The Meaning Behind Your Miles – September

There are many reasons why people run marathons. Whether it’s a bucket list item, a milestone birthday or in memory of a loved one, it is an insurmountable achievement and the fact that you chose to run it for Team for Kids will make your 26.2 journey even more significant! The money you raised will have a significant impact on the lives of nearly 200,000 youth who participate in NYRR youth running programs annually. That thought should help ease the aches and muscle soreness you may experience on your way to the finish line while earning your marathon medal.

While you’re earning your marathon medal, our Mighty Milers and Young Runners are back in school working toward their own marathon medals! Similar to the medal you will earn, our Mighty Milers will earn a medal after running 26.2 accumulated miles throughout the course of their program. Learning to value health and fitness at a young age will help them avoid health problems that stem from obesity and inactivity. And for that, we owe a big thanks to you and your generous donors!

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Kids Have Fun and Earn Valuable Lessons at the Jamboree

This October 25th, the NYRR Youth Jamboree will bring thousands of New York City schoolchildren to the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in Upper Manhattan for a day of fun and games. Open to students from pre-K through 12th grade, these day-long events are an opportunity for our youth to learn about track and field by taking part in dashes, distance runs, hurdles, jumps, and throws. The sky’s the limit for what these kids can accomplish when they start early and embrace an active lifestyle.

For many of them, it’s the first time they have been outside the confines of their neighborhoods as they get an opportunity to explore new vistas and meet new friends. The Jamborees – free to all thanks to your fundraising! – are held three times a year in premier New York City athletic facilities. As TFK members, you can volunteer at the Jamborees and witness the future of running in our kids!

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Young Runner Finally Feels Like A Normal Kid

Emiliano Romero-Reyes immigrated to the Bronx from Mexico with his family when he was five years old. He started school as a kindergartener, taking ESL classes to learn English, but his bigger hurdle in life was being born with a defective kidney and liver. Emiliano was put on a transplant list and tried to live a normal life, but always felt tired At school, he couldn’t participate in any sports and never felt part of the student community.

In 2009, his mother made the decision to donate one of her kidneys to her son. The transplant was a success, but Emiliano was still in need of a liver transplant. In 2013, he received the good news that a donor had been found and Emiliano underwent the liver transplant. After the transplant, Emiliano couldn’t wait to get back to school and start participating in sports. His coach, Maureen Carson, remembers the day Emiliano came to an information session about joining the Young Runners team. “We all knew Emiliano’s background and how much he had gone through, but also his persistence and perseverance to be normal so I wasn’t surprised that he wanted to join the team,” recalls Carson.

Emiliano, now nine, is healthy and running on his Young Runners team. His teammates are very protective of him and make sure he is never left alone in practice. “Being part of my Young Runners team makes me feel like I am finally a normal kid,” says Emiliano.

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Youth Quotes

“When you hear little voices in your head saying you can’t do something, don’t listen to them. Running will help you overcome them.” – Nakita Boucree, 13, P.S. 46

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Fall Volunteer Opportunities

We have two fall volunteer opportunities available for our TFK members through our Youth Programs listed below. Sign up begins Friday 9/26 at 6pm for the Youth Jamboree and Friday 10/3 at 6pm for Run with Champions. Volunteer spots fill up quickly so be sure to sign up fast! To sign up, log in to MYNYRR then select “Volunteer” on the left sidebar and move forward with your application online.

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Volunteer Details

Youth Jamboree

Come out and experience the excitement and thrills of our October Jamboree at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in Upper Manhattan on October 25th. See first hand how your fundraising donations are put to work as kids learn the basics of track and field and have so much fun doing it you’ll want to join in the festivities! The energy level equals the decibel level as kids, parents and their coaches cheer for their teammates. A day at the Jamboree will renew your spirit and give you a mile-wide smile for the entire day.

Volunteers are needed to help with our youngest runners and also distributing t-shirts and assisting with the shot put, long jump, 55 meter, 100 meter, 200 meter, and ribbons.

What: Youth Jamboree
When: Saturday Oct.25th
Where: New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory

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Volunteer Details

Run With Champions

As you prepare for your marathon, see how well our kids are doing with their running. Run with Champions is held in Central Park on Thursday, October 30, and links our youth runners to the TCS New York City Marathon champions. The morning-to-noon event includes a one-mile run, a 400-meter fun run for younger runners, an obstacle course, noodle javelin and interaction with some of the world’s greatest marathoners. Central Park will be prepping for the marathon as the grand stands go up and the out-of-town runners do their warm-ups through the fall foliage of beautiful Central Park. Be a part of this tradition!|

What: Run with Champions
When: Thursday Oct. 30th
Where: Central Park, TCS New York City Marathon Finish Line, Central Park West and W67th Street

Member Spotlight: Ravi Adityan

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What excites you most about running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon?
I ran my first ever Marathon last year in NYC. The fact that you own the five boroughs and the streets for a day makes it exciting. For me, 4th Ave and Lafayette in Brooklyn and 1st and 5th Ave (when the demons start to creep in) are the highlights. I have never seen or experienced anything like that. Not to mention Ft Wadsworth and the start on the imposing Verrazano bridge, which takes your breath away.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
Central Park, it’s like a second home to me considering I spend 4-5 days a week out there. The serenity during morning runs, the crowds during a race, people from all walks of life out there, running walking or just having a good time. I’m inspired by elders and people with disabilities training and wonder why others can’t do that. Must say, I’m in love with the Bridle Path lately for all my runs without the team.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Being an Indian, I am absolutely in love with the golden oldies from the times before it was called Bollywood and music had melody with soulful lyrics. This year has been different though, I’ve shed my earphones for enlightening, sensible to mundane conversations. Doing so has helped me with my breathing, strides and performance.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I wasn’t good with this until a few weeks ago. I like to start with fruits – banana or apple, chocolate milk followed by an omelet in whole wheat toast. Ideally I would love to end every long run with a Shroom burger from Shake Shack, but this is not possible all the time.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I was passing by Columbus Ave late in the evening on NYC Marathon day 2011 and saw people in the twilight finishing the race, sporting their medals proudly and being cheered by people on their way home. A colleague from TFK 2011 suggested the team and it all started and almost looked like a perfect finish until Hurricane Sandy. After 2012, it has become a part of my life to the extent that I feel grumpy on days I’m not able to do my runs. It’s an addiction…a healthy one though!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
None, except jitters as I’m still nervous at the start of any race, but the good news is they ease off with each mile-marker.

Why 26.2?
Because it would be daunting to do 42.195 kms! Jokes apart, not everybody runs a Marathon. The training schedule brings in a sense of discipline to your life and habits. Long runs to me are a time for introspection with intangible rewards.

Tell us a little more about yourself
Originally from Mumbai, now living and working in the bustling city of New York. I started running at 51 and am still an infant in this community. I love reading non-fiction and still prefer the feel of a book to a download. I enjoy music  and am also a foodie who loves eating outside and can easily go from one state to another to enjoy good food.

Member Spotlight: Tim Mathas

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What excites you most about running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon?
New York is an amazing city. If I lived there I’d have a lot more friends and family visiting from Australia. Aside from this, one of the reasons that I run marathons is because it feels like the host city’s people, transport, everything, they all stop just for me. (Granted it’s for the other 30,000+ people but it’s still a great feeling.) Running Golden Gate bridge in July felt special but I don’t think it will compare to the beautiful bridges and normally hustling streets of New York that have stopped in time for me. Also, Central Park.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
Living in Sydney I was only 3 miles from the beach. I didn’t surf as much as I would have liked (ie. not even once), but I was fortunate enough to run over the Harbour Bridge and down past the Opera House a couple of times a week.

On a sentimental note, back in Canberra I can do the run I used to do for cross country training in elementary school. The route goes past two of my childhood houses and brings back fond memories of running as a care-free teenager with my dog/running partner.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
This is a little sad really. I listen to electronic music; at the start it’s pretty easy and builds to a pretty fast pace at the end. That’s not the sad part though, I’ve listened the exact same playlist (order and all) the past 4 marathons. Song. For. Song. I’m a little worried that I’ll start to hate the songs (like if you use your favorites as an your phone alarm), but thankfully that hasn’t happened yet.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Nothing particular here. 2+ beers and the company of my friends who were stupid enough to brave the conditions and wait patiently for me to show up at the finish- usually well after my overly optimistic prediction.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
Like many kids, a friend got me into running with the lure of days away from the class room to compete at the inter-school carnivals. In high school I got semi-serious about it and went to the national titles but I was not quite as good or keen as my competition, so I stopped.

10 years on and things are different. Running is a massive release for me. No matter how bad a day I’ve had running can always take me away, allowing me to think things through, and leaving me feeling refreshed. I’ve read that running is a positive influence on other areas of life too. I totally agree. The more I run, the happier I am, the better I eat, and the cleaner my house is*.

Another part of me also says that you can only do these types of things for so long, so I need to make the most of it. It’s a time to be appreciative as some have never had had the opportunity to participate.

* not a guarantee.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
8 marathons in and I’m still experimenting trying to work out the best pre game plan. Last year I went alcohol free for 10 weeks leading into the Seattle marathon. It was the worst I’ve done. The week leading in the big race I’ll try to get lots of sleep and carb load. Each time I say I’ll take a more scientific approach to diet but that never ends up happening.

Why 26.2?
I haven’t got any tattoos and decided that if I did about 5 or 6 marathons I could draw a stick man with each of the arms, legs, torso and head spelling out the name of the city I’d ran at… That’s how it started, but I’m still yet to ink up.

I’d now like to join the Iron Man club, so I think that will be next. 

Tell us a little more about yourself
My first trip to the US was in May 2012 for my best friend’s wedding. Discovering there was more to America than “Jersey Shore” I found myself working in Seattle 6 months later. Since then I’ve found running to be a great way to meet new people and see how beautiful America is. Running has taken me through the trails of Washington, the Rockies in Colorado and suburbia of California.

Aside from this, I love a good costume party, so if I can raise enough money I’ll run dressed up for Team For Kids.

Member Spotlight: Jessica Damouni

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What excites you most about running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon?
Being a part of something greater than myself and being a part of something that brings so many strangers together. Also this is my first marathon and I am running it with my mum, I am definitely excited about sharing this experience with her!

Looking forward to seeing New York City in a completely different light and of course hearing those crowds cheering all of us crazies on!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I have two places that come to mind – the first is at the beach. I’m from Perth, Western Australia and when going back home for the holidays the first thing I want to do is go for a run by the beach. Nothing beats running straight into the cool water after a long, sweaty run!

The second is in Central Park with the Team For Kids runners, coaches and mentors on those early Saturday morning long runs! I never thought running such long distances could seem so easy and enjoyable – I’ve started to really looking forward to running up those rolling hills and chatting with my amazing team mates! And being filled with so many runners and cyclists, the park just has such a great energy that really is intoxicating!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
All though I can’t get enough of Beyonce, I’ve stopped listening to music whilst running. Now, I just enjoy the simplicity of hearing my foot steps on the ground when running, the sound of the bike wheels spinning when cyclists ride by, the sound of the wind and cars and people and taking in all that is around me.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Ripe bananas or very ripe mangoes!!!!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
Well running took me out on a romantic candle lit dinner for two……..haha kidding! I started running in primary school…but my first real memory of enjoying running was when I would have been about 8 or 9… My mum had just started running and was entering a 12k race in Perth called City2Surf with a couple other mums, my two best friends and I did the 4k race whilst our mums did the 12k and we started doing that every year!

I was very involved in all the co-curricular activities at my school as well like cross country, netball and rowing… and training for all of those included a lot of running!

My mum is a huge inspiration to me, she has done 10 marathons and one Ultra-marathon…Running is something that we can really bond over. I think my real relationship with running began after watching her finish last year’s NYC marathon!

Running helps me clear my mind and see things from a better and more positive perspective.

I’m so grateful for all the sports programs the schools I went to offered and for having such encouraging parents because if I really think about it – these programs are where I learned the skills that have been the most important throughout my life – determination, teamwork, strength (mentally and physically), health etc… being introduced to it at such a young age really helped it carry through to now and I’m so happy such a charity as Team For Kids exists so I can join in helping carry that through to the younger generations and helping others know the greatness that they can achieve!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Not really anything crazy – Drink water, sleep, eat a banana and run!

Why 26.2?
Why not!!?

Tell us a little more about yourself
I was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia and at the age of 17 I left my family behind and moved to New York to study acting at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. I recently graduated in June and what better way to celebrate that and my 20th birthday coming up in November than to run 26.2 miles?

Running has definitely made me a more persistent, present and lively actress and has taught me to be patient!

I love the beach and I love to travel – Although I could do without the long plane flights (24 hours to go back home to Australia to be exact)

Sometimes I think I’m too optimistic but then I realize there’s no such thing as that – If I can help bring a smile to someone’s face or change a bad situation into a good one then I’d be one happy gal 😉

Member Spotlight: Norm Solomon

What excites you most about running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon?
It is an extravaganza! This will be my 7th NYC Marathon for Team for Kids and I know I will still be thrilled by the crowds and the challenge! Growing up as a kid in the Bronx, I would never have imagined doing the Marathon. It is truly, as the book title says, ‘a race like no other’…it is an event that really brings the city together!

Running for Team for Kids is the icing on the cake– helping the kids is a joy in itself.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I live in Connecticut and enjoy running in the town of Fairfield. Fairfield offers, lots of rolling hills and a beautiful campus at Fairfield University.

Central Park is a close second…but ohhhh those Harlem Hills are killers!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
…in my view those folks who run with music are missing out on one of the true pleasures of distance running…being alone with your thoughts. Also, I sweat too much too keep the earphones in my ears!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
A simple meal…a turkey sandwich ….or for longer runs some pasta.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I’ve been running for about 40 years but took up distance running about 9 years ago. What motivated me to do distance?…a college friend died suddenly of heart failure-waking me up a bit along with my doctor telling me to lose weight…so I decided to lose weight, get healthier & do something I had never done (& didn’t know I could do!)… Run a marathon!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I always have a bagel & peanut butter a few hours before the race …it gets me ‘in the mood’ for the long haul.

Why 26.2?
Why not?…it is such a nice number!

Tell us a little more about yourself
I’m 62 years old, have done 15 marathons and go by the motto, “I won’t finish first, hopefully I won’t finish last…but I will FINISH!”

Member Spotlight: Joseph Beavers

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What excites you most about running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon?
The challenge, energy and caliber of people that run the New York City Marathon are unparalleled. I am so excited to be a part of this tradition and team. I always enjoy pushing myself to new heights and the NYC Marathon is on an international differentiated level.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I love running in Central Park and on the West Side Highway. It’s quiet and it’s a great time to reflect on myself while appreciating the beauty and tranquility that nature has to offer (and avoid NYC Smog).

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Bon Iver
The Shins
Broken Bells
Relient K
Switchfoot
Anything EDM
Occasionally Spanish Gospel Music (extremely uplifting)

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Cherry, Blueberry, Strawberry and Peanut Butter Smoothie with Low-Fat Milk.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I was overweight as kid and had a moment of realization that it was entirely in my control to change that. Started with running and eventually moved to swimming, biking, kickboxing and now whatever keeps me active and stimulated.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Haven’t done a race like this before — but I’m sure I’ll have a moment of panic and come up with one on the spot.

Why 26.2?
26.2/2=13.1
13.1/2 = 6.55
6+55 = 61
6+1 = 7
There are 7 days in a week.
That’s my reasoning.

Tell us a little more about yourself
My last name is Beavers. I intend to show it on the course. I’ve never seen a Beaver run but, world, you’re about to see one.