Member Spotlight: Kaella Carr

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I’m running the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is along the beach in my hometown of White Rock, British Columbia. I love to breathe in the ocean air and watch the sunrise.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I usually run with music. I like Rihanna, Kanye West, Eminem, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I love apples and peanut butter, but if I’ve just finished a race, I’m all about pizza, fries and a big coke.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running began after I had my son. I had sixty pounds to lose and decided to give it a try. I needed something I could do while he was sleeping or while pushing a stroller.

I signed up for a 10K race, to help me motivated and accountable, and then downloaded the Couch to 10K app. I was only able to run for thirty seconds my first time. It slowly started getting easier and I loved seeing the progress.

After I finished my first 10K I was hooked! I signed up and finished 9 more races that year. In March, 2014 I completed the NYC Half Marathon (my current PR.)

In March, 2013, I decided to start run streaking. I ran a minimum one mile a day for over a year completing almost 400 days of running. I started streaking again in December, 2014 and ran for 122 days before I was sidelined with an injury.

As a single mom most of my running usually happens on the treadmill before my son is up, while he plays in the basement (under 5 miles) or after he goes to bed. I save my outdoor runs for when he’s spending time with his dad.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I always eat exactly three hours before the race (peanut butter on toast or a waffle.)

Why did you choose to run this event?
This will be my first marathon. I’ve done a handful of half marathons but knew, for my first full marathon, I wanted to come to New York. NYC is my favorite place in the world. There’s something about the city that makes me feel alive! I’ve heard the crowds are amazing! I know they will help push me to the finish line.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I’m a single mom. I work, full-time, in the news media. I have a running blog (http://www.kaellaontherun.com/) where I blog about my running, training plans, race recaps and life as a mom.

I grew up in beautiful White Rock, British Columbia but now call Lethbridge, Alberta home. I love to travel, online “window” shop, and munch on 5 cent candy.

Connect with Kaella via the sites below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kaellaontherun
Instagram: https://instagram.com/kaellaontherun/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaellaOnTheRun

Site Spotlight: Victoria Donofrio – Mighty Milers

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Learn more about our NYRR Youth Programs! We are sharing profiles on teachers from across the country who work first-hand with the NYRR Youth Programs that Team for Kids’ fundraising efforts support. These select individuals are not just dedicated coaches and coordinators, but also runners who will be joining our 2015 TCS New York City Marathon class and 50,000 other runners this November. Read their stories on our blog under the Site Spotlight category for insight on the NYRR Youth Programs and to hear inspirational quotes from students and parents.

In which program is your site enrolled?
Mighty Milers

What is the name of your site? Where are you located?
PS 811Q @ PS 147Q – Cambria Heights, Queens, NY

What was your motivation to start an NYRR Youth program at your site and how has it been implemented?
We are currently in a small contained mini building with no access in a gym. Our 5 year old students have special needs and physical activity is a vital part of the day. The Mighty Milers has given our students the opportunity to utilize our limited space. It has taught them teamwork through exercise, school spirit, taking turns, being a leader and having fun with movement. The Adaptive Physical Education teacher created a song for our program.

Can you share how your students have responded to the program and some of their favorite components?
The students enjoy working together. They all share a common goal and the certificates really motivate them. Their favorite component is singing our “Mighty Miler” song when they exercise.

Can you share an inspiring quote from a student or parent?
This is the song that our Adaptive Physical Ed teacher created:

 “We are Mighty Milers!
We are Mighty Milers!
Everywhere we go,
People want to know
Who we are,
Where we come from,
So we tell them!”

What do you believe are the biggest benefits of your program and the importance of the work you are carrying out?
The value of being healthy and creating healthy habits, doing this provides structure and consistency for our students with special needs.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running began in my twenties. I started running with friends as a social activity and a way to lose weight.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I like to run outside and explore.

Why did you choose to run the TCS New York City Marathon and what number marathon is this for you?
This is my 16th marathon and I choose to run NYC for three reasons. 1- I was born and live in Queens. I work as a teacher in Queens and my two sons go to Public School in Queens. 2- NYC Marathon is my favorite Marathon to run. 3-I have been teaching for 24 years and love my students with special needs.

Tell us a little more about yourself
My name is Victoria Donofrio and I have been a Special Education Teacher for 24 years. I also grew up and presently live in Queens. I have two boys who attend a public school in Queens. I love running!!! It has been a passion for me for 25 years. I have been a member of NYRR and I have completed 15 Marathons. I believe running is so important for physical and emotional well-being. It builds confidence and creates a positive environment to learn. Since running has provided me with happy and lifelong memories, I want to pay that forward. A group of teachers decided to start Mighty Milers in our school. I am so proud of my staff and students. They are all participating in this program.

Member Spotlight: Annie Talbot

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2015 BMW Berlin Marathon!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is on the West Orange Trail in Winter Garden, Florida because it feels like home. All of my friends and my running group trains on the trail & being able to see their smiling faces on a long run reminds me to keep going.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I love running to Bruno Mars and Pitbull. My playlist has a wide variety of genres but I love upbeat, fun songs that I know will put a smile on my face mid-race.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I don’t know if I have a favorite post-run meal but my favorite thing to do after a training run on Saturday is to sit at a local coffee shop by the trail and have a coffee with my friends!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running began in 2011. My husband had quit smoking and was looking for something to replace it with. He chose running and I joined him!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
The night before a race I NEVER eat out at a restaurant. I am too nervous of something not sitting right with me so I make my own meals. Each morning before a race I always have a cup of coffee. I think that it calms my nerves.

Why did you choose to run this event?
My husband and I made a promise that we would go to Europe before we had children. We chose the summer of 2015 as our deadline. Afterwards a couple of running group friends had decided to run the Berlin Marathon & we jumped on the band wagon!

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a 26 year old Human Resources Manager that is in love with life. I have been married for about a year and a half and my husband is my #1 fan and biggest motivator. We do not have any kids but recently got the most precious black lab, Miles, who we named after our running addiction. In my free time I love reading mindless books, cross-training at boot camp, going to Disney, and trying new restaurants.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I am most excited about being able to run for a great cause in a city that I have never been to.

Connect with Annie on Instagram and Facebook.

Member Spotlight: Katie Portelli

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I’ll be running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I run through my neighborhood, Sunset Park, in Brooklyn. There’s always something interesting going on! I like to switch up my route, but tend to keep local.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I love hip hop and reggae from the 90s! I’ll admit I just added some Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine to my playlist, now THAT gets me going.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Eggs and veggies. It’s easy for me to cook up while my two children are begging for attention. They “miss me so much” while I’m out running.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
It’s a time for men to be alone and decompress. I love exercise in any form and I started running because I could literally step out of my door and run. No travel time to a gym, taking classes, etc. I’m a busy, working mom of two and need to get it done!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
This will be my first big race! I’ll need to do something fun to squash my nerves.

Why did you choose to run this event?
It’s my hometown! I’m a Brooklyn girl born and raised and couldn’t think of a better event to train for.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I’m a 33 year old mom of two. My daughter Lucy is 4 and my son Rowdy is 2. I own and operate a home daycare in Sunset Park. I was and raised in Brooklyn. I spent a lot of time volunteering and working with at risk youth and have a special place in my heart for kids in need. I love all kids actually! I love to cook and eat; I’m passionate and good food and feeding my family well. I love my friends, most of whom I have been close with since high school. I even convinced some to join TFK in running the Brooklyn Half!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
This is my first big race and getting behind TFK and their mission makes it even more meaningful. I’m so excited to push myself to do something to benefit the boys and girls who need it the most. The cheering crowds will be pretty awesome too!

Connect with Katie on Facebook or Instagram