Meet Your 2016 Marathon Coaches

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 Conlon

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.

Vinny Corso

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 DeLucia

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.

Simon Durkin

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.

Andrew Fenack

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.

Mary Haskins

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 Howard

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 Howard

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.

Dave Kleckner

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 Lakritz

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!”

Kim Watkins

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 Wiener

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.

Member Spotlight: Alex Feria

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Where do you live?
I live in Dublin Ohio. It is a suburban area of Northwest Columbus.

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I am running the Berlin Marathon in September 2016. It is my second event running with Team for Kids.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
The difference I am making with every step I take out there. I am the only one in my family that has not had to fight with cancer. It is a battle that I have been lucky not to have dealt with. I also know what it’s like to have nothing or come from nothing. My family got lucky because of my father’s job but the majority of my family lives without proper means. I am from Mexico and I am proud to be Mexican and running for Team for kids allows me to give back to others who are less fortunate. There are kids living in poverty around the world not just in Mexico. I do not know why I have been the only one lucky in my family to be able to run and I do it to give back. It gives me a chance to test myself and show that when you put your mind to it anything is possible and you can make a difference. I have ran over 40 marathons of which 30 within 365 days in 2015-2016 as part of my running club but the one that mattered the most, the one I cherish the most was in 2014 when I ran for charity in the New York City Marathon running with teams for kids.

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is my 5k loop around my apartment. It sounds so corny but I know it like the back of my hand and it allows me to always gage where I am at training wise. I run it 3-4 times a week and it allows me the freedom to just escape the frustrations or any issues and stress I am going thru.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I always run with music and my ipod shuffle always has my running playlist on it. There’s a lot of random pump up songs on it. Right now there’s T.I., Pitbull, some songs from the hit TV show Empire on fox, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Gareth Emery…the list goes on…for 2 GBs lol.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
It depends on where I am at. But a common go to is Bruegger’s bagels. If you’ve never had it, you do not know what you are missing.

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running, or should I specify marathon running started in 2011. I was thinking of retiring from competitive soccer at the end of 2011 and decided to run the Columbus Marathon that October. I wasn’t able to finish the race due to a knee pain that had never been experienced before. The pain seemed bearable but come mile 17 I didn’t want to risk my last fall season of soccer and decided to withdraw. I went to the doctor that next week and he said I could have finished the race because it was IT Band syndrome a common running injury and with therapy it goes away. I felt so devastated because I am not a quitter but soccer was my #1 priority at the time and didn’t want to have to retire because of injury. I immediately signed up for the same race that next fall. Then, a friend of a friend broke his ankle and gave me his bib to run the Chicago marathon in 2012. So then I finished both marathons in October 2 weeks apart. I instantly got hooked. I ran 4 more marathons in 2013, 5 in 2014 and 30 in 2015-2016 within 365 days. I joined Marathon Maniacs and reached the top level in the club, titanium level, doing the 30 races all in a different state, country or province within a year.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Oh yea, I am very superstitious when it comes to sports. I always eat the same pasta the night before. I always put the same status on Facebook before the race (it is a quote paraphrased from the movie Stick it lol). I also always listen to the same Youtube inspirational video as I drive to the race.

Why did you choose to run this event?
I continue to run to break barriers and prove that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Most of the races I sign up for are for charity. I run because I am lucky I can. No one else in my family can. Like I mentioned earlier, my family has been struck by cancer more times than I can count and a lot of my family in Mexico struggles to put food on the table. As a kid, I was fortunate to have what I had but every summer we went back home to Mexico and I saw kids that had nothing and I was powerless to do anything about it. My family fought against cancer…first my mom vs. breast cancer and I was powerless to do anything. My dad then fought vs. prostate cancer…I was powerless to do anything about it…then my brother got bone cancer on one leg and he was the runner in the family having ran cross country in high school. I played soccer, it was what I was good at. I retired in 2011 then started training and ran 2 marathons in 2012 and since then that’s what I do. I finish marathons because I want to be as mentally tough as I can be. I want to show everyone that a normal Mexican boy like me can do things that no one dreamed of. I want to show that I can make a difference for charity. I raise the money for those who cannot run, those kids who do not have the chances I had, those who are not as fortunate. I do it because no one else in my family can. I am not the fastest, not the tallest, never had the best times but I am the best at what I do and that is finishing marathons and running for charity. Out of 12000+ people in my club, only 268 of us have reached level 10, titanium level. I am proud of what I accomplish and giving back to the community. My next goal is to run the 6 world majors. I have already done NYC, London & Chicago. Berlin is the next step and I cannot think of any better feeling than the one experienced in NY by crossing the finish line in Germany as part of team for kids.

Tell us a little more about yourself
Well, if you haven’t guessed it by now, I am Mexican (even if I do not look like it). Through my education, I was able to become fluent in 6 languages. I have a BA from the Ohio state university and two masters in legal studies and business administration. I am looking to go to law school and become an attorney so I can continue to make a difference for the less fortunate in my everyday life. Using what I have learned for the greater good, I want to give a voice for the voiceless. I want my steps to count for something greater than myself and the personal accomplishments.

Connect with Alex via the link below:
Facebook: http://bit.ly/FacebookAlexFeria

Member Spotlight: Chad Mooney

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Where do you live?
Amherst, New Hampshire. Recently moved from Medford, Massachusetts outside of Boston

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2016 BMW Berlin Marathon

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
My wife and I have been running marathons and fundraising for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for many years now. We take great pride in raising money to help seriously ill children attend summer camp for a week and act ‘normal’. As I’ve run and watched many marathons over the years, I always noticed the TFK runners, but never did research to see how the charity supported children. When looking at the Berlin Marathon official charities, I noticed TFK and did research on the charity. I found the mission to be inspiring and a fantastic way to educate children on the benefits of living an active lifestyle. I’m excited to be a part of the team and excited to be fundraising for such an important mission.

Where is your favorite place to run and why?
With just having moved from an urban environment to a fairly rural environment, I’m now getting used to much different runs (no sidewalks, trails instead of roads, dodging angry turkeys, wearing bright colors so not to be mistaken for a deer, etc). It’s been a fairly difficult running transition and one I’m a bit nervous about as I start ramping up the mileage. Still my favorite runs were from Medford, MA to Boston and down the Charles River and back. I ran it so many times, it was easy to get lost in thought and let the miles easily pass by.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I run with music during training, but never during big races. I’m a big fan of mixing it up and don’t like specific playlists. Generally I’ll have: Pearl Jam, Eminem, Tom Petty, Mumford & Sons, Fishbone, Imagine Dragons, etc. The one song that I will always have in rotation for long training runs is Queen’s Under Pressure.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Beer after long races. After long races its time to celebrate the months of training and hard work with a few beers. For long runs during training periods leading up to races….tacos!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
When I moved to the Boston area in 2000, my wife and I both wanted to lose weight and started running on a treadmill just 1-2 miles. Then we ran our first 5k, then we decided to run the 1/2 marathon in Indianapolis (we both grew up in the Midwest), then from that we decided to run the 2006 NYC marathon. And we’re both still running and its become a big part of our life.    

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
No, I always feel like I should though.

Why did you choose to run this event?
This will be the 5th of the World Marathon Majors for me (with only Tokyo to go after). I chose the event as it is one of my life goals (bucket list items if you will) to complete all the world marathon majors. Half the time during training, I wonder why. After doing research on TFK I’m excited and inspired to support this great mission while getting closer to achieving my personal goal. I believe running has changed my life and helped me, and subsequently my children, live a healthy and active lifestyle. Breaking the habit, and generally problematic idea, of ‘dieting’ and replacing it with a healthy lifestyle is something that should be instilled in children as early as possible.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I grew up in Indiana and graduated college from Indiana University. After school my girlfriend (now wife) and I decided a 9-5 job wasn’t an enjoyable thing at that time and moved to Ireland for 6 months. After returning from Ireland, we moved to where we wanted to live (Boston) and found jobs. We lived in Boston for the next 15 years and have recently moved to New Hampshire (and am loving it!). I love to travel, run, eat good food, drink good wine and spend time with my family (2 young and growing girls and 1 dog). Berlin will be my 6th marathon and gets me oh so close to completing all the World Majors.

Connect with Chad via the links below:
Instagram: https://instagram.com/chadmooney
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chadmooney
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chadmooney
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chad-mooney-1a42b02

Member Spotlight: Sudarshan Seshadri

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I will be running the 2015 BMW Berlin Marathon with Team for Kids.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
Favorite Place to run : Lachine Canal, Montreal, Canada

Lachine Canal is a historic trail and a national historic site which starts from Old Montreal to the St Laurent river. From incredible views of Montreal city to the river, the trail runs right by the canal for 10 miles making every minute of the run worthwhile.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I prefer Progressive rock when I run.

Favorite Band: Porcupine tree/Opeth

Favorite Songs:

  1. Time Flies (Porcupine Tree)
  2. Beyond the Pale (Pain of Salvation)
  3. Apparitions (Long distance calling)

What is your favorite post-run meal?
My favorite post run meal is a high carb-high protein combination one.

Typical post-run meal:

  1. Masala dosa (Rice crepe with potato stuffing) with Mint chutney
  2. Egg Bhurji (Scrambled eggs with sautéed veggies and indian spices)
  3. Banana chocolate protein shake

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running began in 2011 when I ran my first 10k followed by a duathlon (10k running and 20k cycling) in Bangalore, India.

But I took running more seriously in 2013, running my first half marathon in Arkansas and later running my first full marathon in Chicago in 2014 October.

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

  1. One standard pre-race ritual is loading on carbs starting 3-4 days before the marathon.
  2. Planning my run with stops through the race a day before the marathon
  3. Always wear my left shoe first
  4. Always start the marathon with the song “We will rise”

Why did you choose to run this event?
BMW Berlin marathon is an landmark marathon as a part of one of the 6 marathon majors in the world. I am planning to run all the marathon majors in the next 5 years (~1 major per year).

Running a marathon major brings out the best in you. Imagine a city like New York coming to a complete stop to appreciate you run. You get to see the best cities in the world like never before. Running is celebrated and the crowd support is amazing!

Tell us a little more about yourself
I was born and brought up in Bangalore, India before moving to the US (Texas) to pursue my Masters in 2010.

I love traveling and exploring new cities. I am also passionate about the online retail industry and being a part of it in analytics and applied mathematics. Working with the smartest people in the world in San Francisco/Bay Area is both motivating and humbling at the same time.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
This is my first event with Team for Kids. Hopefully I will be able to run many events with Team for Kids. From what I have read, TFK has great members and staff which bring out the spirit of the organization. Also, the camaraderie between the members, staff, and volunteers during marathons is really nice and motivating.

Connect with Sudarshan via the sites below:
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/sudarshan-seshadri/1a/b60/9
Instagram: https://instagram.com/sudhu87/

Meet Your 2015 Marathon Coaches

Team for Kids runners, meet your 2015 New York Road Runners Team for Kids Marathon coaches: Scott, Vinny, Laura, Simon, Mary, Jennifer, Sid, Asteria, Brian, Dave, Deb, Kim, and Glen!

Scott Ruplinger

Scott Ruplinger has coached runners from age 5 to 84 over the past decade. He has coached individuals to national championships, Olympic team berths, and World Championships appearances. Ruplinger has led large group programs in Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, and New York as well as a training center for elite athletes in Eldoret, Kenya. More than 40 athletes are currently on athletic scholarships or under sponsorship. With a focus on data-driven training programs and a high-intensity, lower-mileage style, he has assisted in more than 10,000 marathon finishes over the past eight years.

Ruplinger has completed more than 30 marathons and hundreds of races at distances from 5K to 50K. He has run nine national championship races. As the lead coach of Team for Kids, he works with runners from Boston qualifiers to first-timers as they prepare for the TCS New York City Marathon, the United Airlines NYC Half, and the Airbnb Brooklyn Half.

Vinny Corso

Welcome to Team for Kids, let me start off by saying that you made the right choice when deciding to join our team. I ran my first NYC Marathon with TFK in 2007—after losing 150 pounds and this was only the beginning of my journey. The following year, I joined the TFK coaching staff, and the rest as they say is history. Since then, I have completed over 22 marathons, competed in various triathlon distances including my fist 70.3 Ironman. But most importantly I have been fortunate enough to be able to share my love of running and fitness to whoever is willing to listen. My goal as a coach is to be able to help our team members cross what ever finishline they are training for.

I feel that I understand TFK’s mission better than most, thanks to my own weight loss journey. When I’m not training, racing or coaching, or finishing my MBA in Graduate school – I spend most of my spare time running after my six-year-old twins.

As always Happy Running 🙂
Coach Skinny Vinny

Laura DeLucia

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.

Simon Durkin

Hi I’m Coach Simon! Like many of you I came to running later in life but it has now become my life’s work and passion. My coaching philosophy is simply to try and make running more understandable to runners. To share what I have learned about how the body works when we run and how to train smartly and safely to improve your performance. I’m very vocal in my encouragement and take great inspiration from watching casual runners turning themselves into marathon-distance athletes.

Outside of coaching TFK, I also work at NYRR in Youth Events, organizing track meets, field days and XC races for the “kids” in Team for Kids. I’m very proud of my work there and if you ever have questions about the programs that are funded by your fundraising, please don’t hesitate to ask (just be ready for a long and passionate answer).

Good luck to all TFK athletes. It’s truly an honor to work alongside you.

Mary Haskins

mary haskins squareI love running and cannot wait to share my enthusiasm and pure joy for running with all of you. I 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.

I joined TFK in 2012 and received my RRCA Coaching Certificate as an Adult Distance Running Coach in 2014.  I have run 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 I learn something new about how to run, something about myself, and something about the community of my fellow runners.

I look forward to sharing my experiences and being part of this great Team for Kids community.

Jennifer Hessmer

Jennifer Hessmer is a Certified Personal Trainer, USA Track and Field Level 1, RRCA Certified Running Coach and Yoga Alliance RYT400 Yoga Teacher. Jennifer is currently an independent personal trainer, running coach, yoga teacher and health counselor on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Jennifer integrates nutrition into her sessions and group classes. She has a certification in health coaching from Integrative Nutrition Institute and Food Therapy from the Natural Gourmet Institute.

Jennifer was formerly employed at Equinox Fitness Clubs as a Tier 3 Personal Trainer and The Running Center as an assistant running coach.

On a personal note, Jennifer has run 9 marathons, New York three times, Paris and London, Richmond, Philadelphia, Marine Corps and Chicago Marathons and numerous ½ marathons; most recently the Prague Half Marathon and Reykjavik Half-Marathon. In 2010, Jennifer competed in her first series of triathlons.

Sid Howard

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 Howard

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.

Brian Hsia

Trained as an architect, Brian has been running since high school in Somers, NY. Since moving to New York City nine years ago, he has evolved from a sprinter into a long distance runner. When Brian attempted to run his first half marathon, his only goal was to “complete” the race. He now runs ultra-marathons and multiple marathons in the same weekend and has competed over 57 marathons and 10 ultra-marathons to date. Brian’s goal is to complete a marathon in all 50 states as the marathon is his favorite distance with the perfect combination of speed, distance and time. He ran his personal record of 2:54:42 in the 2010 Boston Marathon and enjoys running competitively, although giving back to the running community provides more satisfaction than any personal achievement. Best known for running with his camera, taking pictures of teammates, and capturing race moments along the way, he enjoys saying hello to runners and friends in Central Park. Brian’s experience in running and patience comes key to his teaching style.

Brian Hsia has been coaching for 6 years and coached specifically with Team for Kids for 5 years. He has a fond love of coaching new runners to reach their goals from personal bests to finishing their first marathon. Brian is trained as a Road Runners Club of America, USA Track and Field certified coach and Track and Field Academy. Brian also served as the co-director of the marathon training program for the New York Flyers, one of the largest running clubs in New York City and has been featured in The New York Times.

Brian’s advice to a new runner training for a marathon is, to “listen to your body, the marathon training is a long season, pace yourself and also to have fun with your training and the journey to completing a marathon. Have no expectations, enjoy the moment and believe in yourself. You are doing this for yourself. You will gain so much more than you will expect as you bond friendships, memories, and new experiences in your life.” Brian believes that anyone can become a marathoner, although it takes true dedication and proper training to finish the race. Brian is looking forward to taking you to the finish line of your marathon!

Dave Kleckner

Today I’m a Team for Kids Coach, but back in 2006 I was a brand new runner who decided it’d be fun to run the NYC Marathon the next year. When I signed on with Team for Kids, I thought it was just an easy way to get guaranteed marathon entry. Little did I know what wonders awaited me. I learned how to train. I met incredible people including other TFK runners, coaches and staff. I developed a passion for running that I couldn’t have imagined, fueled by a bond developed with the other runners I met that I can’t even begin to describe, but that is common among TFKers. And I got to help kids find fitness and lose pounds through the programs supported by the funds that I raised.

Now I’m an extremely active member of the NYC running community. I’ve since run about two dozen marathons including several ultra-marathons plus nearly 40 half-marathons. I’ve guided disabled runners, co-led Central Park clean-up days, collected used running shoes for those in need, became a certified personal trainer, and feel honored to serve as a Team for Kids Coach. If you’re new to Team for Kids, you’re in for a wonderful adventure. And if you’re not new to Team for Kids, then you’re just like so many others who’ve come back for more. Either way, enjoy the journey, because that’s what it’s all about.

Deb Meyer

We are so glad you chose to run with Team for Kids!  You will find it to be a very rewarding experience not only as a means to get in great shape, but also in making lifelong friends.

This is my 5th year as a Team for Kids coach. I feel lucky to be part of such an amazing group of people doing what I love to do and raising money for our youth. I am USA Track and Field Level 1 Certified and have run 20 marathons including 6 in NYC. I have run Boston 4 times and am also an avid triathlete. I completed my first Ironman in 2012. I am also a Sponsored Athlete with Asphalt Green Tri Club and help lead their bike workouts. I love to run, bike and swim and do just about anything active!

If you are new to this sport or a veteran, I think we can all agree running is a great way to stay focused, make new friends and be healthy. Good luck to all of TFK runners as you train this year. You will have a truly unforgettable experience!

Kim Watkins

Coach Kim returns for a fifth 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.

Coach Kim isn’t around quite as much as she’d like. Her non-Team for Kids time is spent running the corporate and personal exercise company, inSHAPE Fitness. In business since 1997 inSHAPE has worked with thousands of NYer’s to get fit at home or at the office, and they are in the process of moving into the mobile exercise space with inMOTION Workouts on Demand. Kim  is also the mom to an upcoming First Grader at PS191 on the Upper West Side and serves as the Vice President of the PTA at that school. Finally, Kim was recently elected to serve on the Community Educational Council of the city’s Third School District. However, she remains supremely devoted to and excited for this upcoming marathon season.

Glen Wiener

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.

Member Spotlight: Annie Talbot

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What event are you running with Team for Kids?
The 2015 BMW Berlin Marathon!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
My favorite place to run is on the West Orange Trail in Winter Garden, Florida because it feels like home. All of my friends and my running group trains on the trail & being able to see their smiling faces on a long run reminds me to keep going.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
I love running to Bruno Mars and Pitbull. My playlist has a wide variety of genres but I love upbeat, fun songs that I know will put a smile on my face mid-race.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
I don’t know if I have a favorite post-run meal but my favorite thing to do after a training run on Saturday is to sit at a local coffee shop by the trail and have a coffee with my friends!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
My relationship with running began in 2011. My husband had quit smoking and was looking for something to replace it with. He chose running and I joined him!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
The night before a race I NEVER eat out at a restaurant. I am too nervous of something not sitting right with me so I make my own meals. Each morning before a race I always have a cup of coffee. I think that it calms my nerves.

Why did you choose to run this event?
My husband and I made a promise that we would go to Europe before we had children. We chose the summer of 2015 as our deadline. Afterwards a couple of running group friends had decided to run the Berlin Marathon & we jumped on the band wagon!

Tell us a little more about yourself
I am a 26 year old Human Resources Manager that is in love with life. I have been married for about a year and a half and my husband is my #1 fan and biggest motivator. We do not have any kids but recently got the most precious black lab, Miles, who we named after our running addiction. In my free time I love reading mindless books, cross-training at boot camp, going to Disney, and trying new restaurants.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
I am most excited about being able to run for a great cause in a city that I have never been to.

Connect with Annie on Instagram and Facebook.