Member Spotlight: Mishele Hobson

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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?
I live in South Florida and running by the beach just before sunrise is my favorite place to run. It has a sense of tranquility with the breeze off the ocean and the sound of the surf. It never gets old.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
When I do listen to music, I actually just put on Pandora and let it pick the songs for me! My stations are reggae (Morgan heritage, Tanya Stephens, Buju Banton, good ole Bob Marley!) soca (Machel Mantano), old school hip hop, Sublime, and Michael Jackson all on shuffle. It’s new music every run!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Scrambled eggs with side of sautéed kale/onion/garlic, slice of whole grain toast, and avocado. Or a veggie omelet with avocado. As long as I have my eggs and avocado I am one happy girl!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started run/walking to lose weight 8 years ago at 37 years old about 3 times a week. I was able to train for and run in a race called the 8 tough miles in St John, USVI. I felt great and thought to myself that I could maybe someday run a half marathon. That was the last time I ran. Until April this last year at 45 years old. Started back up with a couch to 5k program and I never looked back!! I have since fell in love with running and have completed many 5Ks, three 1/2 marathons, my first full marathon is in 3 weeks and I am looking forward to the TCS New York City Marathon and many more all within a years time! I realized that I could do it as long as I just kept moving forward. Not only do I feel healthier than I have ever felt, running gives me a huge sense of accomplishment. I never thought that I could do this. But I did! And I will continue to!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I am not superstitious at all, but I do follow the same ritual for pre-race. I always put together everything I will need race day the night before! Race day morning is always the same: coffee, bowl of steel cut oats with cinnamon and banana, and hydrate! As far as at the start line, just try to shake out the nervousness, take it all in, and enjoy the next how ever many miles!!!!

Why did you choose to run this event?
My 16 year old daughter was inspired by me to start running and pursue a goal of running a half marathon. I realized there are many kids who don’t have anyone in their family or network of friends who could be a potential role model, or have the resources available that my daughter and I have, to help them get fit and in shape and lead a healthy life style. This is the reason I chose to run with Team for Kids.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I was born in Milwaukee, WI. I have lived in Zion, IL; Birmingham, AL; ST. Thomas, USVI; and currently in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I am married with 2 daughters, 15 and 17. Been a hairstylist for 27 years. I am a vegetarian and love all things island!! The music, ocean, beach, food, and my husband who is from Nevis!!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I’m so excited to be running with Team for Kids because I feel I am able to give back to the community, and help kids grow up in a healthy environment, all while hopefully inspiring someone else to pursue this path. Secondly, I am also extremely excited to be running with Team for Kids in a city that I have never been able to visit! To be able to run through all of New York City with a group of people that are all focused on the same goal is the chance of a lifetime!!!

Connect with Mishele via the link below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mishele.hobson

Site Spotlight: Meredith Smith – Young Runners

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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?
Young Runners

What is the name of your site? Where are you located?
X551 Bronx Academy of Letters Bronx, NY

What was your motivation to start an NYRR Youth program at your site and how has it been implemented?
I wanted my kids to be involved in a program that supports their health and academic needs with goal setting.

My students are now able to understand why healthy eating and exercise affects their focus in school.

Can you share how your students have responded to the program and some of their favorite components?
My kids look forward to practice twice a week. I wish that we were able to give them more running time to improve their stamina. Their favorite part is creating their own team t-shirts and competing in races both inside and outside of the Bronx.

Can you share an inspiring quote from a student or parent?
Running a mile was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I may have finished last, but my goal was to finish and I reached my goal.

What do you believe are the biggest benefits of your program and the importance of the work you are carrying out?
The biggest benefit of this program on my students is that it brings both my middle school and high school students together. They set and track their goals.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running began at age 2 when I started playing soccer. I ran winter track in high school and fell in love with long distance training. Setting and accomplishing goals is something that has become part of my daily routine.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is in my new home in Queens. I love exploring the streets and not necessarily having a path in mind. I also enjoy running in NYC parks and along the water.

Why did you choose to run the TCS New York City Marathon and what number marathon is this for you?
I chose to run the NYC marathon because it shows integrity and dedication to both my students and my school. My students think that this is an impossible task. I run for my kids! This will be my first marathon.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a previous NYC teaching fellow. This is my 2nd year teaching in the Bronx at a public school. My students have low confidence levels both emotionally and academically. Finding an outlet for their frustrations allows them to succeed in the classroom.

Site Spotlight: Richard Johnson – Young Runners

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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?
Young Runners

What is the name of your site? Where are you located?
PS 723X @ Binova, The Hawks — Bronx, NY

What was your motivation to start an NYRR Youth program at your site and how has it been implemented?
Last year I had one student named Messiah who ran all the time. Instead of playing in gym, he ran. Every year we get one student who is gifted at running. However we never pursued an outlet for them.

Can you share how your students have responded to the program and some of their favorite components?
Our students loved the attention given to them during practices and at races. They love sharing stories about the different race courses and hard practices.

Can you share a story of how your kids, or one student in particular, have been transformed or impacted by your program?
We have one student by the name of Isaiah who hated to exercise. He had to go on a diet for health reasons. When he started running he loved it. He realized that sometimes it’s all about finishing what you started.

Can you share an inspiring quote from a student or parent?
After the youth Jamboree at Randall’s Island, a group of students came to me and said “We need to practice every day, that’s the only way we are going to get better”.

What do you believe are the biggest benefits of your program and the importance of the work you are carrying out?
This program has given students who would not normally consider themselves athletes a chance to realize their potential. This program is critical as it promotes healthy living and physical fitness.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running in the winter of 2003. I read in a muscle magazine that running was a good way to increase definition. I ended up liking running more than lifting weights.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is Van Courtlandt park. It’s the only course that kills me every time  I run it. I love the fact that although I told my students about that course, they did not take me seriously until they ran that course.

Were you ever a TFK member, if so what did you like best about the program?
I was never a TFK member but I will always be indebted for the contributions they have made to my students.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a first year track coach! My students are exceptional athletes. Sometimes getting the athlete out of them is a hard task. I ran my first half marathon in March. I will run my first Marathon in November. I hope to break the 3 hour mark. I work with special needs students. I wish I would have discovered this program earlier.

Member Spotlight: Nikki DesForges

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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?
Running through Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica, CA, transports you out of the city and offers views of the ocean, CA mountains, and exclusive homes. Best Saturday morning run with LA Leggers.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
The Kooks

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Grilled chicken or salmon and a sweet potato. After long runs, a fattoush salad with chicken.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running in college after stepping away from the crew team. Since then it has been one of the few constants in my life, seeing me through Peace Corps service in Guinea, West Africa, my move to New York for a security consultancy, and all the miles in between.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Always eat peanut butter.

Why did you choose to run this event?
I have been in the city since January and have greatly enjoyed exploring the boroughs, so when my mom qualified for the marathon with a stellar time I decided to make this my first marathon and run it alongside her.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I’m a temporary New Yorker studying neuroscience and supporting a global health nonprofit as a security consultant. Home base is Brooklyn, where I’m usually found in a coffee shop with a book or the WSJ. I’ve only just started with TFK, but have been so excited by the enthusiastic welcome I received at my first training run – can’t wait to run among this great group!

I’d happily take any recommendations for restaurants (particularly Mediterranean), book shops, or other destinations that I should check out before returning to Los Angeles in July. Many thanks! See you on the course!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
Running is such a source of health and happiness in my life, so I was excited to find a charity that introduces the love of the sport to other young people.  Also, I’m thrilled to be running my first marathon alongside my mom in the place where her family first settled after emigrating from Sicily!

Connect with Nikki via the site below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nikki.desforges

Coconut Macaroon Recipe

If we are going to run all these miles, the occasional sweet treat (or a small treat everyday!) is a perfect way to reward our bodies and soul. These macaroons are a crowd pleaser. The sweetener of organic maple syrup of raw local honey is more gentle on the blood sugar. And coconut butter in addition to coconut oil is getting some amazing nutritional press these days because:

• It’s rich in lauric acid, which boosts immunity and destroys harmful bacteria, viruses, and funguses.
• It actually boosts your metabolism, which aids in weight loss and increases energy levels.
• It’s packed with healthy fats, so you feel full longer.
• It’s full of essential amino acids, calcium, and magnesium.

Ingredients:
3 cups dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
1 and 1/2 cups raw cocoa powder
1/2 or 3/4 cup organic maple syrup or raw local honey (depending on how sweet you want them)
1/3 cup coconut butter (not oil)
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well to combine.

Using a small ice cream scoop, your hands, or a big tablespoon, make bite size balls of the dough onto tray. If you are using your hands, it helps to refrigerate the mix a bit prior to forming the macaroons. Store in Tupperware. Refrigerate.

For blonde macaroons: replace the cocoa powder in the recipe above with an equal amount of fine almond flour.

Recipe by Team for Kids Coach Jennifer Hessmer


Do you have a recipe and photos you would like to share with Team for Kids runners? If so, email them to teamforkids@nyrr.org for a chance to be featured!

Spencer Stuart Puts Meaning Into Their Marathon Miles

When Tom Daniels and Henrik Maartensson suggested that Spencer Stuart, a global executive search and leadership advisory firm, put together a team to run the TCS New York City Marathon for the charity team, Team for Kids, they didn’t expect to get nearly 40 runners from 13 countries. “We thought we’d start a friendly competition within the firm and were surprised with the response,” says Daniels, who lives in New York City.  This will be his sixth New York City Marathon and 12th overall. He learned about the mission of Team for Kids  – to promote children’s physical fitness, character development, and personal achievement by providing free running programs to kids – through his membership with New York Road Runners.  Daniels, 55, has volunteered at some of the runs for the kids and was recently a race buddy for a young girl running her first 5K.  “I have seen the impact NYRR’s programs have on children who cross a finish line beaming with pride and confidence and accomplishing something they never imagined,” says Daniels. The Spencer Stuart team hopes to raise more than $100,000 for Team for Kids. His wife is also running her first TCS New York City Marathon this year, raising money for the Central Park Conservancy.

(Daniels, pictured above, serving as a Race Buddy)

Maartensson, 46, from the Belgium office, will be running his third TCS New York City Marathon and seventh overall. “ The TCS New York City Marathon is the Cadillac of them all,” exclaims this former professional soccer player.  He embraces the mission of Team of Kids, and feels that it is everyone’s responsibility to set a good example of living a healthy lifestyle and help kids achieve that. “Kids learn from example and we all need to set good examples,” says Maartensson. His marathon goal is to break 3:30. Says Maartensson, “If I can accomplish that, I’ll jump into the Hudson River!”

Representing Argentina is Ignacio Marseillan, 63, who is running his first marathon. He is so excited about the race that he signed up his two sons to run with him. He joined the team with much enthusiasm, but admits he didn’t know what he was getting himself into. “Once I started training, my body started yelling!” says Marseillan. He has lost 15 pounds through his running and by following a healthier diet.  “I am in the best shape of my life,” he adds. He knows how training for the marathon has changed his health and given him the confidence to run 26.2 miles and he feels thrilled that he is passing this message on to kids. “Every mile will be dedicated to the kids,” he says.

Shauna Suares, 26, an executive assistant in the Boston office, jumped at the chance to run the TCS New York City Marathon and for a charity. She has run two other marathons for charities. She loves being part of the team and exchanging emails with her teammates. “This is such a great way for a corporation to bond and do creative teambuilding,” she states. “I can’t believe I am sending running tips and talking about long runs with senior executives.” She feels that running the marathon and doing it for charity is a win for everyone. “We need to spread the love!” she states. Kate Ashforth, 28, of the Stamford, CT office echoes Suares’ sentiment. A former collegiate soccer player and cross-county standout, this will be her first marathon and she is nervous, but excited. “I’m entering the unknown,” she exclaims.  She feels fortunate to be a part of the Spencer Stuart team and feels it is a valuable teambuilding tool. “I love the fact that my colleagues are now my running buddies,” says Ashforth. “They are so supportive and helpful, sending me tips and encouragement.”

The members of Team Spencer Stuart can’t wait for November 1 to begin their journey across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge as they travel through the five boroughs of New York. The energy, the excitement, the crowds, and most importantly the mission of TFK will add meaning to their miles and create a day they will never forget.  As Marseillan states, “We are running to send a positive message about helping kids have a better future. I am thrilled to be taking a part in this and thrilled to be running in the mother of all marathons!” Daniels adds, “When Henrik breaks 3:30, we’ll spare him the walk to the Hudson River and just throw him in Bethesda Fountain.”

(Daniels, pictured above, at the 2015 NYRR Staten Island Half)


Interested in learning more about signing up a corporate team for an event with Team for Kids? Email us at teamforkids@nyrr.org and we’ll provide more details.

Member Spotlight: Kristina Tate

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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?
Anywhere near water! I love the outdoors, trees, and even roads, but nothing beats the fresh scent of water in the wind.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
My music preferences for running are always changing, but mainly I like something upbeat and with words that I can sing to, none of that just beats stuff.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Something that goes well with a frothy, cold beer.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
As a child I struggled with asthma. I’d been managing it as more of an annoyance than a life-threatening condition, but one night I was hospitalized after an attack. I spent a couple weeks there, and even afterward, even though I felt okay, my mother was worried. She pulled me from the youth soccer team, and prohibited me from participating in further extraneous physical activity for fear that it would result in another terrifying hospital visit. For my mother, cutting out physical exertion kept me safe; for me, it was a confusing regulation that constricted my life and made me anxious, stressed and lonely. I wanted to be active, but asthma seemed to make that impossible.

In middle school, a friend invited me to race walk, a competitive from of speed walking of which her father was a personal coach. My step-mother encouraged me to try even though I was afraid I would have breathing trouble. “Take it slow,” she said, “and take your inhaler everywhere you go. If you want to slow down, you can–it’s just walking.” Walking turned into faster walking, which turned into jogging and eventually running; my lung capacity strengthened and what made me wheezy before, didn’t even phase me. My friend and I entered 5K’s and 10K’s, taking home medals and certificates that gave me an overwhelming sense of pride and confidence. For her, it was a race against everyone else; for me, it was a race against asthma–each finish line built a stronger barrier between me and the condition that had kept me from things in the past. I joined cross country and running became a regular part of my life.

Two years ago, I finished my first marathon, something I never thought I’d do, and it wasn’t my lungs that tested me. It was my sore knees, hips, and lower back; it was the bloody toes and chafed thighs–all parts of the training that made me proud rather than discouraged. The swelling in chest wasn’t from asthma, it was the clench of tears when I crossed the finish line having run every inch of the entire 26.2 miles without using my inhaler once.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I eat the same exact breakfast before every long run: 2 fried eggs, 1 breakfast sausage (sliced long ways), and half an avocado, all topped with a few dashes of Tapatio. I wait exactly 45 minutes before heading out.

Why did you choose to run this event?
I’ve run The San Francisco Half Marathon, and the TCS New York City Marathon is naturally the next step.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I’m an Arizona native, turned San Franciscan, who is fairly new to New York. I turned 30 years old this summer and I’m a graduate student in the creative writing program at Columbia University. Having worked in finance for several years throughout my twenties, I lost touch with my creative side, but getting into Columbia’s program and moving to New York City has revitalized that part of my life. In this place, it seems like everyone I meet is creating something artistic and amazing. New Yorkers never cease to impress me.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
Running, specifically marathon training, has taught me that the practice of patience can be applied to all aspects of life. Tackling the hard stuff is, well, hard, and it’s going to bring feelings of discomfort, anxiety, and fear, but if I keep working hard, and keep training, relief will come when I cross the finish line. I think it’s amazing that Team for Kids is giving this tool to kids through running.

Connect with Kristina via the links below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/krstntate
Instagram: https://instagram.com/krissietateshow @krissietateshow