Team for Kids runners, meet your 2016 New York Road Runners Team for Kids Marathon coaches: Michael, Vinny, Laura, Simon, Andy, Mary, Sid, Asteria, Dave, Jason, Kim, and Glen!
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.
Coach (Skinny) Vinny ran his first NYC Marathon with TFK in 2007—after losing 150 pounds. The following year, he joined the TFK coaching staff. Since then, Vinny has completed over 22 marathons, competed in various triathlon distances including his fist 70.3 Ironman. Vinny enjoys being able to share his love of running and fitness to whoever is willing to listen. His goal as a coach is to be able to help TFK team members cross what ever finishline they are training for.
Vinny understands TFK’s mission, thanks to his own weight loss journey. When he’s not training, racing or coaching, he spends most of his spare time running after his twins.
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.
Coach Simon came to running later in life, but it has now become his life’s work and passion. Simon’s coaching philosophy is simply to try and make running more understandable to runners. To share what he has learned about how the body works when we run and how to train smartly and safely to improve performance. Simon is very vocal in his encouragement and takes great inspiration from watching casual runners turning themselves into marathon-distance athletes.
Outside of coaching TFK, Simon also works at NYRR. Simon is very proud of his work at NYRR and is eager to answer questions about the programs that are funded by TFK fundraising. When asked, Simon is eager to provide a detailed and passionate answer.
Andy Fenack is a Physical Therapist at Finish Line Physical Therapy, specializing in an active population of runners and endurance athletes. Andy earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Stony Brook University and is recognized as a Fellow of Applied Functional Science through the internationally acclaimed Gray Institute.
An endurance athlete since high school, Andy has completed 2 Ironman triathlons, 3 marathons, 10 Half Ironman triathlons, numerous half marathons, Olympic and sprint distance triathlons. In addition, Andy has coaching certifications through the Run Smart Project and the Road Runners Club of America with experience coaching high school, college and adult runners and triathletes for the past 10 years.
Andy is honored to be a part of Team for Kids as programs to benefit youth have always been important to him, having been involved with after school programs for at risk youth during undergrad and programs that combat childhood obesity while in physical therapy school. As a coach, Andy is excited to share his experience as an endurance athlete and physical therapist to help runners achieve their goals of becoming faster, healthier athletes through finding balance in their training plans.
Coach Mary loves running and cannot wait to share her enthusiasm and pure joy for running with TFK runners. Mary 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.
Mary joined TFK in 2012 and received her RRCA Coaching Certificate as an Adult Distance Running Coach in 2014. Mary has ran 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 Mary learns something new about how to run, something about herself, and something about the community of her fellow runners.
Mary looks forward to sharing her experiences and being part of this great Team for Kids community.
Sid started running in 1978 and has been running with the Central Park Track Club for 37 years. His storied career includes five world championships, 50 national championships, 6 U.S. records, 5 world records and 8 gold world champion medals. He acknowledges the role his coaches and mentors played in his development and is anxious to return the favor to aspiring runners. Sid is dedicated to passing on his experience and knowledge by coaching Team for Kids (TFK) runners.
Sid’s holistic training—which includes nutrition, drills, stretches, speed work, and distance training—has made believers of his athletes. Several have returned to run with Team for Kids for a second year and a number of those have brought friends or spouses with them.
Sid believes we’re a family of runners and we all have the same goal—not just to finish the race, but to change our lives. The health part is very important. It’s not just about times and splits.
Asteria had been active in a variety of sports since her childhood in Bolivia. In addition to running on both the Bolivian and Venezuelan national teams, she worked for many years as a physical education teacher. Asteria is dedicated to passing on her experience and knowledge by coaching Team for Kids (TFK) runners. Like Sid, Asteria’s holistic training—which includes nutrition, drills, stretches, speed work, and distance training—has made believers of her athletes. Several have returned to run with Team for Kids for a second year and a number of those have brought friends or spouses with them.
Asteria has completed over 15 marathons, 10 New York City marathons, the 100 anniversary Boston Marathon, two marathons in Venezuela, one in Colombia, and World Championships in Buffalo. When Asteria lived in Venezuela, she ran track and competed in the 800m, 1500m, 3k, 5k, and 10k plus the half marathon in the South American Games (Colombia). While Asteria lived in Boliva she became a National Champion in the 100m, the long jump, the 100m hurdles, and the 4×1 relay.
Back in 2006, Coach Dave was a brand new runner who decided it’d be fun to run the NYC Marathon the next year. When Dave signed on with Team for Kids, he thought it was just an easy way to get guaranteed marathon entry. Little did he know what wonders awaited him. Dave learned how to train. Coach Dave met incredible people including other TFK runners, coaches and staff. He developed a passion for running that he couldn’t have imagined, fueled by a bond developed with the other runners he met. Dave got to help kids find fitness and lose pounds through the programs supported by the funds he raised while running with Team for Kids.
Now Coach Dave is an extremely active member of the NYC running community. He has run about two dozen marathons including several ultra-marathons plus nearly 40 half-marathons. Dave has guided disabled runners, co-led Central Park clean-up days, collected used running shoes for those in need, became a certified personal trainer, and feels honored to serve as a Team for Kids Coach. Dave’s philosophy for new and experienced runners is the same, to enjoy the journey!
Jason graduated from Florida State University where he was a member of the cross country and track team that won three NCAA National Championships. He earned his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Long Island University, completing his capstone project on the differences between barefoot and shoe running, and is recognized as a Fellow of Applied Functional Science (FAFS) through the internationally acclaimed Gray Institute. He has been with Finish Line PT since 2012.
Jason is also a certified USATF Level 1 running coach. He currently runs with Urban Athletics, racing many times throughout the year in the New York City area. He has completed five marathons with a personal best of 2:36. “I wanted to become a physical therapist and use my experiences as a top-level runner to help runners not only recover from injury, but also run faster and prevent injury from happening. I’ve been injured plenty of times and can really relate things to my patients that I went through physically and mentally. I love the sport with a passion.”
Jason has coached with the city Meals On Wheels charity over the last two marathon seasons. His favorite part about coaching is teaching runners about their bodies. “I am thrilled to be a part of the TFK coaching staff and I am so excited to meet each runner!”
Coach Kim returns for another 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.
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.