Among the 50,000 runners Sunday at the 2014 TSC New York City Marathon are competitors hitting the pavement for a good cause.
Meredith Trammell, from Tallahassee, Florida, is an attorney and mother of three elementary school aged kids who will be running this Sunday for New York Road Runners Team For Kids.
Trammell, 45, has always loved New York City so when she read about the marathon, she decided in January that it would be her New Year's resolution to "get in shape and do this!"
"Helping children from my favorite city in the world and knowing that my own children would see me committed to that is a dream come true for me," said Trammell, who has three children. "I do a lot of volunteer work and pro bono cases here in Tallahassee, but this was a chance to marry my passions - for charity, for children, for NYC, and for running - and make a goal for myself that would hopefully make a difference."
She has always wanted to run a marathon, but the right time had not come along; this will be the first marathon that she will be running.
"I really want to run and use something that I'm good at, that I like to do, to make a difference. It's equally satisfying for me to run for charity because it's doing something I love. It sort of has helped me during my hard times," said Trammell.
“Team for Kids sets up all these athletic programs, sets up all sorts of clubs, and different types of things to sort of channel kids' anxiety and stress, she added.
Kevin Ely, 37, is on a quest to run a marathon in every state while trying to raise $42,000 for the Free Wheelchair Mission by spring of 2016 on his one-person team called "Marathons for Mobility." New York will be his 25th state he’s run a marathon in.
Although the charity is not connected to the NYC Marathon, he first came across the charity at a race exposition in California.
"They had one of their wheelchairs on display and explained that it only costs $77.91 to provide a recipient with a wheelchair. I was touched because I have a daughter who was born premature and has cerebral palsy," said Ely, who is from Geneva, Illinois.
Able to provide his daughter with everything she needs to be able to walk, he added, "To realize that for only $77.91 we could provide a wheelchair to an individual who does not have the resources we have available to us, it was a no-brainer."
After that first encounter with Free Wheelchair Mission, Ely, who is a director of project management in the retail industry, felt the need to reach out to them and do more. Now, he is an ambassador for the charity.
He added that he has done enough marathons that he usually doesn’t get nervous anymore, however, he is very anxious about this one.
"It took me four years to get in so I'm making sure I stay healthy all week," he said. "My wife is coming with me and we are celebrating an early 10 year wedding anniversary in New York City."
Barbara Harrison, 69, from New Paltz, will be running for Team Catholic Charities, a team that represents Catholic Charities' St. Nicholas Project, which is raising money to buy coats, pajamas and blankets for 4,000 needy New Yorkers.
This will be the second-time marathoner's first time running for the team. She has been a case manager for Catholic Charities for thirteen years.
"I love to run, and it has been a desire of mine to be able to run the New York Marathon and I think of the St. Nicholas program, what we raised the funds for, is a wonderful program that assists many of our clients with needs throughout the year," Harrison said.
She continued, "It's very important because my job uses these funds to help clients — most particularly clients who are in very severe neesd. Their housing is being jeopardized, they might not be treated justly or fairly.” Joining Harrison on the team is Meghan O'Neill, who lives in Astoria..
Experienced in only half-marathons, the 32-year-old attorney said that Sunday will be her first marathon.
O'Neill was inspired to run because the money will help 4,000 New Yorkers tget the clothes they need stay warm, which is "especially important after the brutal winter we had last year."
Cheering her on during the run will be her parents and other family members, as well as friends.
”Even though running 26.2 miles seems like such a tremendous task for me, I get so much inspiration by the tremendous good works that Catholic Charities does."