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:
Instagram: (@luyonce4)
Twitter: (@causecomments) – this is my company handle but I run the account and am often posting about TFK and the race

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