Member Spotlight: Ping Wong

What is your favorite place to run and why?

Anywhere there is a great scenery.

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

I rarely listen to music, but something upbeat is uplifting!

What is your favorite post-run meal?

Veggies & Chicken. Bananas & Apples & Chocolate milk for quick replenishment.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?

During college when I volunteered at a run – seeing people run is inspiring. When I started to run and exercise, I sensed the empowerment,  and independence  that flourished from running.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?

Dynamic stretches, eat light and drink at least a cup of water 1 hr before running.

Why did you choose to run this event with Team for Kids?

To promote benefits of running among friends and family. Help those less privileged and to get people excited about running.

Tell us a little more about yourself.

I enjoy traveling, meeting new people and trying new foods. I like to cooking  and garden. I like to challenge my limits physically, mentally and socially because it’s fun!

 

 

Member Spotlight: Linda Walsh

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Where do you live?
Baldwin

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2016 TCS New York City Marathon

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
What excites me the most about running my event with Team for Kids is that I know that the money I am raising is going to a good cause. I happen to have had a hands on experience with a Team for Kids event at Icahn Stadium on June 15, 2016 with schools from all 5 boroughs running their own events. It was such a rewarding event and I will do it again next year. I also had the pleasure of meeting Michael Rodgers from NYRR, who is a great guy all around. Me and my friend Susan were asked to hold the banner at the finish line and we were very honored to do so. Let’s go Team for Kids!

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is upstate New York near my summer home in Saratoga. I love the rolling hills and the scenery running around the lake. They have what they call turkey hill. I have done it multiple times and feel amazing when I hit the top because I know it’s downhill from there. I also run the Long Beach Boardwalk and listen to the waves hitting the shoreline.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I just listen to some old songs on my phone. I run with a partner and we normally talk and just have music in the background.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
My post run meal is a banana, string cheese and a hard-boiled egg. I also drink chocolate milk as a reward, especially after a long run. Also some tart cherry juice.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship running started in October 2014. I was 55 years. I had lost my husband in Feb 2013. I let myself go to the dogs. I needed something to get me back on track. I joined WW, lost 40 lbs. and started running. I started with a 5K as a group run. After I was done I had this running high and decided that I loved what I just did. I did a 15K in Feb 2015. Did my first 1/2 marathon one year later in Oct of 2015. Just finished my 2nd 1/2 marathon in May 2016. I also have a very good running buddy who had kept me going when I wanted to quit. When she said that she wanted to do a Marathon I thought she as crazy. But I am looking forward to this experience. I will finish one way or another, whether it’s running, walking or crawling.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I always have a cup of coffee when I wake up. I eat a 1/2 of a salted bagel with Greek yogurt cream cheese and a little jam.

Why did you choose to run this event with Team for Kids?
I chose to run this event with Team for Kids because obesity is on the rise and kids need to do more activities and get out from behind the TV and video games. Raising funds to support youth programs is important to me because growing up I did not have this chance, and I think that kids need more to do and get them off the streets.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am 57 years old and a single parent of a 21 year old. I am retired from Verizon after 30 years of service. I live on Long Island. I love to play Mahjongg and I bowl once a week. I also volunteer for a group supported by Verizon.

 

Member Spotlight: Alyssa Walz

Where do you live?
Atlanta, GA

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The TCS New York City Marathon!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I am a pediatric physical therapist and kids are my life. This is my first marathon running for a charity and I’m excited to raise money for a good cause. It gives me motivation to run my 3rd marathon!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
Any place new… I love exploring and the great outdoors so I love being able to see different places and discovering new sites through running.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Anything upbeat! Lots of pop and oldies!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Protein!!! Usually a big salad with chicken or salmon.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I hated running but I really wanted to run the Peachtree Road Race so my Dad made me train. He’s a big runner running Peachtree every year and multiple marathons. After Peachtree, it was such a high finishing; my friend asked me to do a half marathon. My Dad told me that would be very hard for me and to think twice. I think he knew that would subconsciously push me harder to train and run so I ran the Atlanta half marathon that year. What a whirlwind experience? Then, my same friend wanted to run a marathon and my Dad had a similar reaction saying it would be so hard and much harder to train for then a half. His comments motivated to run and the next year I ran the Chicago marathon. I ran it and loved it. Races are such a thrill that I love.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Nope!

Why did you choose to run this event with Team for Kids?
It’s important to me because I believe in raising money for any programs supporting youth. Children are the future and we have the power to help and influence them in a positive way. We have to help pave the way for a bright future!

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a pediatric physical therapist and I absolutely love my job. I started paddle boarding aquatic therapy with another colleague and it’s been so amazing for the kids to try something new. I love tennis, yoga, hiking, running, paddle boarding, the lake and outdoors. My family and friends are so important to me and I love love living life and documenting my life through photos!

Connect with Alyssa via the links below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alyssa.walz.98
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/awalzy9/

 

 

Member Spotlight: Rebecca Grace De Chellis

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2016 TCS NYC Marathon! This will be my second marathon and my first event with Team for Kids.

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
I currently live in Brookline, MA and my favorite place to run is along the Charles River. I tend to plan most of my runs along the this loop because of its awesome views of Boston. I also love this route because it is the perfect distance for my run-commute home from work.  Before saying anything else, let me make two things clear…yes, I run home from work to avoid taking the MBTA and no, I do not run home in my work clothes (for some odd reason, everyone always assumes this). For anyone who has never tried running your commute, I highly recommend it!! It is the perfect way to clear your head and de-stress from the craziness of the day.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
The type of music I listen to on my run really depends on my mood and ability to update my Spotify playlist. This ranges from Miranda Lambert’s “Little Red Wagon” to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin”.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I am pretty boring when it comes to post-run meals. They definitely involve something with peanut butter because I am an absolute peanut butter addict! If I am coming off of a super long run, I usually include chocolate milk and a cinnamon raisin bagel. I must say, the pre-race carb loading is my favorite part of “training” because I am from New Jersey and am an absolute bagel snob.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I was pretty active in both high school and college, but never really considered myself a runner.  During my junior year of college, my grandfather passed away and as a means to cope I took to the gym. One of the things he always said was to be somebody. So in the spirit of those words, I began to challenge myself by signing up for 5K’s and obstacle based races because I feared long-distances. This was until the day I vividly remember being at the gym watching the NYC Half Marathon…  Something in me snapped and I had my sights on running a half. Later that fall, I completed the BAA Half Marathon and I began to think about attempting a marathon. In 2015, I decided to take on the ultimate challenge by entering the lottery for the TCS NYC Marathon and (by sheer luck) was selected. Running and finishing the marathon in 2015, was by far one of the most humbling experiences and put so many things into perspective for me.  It provided me with closure, gave me the confidence to call myself a runner, and really affirmed that with a ton of work I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. With that said, it has been an amazing run and I have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I have two pre-race rituals/superstitions. In the week leading up to a race/during a race I wear a red bandana around my left wrist. I also must must must eat a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter on race morning.  I am not entirely sure why/when both of these superstitions started, but they are both a must on race day.

Why did you choose to run this event with Team for Kids?
I chose to run the 2016 TCS NYC Marathon with Team for Kids because I absolutely love this race and I was looking for a way to pay it forward. Team for Kids provides it’s members with an overwhelming amount of support during training and the marathon and I wanted to become part of this awesome running community. Raising these funds for Team for Kids is insanely important to me as they fuel programs that get kids active and prevent childhood obesity.  This hits close to home for me because I struggled with weight issues throughout my childhood and was found to be pre-diabetic at a young age. I struggled with self-image for quite some time, but once I became active and later picked up running I have been able to stay on track.

Also, one of the things that fueled me to the finish line during the marathon in 2015, was feeling like a rockstar from giving high fives to kids all across the five boroughs. I chose to run for Team for Kids as a way to pay it forward and raise funds that will go towards providing someone the opportunity to fall in love with running (and who knows maybe they will run the NYC Marathon someday).

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a law student, a die-hard Yankees fan and am obsessed with country music.  I love to run in my “spare time” because it allows me to clear my head and find a balance between school/life.

Connect with Rebecca via the links below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.dechellis
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/up_andrunning/
https://www.instagram.com/beck_dechill511/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-de-chellis-6622b4105

 

 

Member Spotlight: Nadia Rahman

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Where do you live?
Madison, WI

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The TCS New York City Marathon!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
During my first marathon, I was fortunate enough to have a good friend competing as well who pushed me to reach my dream of finishing a marathon. I am beyond excited to run with a group of passionate runners who not only have the common goal of finishing a race, but also are passionate about supporting and providing recreational opportunities for youth!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
We have 2 big lakes here in Madison, WI and my favorite path is a 12.67 mile track around the beautiful Lake Monona. You get to see the skyline from a new perspective, venture through a few beautiful parks and neighborhoods and you are constantly surrounded by fellow runners and bikers! It’s a great way to see the community and meet some fun people!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
My playlist consists of everything from Boston, the Eagles, and Led Zeppelin to Luke Bryan, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga and of course lots of Disney music! I like anything with a steady beat and that I can keep a pace to!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Chocolate milk, a banana and shortly after PIZZA!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running when I moved out of Florida to Wisconsin. I had never been so far from my family and wanted to find a hobby that kept me active and would allow me to connect to my community. One of the best parts about living in Madison is the passion for living an active lifestyle that is shared by most members of the community. I remember watching my dad train for 2 marathons when I was little and have walked a past his NYC finisher photo for years. The combination of being in a new city, wanting to feel connected and looking up to my dad drove me to start running 5Ks, which turned in to half marathons which has now evolved into a love for marathons and running for fun!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I must eat pasta with plain tomato sauce and LOTS of garlic bread no less than 18 hours before a race. I also listen to the song “Lose Yourself” by Eminem as I start every race!

Why did you choose to run this event with Team for Kids?
Childhood obesity is an epidemic that is not only impacting the health of our youth, but also placing a huge limit on their potential. Being involved in recreational sports and activities gave me a tie to my community, kept me engaged and even promoted academic success. I promised myself that I would always find a purpose for every major task I take on. Running with TFK means I will have the privilege of running the NYC marathon and raising funds to support activities that made a world of difference in my own personal and social development. Children should be given the opportunity to discover and reach their full potential; Recreation and personal health are two factors that can present many healthy outlets for youth and can continue to help kids develop socially, physically and even academically.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, which means I specialize in working with individuals with various disabilities. I have a passion for mentoring and coaching and have found awesome opportunities for personal growth through Big Brothers/Big Sisters and coaching Girls on the Run. I am excited to be a young professional in a city that thrives on creativity, community and passion and look forward to pursuing my dreams of creating equal opportunity for education and employment for individuals with disabilities wherever I may go.

Connect with Nadia via the link below:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NadiaRahman13

 

Member Spotlight: Katerena Moustakis

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Where do you live?
Garden City, New York (Long Island)

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
2016 TCS NYC Marathon

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I get to run with a group of people who are equally as moved by the Team for Kids mission. Just the notion of adding some meaning behind every butt-kicking mile I run moves me, to help provide kids with programs that will benefit them for a lifetime.

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
Cedar Creek Park to Jones Beach Bike path. It is a long trail along the parkway with the unmistakable Jones Beach Tower in the background, fishing along the side, small hills, boats passing you by, ornamental grass, views of the water, fresh air, and friendly faces. I love it because of that! Additionally, if you run or even bike far enough, you can enter the beach without paying for parking. Win! Moreover, after a long run, there is nothing like putting your feet in the water!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
A good playlist (for me) is absolutely essential. I start almost every run with the same song, Tim Segreto’s “I’ll Watch Your Back” (Sounds like – Oasis / Coldplay) it sets the tone. However, I usually listen to The Prodigy, Major Lazer, Rihanna, or any song produced by Calvin Harris to keep my legs moving. I love music!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I usually go for a very large salad believe it or not. I literally reach for a small to medium size cake mixing bowl and throw lettuce, tomato, avocado, one hard boiled egg, Kalamata olives, dates and mukimame in it; a pinch of salt and one tablespoon of olive oil and I’m good to go!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I honestly always loved running because I played soccer from the time I was in grade school. However, my real relationship with running did not begin until the summer of entering my third year in college. I had slipped and fallen down concrete steps, landing so terribly that everything just shifted in my back. I fractured my tailbone, herniated some discs, suffered from nerve damage and could not walk properly for quite some time. I went to physical therapy for a while, and eventually just told myself: “Look, snap out of it, get up, get out, you’ll be fine, you’ll get better.” Eventually, walking turned back into running and has been my go to cathartic release since college, throughout Law School and every day since.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I have to start running, cross the start line and/or the finish line with my right foot. It is a Greek tradition that my family follows. Essentially, every New Year, or when entering into someone’s house or anywhere for the first time, we enter on the “right foot” to bestow good luck.

Why did you choose to run this event?
Back when I was in grade school, schools were just starting to implement healthy choices for both drink and food options (e.g., Sports drinks and Water as opposed to Soda). I think it is super important to suggest or at least provide an opportunity for youth to make healthy choices. Additionally, because of TFK’s mission, kids, not just by chance, will get the opportunity to educate themselves on physical fitness and empower themselves through these character-building programs.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I love to stay active, whether it is through running, cycling, swimming or just taking my dog out for a long walk. I also love to indulge in new foods and treat myself once in a while. On my downtime, I like to unwind with a classic Horror movie or any Quentin Tarantino flick. I know what you’re thinking – who unwinds with horror movies? This girl. Thanks to my older brother!

Connect with Katerena via the sites below:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kymkitty/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Katerena.moustakis

Member Spotlight: Phil Patterson Jr.

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Where do you live?
North Lauderdale, Florida

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2016 TCS New York City Marathon!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
The fact that by choosing to run with Team for Kids it’s no longer just about me and my excitement to run this particular race but the that it’s also helping out others because of the fundraising.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I would say the beach just because the weather is almost always beautiful and you can jump right in the water to cool off whenever you want to.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Imagine Dragons dominate my running playlist. After that it’s a lot of Alternative, Rock, Dance and BPM/Electronic singles. Stuff that gets me moving. There’s also a guy by the name of The Ginger Runner who makes instrumentals that are nice to run to, especially for the moments of needing to relax mentally on the run.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
A cheeseburger and French fries with a coke zero.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
June 2013. I was 95 pounds heavier, going to the ER every 6-8 months because of back spasms and had enough. I knew I needed to lose weight to take pressure off of my back and discs so I started running.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I always have a moment of prayer right before they play or sing the national anthem. I thank God for giving me the passion to run, keeping me safe during my training and then I just pray that he helps me run my best, that me and everyone in the race will be safe. I find that it helps keep me humble and supportive of those running. I know there are so many people who wish they could run but can’t so it helps me appreciate it all even more.

Why did you choose to run this event?
After the Haiti earthquake I went on 3 trips as a volunteer/missionary to help the country out. That required fundraising and the end result was life changing. I felt like it was time to do something different other than just run a race and always heard about Team for Kids and the NY races. So I wanted to add a special purpose to this race since it means a lot to me to finally get to do it and hopefully this blesses many others to find their passion in running as well.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I was born and raised in Florida, My dad is from New York (Buffalo). I am a huge sports fan and love music. If I could be in one place daily it would be the beach because I love the ocean (that includes fishing). I work at a running specialty store called Runner’s Depot. I also host my own running website where I interview and feature elite runners to share with my followers to provide tips and suggestions for runners of all kinds. I have been married for 2 years now and I’m most popular locally for my beard as it gets the attention at all the races and people recognize me more and more just because of it.

Connect with Phil via the links below:

Instagram: https://instagram.com/heelstriker954

Twitter: https://twitter.com/heelstriker954

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/philpattersonjr

Personal: https://www.heelstriker954.com