TFK Testimonial: Crystal Vidal

“Are you thinking about running with Team for Kids in the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half? You should not think about it for too long and JUST DO IT! I must forewarn you the overwhelming support you get from the coaches and the kids that cheer YOU along on race day will keep you coming back for more. I’m speaking from experience. Every time I’ve worn that neon green singlet I have hit a PR. The meaning behind those miles is the boulder to any wall you hit on race day. Add meaning to your miles and run for Team For Kids! The love and support is infectious and will be the highlight to your year. Start your running year off right representing Team for Kids in 2016 at the United Airlines NYC Half.” – Crystal Vidal

Inspired by Crystal? Sign up to run with Team for Kids at

Crystal’s Story
I ran for Team for Kids in the 2015 NYC United Airlines NYC Half and it was an emotional feat. It was my return to the first race I EVER ran with NYRR and TFK. I was aiming for a personal record 5-years later! I knew I needed to represent the organization that was there from the beginning with me in 2010. I always love how the coaches want you to do your best and can assess you while running. They are so keen to your physical needs during training and on race day. They are the best support/cheerleader/coach any runner could ask for to conquer such a feat. I’ve had coaches run alongside me with five miles to go telling me exactly how to conquer what lays ahead and how to monitor my fluid intake. Only Team for Kids can do that for US!

I was inspired to raise funds to serve over 200,000 youths across the nation through NYRR running programs, because working in the medical field in an urban area has made me so much more aware of the alarming rise in childhood obesity rates. The retrospective studies I’ve conducted make me want to do so much more for my community. Team for Kids allows me to do just that! I not only recruit family and friends to support the organization, but at the same time raise awareness about the needs of our kids.

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Member Spotlight: Elodie Sophie

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I will be participating in the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is my hometown in France. This is the only place I know by heart, but I am not bored with, the only place I feel always good when I run, even when I have injuries.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I am a big music fan and it’s impossible for me to run without music. If I have to pick my 3 favorite tracks, I would say:
– Daft Punk – Face to Face
– Majid Jordan – Forever (to pick up the pace)
– Ini Kamoze – World A Music (for the cool down)

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Avocado toasts with eggs, I can’t live without avocados!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running 3 years ago during a tough period in my life. I was into some big changes, and I needed something to exterior my feelings. It was also a challenge for myself because I’ve never ran in my life before. I became addicted to running and then, wanted to improve my abilities. I joined running groups (Nike+ Run Club in Paris, and then in NYC), started races (10K and 15K), and since then, I’ve always wanted more 🙂

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
My pre-race rituals are pretty common I think. I need to feel that people I love support me. So the day before the race, I need to call them. My mother first, then my sisters and my best friends.

Why did you choose to run this event?
I chose to run this event because firstly, I’ve never done a half-marathon. My last race was a 15K and I know I can do more than that. Secondly, it was a dream to run a race in NYC, and I will come back to France definitely next June, so it may be my last occasion to do it.

Tell us a little more about yourself
My name is Elodie but everybody calls me Elo. I’m 25, and I’ve lived in NYC since January. I come from Paris, France. I work as a HR Business Partner in the pharmaceutical industry.

Beside of my job, I am also a blogger ( and a writer.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I’m excited to run with Team for Kids because it’s a great cause that I’m proud to serve. When I was a child, my parents couldn’t afford sports classes for my sisters and I, and I sometimes felt different from the other kids: when they are practicing, you have no choice to stay home. So I know how it feels not to have access to sport programs, and I wish I could help kids who are in the situation I was 15 years ago.

Connect with Elodie via the sites below:

Guarantee Your Spot in the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half

The United Airlines NYC Half drawing is now complete. Thank you to all who entered. Here are the updates you should except to see today: (1) Credit card charges: All accepted runners’ cards are in the process of being charged. (2) Status in My NYRR: If you have been accepted into the race, your status will change to “Accepted.” (3) Email: All entrants, whether you are accepted or not, will receive an email indicating your status by 11:59 p.m. EST today.

If you missed out on the drawing Team for Kids has a spot for you! Sign up via the link here. If you have any questions about running with Team for Kids, email us at or RSVP to one of today’s information session detailed below and linked here!

* Thursday 12/10 from 6:30pm-7:30pm (NYRR Office)

Chickpea, Leek, Potato Soup Recipe

Recipe by Team for Kids Coach Jennifer Hessmer

As the weather cools down, our food cravings and comfort foods change.  I know I had my first craving for soup after the Bronx 10 miler. This recipe packs the protein and the carbohydrates needed to fuel our long runs and recovery needs of the fall and winter season. Plus, it’s nutrient dense with so many veggies.  It’s a crowd pleaser, I promise. Make some this weekend or have someone make it for you!

* 3 leeks, cleaned and sliced
* 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (optional)
* 2 Tbls butter or olive oil
* 4-6 Red potatoes
* 1 carton low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
* 2 carrots (optional)
* 2 celery stalks (optional)
* 1 15oz can of garbanzo beans (chick peas)
* 1 or 2 cups water depending on if you add extra veggies
* 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
* Salt and pepper to taste at end


  1. Sauté leeks in 2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil.  Add one tablespoon of finely chopped garlic (optional).
  2. Add a carton of veggie stock and two diced red potatoes (2 carrots and 2 celery stalks optional)
  3. Add water, a cup of water for potatoes, two cups if adding carrots and celery.
  4. When potatoes (and carrots and celery too) are fork tender, add a couple of handfulls of parm and a can of chick peas. Cook for 10 minutes or so.
  5. Blend soup with immersion blender. Done!
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.

Do you have a recipe and photos you would like to share with Team for Kids runners? If so, email it to along with a photo for a chance to be featured!