Team Teal Supports NOCC in 2016 TCS New York City Marathon
Meet the Runners
The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) was named an Official Charity Partner of the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon. The race will take place on Sunday, November 6, 2016. We want you to meet the members of NOCC’s Team Teal, who will be running in the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon.
Why do you enjoy running?
Anna: Running for me is a mental thing. It’s an escape; it’s a way for me to clear my mind, get endorphins firing, explore new cities – or new streets in NYC, center myself, and challenge myself. If I’m having a bad day, I know that I can go on a run and it will put things into perspective.
Alexandra: Exercise is my favorite way to relax and de-stress. When I run, I try to shut off my mind and just focus on moving and staying in the present.
Jennifer: I enjoy running, because, for me, it is a great way to maintain both physical and mental health. I have a great group of running friends who are all working moms living in the same neighborhood. We run together 4-5 days a week before the sun comes up, before our families have started their day. It’s a time to work on personal running goals and support one another as we move through the challenges everyday life throws at us.
Bill: Seven years ago, I lost 100 pounds and I started running to keep the weight off. I run almost every day now, for that reason and because I love it.
Kim: Running is kind of my escape from the real world and the thing that I enjoy to do by myself or with friends who are runners as well. I enjoy the time to think and chat with God while I run by myself. It’s a time when I can count on limited interruptions and focus on my own thoughts. I also love the special time with my girlfriends, so we can catch up and just chat about what’s going on in our lives.
Who are you running for? What is the connection to ovarian cancer?
Jennifer: I am an ovarian cancer Survivor. I was diagnosed when I was 15 years old. I have since become involved in various organizations, working to find a cure. The NOCC – Big Bend Chapter is very important to me. I am running as a Survivor and in support of the many amazing women I have known who have been lost to ovarian cancer, and for those still fighting.
Kim: This run is for my mom, Sandra Rogers. She lives in Owasso, OK and was diagnosed with Stage 3C ovarian cancer on February19th. She has been receiving chemo treatment and just recently had a major surgery – full hysterectomy, plus removal of other parts in her abdomen. She has been recovering well and starts chemo again this week or the next.
Anna: I am running for my grandmother. She was diagnosed when I was a freshman in college and was given a few months to live. We spent the holidays with her preceding her death and I saw how the physical strength had been sapped from such a vivacious creature. My grandmother told us that when we saw a butterfly, it would be her in our midst. There’s no time I see butterflies more often than when I am running.
Alexandra: I am running for my best friend and Warrior Mama, Margo Adler-Libstag, who fought Stage 3C ovarian cancer for 10 years. This June 2 marks two years since she passed away. She’s my guiding light.
Bill: I am running to honor my friend, Stacy Kirkpatrick. She was in the last stages of her battle with ovarian cancer when I applied to be part of Team Teal. I miss her so much and want to honor her memory by raising money and awareness about ovarian cancer. You can read more about Stacy here.
What previous running experience do you have?
Bill: I’ve run over a dozen half marathons and three full marathons. In 2013, I was running in the Boston Marathon on behalf of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. I was three miles from the finish line when the bombs exploded. It took a lot of time for the news to reach the runners and by the time I arrived just short of the finish line, police had stopped runners. The following year, we were invited to run the Boston Marathon again to actually cross the finish line.
Alexandra: I started running regularly about five years ago, when I joined my university’s rowing team. It was a great cross-training tool to complement our training regimen. I’ve completed several small races, including three of NOCC’s Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer® 5k races—two with the Massachusetts Chapter and one with the NYC Chapter. My first taste of true long distance running was when I ran a half marathon in November 2015. I, of course, had to challenge my body to adapt to the mileage, but it was more challenging for my mind to accept the mileage and not get caught up in it.
Kim: This will be my sixth full marathon. I ran my first two while attending graduate school, ran in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon two years in a row, and recently ran the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. I’ve run numerous half marathons in those years and some local 5k and 10k races.
What is the most exciting thing about running in the NYC marathon?
Anna: I think it’s the sense of community. I’ve always thought runners to be the most upstanding characters; the fastest in the pack oftentimes finish and come around to cheer those further back. I see the shirts people wear for loved ones and for causes that need more awareness. It’s an inspiration to see these athletes put themselves through a grueling, but rewarding, situation for their fellow man. No matter our backgrounds, religious affiliations, numbers on our paychecks, zip codes, languages – we’re all humans running toward the finish line. We’re giving our all as blood pumps to our hearts and we scale plateaus, power through mental roadblocks, and push through pain.
Bill: Other than Boston, NYC is my favorite place on Earth. I can’t wait to be part of the community of runners that take to the streets in November. I’m incredibly excited to run on behalf of NOCC and I’ll be borrowing some inspiration from Stacy. When she raised over $60,000 riding the Pan-Mass Challenge, she asked her friends and family to send her the names of people in their lives who have been affected by cancer. I’ll be doing the same thing.
Kim: Running in honor of my mother, who is battling ovarian cancer, is the most exciting aspect of the run, but I have always wanted to run this race. The crowd support in Chicago and OKC are what make it so special, and I assume that NYC will be similar to those two events. I applied for the TCS New York City Marathon for 4 years with hopes to get in someday. I was ecstatic to see that the NOCC was affiliated with the marathon this year – it was perfect!
Jennifer: The most exciting thing about running in the NYC marathon is that, by doing so, I am able to support and bring awareness to the NOCC, an organization that has come to mean so much to me and my family. Being able to run in this marathon is also a testament to the commitment of my family and the doctors and nurses who provided the best care they possibly could to ensure I would overcome ovarian cancer at age 15 and be able to pursue my dreams.
Is there any piece of advice or inspiration you would like to offer to our online community?
Anna: A great PT is key. I sprained my ankle last marathon, two months out, and was petrified I would not be able to finish. I visited a PT who specializes in running, and he was able to provide ambulatory training that helped me stay active while healing. He deconstructed my form, teaching me how to run better, faster, and stronger. I also would say it’s a myth that vegans can’t be marathon runners. I am. And if you don’t believe me, read Eat & Run by Scott Jurek. And lastly, most people who “hate running” haven’t gotten past the 3-5 mile mark. I promise that once you get into the magic zone of a little bit further, it will be life changing.
Alexandra: One of my mom’s favorite quotes was Don’t postpone joy. I’ve learned that life is short—too short to not be true to yourself and too short to postpone the things that make you happy. I try to remember that every day and to honor her through those words.
Jennifer: You are capable of far more, physically and mentally, than you could ever imagine – never lose hope.
We wish the best to all members of Team Teal! You can read more about the NOCC’s participation in the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon here. To support the runners, please visit their CrowdRise page here.