Member Spotlight: James Gray King

What event are you running with Team for Kids?

I’m running the TCS New York City Marathon with New York Road Runners Team for Kids!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?

The New York City Marathon is unlike any experience you can have in New York, from the crowds, to the words of encouragement, to the kids handing out bananas in the Bronx, to the camaraderie and friendships with Team for Kids runners and coaches. There’s nothing like it!

Where is your favorite place to run and why?

I started running in New York and as such, as much as I try to run as much as possible when I travel, New York will always be where the journey began. In addition to running with Team for Kids, I also train with North Brooklyn Runners and as such, meeting by “the bins” at the McCarren Park track will always have a special meaning for me.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?

I actually do not listen to music when I run. Consequently, it would have to be Sinatra as the Marathon kicks off on the Verrazano Bridge.

What is your favorite post-run meal?   

A burger and a Guinness!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?  

It began in February of 2015 as part of a fitness challenge at work. I decided to start running a mile a day (which felt terrible!). I got through the February and a friend then asked me to run a half marathon in Brooklyn in the October following for a charity they work with. Somewhat intimated I told myself this would be the only one… unless I broke two hours! As luck would have it, coming in at 1:59:59, more races were clearly on the cards. A year and a month later I ran my first NYC Marathon!

Running has very much turned into my mental leveler during stressful times. I have met some amazing new friends and I am continually able to work towards new goals.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I always have a chicken Burrito the night before, having to travel way out of my way for a race in DC recently to find something suitable!

Why did you choose to run with Team for Kids?
At first it felt like a good way to get into the Marathon. As training went on however and we heard more stories from people directly impacted by the work of Team for Kids I felt increasingly connected to the cause and driven to what I could to support it. Understanding what it can mean to younger people to goal set, have a supportive environment and become aware of what they can achieve has become a huge driver for me to return and run for TFK again.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am an Englishman living in New York with my wonderful wife Kelly and dog, Meatball. I have lived here for 8 years after growing up in Oxford with a stint in Kenya. I have worked in music, design and technology most of my life. I had never been a person who really engaged in anything fitness related until running came along and changed everything!

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