Girls Club team is in the running

Members of the Lower Eastside Girls Club’s New York Marathon team, front row, from left: Ann Mathews, Jenny Mathews, Alissa Landorf, Glynnis MacNichol, Coriander Smyth and Adriana Pezzulli. Back row, from left, Elizabeth Benjamin, Nicholas Spadaro, Daniel Spadaro, Justin Grotelueschen and Kerry Gaertner. Photo courtesy the Lower Eastside Girls Club

BY ERICA RAKOWICZ  |  For the third year in a row, a team from The Lower Eastside Girls Club will be running for a worthy cause in the New York City Marathon this Nov. 4.

The Lower Eastside Girls Club began in 1996 as a way to rebuild the community after the urban malaise of the 1960s and ’70s.

Providing space and programs for girls and young women ages 8 to 23, the Girls Club functions as a safe haven for girls and young women who want to make a difference.

The team of runners not only helps the Girls Club by raising funds, but also by providing positive role models, showing that goals — even ones as daunting as running a marathon — can be achieved with focus and hard work.

Each Girls Club marathon runner dons a T-shirt with a logo and must raise or donate $3,000 to $5,000 before running in the famed race.

“Our runners meet the goal every year,” said Kate Sease, the club’s development associate. “We provide each runner with guidance and a personal fundraising page,” she added.

The team, without a coach, trains a few times a week with the Orchard Street Runners.

“It’s an option to run with a group, which some people really like,” Sease said.

The team is comprised of people who were or are currently involved with The Lower Eastside Girls Club.

“It’s a really incredible way to see our supporters take on the challenge physically while supporting us,” Sease said.

Along with the upcoming marathon, next year, the Girls Club plans to open its doors at its new clubhouse on Avenue D.

There are still two spots left on the team of 20 runners. If you or someone you know is interested in running with The Lower Eastside Girls Club team in the New York Marathon, visit www.girlsclub.org.

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