usher and  A$AP Rocky

New hits- Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Ellie Goulding, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Tay Tay Swift OF COURSE!

What is your favorite post-run meal?

I would have to say fruit. I love having some juicy watermelon. Mmmm. After a run I always have an electrolyte drink: Pocari Sweat. And after about 2 hours I enjoy either a Chicken Salad or I smash some pasta.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?


I am a very sporty person. A field hockey player in fact. I have been playing since the age of 3. When I moved to HK the hockey seasons were different so I had to wait 7 months for the new season to begin. I am the kind of person who needs goals…. and that is where my long distance running really began. I went online and entered the NYM and when I saw you could do it for a charity I was even more stoked! Now I have met many amazing runners in Hong Kong and its so fun wen I get a chance to run with them.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explains?

I try not to drink too much before I run,  I just take enough water with me for the run. I am a physiotherapist so obviously I am a big fan of warming up and stretching, as well as activating my Gluts if they are being lazy that particular day. I also always made sure I have a buff, headband or cap on because nothing is more irritating then your hair sticking to your face or getting in your eyes.

Why did you choose to run this event with Team for Kids?

I am very privileged to have grown up in an environment where sport was always encouraged. From a very young age I always knew I wanted to grow up to be an athlete. My school and community supported me and I was lucky enough that when I traveled overseas to represent my country, my parents were behind me all the way. Even if they could not fully support me financially, they promised that they would always find a way. And they did. I have always been very grateful for what they have given me. Sport made me into the person I am today and nothing can replace that. Sport helped me get through very difficult times in my life and it was the one thing I could always rely on to take my mind off the crappy things happening around me.

I know many kids aren’t as blessed as what I have been in my life and I am willing to raise money for this cause because it can give them hope, it can give them a dream and most importantly it can show them a part of themselves they never knew existed.

Any ways… Like I said I dig charity work a lot. If I could travel the world and help people, I’m on board.

Also North America is the only country, well and Antarctica, that I have yet to see. So I will be touching down soon and I would love to travel the U.S for a bit after the race.

Tell us more about yourself.
South African living in Hong Kong
On a new journey to travel all over the world
I love networking – So you can contact me via Facebook or follow me on Instagram (not many people have my name haha)

Excited to be healthy and living life to the full..See you soon New York!

Final Checklist: TCS New York City Marathon

If you are traveling to New York for the marathon by plane, train or car or coming from close by there is plenty to do these last two weeks to prepare. Here’s a checklist for everything you’ll need.

Travel Arrangements

  • Confirm all travel arrangements such as flights, hotel, and ground transportation.
  • Do a Google map search to get familiar with your hotel surroundings and your proximity to the start or proximity to your departure point for race day transportation.
  • Book your pre-race and post-marathon restaurant reservations.

Essential Packing List

  • Participants must present a printed copy of their registration form and bring it with you to the expo or show it on your mobile device. Registered runners must pick up their own race materials in person at the expo, with government-issued photo identification. Your confirmation form is available, which can be accessed from MyNYRR. Details here.
  • All mobile devices and their chargers.
  • Specific foods and fuels you may need.
  • Wear or carry your running shoes on the plane, not in your luggage.


If you chose the check baggage option, the following suggested items should be packed in your clear, plastic, expo bag to check at the start:

  • Sunglasses ‚Äď there is not much shade on the TCS New York City Marathon course
  • Sunblock
  • Chapstick
  • BodyGlide or Vaseline
  • Band-aids
  • NipGuards
  • Warm loose clothes/hat for post-race
  • Comfortable shoes for post-race
  • Hotel key
  • Wallet
  • Cell phone

If you chose the post-race poncho option (no baggage), the following suggested items should be packed in your clear official start village bag that was given to you at the expo.

  • Warm clothes (all items left at the start will be gathered and donated to Goodwill Industries or recycled)
  • Food for those with special dietary needs (the TFK start tent will have bagels, PowerBars, and light refreshments)

Member Spotlight: Jon Deitchman


Where do you live?

Fairfax, VA

What event are your running with Team for Kids?

2016 TCS New York City Marathon.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?

I think that giving back to a cause such as giving kids the ability to run and be active is one of the most important causes out there. We have all seen how a lack of activity leads to numerous health issues later in life, and I want to do what I can to help kids either get through a current hardship, or not deal with a hardship at all.

What is your favorite place to run and why?

My favorite place to run is downtown in Washington, DC. I only live about 15 mins from downtown, and being able to run amongst all the gorgeous monuments and history is inspiring for me.

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

I must admit that for me, music is a must have for my runs. And I usually have to go with upbeat songs that give me some energy when it’s lacking. Most of my playlist includes hip hop or classic hard rock. It’s a combination of Jimmy Hendricks and Eminem.. Ha.

What is your favorite post-run meal?

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a Cobb salad from Chopt, a restaurant that predominantly focuses on healthy salads. I won’t lie though; after some of my long training runs, I’ve been see going to Chipotle as well.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?

My relationship with running began when I was in elementary school. I was a sprinter, and participated in a lot of baton relays, mile runs, and short distance events, all the way through high school. For me, it was a release. That said, tragedy struck when I was 16, and my mother died of a massive heart attack. Not two months later, during a basketball game, my heart stopped on the court. Fortunately the wonderful doctors at Faifax Hospital saved my life, but I was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.

I was petrified of running again, but one day I just laced up and went outside. I was used to running a mile here and there; that day, I ran 5 miles. And it was love from there. I wasn’t afraid anymore; it was freedom for me. It was a way for me to forget I had just lost my mother; I had almost just lost myself; but now at least I could hold onto something nobody could take from me; the ability to run.

Running to me symbolized not running from my problems, but running with me in an effort to minimize them. Weird, I know. But I’ve never wanted to be seen as someone running from my problems because that doesn’t work. I run with them and allow them to energize me in a positive way. They’re my fuel for finishing, first or last.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explains?

I always write the distance of my race on my right hand; and I write the date of my mom’s death on my left hand. Intermittently throughout the race, should I get tired and begin looking at the distance on my right hand wondering why I’m doing this, I look at my left hand and understand that as hard as anything is in life, it’ll never be harder than the day I lost my mom.

Why did you choose to run this event with Team for Kids?

You always hear, the children are our future. Well that truly says it all I think. We obviously have an issue in this country, and around the world really, with childhood obesity, which then leads to other diseases, such as heart disease. I was lucky enough to never suffer with obesity, but I know what it feels like to be a kid and diagnosed with a life altering health issue. I want to prevent other kids from getting the same talk I got from doctors when I was a kid.

Tell us more about yourself.

Well, I’m 34 years old but still maintain the mindset of being a kid sometimes. I love life and enjoy living it. One of my passions is volunteerism; I spent quite a while in Kenya and Tanzania after college volunteering with multiple organizations. I also love to travel obviously and become immersed in culture. Sports is a huge part of my life, from basketball, football, baseball; you name it, I’ll watch or play it. I live right outside of Washington, DC, but most of my family is from NYC.


Site Spotlight: Bonnie Rodgers


In which program is your site enrolled?

Mighty Milers

Where are you located?                                              

Crestview Elementary – Carlisle, PA

What is your role with the program?

Site Coordinator and Physical Education and Health Teacher

What was your motivation to lead/participate in a NYRR Youth Program at your site and how has it been implemented?

I have done many of my own running programs over the years, some of which involved only girls called Go Girls Go and Sole Sisters and wanted to do a program for all of the students. As a runner myself I see the benefits myself of running on a regular basis. Last year I did the Mighty Milers during recesses only so it was hard for the students to earn enough miles for t-shirts and medals as I wasn’t always available during their recess time. This year I offered an after-school program and had so many kids sign up that I had to limit it to 65 and put the others on a waiting list. This was because in the winter the gym is being used by an after school care program and the only space available was the hallways to run so it would have been hard to accommodate any more students.

How have your students responded to the program and what are their favorite component?

The students can’t wait until Tuesdays for Mighty Milers. Some have begged me to have it more times per week. One asked if I could skip my lunch time and come out to punch their mileage cards. (I have been known to do that many times.) They love running with friends and teachers, they tell me it is making them ready to play on their other sports’ teams, they say that running is fun and keeps their hearts and lungs healthy.

Share an inspiring quote from a student or parent?

My favorite quote was from one of my very competitive, athletic girls. I asked the kids what they had learned from Mighty Milers and she said, “You don’t have to always be first!”

What do you believe are the biggest benefits of your program and the importance them?                                                                                                                                                

The biggest benefit is that the kids are MOVING and HAVING FUN!! As the obesity rate keeps rising in the U.S. it is great to have a free program that kids literally come running to sign up for. They are realizing as young as first grade that this is their body and they need to take care of it. A quote I use is, “If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?”

When did your relationship with running begin and why?

As a high school athlete and then a Division 1 college athlete I always liked to run when the coach would make us but track or cross country was never the sport I chose. When I gained the freshman 15 as a college freshman and my grandma told me that I was looking a little larger I knew that running was the way to go. (Not to mention that she was the one that sent me all of the care packages with home-made cookies.) So began the weight loss, I looked better, I did some 5Ks and placed in my age group and running became my passion. It is still my passion and constant in life. I ran through both my pregnancies with dr. permission of course. Funny that I taught right up to my due date with both of my children. Former students of mine have said they remember us jogging to the practice field Tuesday afternoon and then Wednesday morning the principal announced that Mrs. Rodgers had a healthy little girl Tuesday evening. Of course, I had jogging strollers so that my kids could accompany me on my runs which was awesome. Now they are 14 and 11 and I do a program at my 11 year old’s school called Sole Sisters-just for girls and when we do the final run my older daughter comes to pace my younger one and so inspiring to see them running together stride for stride. If I have a stressful day, running is my way out. As a teacher for 25 years, my students see me running in class and this inspires them to like it also!!

What would you tell donors who are considering supporting Team for Kids runner to fund NYRR Youth Programs?

Mighty Milers has been an inspiring program for my students. They love to run with their teachers and friends and enjoy the various incentives which would not be possible without Team for Kids. They are becoming healthy and want to do more running and more exercising!

Tell us a little more about yourself.

I have been an elementary physical education and health teacher in Carlisle Area School District in Carlisle PA for 25 years. I am married and have 2 daughters that are 11 and 14. I love to run especially with my family and my dog. I also play competitive softball and enjoy watching my daughters play many sports.



Tip of the Week: Tapering

Tapering Explained

Your long run taper starts at the completion of your last long run. What does this mean?  It means that you will decrease the intensity and duration of your workouts! This is NOT the time to make up missed workouts or long runs. Please follow the schedule as written.  If you have been strength training throughout the season, you are going to STOP at this point (if you haven’t been, this is NOT the time to start).  You want to limit the amount of anaerobic exercise to avoid  muscle fatigue or soreness.  You also want to limit ( or avoid) ALL activities where injury is a risk (contact sports such as soccer, basketball, football, etc.). Please be cautious. You have worked too hard to get to the finish line, now we want to make sure you make it to the starting line as healthy as possible!

What to Expect
 When Tapering

Feeling tired. Please listen to your body and get plenty of extra rest and sleep.

New aches and pains. Your body is rebuilding itself from all of the training you have completed over the past few months.  This is completely normal and to be expected.

Up and downs. Today you feel great, tomorrow you are sore from just walking. Again, this is completely normal and very common. Please listen to your body and take extra rest days or cross train as needed. When in doubt, err on the conservative side.

Self-doubt. This is also very common. We start questioning our training- did I do enough training?  Can I really complete a marathon?

How to Taper

REST.¬†Please follow the schedule. The taper phase is not the time to ‚Äúmake up‚ÄĚ for missed workouts. More is definitely NOT better.

NUTRITION.¬†Eat well! The taper phase is a good week to try to eat ‚Äúcleaner‚ÄĚ than usual. Continue to eat what works best for you but try to pick more nutritious, nourishing, and balanced meal options whenever possible.

HYDRATE. It’s never too early to start hydrating. Proper hydration is more about what we drink on a daily basis vs. what we drink the night before. Drink even if not thirsty.¬† Keep a bottle of water with you at all times.¬†¬†Limit your consumption of alcohol- sorry! Remember, the rule of thumb is to drink .6x your body weight of water in ounces/day. You can revisit our Hydration post from earlier this season by clicking here.

LIMIT STRESS. Try to minimize the amount of stress that you incur at work, home, and in general over the next two weeks.  Increased stress will only create more anxiety which will impede your ability to rest and sleep properly.

STRETCH. Continue to complete your mobility and stretching exercises everyday for about 15-20 minutes. We want to keep those joints mobile and those muscles flexible and well rested (try the lunge matrix stretch we’ve worked on this season).



Member Spotlight: Emmanuel Jacobo


Where do you live?

Hoboken, NJ

What event are your running with Team for Kids?

2016 TCS New York City Marathon

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?

Seeing others running for the same cause…I feel like it will push me to go faster!

What is your favorite place to run and why?

Anywhere new… All the different scenery is my favorite part of running.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artist or songs to listen to?

Jay Z, Eminem, Linkin Park, Drake, Lil Wayne, Mumford and Sons, Usher, Ne-Yo, KYGO, David Guetta, 2 Pac, and DMB.

What is your favorite post-run meal?

Chicken Parm

When did your relationship with running begin and why?

A few of my colleagues ran the 2014 marathon and it inspired me to run the 2015 marathon. Mind you, never in my life had I run more than a mile… not even a 5K. I played basketball all my life and long distance running was never part of my regimen. I went back and forth for a while then July of 2015 I committed to running for a charity (CPNY). I fell in love during training… it became my therapy. I’ve been running ever since. This year I decided to run the 5 borough and the marathon- 2 down, 3 to go. As well as the Worlds Toughest Mudder.

Do you have an pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?

Yes. I go to the finish line the day before so I can visualize crossing it throughout the race. On race day I don’t speak until the end of the race- headphones on and visualize crossing the finish line.

Why did you choose to run this event with Team for Kids?

Funds they raise provide free or low-cost health and fitness programs to kids who would otherwise have little or no access to regular physical activity.

Tell us a little more about yourself.

My goal is to make it to the top of my industry and throughout my climb show kids that the¬†environment doesn’t define you, YOU DEFINE YOU!

What‚Äôs Your Race Plan?

After several months of training the time has come for you to determine just how long is it going to take you to run the NYC Marathon. Whether your goal is to win or to simply finish the race on the same day you started, EVERYONE needs a race plan, regardless of pace or goals. It is extremely important that you look back at your training and be honest with yourself before choosing an arbitrary finish time based on how you thought or wanted your training to go. Pick a goal that is realistic and best reflects your current fitness level. Here are two options that you can utilize regardless of your experience or specific time goals.

Race Plan Options:

Option 1: EASY- That’s right, run the same EASY pace that you have been running every Saturday for the past few months. This is a great plan for first timers, or for those whose training didn’t go as well as expected. This pace is your comfort zone, you know it so well you can do it in your sleep. Treat race day like any other Saturday: a conversational paced run through the streets of NYC. This will ensure you achieve your ultimate goal: FINISH!!!

Option 2: Personal Record (PR)- You are an experienced runner, you started this season with a certain goal in mind and you are not going to let anything or anyone stand in your way on race day. Your training was flawless, and you have only one thing on your mind: PR! This option is perfect for those who have specific time goals.

Pacing Strategy:

Regardless of which race approach you choose, consistent pacing from start to finish is key. Instead of viewing the marathon as 26.2 miles, let’s further simplify things and divide your race into three phases:

1) Phase 1- The Warm-Up: Consider miles 1-10 as your warm-up. Your goals during phase 1 are to establish your pace and, most importantly, make sure you DON’T go out too fast (the #1 mistake of the endurance athlete). During this phase it is recommended that you add a MINIMUM of 10 seconds/mile to your goal pace regardless if you choose option 1 or 2.

2) Phase 2- The Race: This is where your race begins. Your focus during miles 11-20 is goal pace. Your body is adequately warmed up, and it’s time to start thinking about that PR.

3) Phase 3- The Finish: It is at this point of the race that you want to run completely by feel. If you are feeling good and your race has gone as planned, you will find yourself running slightly faster than goal pace. There is no reason to hold back now. Go for it as you gradually increase the pace over the last 6.2 miles.


To help clarify the above, here is an example of a pacing plan:

Marathon Goal: 3:30 (8:01 pace/mile)

Miles 1-10:  8:11 pace (8:01-8:21)

To¬†avoid going out too fast, add 10 seconds to your goal pace to determine your¬†pace for the first 10 miles. Utilize ¬†a +/- 10 second window to your goal time to ensure consistent pacing (8:01-8:11-8:21).¬†Since the first 10 miles are considered your ‚Äúwarm-up,‚ÄĚ it is more than ok if a few of your early miles are actually slower than 8:21/mile (i.e. crowds at the starting line, a much needed porta-potty stop, etc.).

Miles 11-20:  8:01 pace (7:51-8:11)

This is where the race begins and where you begin to focus on your goal marathon pace (i.e. 8:01). Once again, utilize the +/- 10 second pacing window (7:51-8:01-8:11) to ensure consistent pacing from miles 11-20.

Miles 21-26.2: Run the last 6.2 miles (10K) completely by feel. If you are feeling good, gradually increase your pace over the last 6+ miles. If everything goes according to plan, you will find yourself running slightly faster than goal pace during this phase.

+/- 10 second window? Why?  Well, the goal is consistent pacing throughout your race. It is nearly impossible to hit the same pace/mile for 26.2 miles.  If you can stay within 10 seconds of your goal pace you are doing great job of being consistent. The more consistent you are with your effort level (i.e heart rate, respiration rate, etc.) the less energy you will waste and the better you will feel throughout your race.