Member Spotlight: Caitlin Meuser

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I am running the United NYC Half Marathon on March 20, 2016. This is my first half marathon and first event with Team for Kids!

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
I love to run anywhere near the water, and lately that has been in Huntington Bay on Long Island. The scenery is beautiful and there are just the right amount of hills.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
My running list is compiled of a mix of random artists and genres; I like to keep myself on my feet when running long distances (pun intended). Lately The Weeknd and Imagine Dragons have been on the top of my list.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
A nice big hamburger with a side of sweet potato fries. I really look forward to having that cheat meal and washing it down with a cold beer!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I’ve always enjoyed running, but I became a runner a few years ago when I joined Cow Harbor Crossfit on Long Island and wanted to build my endurance. After my first 10K I was hooked. Whether I am running alone, with friends or a race participant, I love the sense of accomplishment I get from a good run.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Get a good night’s sleep and to charge my phone and headphones!

Why did you choose to run this event?
Two of my personal goals this year were to give back to the community and to complete a half marathon – running the United Airlines NYC Half with Team for Kids is the perfect opportunity to combine the two. Several of my coworkers are also running this event, so it will be great to have the opportunity to share this experience with them.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a social media marketing professional, full-time MBA student and in my (spare time?) I enjoy running and other types of exercise. I keep my health a priority because without that, I would have nothing. Oh and I love to cook (paleo of course!)

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
Knowing that I am running not only to challenge myself but also to better the lives of others is very motivating to me. The Team for Kids mission aligns with my personal health and wellness values, and I am excited to run for such a great cause.

Connect with Caitlin via the sites below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caitlin.meuser.3
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaitlinMeuser
Instagram: https://instagram.com/caitlinmeuser
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caitlin-meuser-4b36b417

TFK Testimonial: Meghan Walsh

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“What I would tell someone considering to run with Team for Kids (TFK) is simply to do it. To experience the amazing feeling of running an endurance event (half marathon or full marathon) is truly life changing all in itself, but to know you are running for such a great cause makes it that much more rewarding. Throughout my run I had many spectators cheer for me simply because I had my TFK running shirt on.  At about mile 10 I hit that always dreaded “wall” and was slowing down considerably. I had a gentleman run up alongside me, one I had never met before and say, “Walsh (it was on the back of my shirt) don’t give up now. You’ve trained too hard and too long to give up now and you’re running for such a great cause. Now’s the time for you to dig deep and finish strong. You’ve got this.” And with that he took off.  Not only did his words stick with me but that fact he clearly slowed his pace for those 30 seconds to talk was extremely motivating. Although running is an individual sport I love the sense of camaraderie that you get from running and completing a race. Strangers supporting strangers all because of our love for running.

Since my last event with TFK, I have been staying physically active and cross training several days a week. My ultimate running goal is to complete the TCS New York City Marathon with TFK down the road. Being the mom of two young children, Tommy 6 and Maggie 3 ½, I am provided with inspiration and motivation every day to stay active. My love for running, health and fitness is influencing them as well.  Maggie loves to run with me when I do interval training.  She even jumped in and ran the last stretch of a local race with me. Tommy loves to workout with me at home. Also, as a director of an after-school program, I spend so much time with many wonderful students who also inspire me. Making sure that the students are active for at least 30 mins a day is my daily goal.  Sometimes it’s simply running laps around the soccer field with the students or getting into an intense game of kickball. We’re being active and having fun all at the same time. Each year my students write out their own fitness pledges as to what they are going to do at home to be more active.  Simple things such as taking their dog for a walk, practicing for their favorite sport, or walking around the neighborhood as a family.” – Meghan Walsh

Inspired by Meghan ? Sign up to run with Team for Kids for one of our open events at https://runwithtfk.org/Events

We are currently open for:
* Boston Marathon
* NYRR Five-Borough Series: Queens 10K
BMW Berlin Marathon
* Bank of America Chicago Marathon
* TCS New York City Marathon

Member Spotlight: Haley Brewer

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The Big Apple Challenge – The 2016 United Airlines NYC Half and the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon!

What is your favorite place to run and why?  
Central Park in the morning – it’s extremely therapeutic as you can truly enjoy the peace of the city and appreciate its beauty.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I have to run with music – I am a music junkie! My favorite artists to run to are Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Kanye West, and lots of 90s jams.

What is your favorite post-run meal?  
Rotisserie chicken and salad – I find that I need to eat something with protein shortly after a run or my stomach turns in to a bottomless pit that can never be satisfied.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My entire life I was always an athlete – basketball, volleyball, you name it. During college I was extremely unhealthy and had put on a good amount of weight. Once I graduated, I set goals for myself to become a mentally, emotionally, and physically better me. After losing over 30 pounds, I was ready to take on a new challenge – running. About two years ago I just took the plunge and signed up for a 5k. From then on, the 5ks turned in to 10ks, and the 10ks turned in to half marathons (and now a MARATHON at the end of this year!). I think it’s important to set goals and push yourself – it makes you a better person and constantly reminds you that we can do anything we put our minds to.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I’m extremely close with my family and always wear a headband that my mom gave me.  We’re also big sports fans and love the Knicks, so I am always wearing sneakers that are blue and orange (I basically buy the same exact shoe over and over again). Both items are my good luck charms and MUST be worn at every race.

Why did you choose to run this event?
I chose to participate in the Big Apple Challenge as I felt I was ready to push myself to the next level. Every year that I watch the marathoners I find it to be more and more motivating and inspiring. Finally, I told myself that this was my year and that my time has come.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I’m 27 years old and live with my fiancé, Ryan, here in the city while I work for an amazing digital media company. I’m a major foodie who loves to cook, travel, and explore (I’m always moving and can never sit still). Most of my family can be found in/around the city and I love spending time with them going to dinners, sporting events, or just hanging out.  I love to work out and can normally be found at CityRow or trying out different classes in the city with my girlfriends or soon to be sister-in-law. I like to think that I’m a pretty normal girl living in New York and believe that humor and a glass of wine are the perfect remedy to everything.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
Sports and fitness have been such a major part of my life and have not only shaped me in to the person I am today, but also have shaped the way I work and communicate with others. Organized sports/fitness can be such a positive outlet for children and can both change their future and how they value themselves. What excites me is knowing that I am running on behalf of the next generation of leaders and that the money I raise helps push a child to decide to become a runner/athlete, stray from the path of childhood obesity, or want to pursue higher education for athletics. That to me is so inspiring and the most rewarding feeling ever.

Connect with Haley via the site below:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/haley_brew/

Member Spotlight: Fred Graver

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

What is your favorite place to run and why?
Central Park. I’m faster than most of the horses pulling tourists around.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
When I hit my “stride” Spotify usually kicks into “I Am The Walrus,” followed by the little robot voice asking me if everything’s okay.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Air.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I began running in college, mostly to relieve stress. Once the Walkman was invented, I discovered I could go into my own world. Every day, running is that part of the day that is part discipline, part release, part joy.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I’m always worried that the “pen” I’ve been assigned to will actually be so far behind the starting line that it will actually be just in front of the starting line.

Why did you choose to run this event?
Okay — here’s the serious part — I love the Team for Kids. Running really has kept me focused and sane and in love with life. I am running to raise money for the Team.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I’m on the Media Team at Twitter, and am a comedy writer and producer living in New York City.

What excites you most about running the United Airlines NYC Half?
Finishing.

Here’s the deal. I am slow. I am so slow.

I was once running a race in the park and saw a family — stroller and two toddlers in tow — point at me and say “Hey, I’m sure we can get across in front of that guy.”

A guy pushing a shopping cart passed me once. People who are lost in Central Park don’t have any qualms about asking me for directions — I don’t look like I’m going anywhere.

So, I run to go the distance. That’s enough for me.

Connect with Fred via the sites below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fredgraver
Twitter: https://twitter.com/fredgraver

Alumni Spotlight: Christie Crowl

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What events have you ran with Team for Kids?
The 2015 TCS New York City Marathon!

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is the Lafayette Reservoir, close to my home in Walnut Creek, California, which is about 25 miles outside of San Francisco. There is a 3-mile paved loop just around the water as well as a 5-mile trail with significant inclines and amazing views of the east bay.  And plenty of other dogs for our yellow lab, Posey, to meet along the way!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I am a big country music fan, so I use my running time to listen to my favorite country songs.  A lot of people like to change up their workout music frequently, but for me there is something comforting about knowing exactly where I am in my run once I hear Tim McGraw start to play!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I always try to have a good mix of carbs and protein after I run, and since I do most of my weekday runs after work, I generally have dinner post-run.  But I for my long runs on the weekends, I have been known to park my car close to a local doughnut shop so that I can look forward to a maple old-fashioned when I return!  Sometimes my husband will even run with me for a bit and turn around early so that it’s waiting for me when I get there!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My mom has been a P.E. teacher at our local elementary school for almost 23 years and has dedicated her career to instilling a love for running, fitness, and healthy habits in thousands of students, including me!  She helped me start running and playing sports at a young age, so daily movement has always been part of my life.  I think that one of my dad’s proudest moments was when I was the fastest kid — girl or boy! — in a timed run at our city’s youth baseball league tryouts.  Fast-forward about 20 years and my mom and I are still running together, and she was there waiting for me at Miles 12, 18, and 23 in NYC!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I don’t have any real superstitions, but I always like my shoes to match my race outfit — it’s an excuse to have way too many pairs of running shoes!

Why did you choose to run this event with Team for Kids?
I was thrilled to be fulfilling a lifelong goal to run the New York City Marathon, and I am so proud to have run with Team for Kids.  To get the chance to run through all five boroughs with a million people cheering you on is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I was born and raised in Walnut Creek, moved to Los Angeles for college (go Bruins!), and came back to San Francisco for law school.  After living in San Francisco for a few years, my husband and I moved back to Walnut Creek, so I’ve really come full circle!  And now I can join my mom on runs again and get to enjoy her company as well as the company of my family’s adorable yellow lab, Posey, who loves to head out for a run just as much as we do.

What excited you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
As I said earlier, my mom is a P.E. teacher and two of my best friends are teachers as well, one of whom actually teaches in the Bronx (shout out to Bronx Success Academy 1!).  All of those educators have stressed the importance of their students’ health and fitness, and have also indicated that students’ academics and confidence levels directly benefit from the types of programs provided by NYRR and Team for Kids.  Being an athlete and having access to sports programs when I was younger has made me who I am today, and I know that the funds that I have raised will help build after-school running programs and enrich the lives of students in New York City and around the country.

Are you currently training for any events with TFK or do you plan to run any in the future, if so which events?
I am not currently training for any events, but I spent some time in London last summer and I would absolutely love to do the London Marathon someday!

What would you tell someone who was considering running with Team for Kids?
Running with Team for Kids will absolutely make your marathon experience incredible.  From the training plans to the coaches’ advice to the team huddle before the start gun, you always have someone encouraging you.  And knowing your fundraising efforts are helping to produce some amazing tiny athletes will keep you going when those runs get tough!

Site Spotlight: M.S. 577 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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Heather Darling-Cortes, Young Runners Head Coach at M.S. 577, is dedicated to helping youth develop healthy habits. She shared with us how Young Runners is building a healthy culture at the school. “Young Runners and Mighty Milers are incredibly important programs for our kids. These programs bring students together for positive experiences in addition to rewarding efforts of the students and teaching them the importance of goal setting and perseverance.”

Member Spotlight: Dorothy Evans

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I am running the Big Apple Challenge (United Airlines NYC Half and TCS NYC Marathon) and the AirBNB Brooklyn Half with Team for Kids!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I often run in Astoria, because I live here, but I love how Team for Kids had us run in many different areas in preparation for last year’s TCS New York City Marathon. This year I need to beat those Harlem hills, so I practice a lot in Central Park.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I like to run with people, so I normally don’t use music. If I run solo I use a mix of music such as Rap, Rock and top 40.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Depends on the length of my run, but I always have a coconut water. I eat protein (eggs, chicken, or steak) and veggies. If I’m on the road, I do a Gluten-Free protein bar.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I really only started running last year. I was turning 50 in August and always wanted to run the NYC Marathon. Since I had an ACL replacement, I didn’t think I could run. I absolutely hated the DREADmill, so I had no love for running.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
The night before I pack my bag and eat Steak Frittes from Fattys cafe in Astoria.

Morning of…wrap my knee with K.T. tape.

Why did you choose to run this event?
To continue my journey with the TFK family.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a personal trainer and group fitness instructor who believes in being a positive role model.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
Knowing that I have a team of amazing coaches and teammates working together to help children throughout America.

Connect with Dorothy via the links below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dorothy.y.evans
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dorothyevanstrainer/