Christopher’s Place’s Members of the Month: Sheldon and Ben
Sheldon N. joined Christopher’s Place in December 2011 and has accumulated 48.6 miles. After running for about two months, he signed up for the Valentine’s Day 5K. Sheldon says “Hills!” are the most challenging part of running, but he still bested them all at the 5K race. He says, “I was really happy to finish my first race.” He certainly follows him own advice for a new runner to “be persistent.” Through the program, Sheldon looks to start and graduate from the culinary program at the Maryland Food Bank. Although he knows how to roll sushi, his favorite post-race meal would include a salty-sweet combo of oranges and pretzels and a carb-reload with bagels.
Sheldon’s team leader, Jordyn Manucci, says, “Sheldon is hilarious! When you run with him, it’s like a comedy club most of the time. The miles go by so fast with him as he just keeps you engaged the whole way. It’s been great seeing him go from running one to two to three miles on a consistent basis.”
Ben H. joined Christopher’s Place as a non-residential member. While an awesome runner, Ben has expanded his horizons and gained some experience with the CP Band at the Valentine’s Day 5K. His favorite memory with Back on My Feet was while cheering for people running on the National Mall at SnOlympics. His advice for a new runner would be “When you need to run slow, run slow. When you need to run fast, run fast.” He’s training for his first marathon, the D.C. National Rock-and-Roll Marathon, after which he’ll enjoy his favorite Cool Mint Clif Bar and a banana washed down by chocolate milk.
Jordyn Manucci says, “Ben has been a great member of the team since he started. He brings this incredible energy to the circles. He’s also great in that you know he is training for a much longer race than what many others are currently training for, but is more than willing to just walk a mile or do some easy work to get to know people.”
Helping Up’s Members of the Month: Tony and Nathan
Tony B. started running with Helping Up last November and has already run 71.5 miles. An experienced 5K runer, Tony ran his first 5 miler, which was his favorite memory with Back on My Feet. He says it’s challenging “to get my feet and my mind to work together.” To continue moving forward, Tony says, “I want to get my license back and the get my CDL license.” He’s looking forward to running with some teammates for the Nikia Relay in March.
Tony’s Team Organizer, Meredith Eppley says, “”Tony (Blue) has been a wonderful addition to THUMB! Not only does he bring smiles to people’s faces, his character beams determination and perseverance, which permeates to other members. Even though he has been nursing an old ankle injury it hasn’t deterred him from coming out and bringing all that he has to the table. It was awesome to run with him for his first road race – the Celtic Solstice, which wasn’t a 5K, but a 5 miler! He ran it strong and made a sprint into the finish with a huge smile on his face. His next race is the Nikia Relay. Don’t let his timid personality fool you at first, he can crack jokes left and right and he also has some suave dance moves! Blue’s a wonderful teammate and friend.”
Nathan B. joined Helping Up as a non-residential member last month and remembers “THUMB’s epic comeback tiein the Super Bowl flag football game.” When he’s out running, he’s thinking about breakfast. “I eat a lot for a skinny guy.” But when he’s racing, he’s thinking about how to be super spirited. His next race with Back on My Feet will be the Nikia Half-Marathon and Relay. “Farmer, Greg and I will be out in full costume… be on the lookout!”
Rob Carfagno, Team Leader of Helping Up, says, “Nathan has been a great addition to our team! He is so enthusiastic and friendly and has already taken part in many team events in the short time he’s be on the team. You can tell that he genuinely enjoys being a part of the team and he’s always smiling. I’m excited to see the great things that the future holds for Nathan and our team!”
MCVET’s Members of the Month: Arnold and Melissa
Arnold S.‘s Team Leader, Peter, says, “Arnold was one our original residential members and although he’s been officially an alum for almost a year now, his recent accomplishments deserve special recognition. After enrolling in a radiography program through Essex College during our first year running together, he recently graduated last month and received his Associate’s Degree! The manner with which he went about achieving this goal was most praiseworthy as well, choosing at one point to delay graduation in order to take on two jobs in order to fufill all his obligations. Over the years, our team has seen him cross the finish lines of 3 marathons (Baltimore, Delaware and Marine Corps), been greeted by him at the Aquarium where he still works, watched him testify in the Senate, and now receive his college degree. Through it all, he’s been a steadfast and dedicated friend to all of us and we look forward to seeing where life continues to take him.”
Melissa S. has been running with MCVET since November. Having recently moved to Baltimore in July 2011, she says that running gives her a chance to learn the city. She likes to be aware of who is running with her and chat with them. “But the moment that sticks out most in my mind was MCVET’s run to see the lights on 34th Street. Since it was my first Christmas in Baltimore, it was exciting to see a Baltimore holiday tradition. And pairing it with a run and hot chocolate and cookies, couldn’t have made it any better. Having everyone come together to see the lights was a great moment.” While she’s only planning to cheer at the Nikia Half and Relay, her next race is a 10 miler in May and maybe the Baltimore 10 Miler in June if she stays injury-free. Her biggest challenge is staying healthy. “I’ve had a few stress fractures and bruised bones that have sidelined me from running in the past. But by keeping my mileage low and running every other day, I’ve been stress-fracture free for a year. ”
Peter says, “A recent transplant from BoMF’s hometown of Philly, Melissa has wasted no time in becoming a fixture of Team MCVET. Her joyful and positive attitude are a welcome addition to the circle and she’s quick to help out the team as whole or any of its individual members, whether it’s baking cookies for everyone to enjoy over the holidays or devotedly playing the role of navigator and making sure her teammates don’t get lost during our more circuitous morning runs. Her fiancee, Jeremy has even become a welcome addition to team social events and outings joining us for runs through Hampden to enjoy the “Miracle on 34th” or for weekends ice skating in Patterson Park. We’re lucky she chose to join us at MCVET and are delighted to help introduce her to Baltimore.”