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.

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