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!

Connect via the links below:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jamesgrayking
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamesgrayking/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamesgrayking

Member Spotlight: Anna Perry

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I’m running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half with New York Road Runners Team for Kids!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I love the energy and excitement for every race I’ve run. I have a strong passion for an active lifestyle, and chronic illness prevention. I can’t wait to experience this race that can impact the lives of our next generation!

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
I don’t have a favorite place to run, but every run with my younger sister Nicky is my favorite. We can run for hours and just enjoy each other’s company. If I’m with her, the scenery takes second place!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I love listening to upbeat, hip hop music. I do, however, love any Fitz and the Tantrum song!

What is your favorite post-run meal?
My sister and I love to indulge after a run. We usually enjoy a large brunch, or if it’s in the afternoon some cookie dough for dessert!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running started in college. I played soccer, and my endurance came easy for many years, but as I got older I realized I needed to work on it outside of practice. I started out with very short distances, and picked it up as the years went on. I started doing destination runs because it’s such a great way to see the city. I also enjoy clearing my mind, or calling family and friends to catch up. Running is the most free sport one can do, it’s on my own schedule, and I can go at my own pace. My mood on the weekend is usually determined by a good run!

Do you have pre-race rituals or superstitions?
I don’t have any rituals, but I love to treat myself to a new running outfit :).

Why did you choose to run with Team for Kids?
I love the Team for Kids mission. I believe that preventive health starts when we’re young, and I think getting children active at a young age creates good habits. Also, I have taken my life for granted, and I didn’t even realize that PE as a subject was a luxury. I think the involvement in the schools and communities is so important for children, and families. I am so excited to be a part of this community. I can’t wait to learn about more stories in the process.

Tell us a little more about yourself.
I recently moved to New York from Kansas City. I moved here with my husband right after we got married and have loved our adventure. We are small city people, but we’re learning to navigate through New York! I think running around the city has helped me learn about so many things, and I love the culture throughout each borough. I can’t wait to meet more and more people in the community!

 

 

 

 

Connect via the links below:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Annanowperry/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anna.alfonsin

Member Spotlight: Danielle Perkins

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I’m running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half with New York Road Runners Team for Kids!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I love how TFK funds help support programs for more than 200,000 children in more than 1,000 schools and community centers nationwide. It is amazing to be contributing to an organization that has such a large-scale impact.

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
Anywhere along the water, especially in the summer. It is so peaceful.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I actually don’t listen to music when I run. I love music, but I find it distracting during a race. I like taking in the sights and the sounds; every race has it’s own vibe, and I like be a part of it and experience it totally and completely.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Egg & cheese on a bagel. I can eat like 7.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
When I was a sophomore in college. I watched a friend run a race one weekend and was instantly inspired. I stepped out of my apartment one day after class the next week, and just started running. It sounds super cheesy, but I haven’t stopped since. Growing up I absolutely hated running, but I’ve come to really love it. To me it is the best way to get out of my head and clear my mind. I love that I am able to always challenge myself, and I learn something new with every race I run.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?
I eat pasta for dinner the night before every race. If I don’t, I feel super weak. I swear, the power is in the pasta.

Why did you choose to run with Team for Kids?
When I started running, I was running just for myself. I found it as a way to challenge myself and to ensure I stay fit, as well as a method of relieving the stresses that come along with living in a bustling city, one that truly does never sleep. At the end of the day, if I can do something I really enjoy while also giving back, I couldn’t ask for anything better. I love that I can help support running and fitness programs for students across the country, ultimately allowing youth to build a healthier and happier lifestyle like I aim to do for myself. It’s empowering to know that I my running is supporting a larger community much greater than myself.

Tell us a little more about yourself.
I am 23 years old and work as an Assistant Buyer in menswear at Bloomingdale’s. I am passionate about fashion, theater, music, art, and travel. I am a firm believer in making the most of each and every day, and enjoy taking advantage of what my city has to offer, exploring new places, meeting new people, and trying new things.

Connect with Danielle via the links below:
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/dani.perkins.94
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danielle__rachel/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniellerachelperkins/

Member Spotlight: Larry Buchanan

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I’m running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half with New York Road Runners Team for Kids!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
It seems like a great organization and if I was going to run anyway, why not try to raise some money, too!

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
I live in Carroll Gardens, around the corner from Red Hook, so I run in Red Hook a lot, down to Valentino Pier, and out to the end of the pier past Fairway. I’m often the only one out there, which is a feeling you don’t get many places in New York.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I just ran the Frozen Penguin Half along the Belt Parkway — it was 19 degrees — and made this Spotify playlist for it.  

What is your favorite post-run meal?
A cheeseburger.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
In college. I started to get fat (and still probably am) and ran to not be so fat. My first half marathon was in Miami, Florida, with my wife and 3 of my best friends. It was one of worst experiences of my life. 80˚ in December, 100% humidity, and the course was just along one lane of the highway. It was brutal. But I got over it, ran a few more half marathons, then won the New York City marathon lottery — which isn’t much of a win, really, “Hey you have to run 26 miles now and we charged your credit card!” — 2 years ago and ran that. It was amazing. I still don’t particularly love running and have a hard time sticking to a training routine, so I ended up signing up for more races to force me to run, which seems like a losing strategy, but oh well. It’s better than sitting.

Tell us a little bit more about yourself.
I’m a graphics editor at The New York Times. My wife works for the city. We have a dog and a cat. My running coach, Kevin Quealy, is a fellow graphics editor at the Times. I am also, subsequently, his running coach.

 

Member Spotlight: Maria Mercedes

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I’m running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half with New York Road Runners Team for Kids!

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
Giving back to a good cause, cheering crowds and meeting new people!

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
Forrest Park, because a lot of runners are always running there and it has a pretty scenery.

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

It’s a mix between dancing and hip-hop/rap

What is your favorite post-run meal?   

I have a thing for tacos and pizza

When did your relationship with running begin and why?  

Few years ago in high school but post-graduation I didn’t keep up with it much until post college – it keeps me exhausted, happy and in shape.

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

I will get back to you after I run my first half marathon on Sunday 🙂

Why did you choose to run with Team for Kids?

Because it makes me happy to give back and also help advocate on such good activity that is running! It’s a healthy and happy exercise!

Tell us a little more about yourself

I am a happy loving person! I love meeting new people, volunteering and giving back whenever I can! Currently work as an architect but I will be soon moving on to something bigger and better! I love dogs, taking pictures and traveling 🙂

Member Spotlight: Naomi Fink

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?

I’m running the Airbnb Brooklyn Half with New York Road Runners Team for Kids!

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

This is my first time running with TFK – I’m excited to join this community of runners and have additional access to resources to help me in my running adventures!

Where is your favorite place to run and why?

I live in Inwood, and LOVE running in Inwood Hill Park – I get to be near the water, see interesting birds, and have access to great trails!

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Anything upbeat and catchy — my current running playlist has a lot of Beyoncé, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Missy Elliot, and Kanye West.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Does coffee count? 🙂

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
I started running in Middle School as part of an after-school running program – Students from LA (I’m originally from Los Angeles). From there, I ran cross-country in high school, and in college rowed, but did a lot of running as a way of cross-training. Then I had a post-college period of not working out much – so started running again a few years ago as a way to get in shape and reduce stress.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
I’ve had some bad/odd weather during my last few races (SI Half, Fred Lebow Half, Wash. Heights 5k) – I’m starting to wonder if I’m to blame!

Why did you choose to run with Team for Kids?

It’s a great way to get entry into races while running for a great cause!

Tell us a little more about yourself
I’m a Los Angeles native turned New Yorker.  I am a lover of the warm weather, the outdoors, the beach, and hiking – anything that gives me the opportunity to be outside. My favorite food is Ethiopian, my favorite band is Radiohead, and my favorite hobby is napping.

Connect via the links below:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/naomivfink

www.instagram.com/finkies