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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll provide more details.