Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In the News

Wowsa, I was in the Journal news today! They were doing a piece on Race with Purpose. The reporter did a phone interview with me yesterday. The link is

Here is the actual content:

Athletes find purpose to their training

Jane McManus
The Journal News

Javier Gomez and Annette Wills didn't know each other, but a few years ago they had something in common. Both runners were anticipating their 40th birthdays and all the symbolism that comes with it. And both had the same impulse.

"I wanted to embrace 40," said Wills, who lives in Greenburgh.

And they both got up and moving, training for marathons and triathlons that set them on a path to fitness. Gomez lost 15 pounds, and Wills was the the subject of her 10-year-old son Tyler's class essay.

"He wrote about how strong I was," she said.

Independently, both came into contact with endurance coach Adam Krajchir, whose group, Race With Purpose, had been aligned with the New York Road Runners and Team For Kids. And last year when Race With Purpose branched off, Wills and the Somers-based Gomez came with him to train.

"What I liked about Race With Purpose is the target of healthy living," Gomez said. "Having seen the positive effects with me, I wanted to share that."

Race With Purpose, based in Scarsdale, where Krajchir spends his time on the East Coast, is one of the many training programs affiliated with a charity. What this organization does a little differently is it has a board made up of members who invest the money in programs.

Those programs are framed around the goal of preventing chronic illnesses, such as diabetes. One of the projects where those funds made a difference was the creation of a race for kids set at the Bronx Zoo.

Although Krajchir is based here, the members of Race With Purpose are all over the country. A big part of the training is through the group's Web site. There members can find training instruction, a blog from Krajchir and the community forum.

For the coach, an endurance athlete who has been getting others ready for marathons and triathlons for over 10 years, this group is the product of careful planning. In an age where many people use a milestone like 40 as a motivator, he believes the charity aspect is a key to getting everyday people to push themselves.

"To achieve your best you have to be able to sacrifice for something else," Krajchir said. "You have to get uncomfortable."

He also didn't want people who were just looking for guaranteed entry into a marathon like New York City. You don't even need to sign up for a big-ticket event to take part. But the training is high level either way, starting with a personality test to see the best way each member learns.

"We treat our participants as athletes," Krajchir said. "We let you define success however you want to define it."

In the last year, about 100 people have come to Race With Purpose. Gomez and Wills will both be training for a triathlon this year. Gomez is working on getting stronger on the bike, while Wills is, literally, learning to swim.

Wills said the things she learned in the process of preparing for the challenges of marathons and triathlons have transferred to her job as a mother. When she talks to her kids about sticking to things despite challenges, and being part of a community, they know these are principles she lives by.

"I am my children's role model," Wills said. "I don't leave that to other people."


Pam said...

Can I get your autograph sometime:)

Javier said...

I am sorry, but I am limiting the number of autographs floating around so they can be a collector item on ebay. Right now I am charging 15 cents per signature :)