Runner Spotlight: Cindy Harris

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What made you decide to run the TCS New York City Marathon with Team for Kids?
I live in Santa Barbara and have for 61 years since coming here to UCSB. I am running/ walking/ jogging the 2016 NYC marathon. This will be my fourth one, although I was entered and was already in New York for the 2012 marathon. After that was cancelled I lost my momentum for marathons. This year my son is running so I decided to give it another try!

A family friend of my son’s, Tom Horton, is the one who put the bug in my ear. In the summer of 2008 he was visiting and I asked him if many people walked the marathon and he replied: “more people walk than run” so I decided I would see if I could do it. I chose TFK because I strongly believe in their philosophy. Preventing juvenile problems before they begin is so very important. My son is also running with TFK as he did last year.

Do you have any running rituals?
I don’t know that I have any set in stone running rituals. I just do it. I believe in exercise and all the benefits it brings. I also go to the gym two days a week.  I come to NYC several times a year to visit my children and grandchildren and always look forward to the six mile loop in Central Park!  In fact, I will be there in mid-April for grandparent’s day at St Bernard’s. As for any other history I have been married for 56 years. I work as a garden designer for a landscape contractor here in Santa Barbara, which here in California is pretty much a year around job. I keep doing it because I love it and see no reason to stop.

Member Spotlight: Candice Knuteson

 

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Where do you live?
Wauwatosa, 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?
I don’t have many regrets in life, but one regret I do have is that as a kid I did not participate in any sports. I think now that I am so active in my community both at the gym and with my local Saturday morning running group I look back and wonder what I really missed out on by not being in sports when I was growing up. Being able to provide kids an opportunity to experience fitness and run with the support of an NYRR program means that these kids will not make the same mistake I made. This is very exciting. Running has been life altering for me so providing an opportunity like this for kids is an absolute game changer for those that may not have the support or resources.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place is anywhere that I haven’t run yet. I love to travel and run different places for the experience which is why NYC marathon has been on my to-do list now for 5 years. The top three locations I have run that I absolutely loved was Brisbane Australia, Moscow Russia, and Big Sur in California. I also have some great places on my list this year beside the NYC marathon including Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon this May and The Rut a mountain run held on Big Sky Resort property in September. This keeps me motivated.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Yes I am a runner that needs some music while I run. Artists include Foo Fighters, Kid Rock, Eminem, Maroon 5, Eric Church, and Chris Stapleton. I have different genre playlists set up for different running events and notice that for the trail I tend to go more country and alternative whereas with road I tend to go more rock and hip-hop/rap.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I LOVE to eat, it is part of the reason I love running – the reward! On Saturday and Sunday after regular runs (10 miles or less) usually eggs or baked oatmeal with a good coffee. Longer runs especially during build up it is anything that is highly caloric that I have been craving. Could be duck, fried chicken, chicken wings, mac and cheese, stuffed burger, lasagna with buttery garlic bread, Ribeye steak…..man you name it.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
It was 2009 is when I started running. I worked with a couple runners who needed a third person for Lakefront Marathon relay that October. I refused and stated that I wasn’t a runner but they assured me that I had plenty of time to become a runner (6 months) and they would help me. I had the first 7 miles of the 26.2 mile relay which was overwhelming. To tackle the challenge I signed up for a running class, learn how to run an 5K, at a local park where I started running with the walk run method and then that summer I started doing 5ks and then 10ks to build up my running confidence for the event. At the end of the event my friends husband bought me a Lakefront Marathon coffee mug and said next year Id being doing the marathon. I didn’t believe him but he was right. It was the last year of the Lakefront Marathon relay so I was grateful for that experience.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Not really, the normal stuff like don’t wear the race gear until after the race, don’t try anything new the day of, eat a bland meal the night before and get to bed early.

Why did you choose to run this event?
As I wrote above that running has been life altering for me. I didn’t run and I didn’t participate in any sports growing up. I now regret that. I am connected to TFK’s mission because teaching youth about physical fitness and having them experience its health benefits can help youth avoid health problems, it builds their self-esteem and confidence, helps develop interpersonal and motor skills, reduces anxiety and depression, improves sleep, etc. In addition, it can help them to stay active throughout their lifetime and make better choices for their future.

Connect with Candice via the links below:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/candwmn/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CandyPants_HD
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/candice-knuteson-488a687
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/candice.knuteson 

Member Spotlight: Beth Drake

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Where do you live?
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

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?
Being able to support kids and give them the opportunities to reach their full potential.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is around my parent’s lake at their cabin. It is beautiful and calming.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I listen to an array of songs from old to new, just no metal!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Burger!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
About 2-3 years ago. I joined Moms On The Run in Eau Claire and they sparked something in me that I will forever be grateful. The support and friendships are amazing!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Laying out my outfit the night before and having my breakfast ready (PB&J and a banana) and everything else I need. Spaghetti the night before!

Why did you choose to run this event?
I am a teacher, so I believe in and love children. They learn healthy habits early in life and the more we can guide them and help them make good choices the better for them in the long run.

Tell us a little more about yourself:
I am a 2 year old teacher and have been teaching for almost 10 years now. I am married to my husband Jeremy and we have a son named Theo. He is the light of our lives! We will be adopting our second child in the near future!

Connect with Beth via the link below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beth.drake 

Member Spotlight: Andrew Zahler

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Where do you live?
Jersey City, NJ

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?
I’m most excited about the camaraderie and sense of shared purpose that go with training for a long-distance event and fundraising for a worthy cause. I look forward to meeting fellow TFK runners at group training runs this summer and fall.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I love running on the Hudson River waterfront in Jersey City and Hoboken for the air, ample sunlight on sunny days, views of Manhattan and presence of lots of other runners.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
LCD Soundsystem’s “45:33” is a driving, evolving track that lasts 45 minutes, 33 seconds — a great length for a regular run. I also enjoy listening to podcasts like This American Life, Radiolab and Serial.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
PB&J with a banana and plenty of water.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I’ve been running off and on since I was a kid, but I’d say I got really serious about it when I moved to New York in 2011. That’s when I discovered Prospect Park, bought my first pair of real running shoes and signed up for my first race with NYRR, the Jingle Bell Jog. I got serious because I wanted to improve my health, in all senses of the word, and let off steam from my stressful job.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
The night before, I lay out my race gear and map my transit to the race down to the minute. In the morning, I get up nice and early to fully wake up and have a proper breakfast. I realize these things are not that extraordinary, but they all contribute to me arriving at the corrals relaxed and ready to run.

Why did you choose to run this event?
I first signed up with Team for Kids in 2014 to get guaranteed entry to the 2015 NYC Half, and I had such a great experience that I wanted to do it again for the marathon — even though I already had entry.

I feel connected to TFK’s mission because growing up I was fortunate to have organized sports and parents who encouraged me to be active, and it established healthy habits that I have maintained. Doing so helps me stay grounded and happy, and of course physically healthy. I realize that a lot of kids don’t have the opportunities I did but could benefit just as much if not more from being active. Raising funds for youth running programs is something I can do to help solve that problem.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I’m an editor. I’m getting married in August. I brew beer. I cheer for any sports team from Seattle, where I grew up. I have lived in Portland, Ore.; Columbia, Mo., Washington, D.C.; and Prague, Czech Republic. I used to play a lot of bass guitar and will again someday. I’m a grownup who still enjoys playing video games.

Connect with Andrew via the sites below:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/azahler/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/andrewzahler
Website: http://www.andrewzahler.com

Member Spotlight: Charly Evon Simpson

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I’m running the Big Apple Challenge with Team for Kids! I ran the United Airlines NYC Half and am now looking forward to running the TCS New York City Marathon!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I love that I am running for a great cause. It makes every mile worth it.

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
I love to run along rivers. I’ve had the chance to live and run in Boston, Philly, and NYC. Each time I’ve had a river not too far from my apartment to run along. There is something so calming about running near the water.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Honestly, I will run to anything with a good beat. I run to bad pop songs and fantastic oldies. Right now, my playlist includes the Hamilton soundtrack, David Bowie, Chaka Khan, Kanye West, Beyonce, Wham! and Michael Jackson.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I am a big fan of a nice, big bacon cheeseburger after a run…with French fries, of course.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running in 2010 after an emotionally rough year and a half. I was living in Boston, working 12 hour days, and feeling really lonely. As a part of my AmeriCorps commitment, I had to volunteer a certain amount of hours. I learned that raising money and running races could count towards those hours. I was never a good runner–a mile was probably the only distance I was comfortable with. But I wanted to get health and I wanted something to fill my free time. So I started doing the Couch-to-5K and ran two 5Ks that spring. When I moved to Philly that fall, I wanted to keep up with the running and decided to do a 10K. From there, I’ve kept going for longer and longer distances. I am still amazed that my body can take me more than a mile at a time.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
No, not really.

Why did you choose to run this event?
I’ve been wanting to run a marathon for a while and when I had another rough few months, I thought that running could once again help me find my footing. So one night I was reading about Team for Kids and just bit the bullet and signed up. I wanted to do the Big Apple Challenge because I knew I’d have to get in shape for the United Airlines NYC Half early in the year. My hope is to keep my body strong and healthy all year long and into marathon training.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I just turned 30 so I am super happy to be starting about a new decade with this challenge. I am a playwright and performer who was born in Queens and now lives in Manhattan. I am a lover of wine and hot toddies and hope to get my first wine certification later this year. I have a pup named George.

Connect with Charly via the links below:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/charlywrites
Twitter: www.twitter.com/charlyesimpson
Instagram: www.instagram.com/charlyesimpson

Member Spotlight: Stacey Trottier

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I am running in the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon (MY FIRST FULL!)

What is your favorite place to run and why?
I live in Sunny SoCal so my favorite place to run is along the coast right before sunset! It’s tranquil, serene, and fills me with so much gratitude to have a body that is able. When I stop to take a breather and get to soak in a beautiful sunset over the ocean: I feel God.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I couldn’t do it without my power songs!! The Champ- Nelly, Ayo- Chris Brown, Heart of a Champion- Nelly, Killin It- Krewella, Reason To Hate- DJ Felli Fell, David Guetta, and Flo Rida!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
WAFFLES! And pizza. BEER.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running began in 2011. I was motivated to run my first half marathon (Silver Strand in Coronado) and I was HOOKED. I like to work for things solely (pun SO intended) for the challenge and to prove to myself that I can do it. It became my meditation.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Carbo-loading the night before (mainly because I love pasta) and I have to get my mind right. Meditate with Deepak Chopra and stretch A LOT. Banana, bagel and peanut butter a few hours before. Bedtime EARLY.

Why did you choose to run this event?
My boyfriend ran it 10 years ago and enrolled me into running it with him again (his second time and my first). Love training with him. It will be my first full marathon as I’ve always put it off as a bucket-list-later thing. Plus I’ve never been to New York so what better way to break in the city than to run through it?

Tell us a little more about yourself
 I am a molecular scientist, yoga instructor, and aspiring SciFi novelist (look for my book on bookshelves next year!) I’m a huge Lord of the Rings and Star Wars geek. I love to model for boudoir, yoga clothing, and have been published in a local SD magazine a few times. One of my core values is self-development and human potential. I’m a proud Landmark Forum and Advanced Course graduate! I believe we have the capability to create whatever we want in ANY moment. I grew up in a small Texas town and have lived by the beach for over a decade. I love to run (obviously) and overcome large obstacles. Just because I can!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I am excited to run with TFK because I’ll be a part of something SO MUCH BIGGER than myself! All the early morning runs, the events I will be turning down in order to train, the foam-rolling, knee-icing, carbo-loading (that’s not a bad one) will be so worth it having a cause under my feet as they hit the pavement knowing that I am taking a stand for kids! This will be my first time to New York, my first full marathon, and I hear the cheering crowds during the race are AMAZING.

Connect with Stacey via the links below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stacey.trottier
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga.scientist 
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/staceytrottier

Member Spotlight: Mal Ward

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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?
Running for a cause puts everything at a higher stake. From the moment I signed up with Team for Kids, I knew that every dollar I raised would impact kids’ lives and their experience with running. It pushes me to train harder and to look forward to the celebration on race day. Seeing kids cheer you on, while holding signs supporting Team for Kids runners, is an unforgettable moment and I love being part of something much bigger than myself.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My apartment overlooks Prospect Park. You can find me there almost every day. I know the outer loop by heart and love the challenges of the hills and the variations of the pavement track as well as the off road trails.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I love running with music that clears my head. Depending on what type of training day it is, my music taste varies. If it’s a speed day, I’ll be jamming to pop music like:

Rihanna & Eminem’s, “Love the Way You Lie”
Miley Cyrus’s, “Wrecking Ball”
Moon Taxi’s, “Whiskey Sunset”

But if I’m running long mileage, my favorites are more folk/bluegrass style tunes like:

Wailin’ Jenny’s, “Long Time Traveler”
Mindy Smith’s, “Hurricane”
All things by artists Allison Krauss and Nickelcreek

If I’m running with friends or my partner, I love conversations while we run. It helps my breathing and takes my head somewhere else.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Definitely spaghetti with marinara sauce, spinach salad, topped with cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, green and red peppers with Italian dressing and huge glass of ice cold water with lemon.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running began in high school. I enjoyed the conditioning we were doing for cheerleading, and a fellow teammate told me I should come out to do cross country and track. I struggled a lot in high school with body image and comparing myself to others athletically. I wasn’t a great runner but loved the team camaraderie among the girls. However, I ended up leaving the team after 2 years when the pressure of losing weight became too much of an anxiety in my life. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college when I finally began running again. I started clearing my head at a park close to my apartment through running alone. After some tragic life events, I stopped running away from problems, but instead started running toward goals. I started racing again and made a goal to do my first marathon. I joined a running team in Kentucky and finished my first marathon in May of 2013. Running changed and saved my life. It’s always been the best relationship I’ve ever had.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I always prep my running shirt the night before and get my number pinned on. It has to be perfectly straight and I have to make sure no pin is going to dig at me during the race. Also, I have to go to the porter potty right before I line up or else I panic, even if I don’t really have to go, I make myself try. Also, oatmeal and banana are my go to breakfast items.

Why did you choose to run this event?
I ran the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon with Team for Kids and found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I couldn’t wait to sign up again! Running brought such a joy to my life and knowing I could share that with kiddos by helping fund shoes, coaches, and transportation made the hard work worth every second. Our kids and our community can benefit from these types of programs. Someone once shared running with me, and I wanted to continue the good karma!

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a Kentucky native who dreamed of living in NYC one day. I guess dreams do come true! I’m head over heels for my 70 pound, black lab/pit, handicapable, rescue dog Bruiser. I could be labeled a black coffee addict who enjoys painting, creative writing, working at film festivals, all things peanut butter, and live theatre performances. I’m a ball of energy and love the great outdoors. I’m obsessed with baseball season and attending Yankees’ games. But most of all, my family means the world to me and I’m so thankful that I get to do life with them.

Connect with Mal via the sites below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mal.ward
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mal_ward
Twitter: https://twitter.com/malward314
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/msmalward

If you want to follow Mal’s pup: https://www.instagram.com/bruiserbarks