Member Spotlight: Ishita Singh

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2015 TCS New York City Marathon!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
Along the Hudson River, from 57th street up to Harlem: running-wise, it’s ideal — wide path, usually uncrowded, relatively flat, lots of shade with water fountains along the way. It’s also pretty quiet, which allows me to really get into my head and focus, whether it’s on how I’m running, or my problem of the day, or on the new song I’m obsessed with, etc.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I like anything with a good beat, but my favorite “I’m struggling right now and need to get pumped up song” is “All I Do Is Win,” by DJ Khaled with Rick Ross, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg and T-Pain. It’s great to cue up right before that big hill or the last little stretch before the finish line (and it’s a sometimes much-needed reminder that regardless of where you finish, every race is a win).

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I don’t get hungry until about an hour after a race, and then I always want eggs, in whatever form I can get them — poached, scrambled, fried, in an omelet, whatever. This works out nicely for me, since most races end right around peak brunch time.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
A few years ago, I was in between apartments and living far from my gym. On a whim, I started exploring the area along the Hudson River, and realized that it’d be a nice spot to run. I’d never really run before (at least not since the days of high school gym class), but I really needed a workout and that Hudson River area looked doable. I started out with 2 or 3 mile runs, then started running a bit longer, and then a bit longer — I realized that running was a great way to clear my head and kind of disengage from the world for a bit.

Even now, when I get extremely busy or stressed out, I like to go for a run to get away from everything for a bit (or use that time to think things out without outside input).

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
The night before, I set out my race clothes (including my socks and underwear!), bib, safety pins, hair ties, and anything else I’m bringing with me.

The morning of the race, I wake up an hour before I have to leave and make myself a peanut butter-banana sandwich on one slice of whole-wheat toast. (I’m very particular about the sandwich.)

Why did you choose to run this event?
When I started running a few years ago, I told myself I’d never run more than a 10K. A year later, that 10K became my first half-marathon (on my 25th birthday!). But I told myself, 13.1 miles — that’s it.

After a few half marathons, I began thinking about doing a full — halfs, while still challenging, were becoming more manageable. I witnessed the excitement and buzz of the TCS New York City Marathon outside my apartment on First Avenue last year, and I began to entertain the idea of running this event.

Tell us a little more about yourself
In addition to the fitness and the “clearing my head” aspect, I run so that I can eat! I love food in all its forms, but especially when it’s drizzled with chocolate or topped with melted cheese. I blog about cooking and eating at bitesoutoflife.com.

When not running or eating, I work at HuffPost Live (live.huffingtonpost.com), the streaming video arm of the Huffington Post. It’s a ton of fun, and not just because I can spot celebs from my desk.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
The prospect of running throughout New York City and finishing in Central Park is really appealing to me — this city has been my home for nearly 9 years, and I’m excited to experience it in this new way.

Connect with Ishita via the links below:
Instagram: https://instagram.com/ishita001
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ishita_singh

Member Spotlight: Ben Sweet

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2015 TCS New York City Marathon!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
It’s a little far from New York at the moment as I’ll be relocating from London very soon, but it’s got to be along the river Thames in London. Along the river there is a lot to see, some great landmarks, the London Eye & Big Ben, just the ticket to take your mind somewhere else while you run. It’s pretty flat but there are some climbs over bridges and a great hill near Battersea which is always a great surprise at mile 8!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Lots of different tracks, but I try and work to 180 beats a minute as much as possible which I’ve been told is the ideal cadence for your legs. Recently I’ve been listening to some a capella by Pentatonix (Daft Punk) which is great motivator. I’ve got lots of driving dance beats but some classic wild cards like the theme tune from the A-Team, We Built This City by Starship (great for a city run) and Use Somebody, Kings of Leon. I tend to have two playlists for a long run which I call the Overture and the Finale in my playlist! The Finale tends to be really driving music for when the legs are a little more tired and really helps focus the mind on my goal!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
After a long run on a Saturday morning it’s time for mega breakfast which I love, poached eggs, brown toast, bacon (usually a whole pack) and pancakes. You need to put the calories you’ve burned back in your body, so Saturday is my eat anything day, including a lot of ice cream (not a good habit)! During the week I tend to eat a lot of chicken, brown rice and broccoli, but generally add a lot of chili and garlic to give it some kick.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I’m a late starter and didn’t run when I was in school, but a friend of mine many years later really wanted to complete a half marathon and I generally worked too much but agreed to run with them to address my work life balance. This was many years ago before GPS was widely used so during training we used to drive the course and drop carrots at the mile marker points, they’re bright orange and bio-degradable, perfect! We completed our local half marathon in the rolling hills (and lots of them) of Staffordshire, England and I think I got the bug from there. Strangely enough running gives me more energy to work which is a little counter intuitive, but a real plus for me and I regularly run the 5 miles to my current workplace.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I’ve run every race in the same t-shirt and don’t wash it until the night before the race and just keep it hung up with my previous number still pinned on it in between which is a little disgusting. I also always drink coffee before a race, caffeine is proven to give you a boost and I just happen to be a big coffee drinker!

Why did you choose to run this event?
I’ve always loved small races, but made a commitment that I’d do all the marathon majors at some point in my life and I just happen to have lived in London & Chicago and will be in New York soon. I figure by the time I get to Boston I may be able to get good for age, although I’m nowhere near fit enough for that yet!

Tell us a little more about yourself
I work for a global organization called Merlin Entertainments which is the 2nd largest visitor attraction business in the world (the fantastic Disney is no.1) which means my job is to deliver memorable experiences to our millions of guests worldwide. In addition, I have been a General Manager of a number of businesses globally, working in a Dungeon & Madame Tussauds in London, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago and many years in theme parks. I tell people it’s better than working in the real world and it’s great have a job where I’ve never not wanted to go to work! I’m excited to be relocating to New York soon to look after many of our businesses in the North East of the US which is great as I went to high school in Phoenix and still know my pledge despite being a UK citizen. In my spare time I like to run (obviously) but also love a great movie, great food and a little bit of an obsession with the theater!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
New York is a great city and I ran in Central Park for my last run prior to the Chicago marathon (I was there meeting some friends) but the thing that excites me about putting yourself through the 26.2 journey is the ability to contribute to the city in which your living or running! When I’ve run marathons previously it’s been for charities which contribute to the local city and Team for Kids work is just fantastic, admirable and very worthy of the money I’ll raise for them. I’m hoping to meet some of the kids they work with and hopefully contribute in other ways to such a great charity!

Member Spotlight: Melissa Sadler

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I am running the TCS NYC Marathon on November 1, 2015!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is definitely Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The park is lively at all times with other runners or folks doing other fitness activities such riding a bike or yoga and seeing that during my run helps to push my endurance and motivation. I can be a little competitive at times so seeing others around me running faster or longer helps to motivate me to do that extra mile that I wasn’t initially plan on doing. Also the park is very scenic and it feels nice to run past a lake.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I have a very eclectic mix of music. I am from the Caribbean so listen to a lot of reggae and soca music, but then I would switch it up and listen to Daft Punk or some 80’s pop music. It’s a crazy mix!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I am starving after a long run! My eyes are generally bigger than my stomach so I want to eat it all. I love eating at Energy Fuel so I head there after a race and order their pizza or turkey burger with sweet potato fries.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running about 4 to 5 years. I actually sort of stumbled upon it, never was the person that was interested in being a committed runner. Someone dear to me challenged me one day in the gym said I couldn’t run a hour on the treadmill if I tried. Lol. It was a joke but I took it seriously and got on that treadmill and ran straight for an hour. Now it didn’t just stop there as I was challenged to run an hour twice a week, then we took the running outside and before I knew it I was enjoying it. I noticed over time I was developing form and technique and was running at a faster pace so it became a motivating factor because I knew if I kept it up I would get better with each run. Once I did my first race and got a medal I was hooked with running events. I love them, the crowd cheering you and it feels great crossing that finish like. Today the same person who challenged me years ago works hard to run with me.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I am so by the book when it comes to pre-race rituals. I do the carb loading starting days before the race, drink plenty of water, drink plenty of Gatorade, good night sleep and peanut butter bagel the morning of the race. I am like the poster child of what to do before a race. I also run a few miles the day before a long race some folks don’t do it but I do, it helps me to loosen up and relax. All of these rituals have helped me with every race. I have ran 10 half marathons in the past three years and these rituals have improved my time with each race.

Why did you choose to run this event?
It was time! I thought about doing it two years ago. I registered an account to run with Team for Kids in 2013 but I chickened out and backed down. I continued to just run the half marathons. Last year I was at a expo event for a half marathon that I was running the following day and was causally talking to someone who was running the full marathon. I was always impressed to see the full marathoners. We talked back and forth and she said why don’t you just do a full since you have done so many half’s. I realized I really wanted to run a full marathon but it was me mentally pushing it back. I remember watching the TCS Marathon on tv last year and I felt like I wanted to be a part of that race! This year I said well no time like the present, just do it, and I re-opened my Team for Kids account and committed myself to the NYC Marathon. I sat there watching the computer screen for a few minutes after I committed to the race and thought wow I am really doing this. Was a good and scary feeling, scary because of the new challenging quest and good because I am embarking upon this request for a great cause! And I may add, why not run my first marathon in good ole NYC, it is where I am from!

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a VP at large global bank; area of expertise is Corporate Finance. I have been in the finance world for over 10 years. I reside in the Clinton Hills neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York and have been living here for over 8 years.

My background is of Jamaican descent and I travel back to Jamaica at least three times a year to visit my father and siblings who still reside there.

I have a passion for travel, love the feeling of getting on a plane and going somewhere cool. I love going somewhere new and revisit places I love.

The simple things in life keep me moving. Great family and friends! I have four siblings, one brother and three sisters and we are all split up location wise, three residing in different states and two residing in Jamaica countries so us just getting together and lounging is great times for me! Getting together with my friends and catching up over wine and a meal is fabulous.

I have a solid and strong group of family and friends and for that I am truly grateful and blessed! Most of them will be at that finish line on November 1st!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
Well this will be my first full marathon and I definitely wanted to run for cause. I did my research on a few charities and Team for Kids stood out to me because I felt like raising funds for them is me giving back by helping New York Road Runners continue to develop their youth fitness programs in communities across the nation.

Connect with Melissa via the links below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melissa.sadler.180
Instagram: https://instagram.com/melliesadler
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/melissa-sadler/6a/110/847

#ReasonsToRun: To Catch Up With Friends

We all lead busy lives and sometimes find it difficult to put aside time to be with friends. Running is a great way to incorporate a leisurely workout while catching up with your friends. If you are a runner, chances are some of your best friends are runners as well. Running with friends is not only a great way to socialize, it sure makes the miles fly by.

So instead of trying to schedule a time for coffee or after work drinks, go for a run and catch up during your next five-miler. If you really have some juicy news, make that a 10-miler!

This just one of our Reasons to Run with Team for Kids. What’s yours?


For more information on how to support NYRR youth programs and sign up to run with Team for Kids visit: https://runwithtfk.org/

Share your reasons to run by using #ReasonsToRun and tagging Team for Kids in your post on Facebook and @TeamforKids on Instagram or Twitter. You can also email us a photo and your reason to run at teamforkids@nyrr.org with #ReasonsToRun in the subject line for a chance to be featured.

Member Spotlight: Marlene Hobbs-Jones

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I’m so happy to be running my first marathon 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 Branch Brook Park, Newark, NJ. It’s a beautiful park for running, and known for the it’s Cherry Blossom Trees. I also love running in Montclair, Glen Ridge and Upper Monclair, NJ.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
My favorite Songs:
Empire Soundtrack
Marathon by: Rush
Fireball by: Pitbull
Eye of the Tiger by: Survivor
Edge of Glory by: Lady Gaga
Stronger by: Kanye West

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I like to drink water and my favorite sports drink. I also eat some type of carbohydrate, such as potatoes, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bagels and/or bread with chicken or turkey. I was vegan, until I made a choice to continue eating meats, fish and diary.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I believe it started as a young girl being raised in the South by my grandparents. The store from our house was 3 miles and I would always go, sometimes twice a day. One day I decided I was just going to run back home. It was not until I was grown and went back to visit, and went for a timed run, that I realized the distance. I have been running ever since.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
No superstitions. I just pray and ask for guidance and strength.

Why did you choose to run this event?
After volunteering last year at the finish…passing out the ponchos. I decided that I would run and train with Team for Kids for the 2015 NYC Marathon.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I have three grown children, Walter, Benjamin and Daisy. When their father passed I met and married Ronald Jones 10 years ago. I also have two grandsons, Amare and Jalen…future Team for Kids runners. I retired early from Toys R’ Us in a Times Square.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
It excites me to know I will be running my 1st marathon 29 days before my 60th Birthday, and to know that I will be running for a great cause. My efforts will not be in vein.

Connect with Marlene via the sites below:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hobbs_marlene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marlene.hobbsjones

Alumni Spotlight: Karen & Lowell Cloete

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What events have you run with Team for Kids?
We run the TCS New York City Marathon for TFK, but consider every race we participate in a race for TFK. We proudly wear our TFK singlets in all our races and have met a lot of current and former TFK members at non-NYRR races.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?

Simply two things:

  1. Our efforts help impact over 200,000 students in the NYRR Youth Programs
  2. The TFK camaraderie and watching teammates evolve and change their lives through running

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
Lowell – No specific place, anywhere I can run is a favorite.
Karen – I love to run anywhere, particularly new places – I always pack my running kit when I travel!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
We run without music

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Lowell – eggs and bacon, a tortilla, and lots of coffee
Karen – eggs, tortillas, coffee, and water

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
Lowell – In my 30’s, I was not able to continue to commit the time needed to practice and play field hockey. We lived right next to Central Park so I started testing out running and the bug bit! Karen has been running since a toddler!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Lowell – Other than making sure I do not upset Karen’s rituals, I have none (Oh and gladly accepting the kiss from Karen).

Karen – wishing Lowell a good race, giving him a kiss and then telling him to just “let me settle into my pace!”

Why did you choose to run with Team for Kids?
Lowell – At the 2006 New York City Marathon expo I saw the TFK booth, and chatted with Lydia Delman about fundraising, and signed up to do last minute fundraising. The rest they say is history. I have run every NYC Marathon since then with TFK.

Karen – Having observed Lowell’s experience and believing in the mission with all my heart…it was a no brainer.

Tell us a little more about yourself
Lowell – I am married to my soul mate, Karen and a proud dad to twin 13 year old young women, Isabella and Susan.

Karen – ditto Lowell and we live in Bucks Co., PA.  I am very fortunate to work in the field of human rights, another great passion of mine.

Are you currently training for any events with TFK or do you plan to run any in the future, if so which events?
Lowell – Trying to train for this year’s TCS New York City Marathon.

Karen – TCS New York City for sure!

What would you tell someone who was considering running with Team for Kids?
Incredible cause, top-notch coaches and fantastic teammates. Do it!