Member Spotlight: Tomas Nochta

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2016 United Airlines NYC Half!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
Most of the time I run on the Saddle River County Park path in NJ. It is close to my house so I don’t have to drive. When the weather gets warmer and will have more time on the weekend I will definitely do some trail runs with the members of the Facebook Group “Runners of Bergen County”.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I usually run without music but like to listen podcasts. My favorite one is This American Life. If I don’t listen to anything I love to enjoy he nature around me.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I do not have any favorite post run meal, but I do like to refuel with some energy bars and Gatorade. I do enjoy a good and nutritious meal like chicken or salmon.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running in May 2015. Actually I started before, but never really make it for longer than a day. Many times I gave up and turned back at the end of the block. I started running to lose weight and keep in shape. My inspiration is my mentor, Rachel Pratt, who I admire on her success of running.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I only ran few races and haven’t developed any ritual yet 🙂

Why did you choose to run this event?
I choose to run the United Airlines NYC Half because I want to run thru Manhattan. Crossing Times Square with cheering fans all over and to run along the West Side Highway is priceless.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am originally form Slovakia and came to New York in 2006 and fell in love with the city. Life was rough in the beginning, but thanks to my friends support, I adapted to the new environment quickly. I am currently working in the hospitality industry. My career started from an entry level position where I learned a lot from my mentor, and has evolved to my current management position. Thank you to my wife being my greatest supporter. I love to travel, ski and run. Living in NJ and working in NYC make it difficult to find time for running especially in the winter because it gets dark early. However, I do not give up and still run even when it is dark and cold as I really enjoy running. My goal is one day to run a Marathon in a foreign country.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I am inspired by the mission of Team for Kids. I like the impact Team for Kids has on our youth. I am also excited about the crowd and hopefully to see my awesome team of co-workers cheering me on when I run by them.

Connect with Tomas via the links below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tomas.nochta
Instagram: https://instagram.com/TheTomasN
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-nochta-033a484b

TFK Testimonial: Victoria Fortune

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I ran the 2015 United Airlines NYC Half with Team for Kids and loved the sense of community I felt while running with TFK. Every time I saw another runner from TFK, we connected. I would find myself giving them an upward fist pump gesture as an expression of my encouragement for them to push it through.

I was inspired to run for TFK, because it is programs like those offered by NYRR that serve as a positive outlet for youth. If I weren’t so involved in sports growing up in PG County, MD, I am not sure I would be the person I am today. I am a firm believer that too whom much is given much is expected. Though I am not in a place to personally provide a substantial donation toward NYRR programs, I am able to unite my circle and collectively fundraise to provide what we can for such an amazing cause.

One tip for anyone considering running with TFK is to be open during the training process. Open to evolving on a personal and interpersonal level. There is a difference between just running and running with cause in mind. Each time I saw a kid during my morning runs, I was reminded why I got up at 6am to train. That was all the motivation I needed to see it through and not give up.

Inspired by Victoria? Sign up to run with Team for Kids for the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half at https://runwithtfk.org/Events/Details/74

Member Spotlight: Anna Eisenberg

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

What is your favorite place to run and why?
Anywhere with a good view! Right now I am living in Philadelphia, and I love running along the Schuylkill River because you get to run along the river while passing the art museum and other city landmarks.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I’m originally from Detroit, so to stick with Eminem I would have say Lose Yourself always gives me a good push when I run.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I usually run in the morning, so a good omelett or bowl of oatmeal always does it for me.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I began running when I started college out of convenience at the gym but came to love it which led me to venture into running outside the gym.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
No rituals necessarily, but an early night in bed the night before a race is always necessary for me!

Why did you choose to run this event?
Whenever I come to New York from Philly I love running through Central Park, and the race’s path is therefore very appealing to me. Once I saw the opportunity to run the race with TFK I knew it was something I should sign up for.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am 22 years old. I recently graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and am now at University of Pennsylvania for a pre-medical post-bacc program. I am an active-junkie from running, biking, skiing, snowboarding and yoga I love to be active. I like to spend as much time as possible in the outdoors, but when I am indoors a good movie is my go-to.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
For me, exercise and running in particular is what keeps me sane between the hard classes and never ending tests I have. To be able to provide that outlet for other kids is what excites me most about running with Team for Kids.

Connect with Anna via the link below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anna.l.eisenberg

TFK Testimonial: Craig Copeland

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Training for and then running any half marathon can be a great way to experience long distance running for the first time, or to remember once again, how accessible and fun it can be.  Training and running the United Airlines NYC Half is a particularly heightened experience as you get to know the heart of the world’s greatest city so well, with the NYC Half starting in a loop around Central Park, continuing through Times Square, down the Hudson Riverside and finishing in Lower Manhattan – where the city actually began.

Whether you’re a seasoned long distance runner, or have never run more than a mile or two in your life, Team for Kids is the best group to help you stay or get and stay in a healthy and supportive running community.  Training with TFK specifically for the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half will prepare you for a strong 2016 running season, whether the Half Marathon is the longest race you want to run, or just the start.  There are runners of all experience, and seasoned coaches prepared to help runners at all levels.

I trained with TFK for two marathons as well as the United Airlines NYC Half.  While the TCS New York City Marathon training was always great, I felt the United Airlines NYC Half training was even better.  Perhaps it was the weathering through the winter together that provided us with a deeper bonding of coaches and teammates.

During the training, I got to run many portions of the United Airlines NYC Half course, with coaches and seasoned teammates sharing advice and pointers on how to make the most of my own race day.  It was invaluable.

Having had the chance to run at a younger age, and now raising a 14-year-old and 7-year-old who both run, I know firsthand and see the fun foundation to health that running provides.  I think that while the Kids are the appropriate focus of TFK, the residue is quite a bonus… a kind of “Team for Adults” (Running and fundraising with TFK, we adults get quite a bit of great health out of the process as well!).

Inspired by Craig? Sign up to run with Team for Kids for the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half at https://runwithtfk.org/Events/Details/74

Member Spotlight: Lucie Dufour

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I am running with Team for Kids in the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half Marathon!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is at my parent’s house in Greensboro, Georgia. I’m surprised to say that because there’s a lot of hills there, and obviously no one likes to run hills (or do they?), but the scenery is stunning and it’s easy to lose track of time as I run. Running outdoors is key for me because I need distractions if I’m going to be running further than 4 miles.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I can’t run without music. My running partners always get mad as I’d rather listen to my music than chat with them, but I’m struggling to breathe let alone have a conversation. My music is so important to me that I have playlists for designated distances timed to each minute of my run. If I’m running three miles all of my songs are upbeat and loud (because I should be sprinting), but if I’m running eight miles, the first three songs are usually slower, followed by songs that steadily increase in pace so I don’t go out too fast and tire. My favorite artists to run to are Cash Cash, Missy Elliott, The Chainsmokers, and anything that is upbeat enough to distract me from how tired I am.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Anything that involves some form of carbs and cheese. Mac n’ cheese, pizza, pasta with cheese, grilled cheese, ravioli – you know, all the healthy stuff I should be eating during training.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I began running (besides it being punishment for other sports) my freshman year of high school because I didn’t have a winter sport to participate in. I’m 5’10” so I was immediately sucked into the world of hurdles and stuck with it throughout the rest of my high school career. I never had to run more than 400 meters at a time though, so this long distance thing is pretty new to me. I have a lot more respect for the long distance runners on my team now than I did then (sorry guys).

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Absolutely, running is a mental game so my rituals and superstitions were all very important to me. When I ran hurdles in high-school I wore different socks during my races (thin) than I did warming up (thick). At my second meet freshman year I managed to lose one of my racing socks, so had to take one of the dirty socks I naturally left in my backpack from the last meet (instead of being hygienic and putting them in the wash). I won that race as a freshman in mismatching socks. I have never matched my socks from then on.

Why did you choose to run this event?
I told myself that I would never run another half marathon after the one I ran last year. I walked like a penguin for a week afterwards and the majority of the race was on a highway without even strangers to yell at me to keep going. However, when I saw a friend post about the United Airlines NYC Half and being able to run for Team for Kids on Facebook, I knew I had to do it at least one more time. I trained for only six weeks last year and felt the best I ever have physically and mentally by the time the race came. Imagine if I train for eight to ten weeks this year, run with a training guide and other Team for Kids members, and have an actual reason to push myself through all 13.1 miles? There’s no way I won’t beat my time from last year, and I’ll know that I made a difference in the lives of all the kids who found solace in running like I did. Running obviously has its health perks for kids, but being an athlete has actually proven to help kids with their careers, self-esteem, and ability to financially support themselves as adults. I’d say those are some pretty good reasons to run.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I spent my summer going into my senior year of college as an intern at Harlem RBI. I taught a group of 18 kindergartners reading and writing proficiency in the mornings, and spent our afternoons on Randall’s Island teaching the importance of fitness and teamwork. There is so much to learn from athletics and team-building that is essential in helping kids to grow into healthy, compassionate, and dedicated adults. Ever since then, I have remained active in organizations that use athletics to reach kids in undeserved areas. I also work for an advocacy marketing firm (Tiller, LLC) that communicates with non-profits on a regular basis, and Team for Kids is by far one of the best I have ever come across.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
Last April I ran a half marathon in Long Island without a team and without any supporters on race day. The race seemed to last for hours because there were no distractions, and I was simply running to see if I could beat 2 hours. When I came across Team for Kids this year, I realized I could now run with all of the things I was missing last year: a team, a training guide, a cheer squad, and most importantly, a real reason to run (although I am definitely trying to beat last years’ time).

Connect with Lucie via the links below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lucie.dufive
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/luyonce4/ (@luyonce4)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CauseComments (@causecomments) – this is my company handle but I run the account and am often posting about TFK and the race
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/luciedufour

Meet Your 2016 United Airlines NYC Half Team for Kids Coaches

Team for Kids runners, meet your 2016 New York Road Runners Team for Kids United Airlines NYC Half coaches: Michael, Vinny, Laura, Mary, Kim, Glen, and Andy!

Michael Conlon

Michael is a Physical Therapist and is the founder of Finish Line Physical in NYC. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the Hogeschool Enschede in the Netherlands in 1997. Michael is recognized as a Fellow of Applied Functional Science (FAFS) through the internationally acclaimed Gray Institute.

Michael is passionate about endurance sports, both as a participant and coach. He ran his first marathon in 1998 (NYC, of course). Since then, he has completed 25 marathons as well as the Lake Placid Ironman three times. He’s been a member of New York Road Runners since 1998 and has competed in countless running events and triathlons over the years.

Michael has also served as the Head Coach for the NYC chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma’s Team in Training program since 2002. Michael has trained thousands of runners, from beginners to advanced marathoners. His valuable advice and expertise have helped countless runners prevent or overcome injuries, allowing them to reach their goals of completing a half or full marathon. Michael’s experience as an accomplished athlete and coach gives him a unique perspective and understanding of how to provide the best care for both the competitive and recreational athlete.

Michael and his wife Wendy live in New Rochelle, NY with their two year old daughter Avery and their 12 year old dog Miles. They are expecting their second child in April of 2016.

Vinny Corso

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 DeLucia

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.

Mary Haskins

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.

Kim Watkins

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 Wiener

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.

Andrew Fenack

Andy earned an undergraduate degree in theatre from the University of Texas at Austin and received his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Stony Brook University. He previously worked as Finish Line’s first PT aide in 2010 after the clinic moved to the current facility in Chelsea, left to go to PT school and returned as a full-time physical therapist in 2014. He is recognized as a Fellow of Applied Functional Science (FAFS) through the internationally acclaimed Gray Institute.

Movement has always been a big part of Andy’s life–from teaching theater in Texas after college to working as an academic coordinator for the Theatre and Dance Department at UC San Diego to spending many hours in movement courses for actors during his time in theatre. A runner in high school, Andy has since completed 2 Ironman triathlons, 3 marathons, 10 Half Ironman/70.3 races, numerous half marathons, Olympic and sprint distance triathlons and a few trail running races.

While in PT school, Andy volunteered with Fit Kids for Life, a program to combat childhood obesity, in addition to starting a triathlon club at Stony Brook. He also coached cyclists and triathletes on the Computrainer system under the tutelage of Earl Walton at Tailwind Endurance. He now comes full circle “to return to a place that is like a second home and has always inspired me to become a better and smarter PT. I’m excited to help patients achieve their goals of becoming faster, healthier athletes through finding balance in their training plans.”