Team for Kids runners, meet your 2015 New York Road Runners Team for Kids Marathon coaches: Scott, Vinny, Laura, Simon, Mary, Jennifer, Sid, Asteria, Brian, Dave, Deb, Kim, and Glen!
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.
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
Laura is a USATF Level 1 Track & Field certified coach. She began her running career in high school, as the very slowest runner on the ski team, and continued on to compete in Division I track, cross country and rowing at George Washington University.
Laura has coached and led 10 mile and marathon training programs, as well as led small group runs. Outside of running, she has instructed rowing, swimming and skiing courses. She is a member of the Young Professionals Board of Back On My Feet, a non-profit dedicated to using running to help those experiencing homelessness.
Laura has completed 11 marathons and enjoys incorporating cross training for added strength and injury prevention. She believes sports have the power to transform lives and is excited to be a part of the Team for Kids coaching team that helps runners to cross the TCS New York City Marathon finish line.
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.
I love running and cannot wait to share my enthusiasm and pure joy for running with all of you. I started running in the Wall Street runs of the 1980s and slowly, but surely started running the longer races from 10ks, to a half, then to full marathons, from 200 mile relays to 120 mile stage races.
I joined TFK in 2012 and received my RRCA Coaching Certificate as an Adult Distance Running Coach in 2014. I have run 5 New York City Marathons, two Chicago Marathons, Two Boston Marathons, the Palm Beach Marathon and Paris, Prague, Venice and Dublin Marathons. Each race and with each run I learn something new about how to run, something about myself, and something about the community of my fellow runners.
I look forward to sharing my experiences and being part of this great Team for Kids community.
Jennifer 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 started running in 1978 and has been running with the Central Park Track Club for 37 years. His storied career includes five world championships, 50 national championships, 6 U.S. records, 5 world records and 8 gold world champion medals. He acknowledges the role his coaches and mentors played in his development and is anxious to return the favor to aspiring runners. Sid is dedicated to passing on his experience and knowledge by coaching Team for Kids (TFK) runners.
Sid’s holistic training—which includes nutrition, drills, stretches, speed work, and distance training—has made believers of his 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.
Sid believes 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.
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. Asteria is dedicated to passing on her experience and knowledge by coaching Team for Kids (TFK) runners. Like Sid, Asteria’s holistic training—which includes nutrition, drills, stretches, speed work, and distance training—has made believers of her 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.
Asteria has completed over 15 marathons, 10 New York City marathons, the 100 anniversary Boston Marathon, two marathons in Venezuela, one in Colombia, and World Championships in Buffalo. When Asteria lived in Venezuela, she ran track and competed in the 800m, 1500m, 3k, 5k, and 10k plus the half marathon in the South American Games (Colombia). While Asteria lived in Boliva she became a National Champion in the 100m, the long jump, the 100m hurdles, and the 4×1 relay.
Trained as an architect, Brian has been running since high school in Somers, NY. Since moving to New York City nine years ago, he has evolved from a sprinter into a long distance runner. When Brian attempted to run his first half marathon, his only goal was to “complete” the race. He now runs ultra-marathons and multiple marathons in the same weekend and has competed over 57 marathons and 10 ultra-marathons to date. Brian’s goal is to complete a marathon in all 50 states as the marathon is his favorite distance with the perfect combination of speed, distance and time. He ran his personal record of 2:54:42 in the 2010 Boston Marathon and enjoys running competitively, although giving back to the running community provides more satisfaction than any personal achievement. Best known for running with his camera, taking pictures of teammates, and capturing race moments along the way, he enjoys saying hello to runners and friends in Central Park. Brian’s experience in running and patience comes key to his teaching style.
Brian Hsia has been coaching for 6 years and coached specifically with Team for Kids for 5 years. He has a fond love of coaching new runners to reach their goals from personal bests to finishing their first marathon. Brian is trained as a Road Runners Club of America, USA Track and Field certified coach and Track and Field Academy. Brian also served as the co-director of the marathon training program for the New York Flyers, one of the largest running clubs in New York City and has been featured in The New York Times.
Brian’s advice to a new runner training for a marathon is, to “listen to your body, the marathon training is a long season, pace yourself and also to have fun with your training and the journey to completing a marathon. Have no expectations, enjoy the moment and believe in yourself. You are doing this for yourself. You will gain so much more than you will expect as you bond friendships, memories, and new experiences in your life.” Brian believes that anyone can become a marathoner, although it takes true dedication and proper training to finish the race. Brian is looking forward to taking you to the finish line of your marathon!
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.
This is my 5th year as a Team for Kids coach. I feel lucky to be part of such an amazing group of people doing what I love to do and raising money for our youth. I am USA Track and Field Level 1 Certified and have run 20 marathons including 6 in NYC. I have run Boston 4 times and am also an avid triathlete. I completed my first Ironman in 2012. I am also a Sponsored Athlete with Asphalt Green Tri Club and help lead their bike workouts. I love to run, bike and swim and do just about anything active!
If you are new to this sport or a veteran, I think we can all agree running is a great way to stay focused, make new friends and be healthy. Good luck to all of TFK runners as you train this year. You will have a truly unforgettable experience!
Coach Kim returns for a fifth year with Team for Kids and is thrilled to once again join the dedicated members of the TFK community. Kim is certified as a Personal Trainer and as a Pre/Post Natal Coach through the American Council on Exercise, and she is a certified distance running coach via the Road Runners Club of America. With certificates in nutritional counseling from ACE, officiation from USATF (level 1), physiology from Duke University, and exercise prescription from Harvard Medical School, Kim works tenuously to maintain a fresh perspective on general exercise, running, and overall long-term health.
Coach Kim has six marathons under her belt: three in New York City, the others in Paris, Bermuda, and the Hamptons. She’s run countless half marathons, 10K’s, 4-milers, and 5K’s. And Kim has been an active running member of the NYRR since moving to New York City from Virginia in 1996. Prior to 1996, Kim was a bookworm. She had zero experience with physical competition, running, or fitness. She arrived in New York with a profession but needed to figure out a way to stay healthy, to stay strong, to be the best person she could be. And she found running.
Kim’s philosophy for running revolves around simple ideas. She believes that running, that moving forward, is what the human body is naturally meant to do every single day. To go somewhere. To get to the next place. To maximize your ability to do this, runners need to confront the reality of their sedentary bodies and focus on key functional priorities. Coach Kim is a big fan of barefoot workouts for stability, and she’s done more than a few runs in her bare feet in Manhattan. However, she’ll be the first to tell you that each person is different, and she is honored to help each member of the team navigate the multitude of issues to determine the best possible training and gear plan.
Coach Kim isn’t around quite as much as she’d like. Her non-Team for Kids time is spent running the corporate and personal exercise company, inSHAPE Fitness. In business since 1997 inSHAPE has worked with thousands of NYer’s to get fit at home or at the office, and they are in the process of moving into the mobile exercise space with inMOTION Workouts on Demand. Kim is also the mom to an upcoming First Grader at PS191 on the Upper West Side and serves as the Vice President of the PTA at that school. Finally, Kim was recently elected to serve on the Community Educational Council of the city’s Third School District. However, she remains supremely devoted to and excited for this upcoming marathon season.
Glen is a life-long runner with an undeniable passion for the sport and coaching others. He is a former collegiate runner who 25 years later turned his attention to running longer distances. Over the past ten years, Glen has run 25 marathons including Boston five times, New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Since turning 50, he has achieved a marathon PR of 3:12 and a half marathon PR of 1:29.
Glen began coaching with TFK in 2008. He believes that coaching is an art based on science. Blending the latest scientific pronouncements with proven coaching philosophies, Glen works closely with runners of all abilities to help them achieve goals they never thought possible.
He is a Road Runner’s Club of America and Jack Daniel’s VDOT certified coach. In 2012 Glen was accepted into a prestigious USA Track & Field coaching program and was awarded certification as USA Track & Field Level 2 Endurance Coach.
A lawyer by trade, Glen works as an arbitrator for New York State and is a former two term president of the New York Flyers running club. Glen is also the founder and former director of the Flyers’ Marathon Training Program and the creator of the famous Three Bridges Marathon Training Runs.