by Jana Trenk
Did you know that PPTC has four team captains? Captains work to bring team unity, as well as plan, organize and lead programs and group activities. Our current team captains are Michael Koplin, Linda Ewing, Adam Devine and Missy Burgin. Read their bios to learn a little more about them! If you need to reach them, you can contact the captains by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I started running in May 2010 when I was 63 years old. After losing weight, my routine exercise of walking morphed into running. I quickly fell in love. I ran the Baltimore Marathon in October 2011 with my cousin and then joined PPTC. Since my first race in 2011 I’ve completed over 160 races, including 7 marathons. I have always enjoyed the competition and fellowship of the running community.
Over the past 6 years I’ve witnessed and participated in the development of many PPTC runners and consider our team competitive and able to run against all other teams.
One of my goals has been to encourage our Masters runners to participate in NYRR team points races and other races. We have an amazing group of Masters runners that bring honor to the PPTC colors. Of course, our younger runners are quite extraordinary and I always look forward to seeing them compete against the best of the other running clubs.
I am a USA Track & Field (USATF) Level-1 Coach, National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Certified Interscholastic Level-2 Coach, and have a US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Track & Field Technical Coaching Certification. I’m also a Track & Cross Country Coach at St. Edmund Preparatory High School.
Being a co-captain of the PPTC Men’s Team is an honor and I am thrilled to work on behalf of our club and its great group of runners.
I was a latecomer to running, nagged into it by a couple of friends who watched me walking on the treadmill and tried to persuade me to run instead. I thought that if I ran a few times to demonstrate that I hated and was bad at it, I’d shut them up. (It seemed a safe bet, since at age 35, my only prior running experience was a mandatory, torturous mile back in high school phys ed.)
To my surprise, I liked it.
Over the next 20+ years (gulp), my motivations for running changed – from weight loss to fun to friendship to (modest) competitiveness as a member of Motor City Striders and the Front Line Racing Team – until, finally, running was simply part of my identity. When I moved to Brooklyn from Detroit, I was thrilled to discover in PPTC the running club of my dreams, a combination training group, racing team, roving gastronomic society and all-around great community.
My PR days (19:21 5K, 1:29:21 Half Marathon, 3:15:32 Marathon) are behind me, but I love running as much as ever (if not more so). While I feel a special bond with my fellow masters runners, I especially love watching members who are new to running fall in love with the sport and run faster than they ever imagined they could. I see our role as captains as being to support and encourage *all* our members, whatever their pace, as they chase their racing goals.
I have been a club member since May of 2015, and at this point, it is hard to imagine how I survived so long without y’all. I had a bit of running experience back in my early 20’s, but was hit by a car while cycling back in 2008, and that put a damper on my running for a bit. Sara signed us up for the Brooklyn Half back in 2015, and we both had terrible races. But we both saw how much fun PPTC members seemed to be having, and decided we wanted some of whatever Kool-aid you all were drinking.
Since then I have gotten more serious about running, completing a few marathons and a handful of ultra-marathons. I’m also trying to get a bit faster, and am inching towards my goal of breaking 20 minutes in the 5k. I owe almost all of my improvements to the support and motivation I get from the club.
My favorite part about being a captain is getting to be a cheerleader for my teammates. I have gotten to know so many more members, and can’t get enough of screaming for them and banging away on my cowbell to cheer them to success. I am a better runner and a better person due to my membership in the club, and I can’t wait to share many more miles with everyone in the future.
With my Midwest sensibilities in tow, I joined PPTC in 2013 after moving to Brooklyn. I was looking for new training buddies (friends) and found so much more. I’m a long time runner and natural motivator, and since my middle school days, friends and teammates have looked to me for advice and encouragement. I’ve been a driving force in the creation and continuance of the Marathon Training Group (MTG), and beyond my Team Captain duties, I enjoy giving back to the club by helping put on PPTC races and serving on the Board of Directors.
When not running, you can find me frolicking around Prospect Heights eating ice cream (year round), making small batch pickles & jams, and laughing my way through life.
I’m always looking for new training partners, so don’t forget to invite me out for a run!
Training Goals: 3:07 marathon & being as good of a cowbeller as Adam Devine.