Member Spotlight: Mike Seashols

 

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What excites you most about running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon?
I am running my fourth NYC marathon with my son Pete (my first one was when you could walk up and introduce yourself to Fred Lebow in the early 1980’s) and this is my 55th marathon in total.   I ran the 2011 Marathon with my other son Matt – so this event is very special to our family.  My wife will be at the finish line as she has for many of my runs.  I consider the NYC marathon the best of the best – crowds, organization, course, activities before and after, etc.  We are all privileged to be able to participate.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
The dirt trails in Oregon and California where every turn launches something new from Nature.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I love listening to the 60’s rock and roll while I run.  I also listen to audible books – both make the time fly.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Pizza – in fact, my son and I stopped at a pizza place on First Ave around mile 17 and had a cheese pizza during our last marathon – we were hungry – having a good time during the marathon is more important than making a good time

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
1977 when I ran the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco on a invitation from one of my friends … I ran in high top basketball shoes – but I was hooked.  Ran my first marathon the next year in Honolulu …

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Fill my tummy with good pasta and hopefully get to bed early …

Why 26.2?
Because a marathon requires training and disciple – and those are great attributes in life … my son is now doing ultra-marathons – I stop at 26.2!

Tell us a little more about yourself
I was born and raised in Indiana, asked my wife Suzanne on our first date to marry me (50 years ago) and she said yes … moved to California after college (wanted to live where there were Palm Trees and warmer weather – worked in Silicon Valley as a software entrepreneur and now split our time with Summers in Bend Oregon -have two sons and two granddaughters … launched a non-profit 3 years ago to serve the Congolese people in the Democratic Republic of Congo – congovoice.org … to serve the most needy and to give back.  We are all more fortunate than most … be still and God will guide you

Member Spotlight: Andrea Imhof

Andrea Imhof TFK

What excites you most about running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon?
I’ve been running competitively for more than 10 years, and a marathon has always been on my bucket list. While the distance is certainly intimidating (I was a miler in college…this is a LOT farther!), joining the community of marathon runners has been an incredible experience. I feel so honored to surround myself with so many inspirational runners every day, and I can’t wait to be propelled by their enthusiasm and positive energy on race day.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
Prospect Park. I live in Brooklyn about a mile from the park and love the diversity of people and trails you can find there. I love that I can find new trails in secret corners of the park almost every time I run.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I actually listen to the news while I run. I think I might be the only person on earth who is motivated to run by listening to BBC world news on 1.5x speed. British accents speed talking about world problems…I don’t know, it works.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Anything with peanut butter on it. Bananas, apples, eggs, toast, carrots…you name it, I’ve tried it with peanut butter. I actually started a peanut butter company this summer to fuel (and fund) my addiction. It’s called Grind Over Matter and I will (hopefully) be in Brooklyn farmer’s markets this fall. I probably eat 1-2 pounds of peanut butter a week.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running cross country in 5th grade, a habit born out of a rivalry with my middle school arch-nemesis. I have always been an extraordinarily competitive person, and running seemed like a healthier outlet than most other alternatives. I raced through high school and college, and am just getting started on my post-collegiate debut in the road racing world. At this point running doubles as a form of morning meditation and coffee–I can’t wake up without it!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
There’s a YouTube video called “The Yes Dance” that I think everyone should see at least once. I have the audio clip on my iPod, and I listen to it on repeat during the warm up before every race. It’s a tradition that started in college, and having Kiki’s voice in the back of my head honestly does help when the going gets tough. Go watch it and see for yourself.

Why 26.2?
I tried to convince myself that I was just going to stick to 5ks, but the peer pressure from the rest of the NY running community got to me. It seems like everyone in my track club has run at least one marathon, and I was looking for my next big challenge. Within a few minutes of admitting that I “might want to try a half marathon once,” I had signed up for the Big Apple Challenge with Team for Kids. So here I am!

Tell us a little more about yourself
Although this interview may make it seem otherwise, I actually do lots of other things outside of running. During the week, I am a K-1 intervention teacher at a charter school in the Bronx, which means I teach reading and math to 4-6 year olds who are struggling academically. I am incredibly excited to start coaching a Mighty Milers program at my school this year, bringing Team for Kids, running, and health education into my own students’ lives. On weekends I can often be found exploring New York City’s best eateries, playing soccer (poorly), escaping the city to frolic in the woods, biking, hiking, skiing, and grinding peanut butter.

The Meaning Behind Your Miles – July

Welcome to Reasons to Run, your monthly TFK newsletter.  We’ll cover information on our youth programming that you can use for your fundraising, inspire you with profiles of our kids and TFK members, and hopefully encourage you to keep up the great work with your training.  We welcome your comments and feedback!

As you get ready for your marathon — and the upcoming fundraising deadline — take pride in the fact that your fundraising is helping NYRR transform the lives of more than 200,000 under-served kids. As a marathon runner in training, you have a lot in common with our kids: you are both passionate about training, working hard to meet your goals, and reaping the lifelong benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

What it Costs to Keep Them Running
$50 supports one child for one year in Mighty Milers
$500 Transports 50 kids to a weekend road race
$1,000 Produce a developmental track meet for 300 kids
$3,000 Support a Young Runners team for 3 seasons

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Kids Earn Multiple Medals

This past school year, our youth running programs set a record number: 135,000 Mighty Milers from about 600 schools in New York City and throughout the country collectively ran 4.7 million miles. That’s an average of 34.8 miles per kid, more than a marathon!  NYRR’s youth running programs have transformed the lives of kids from underserved communities by giving them the gift of running and teaching them determination, dedication, and commitment.

Pam Edwards, the principal at MS 447 in the Bronx, is thrilled to have the program at her school. “Many of our students have improved academically due to their experiences with the program.” She adds, “When kids are happy, motivated, and feel empowered, dramatic changes can take place. If you give students the opportunity, they will perform.”

And we know you will perform well on November 2nd. Think of these kids when you need to dig deep.

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Matthew Slawter, 32, of Jonesville, North Carolina, wears a lot of hats: he is a full-time nurse working 40-hour weeks; he is attending school to earn his BS degree as a step toward realizing his goal of becoming a nurse anesthesiologist; he’s a dad to six kids; and, he is training for the TCS New York City Marathon with TFK.  Two years ago he was 40 pounds overweight and diagnosed with high blood pressure. He was put on medication but also decided to take his health in his own hands and started running to lose weight. He joined a running club and ran his first marathon in November of 2013.

That same month he watched the New York City Marathon on television and was inspired to run it – “Now there’s a marathon!” he remembers saying – and I can run it for charity. He signed up with Team for Kids, bypassing the lottery. “My kids have great running programs in their schools and I see the value that running has added to their lives,” says Slawter. “All kids should have the gift of running and by joining TFK I am doing my part to make sure they do.” His wife and oldest daughter, who will celebrate her 14th birthday on marathon day, will accompany him to New York. “This is a big event in all our lives and I look forward to meeting the rest of the TFK team and running my heart out with them on November 2 for the kids,” said Slawter.

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Youth Quotes

“To be a good runner takes more than just hard work. It takes strategy. It takes running through the finish line with your last effort and then bursting with pride.” – Joshua, 10, P.S. 126

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Summer Volunteer Opportunities

We have several volunteer opportunities available for our TFK members with our Summer Youth Programs listed below. Volunteers are required to complete a volunteer application and background check which can be found here. Please note background checks take approximately one week to process and can be emailed to this address: teamforkids@nyrr.org.

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Volunteer Details

Run for the Future (RFTF)
provides free training for New York City high school girls to get fit, develop leadership skills, and earn money for college. The young women meet weekly and train to run the Percy Sutton 5K race at the end of summer. Upon completion of their first 5K the girls will earn a $1000 scholarship toward college.

RFTF Practice Support
What: Run with and offer support to RFTF girls at practice.
When: M,W,F from 5:30pm-7:30pm until Friday August 22nd
Where: Central Park, Columbus Circle Entrance

RFTF Percy Sutton 5K Run, Race Buddy
What: Run the Percy Sutton 5K as a Race Buddy and help one of the RFTF girls complete their first race!
When: Saturday, August 23rd, 8:30am
Where: Harlem

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Volunteer Details

High School Cross Country (HSXC)*
is designed to take high school runners to the next level. Training here is two-fold: physical and mental. Over the course of four weeks, expert coaches will guide runners through challenging workouts that will improve endurance, speed, and form. On the academic side, informative clinics focus on topics such as positive psychology and proper nutrition.

HSXC PRACTICE SUPPORT
What: Run with and offer support to High School Cross Country team at practice.
When: M,T,W from 4:00pm-7:00pm until Wednesday August 13th
Where: Central Park, Columbus Circle Entrance

*HSXC is only open to experienced runners

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Member Spotlight: Giovany Reyes

giovany reyes

What excites you most about running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon?
The physical strain of running 26.2 miles in NYC’s crisp fall sounds like the right way to top off my last year in the city.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I like to run in pretty much any direction I have not been, it keeps my mind focused on the scenery and not my mileage.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
* Klingande
* J Roddy Walson and the business
* The Strokes

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Tacos & a smoothie, ABSOLUTELY

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started really pushing my running when I was studying in Accra, Ghana.  The gym we received memberships to (Pippas), was a good 5 or so miles from where we lived, so I decided to start jogging to my weekly work outs.  It was 95 and extremely humid everyday so I got a fairly decent run to and from.  My workouts have not felt complete without a good job ever since.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Naw, just go for it.

Why 26.2?
I have continually pushed my psychical capabilities for the last 5 years.  26.2 is another bench mark for me to reach and keep improving.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a rising senior at NYU studying environmental science with an emphasis in environmental biology.  I am originally from Santa Barbara, California and come from Mexican heritage.  I am a first generation college student and all of my family is either back in California or Mexico, specifically Mexico City and Zacatecas.

I have always been obsessed with working out and engaging in physical outdoor activities.  This drive is what originally prompted me to find a way to run the upcoming marathon.  I figure I am in the best shape of my life and what not a better time to attempt to run 26.2 miles.

I grew up in an environment that prompted us to be active.  With my transition to the city, I realized that this strong urban environment can make being active an actual conscious step, something kids can easily overlook.  I strongly support the youth programs funded by Team for Kids for this reason.  In the most basic form, these programs prompt children to live healthy and active lifestyles.  Without such programs, I could not imagine myself being the individual I am today.

Member Spotlight: Kelly Snailum

Kelly Snailum Mummy Mountain in Paradise Valley

What excites you most about running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon?
It is hard to pick just a few things that excite me about this marathon. I am pumped about the crowds, running through the city, taking on the hills and seeing 26.2 miles of NYC on my feet. Although all of these things make the trip worth it, I am mostly excited to take on this challenge with my amazing friends who are running with me. We have the ability to push through this many miles with great conversation and encouragement. This will be my 4th marathon and I am pretty sure the greatest!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I live in Scottsdale, Arizona so through the summer months I have to wake up at 3:30 am for long runs. That being said, where I start and end better have an air conditioner and some coffee. We have an amazing restaurant called La Grande Orange (there is actually one in our airport now if you travel to AZ) located in Arcadia. It is set right off the canal that runs through our cities. I love to start there, hop on the canal, run for miles and head back. It’s nice because I can flip or take a route around if I don’t feel like looking at the same things twice. Ending at LGO puts a smile on my face when I order my latte and oatmeal and sit with my girlfriends for a well-deserved rest.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I don’t typically run to music because I am too busy chatting, but when I do I like Top 40. I like to sing songs in my head and since they are always on the radio when my kids are in the car, I have managed to memorize most of them. My husband is really into music and will be terribly disappointed with that response – so will most of his friends (insert guilty smile here).

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Oatmeal, oatmeal, oatmeal. I also like eggs but prefer steel cut oats, a little brown sugar or agave and bananas or blueberries. Yum!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
Running is so far from a natural sport for me I still have a hard time calling myself a runner. In 2009 I met a group of women in a fitness moms group who inspired me to run a 1/2 Marathon in 2011. We ran the PF Changs 1/2 Marathon and could not be stopped from there. We ran a few more 1/2 marathons and somewhere along the way decided to run a full. If I was not for my friends I don’t know if it would mean as much to me as it does but over the years I have found so much comfort in running I would be heartbroken if I could not do it. My “running friends” and I have been through a lot together and they have become friends for life.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I lost my dad in 2006 to brain cancer so every marathon starts with something of his. Fortunately I snatched enough shirts that remind me of him to throw over my clothes. At mile marker 1, I take it off, say a few things to him and leave it there for a donation. I know he would think I am crazy for running marathons but it comforts me to have him with me when I start.

Why 26.2?
Why not? Once you run 13.1… then 14… then 16… then 20.. why not 26.2.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I co-own Remedy Pilates and Massage in Scottsdale, Arizona and I proudly teach Pilates, TRX and Burn at the Barre to a variety of fabulous clients. I have two of the greatest kids ever, Mason (8) and Dera Rae (7) as well as an amazing, supportive husband who sees me through all of the insanity. I am thankful every day for the ability to run, teach and train and feel fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing people who have helped me raise funds for Team 4 Kids. I am one lucky girl.

Member Spotlight: Travis Stratford


What excites you most about running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon?
I’m excited to be part of the collective energy and excitement. And I’m looking forward to the free Gatorade.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I live in Westchester and typically take an early train and run from my office in Tribeca. I start by heading to the West Side Highway Path, down to Battery Park, up the East River Promenade—and then I cut through Chinatown to get back to Tribeca. It’s beautiful and eclectic—and occasionally accompanied by interesting smells of raw fish.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I’ve been listening to various Spotify run mixes along with “Stuff You Should Know” and Radiolab podcasts. But I just read that NYRR discourages earbuds during the marathon—so now I’m now trying to wean myself (the jury is still out as to which way I like best).

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Eataly Prime Rib Sandwich.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
When I was 15 growing up in California, my dad “strongly encouraged” me to play high school football so he could re-live his youth through me. My 98 lbs late-bloomer frame wasn’t well suited to this, but I went along with it anyway. In addition to the various bruised and broken bones, I developed an intense aversion to running. Fast forward 25 years: I decided to face my fears and start running again in preparation for the 2014 NY marathon.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I tuck my shoe laces into my shoes before running because I don’t want the extra force of them hitting the shoes to slow me down. I’m pretty sure this makes my runs significantly easier than they otherwise would be.

Why 26.2?
Midlife crisis bucket list.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I’m married with three kids (my youngest has autism). I help run a boutique branding agency that focuses on beauty, fashion, and hospitality brands. I like snowboarding, skateboarding, and my custom-running orthotics‎.