When did your love affair with running begin?
I fell head over heels in LOVE with running during the training of my first NYC Marathon in 2002. The tears of joy I had during the Marathon and then again after crossing the finish line solidified my love of the sport. The euphoric feeling of accomplishing something so daunting became really rewarding to me personally, and the friends I've made over the miles and years will last forever.
How did you become so involved in the NYC running community?
At first it was to run 1 marathon and then be done. I wanted to check it off my bucket list. However, the New York City running scene is amazing - there are so many great clubs, teams, and places to run. It's truly a wonderful community that embraces and welcomes anyone who wants to be involved. I made tons of friends that run and that I have lots in common with and I haven't looked back. I've run 27 marathons now and many of my training runs have been with those friends I've made along the way.
You've run the NYC Marathon for the past 10 years. That's incredible! How do you keep your body going and why do you keep coming back to this particular race?
Actually, I’ve run the past 13 New York City Marathons! I haven't missed one since 2002 and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. The energy of the city and the people keep me going. I'm constantly inspired by everything I see and I can truly feel the city's endless energy. What keeps me coming back… my current goal is to get to 15 in a row. Then I'll have guaranteed entry for life. Bonus, then I'm an official "streaker". The NYRR gives you a sign you can wear that says 15 in a row…
How did running enable you to overcome your gambling addiction? What inspired you to change your lifestyle?
At the time running gave me a much needed positive outlet. I was in a Gambling facility in Baltimore, MD when I found out that I got into the New York City Marathon. That was a major turning point in my life. That is when my training officially began and when I really started to fall in love with what running can do for your mind. At the time I really needed a mental escape. Then running became sooo much more. I loved the euphoric feeling after finishing races, achieving new PRs, and running farther than I ever thought I could.
Back on My Feet (BoMF) is a wonderful organization. How did you first become involved? Why?
Thank you very much. I'm truly humbled by the work that we do at Back on My Feet locally and nationally. We are currently in 11 cities across America and we are launching our 12th city - San Francisco - at the end of this year (2016). I was introduced to the founder of BoMF (Anne Mahlum) three years ago by a neutral friend (Lucy Danziger). We spoke about life and what running meant to me. I found out that her father was a compulsive gambler… so as you can imagine we had just a few things to discuss. She wanted me to be part of of the organization and I wanted me to be a part of the organization. I attended a morning run and was instantly hooked by the support, love, and community that it formed every morning. BoMF isn't just a running group for homeless men and women. It's much more. It's a community support system; we have job training workshops, essential employment opportunities, and housing resources available when members commit to our program and keep 90% attendance.
Should any of our runners be interested in volunteering, how would they go about doing that?
There are many ways that people can volunteer. People can run with us (we run every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday from 5:30-6:30am at 5 locations) plus longer runs on the weekends, or FundRace (we have guaranteed entries into the NYC Marathon bibs, NYC Tri, & many other races). You can also join our Young Professional Board (YPB), Advisory Board (AB), as well as partake in other opportunities. Anyone interested can contact me and I'll direct them to the proper person.
Our website: http://nyc.backonmyfeet.org
To sign up for a volunteer orientation: http://nyc.backonmyfeet.org/runwithus
My email is: Terence@backonmyfeet.org
What is it like running an ultra marathon? How do you keep your inspiration a mile high when training for one?
My first ultramarathon was on my 40th birthday. I wanted to run longer than I am young :(. The training for that was just running long on the weekends with my buddies and then running a few extra miles by myself. I didn't take it too seriously. This year I've got 2 ultramarathons on my calendar. The first is a 50 miler on April 30th - Rock the Ridge. People can do it as a relay or solo. Link for people interested: http://nyc.backonmyfeet.org/event/nyc-rock-the-ridge-2016. I’m raising money for BoMF.
Then on August 20th I'll be running the Leadville 100 miler in Colorado. I'm excited and nervous about this distance. I know my friends and family will be supporting me. I get inspired by the work I do, people I run with, the Mile High Run Club coaches that push me in those classes, random strangers, my dog Tes (she loves to run), and knowing that I'm doing something I never thought I could!!!