Member Spotlight: Manoj Budidha

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The Airbnb Brooklyn Half!

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite route starts in Long Island City, crosses into Brooklyn, then goes across the Williamsburg Bridge, and finally wraps up along the East River Park in Manhattan. There’s a ferry around 34th street that takes me back into Long Island City if I time everything just right.  I love this route because it’s usually not crowded and the views are stunning. Plus, there’s definitely an additional sense of accomplishment knowing you’ve ran in 3 boroughs and across a river.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Generally, on my runs I listen to 90s grunge and recent hip-hop with the occasional Eye of the Tiger tossed in the mix. The White Panda also has upbeat and fast tempo mixes which are great for running.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Pierogis. This may be the best part about finishing a long run.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
After college, I started running during work trips because it was a great way to get outside and usually the easiest workout while on the road. In the last couple years, after watching my mom battle with multiple strokes, I became inspired to take more ownership over my own health.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
My first race was in March of this year, so I don’t have many, but I do believe in eating a slice of toast with peanut butter and honey prior to going out.

Why did you choose to run this event?
It’s an iconic race, so it seemed like a good one to start with.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I moved to New York City a couple years ago from Wisconsin. Going from living next to a cornfield to endless skyscrapers was definitely a bit jarring, but a welcome change. As a native Pittsburgher, I’m often found clad in black and yellow and providing unsolicited reasons on why Pittsburgh is awesome.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I spent a summer teaching middle school students in the Mississippi Delta, and I grew to deeply appreciate fitness and nutrition as a precursor for kids to become successful in the classroom. TFK’s programs also enable kids to understand the struggles and triumphs of pursuing ambitious goals, which is such an important life experience. I’m pumped to be joining many others in supporting Team for Kids on May 21 in Brooklyn.


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