Meet Your 2015 Airbnb Brooklyn Half Coaches

Team for Kids runners, meet your 2015 Airbnb Brooklyn Half coaches Scott, Vinny, Jennifer, Sid, Asteria, Dave, and Simon!

Scott Ruplinger

Scott Ruplinger has coached runners from age 5 to 84 over the past decade. He has coached individuals to national championships, Olympic team berths, and World Championships appearances. Ruplinger has led large group programs in Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, and New York as well as a training center for elite athletes in Eldoret, Kenya. More than 40 athletes are currently on athletic scholarships or under sponsorship. With a focus on data-driven training programs and a high-intensity, lower-mileage style, he has assisted in more than 10,000 marathon finishes over the past eight years.

Ruplinger has completed more than 30 marathons and hundreds of races at distances from 5K to 50K. He has run nine national championship races. As the lead coach of Team for Kids, he works with runners from Boston qualifiers to first-timers as they prepare for the TCS New York City Marathon, the United Airlines NYC Half, and the Airbnb Brooklyn Half.

Vinny Corso

Welcome to Team for Kids, let me start off by saying that you made the right choice when deciding to join our team. I ran my first NYC Marathon with TFK in 2007—after losing 150 pounds and this was only the beginning of my journey. The following year, I joined the TFK coaching staff, and the rest as they say is history. Since then, I have completed over 22 marathons, competed in various triathlon distances including my fist 70.3 Ironman. But most importantly I have been fortunate enough to be able to share my love of running and fitness to whoever is willing to listen. My goal as a coach is to be able to help our team members cross what ever finishline they are training for.

I feel that I understand TFK’s mission better than most, thanks to my own weight loss journey. When I’m not training, racing or coaching, or finishing my MBA in Graduate school – I spend most of my spare time running after my six-year-old twins.

As always Happy Running 🙂
Coach Skinny Vinny

Jennifer Hessmer

jennifer 5Jennifer Hessmer is a Certified Personal Trainer, USA Track and Field Level 1, RRCA Certified Running Coach and Yoga Alliance RYT400 Yoga Teacher. Jennifer is currently an independent personal trainer, running coach, yoga teacher and health counselor on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Jennifer integrates nutrition into her sessions and group classes. She has a certification in health coaching from Integrative Nutrition Institute and Food Therapy from the Natural Gourmet Institute.

Jennifer was formerly employed at Equinox Fitness Clubs as a Tier 3 Personal Trainer and The Running Center as an assistant running coach.

On a personal note, Jennifer has run 9 marathons, New York three times, Paris and London, Richmond, Philadelphia, Marine Corps and Chicago Marathons and numerous ½ marathons; most recently the Prague Half Marathon and Reykjavik Half-Marathon. In 2010, Jennifer competed in her first series of triathlons.

Sid and Asteria Howard

Husband and wife coaching duo Sid and Asteria Howard are living proof that those who can do, teach. Both very accomplished runners, the Howards are dedicated to passing on their experience and knowledge by coaching Team for Kids (TFK) runners.

Sid started running in 1978 and has been running with the Central Park Track Club for 31 years. His storied career includes five world championships, 41 national championships, six U.S. records, and one world record. He acknowledges the role his coaches and mentors played in his development and is anxious to return the favor to aspiring runners.

Asteria had been active in a variety of sports since her childhood in Bolivia. In addition to running on both the Bolivian and Venezuelan national teams, she worked for many years as a physical education teacher.

The Howards’ holistic training—which includes nutrition, drills, stretches, speed work, and distance training—has made believers of their athletes. Several have returned to run with Team for Kids for a second year and a number of those have brought friends or spouses with them.

The Howards believe we’re a family of runners and we all have the same goal—not just to finish the race, but to change our lives. The health part is very important. It’s not just about times and splits.

Dave Kleckner

Today I’m a Team for Kids Coach, but back in 2006 I was a brand new runner who decided it’d be fun to run the NYC Marathon the next year. When I signed on with Team for Kids, I thought it was just an easy way to get guaranteed marathon entry. Little did I know what wonders awaited me. I learned how to train. I met incredible people including other TFK runners, coaches and staff. I developed a passion for running that I couldn’t have imagined, fueled by a bond developed with the other runners I met that I can’t even begin to describe, but that is common among TFKers. And I got to help kids find fitness and lose pounds through the programs supported by the funds that I raised.

Now I’m an extremely active member of the NYC running community. I’ve since run about two dozen marathons including several ultra-marathons plus nearly 40 half-marathons. I’ve guided disabled runners, co-led Central Park clean-up days, collected used running shoes for those in need, became a certified personal trainer, and feel honored to serve as a Team for Kids Coach. If you’re new to Team for Kids, you’re in for a wonderful adventure. And if you’re not new to Team for Kids, then you’re just like so many others who’ve come back for more. Either way, enjoy the journey, because that’s what it’s all about.

Simon Durkin

Hi I’m Coach Simon! Like many of you I came to running later in life but it has now become my life’s work and passion. My coaching philosophy is simply to try and make running more understandable to runners. To share what I have learned about how the body works when we run and how to train smartly and safely to improve your performance. I’m very vocal in my encouragement and take great inspiration from watching casual runners turning themselves into marathon-distance athletes.

Outside of coaching TFK, I also work at NYRR in Youth Events, organizing track meets, field days and XC races for the “kids” in Team for Kids. I’m very proud of my work there and if you ever have questions about the programs that are funded by your fundraising, please don’t hesitate to ask (just be ready for a long and passionate answer).

Good luck to all TFK athletes. It’s truly an honor to work alongside you.

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