Member Spotlight: Alex Feria

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Where do you live?
I live in Dublin Ohio. It is a suburban area of Northwest Columbus.

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I am running the Berlin Marathon in September 2016. It is my second event running with Team for Kids.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
The difference I am making with every step I take out there. I am the only one in my family that has not had to fight with cancer. It is a battle that I have been lucky not to have dealt with. I also know what it’s like to have nothing or come from nothing. My family got lucky because of my father’s job but the majority of my family lives without proper means. I am from Mexico and I am proud to be Mexican and running for Team for kids allows me to give back to others who are less fortunate. There are kids living in poverty around the world not just in Mexico. I do not know why I have been the only one lucky in my family to be able to run and I do it to give back. It gives me a chance to test myself and show that when you put your mind to it anything is possible and you can make a difference. I have ran over 40 marathons of which 30 within 365 days in 2015-2016 as part of my running club but the one that mattered the most, the one I cherish the most was in 2014 when I ran for charity in the New York City Marathon running with teams for kids.

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is my 5k loop around my apartment. It sounds so corny but I know it like the back of my hand and it allows me to always gage where I am at training wise. I run it 3-4 times a week and it allows me the freedom to just escape the frustrations or any issues and stress I am going thru.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I always run with music and my ipod shuffle always has my running playlist on it. There’s a lot of random pump up songs on it. Right now there’s T.I., Pitbull, some songs from the hit TV show Empire on fox, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Gareth Emery…the list goes on…for 2 GBs lol.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
It depends on where I am at. But a common go to is Bruegger’s bagels. If you’ve never had it, you do not know what you are missing.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running, or should I specify marathon running started in 2011. I was thinking of retiring from competitive soccer at the end of 2011 and decided to run the Columbus Marathon that October. I wasn’t able to finish the race due to a knee pain that had never been experienced before. The pain seemed bearable but come mile 17 I didn’t want to risk my last fall season of soccer and decided to withdraw. I went to the doctor that next week and he said I could have finished the race because it was IT Band syndrome a common running injury and with therapy it goes away. I felt so devastated because I am not a quitter but soccer was my #1 priority at the time and didn’t want to have to retire because of injury. I immediately signed up for the same race that next fall. Then, a friend of a friend broke his ankle and gave me his bib to run the Chicago marathon in 2012. So then I finished both marathons in October 2 weeks apart. I instantly got hooked. I ran 4 more marathons in 2013, 5 in 2014 and 30 in 2015-2016 within 365 days. I joined Marathon Maniacs and reached the top level in the club, titanium level, doing the 30 races all in a different state, country or province within a year.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Oh yea, I am very superstitious when it comes to sports. I always eat the same pasta the night before. I always put the same status on Facebook before the race (it is a quote paraphrased from the movie Stick it lol). I also always listen to the same Youtube inspirational video as I drive to the race.

Why did you choose to run this event?
I continue to run to break barriers and prove that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Most of the races I sign up for are for charity. I run because I am lucky I can. No one else in my family can. Like I mentioned earlier, my family has been struck by cancer more times than I can count and a lot of my family in Mexico struggles to put food on the table. As a kid, I was fortunate to have what I had but every summer we went back home to Mexico and I saw kids that had nothing and I was powerless to do anything about it. My family fought against cancer…first my mom vs. breast cancer and I was powerless to do anything. My dad then fought vs. prostate cancer…I was powerless to do anything about it…then my brother got bone cancer on one leg and he was the runner in the family having ran cross country in high school. I played soccer, it was what I was good at. I retired in 2011 then started training and ran 2 marathons in 2012 and since then that’s what I do. I finish marathons because I want to be as mentally tough as I can be. I want to show everyone that a normal Mexican boy like me can do things that no one dreamed of. I want to show that I can make a difference for charity. I raise the money for those who cannot run, those kids who do not have the chances I had, those who are not as fortunate. I do it because no one else in my family can. I am not the fastest, not the tallest, never had the best times but I am the best at what I do and that is finishing marathons and running for charity. Out of 12000+ people in my club, only 268 of us have reached level 10, titanium level. I am proud of what I accomplish and giving back to the community. My next goal is to run the 6 world majors. I have already done NYC, London & Chicago. Berlin is the next step and I cannot think of any better feeling than the one experienced in NY by crossing the finish line in Germany as part of team for kids.

Tell us a little more about yourself
Well, if you haven’t guessed it by now, I am Mexican (even if I do not look like it). Through my education, I was able to become fluent in 6 languages. I have a BA from the Ohio state university and two masters in legal studies and business administration. I am looking to go to law school and become an attorney so I can continue to make a difference for the less fortunate in my everyday life. Using what I have learned for the greater good, I want to give a voice for the voiceless. I want my steps to count for something greater than myself and the personal accomplishments.

Connect with Alex via the link below:
Facebook: http://bit.ly/FacebookAlexFeria

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