A lifelong runner, John Wiltshire grew up in Trinidad and went to college on a track scholarship. He immigrated to the United States in 1973 and is now a senior vice president of compliance at HSBC Bank. He understands first-hand that running can teach valuable life lessons to people of all ages and abilities.
His three daughters, ages 13, 10, and 8, are all runners who got their start with the NYRR Young Runners program at NEST+m (New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math), an NYC public school on the Lower East Side, where Wiltshire served as the volunteer coach.
Wiltshire is running the 2014 NYC Half for NYRR’s Team for Kids, which will have about 500 members running on March 16 to fundraise for youth programs. “The kids that I coach get support and funding from Team for Kids,” he says, “so it seemed the natural thing for me to do, kind of like paying it forward.”
“Running is a great discipline for kids, something that will carry over into their adult lives,” adds Wiltshire, who also coaches Five Points Runners, a youth track club that receives funding from NYRR. “I want my kids and others to have that.”
Wiltshire’s own running passion has led him to finish the New York City Marathon 26 times. “There’s something special about the race,” he says. “People come from all over the world and bond together in solidarity for 26.2 miles.”
As a marathoner, Wiltshire knows what it’s like to push hard and dig deep to cross the finish line, time and time again. “I want my kids to have that determination to never give up,” he says. “I’m thrilled to be a part of Team for Kids and help pass this gift on to others.”
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg