Meet the #PickMePPTC Winners

by Jana Trenk PPTC was offered three guaranteed entry spots for the 2017 NYC Marathon. Using the hashtag #PickMePPTC, interested members were asked to submit a selfie and write up via social media explaining why they wanted to run this year’s marathon.

Congratulations to our contest winners: Noah, Jennifer, and Carlos! Wishing them the best of luck for an amazing training cycle and marathon.

I asked each of them to tell us a little more about themselves.  You can read about them below:

Noah Devereaux

I've been a runner for a little over a year but really started getting serious after I impulsively joined Oren and Leiba on a 15 mile run to the Rockaways last July. Somehow it seemed like a good idea even though I'd never run more than 10 miles in one go before. After surviving that I started to get ideas that maybe I could actually do a marathon myself. A year later running has become such an important part of my life that it's been easy to get motivated even before I got chosen to run New York. But now that I do have the marathon to train for I have a better excuse to run so much with all my friends in the club.

The part of the marathon I'm most looking forward to is passing Peter Pan Doughnuts in Greenpoint. Back when I lived in the neighborhood I would sit outside the shop and watch the marathon with my friends and wonder why all these people were choosing to suffer so much. Funny how things change. It'll be hard to resist the urge to stop and get a doughnut in the middle of the race.

Jennifer Bolstad

I started running when I was in 6th grade... so... over 30 years ago. I competed in cross country, indoor and outdoor track from junior high through college and between college and grad school. Then I took a 10-year hiatus from all athletic activity because I didn't have the time or the will to train hard enough to stay in competitive shape, and -- hubris alert! -- I felt that "recreational" running was beneath me. I started running again in 2008 when a friend dared me to sign up for the Brooklyn Half with her. Soon after I got back into running, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the tender age of 32. I kept running all through treatment and it was my way of making friends with my body again; of showing myself it could do good things, too, when it wasn't trying to kill me. That experience really got me over any feelings of being ashamed that I'm not as fast as I used to be (it's pretty humbling to come in close to DFL in a giant NYRR race!) and helped me to just accept that running is its own reward, independent of the time on your watch or your place in the pack. Now I run to maintain my healthy relationship with my body and my healthy relationship with running itself.

I'm most looking forward to training with my fellow PPTCers. There's really nothing I enjoy more than long runs, exploring the five boroughs with my teammates. I recently read an article about how difficult it is to make true friends, as opposed to just mere acquaintances, as an adult. Most people don't find the time to just hang out for long stretches with no agenda other than talking to each other. As I was reading, I kept thinking... none of this is true! I definitely have many deep friendships that have developed in just this way: through the luxury of lots and lots of agenda-free conversations. Then I realized that almost all of those conversations were with my PPTC teammates on our runs.

Carlos Vazquez

I started running in 2005. My girlfriend at the time (who is now my wife), told me about a local 5k in Orlando and how much fun they were. I looked up a training plan, similar to Couch to 5k, and trained for a couple of months.  Not knowing my pace, I ran it conservatively in 35 minutes, with tons of energy to spare.  After that, I never ran slower than 25 minutes and I was hooked.

I realize when I stop running, or do nothing physical, I feel restless. Running keeps me both mentally and physically fit. Signing up for races also motivates my training. Plus, being part of a running group, like PPTC, keeps me socially active.

Besides running over the Verrazano and the cheering crowds, there is that brief period in Queens, where we will run where I grew up as a kid. I went to school a few blocks away from the Queensboro bridge and it will add to the memories growing up there.

Lillian ParkNYC Marathon