Foot Locker Partnering with Five New Yorkers Who Have Overcome Personal Hardship through Running with the “Five Borough Challenge”
New York, NY October 1, 2013 – Foot Locker today announced its team for the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge, made up of five inspiring runners who will compete in the 2013 ING New York City Marathon on November 3. For the 14th consecutive year, Foot Locker is proud to bring together one runner from each of New York’s five boroughs to participate in this unique race within a race.
Foot Locker is celebrating four decades of its running heritage by spotlighting five New Yorkers who have used the sport to overcome personal challenges. In a city still recovering from last year’s Superstorm Sandy, Foot Locker is proud to honor the resilience of runners, the people of New York and the race that brings them together. They must run together for the first 13 miles of the marathon, at which point they can break away for the remainder of the race.
“Foot Locker is proud to recognize these remarkable runners for their incredible determination and optimism in overcoming hardships while maintaining healthy, active lifestyles,” said Jake Jacobs, President and CEO, Foot Locker, U.S.
Over the last 40 years, Foot Locker has supported the sport of running through its partnership with performance athletic brands including ASICS America and its support of the marathon. In addition to their marathon sponsorship, Foot Locker is the title sponsor of the Cross-Country Championships – a series of annual cross-country races for high school students, supporting future generations of runners. Foot Locker is committed to inspiring all runners, from beginners to weekend warriors, to marathoners, and help them achieve their personal goals.
Foot Locker will display its commitment to cutting-edge running technology with the custom made ASICS GEL-Kayano 20, the official ING New York City Marathon shoe which is available exclusively in NYC retail stores starting November 3.
Inspired by all the elite marathoners and by the everyday heroes who have triumphed through the 26.2 miles, Foot Locker introduces its Five Borough Challenge runners:
Following are bios for each of the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge Runners:
Adrienne Walsh, 45, Brooklyn
Since 1983, Adrienne has run all but two ING NYC Marathons, making the upcoming race her 31st ING New York City marathon. Adrienne looks to running as a means of staying in shape for her job as a New York City firefighter – she is the first female to join an elite rescue company in FDNY history – especially on September 11, 2001, when she was a responder to the World Trade Center. After that day, running allowed her to deal with the tragedy of 9/11. During Superstorm Sandy, Adrienne was first on the scene assisting those in need throughout the five boroughs.
Rachel Charlop-Powers, 30, Bronx
In 2010, Rachel lost her mother, a well-known and admired public health advocate and activist in the Bronx, in a tragic cycling accident. After her mother’s passing, she realized that training for a full marathon would be the way she would deal with her enormous loss, as well as a way to connect with her mother, who was an avid runner. In the days after Superstorm Sandy, Rachel helped fellow teammate, Sean’s, battered Staten Island town.
Tessa Wehrman, 28, Queens
In May of 2011, Tessa was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the age of 26. Blindsided, and devastated, she had a double mastectomy on the same day as the Brooklyn Half Marathon, for which she had signed up. During chemotherapy, Tessa used running as a way to stay in control and keep motivated, proud that the cancer couldn’t take that away from her.
Tony Forte, 30, Manhattan
Two years ago, Tony Forte weighed over 300 pounds and had never run a mile in his life. At the age of 28, with a new career as a lawyer, Tony knew that he needed to make a change, or his life would be cut short due to his unhealthy lifestyle. Through a healthier diet and his new-found love of running, Tony has since lost 140 pounds and is training to become a certified fitness instructor. Last year on Marathon Sunday, Tony traveled to Staten Island where he ran supplies to those in need and volunteered in a shelter, helping those whose lives were devastated by the storm.
Sean Cusick, 43, Staten Island
A native Staten Islander, Sean began running as an attempt to stop his debilitatinganxiety attacks. He had tried every medication and therapy available, but the only thing that helped his attacks was running. Sean was also overweight and had found no diet that worked. He soon realized that not only did running help with his anxiety, he was shedding the pounds as well. In the immediate aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Sean stepped up in his community to help wherever needed. He and fellow Staten Islanders sprung into action creating a shelter and donation depot offering hot meals, supplies, and comfort to those in need. He also worked tirelessly to raise $14,000 to be donated to Sandy Relief charities.
For more information about Foot Locker’s running programs, follow the Twitter handle @FLRun and “like” the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge on Facebook at facebook.com/FootLockerFiveBoroughChallenge.
Foot Locker, Inc.
Foot Locker, Inc. is a specialty athletic retailer that operates more than 3,500 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Through its Foot Locker, Footaction, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Runners Point, and Sidestep retail stores, as well as its direct-to-customer channels, including footlocker.com, Eastbay and CCS.com, the Company is a leading provider of athletic footwear and apparel.
The ING New York City Marathon
NYRR’s premier event, the ING New York City Marathon is the most loved and most inclusive marathon in the world, attracting elite athletes and recreational runners alike for the challenge and thrill of a lifetime. The race has grown tremendously since it began in 1970 with just 127 runners racing four laps of Central Park. Now, more than 47,000 participants from all over the globe flock to New York City every November for an adrenaline-filled road tour of all five boroughs, starting on Staten Island at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and ending in Central Park. Some run for prize money or bragging rights, others for charity or their personal best. All are cheered on by more than two million live spectators and a TV audience of 330 million.
“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