Cadet: Andris Dzeguze
Age: 26 | City: New York City
Andris was introduced to the New York City Marathon in an interesting way—on his first day arriving in America. “I was just an immigrant from Russia who didn’t speak that much English and was also a heavy smoker,” he says. “My first day in New York City was the day of the marathon, and I was coming by cab from JFK. Of course it took very long time to get where I was going. And I was thinking that this was crazy how many people were affected by the event.”
Two years later, after I moved closer to Central Park, he was inspired to give running a try. “I couldn’t run more then 20 minutes,” he says. “I felt embarrassed. That how I decided to quit smoking and start running.” He spent much of last year training for the New York City Marathon, but Hurricane Sandy kept him from his goal. This year, he’s going to try again, with a better training program and hopefully no hurricane at the end of the road.
Vet: Jennelle Schwiep
Age: 27 | City: New York City
Jennelle started running to stay in shape for soccer, which she’s played since age 7. “I used to go for runs around my neighborhood with my dad,” she says. “He taught me proper form and how to enjoy running as an activity in itself, rather than a means to an end.”
So when she didn’t make the soccer team in high school, Jennelle joined cross-country. “Running became a social activity and I continued to run both cross-country and track in college.” While in graduate school, she started working at JackRabbit Sports.
“My colleagues at the running store encouraged me to get into marathoning,” she says. She ran her first marathon (Philadelphia) last year, and is looking forward to becoming a “real New York City runner” by completing the New York City Marathon this year.
“I love exploring the city through the parks and along both rivers,” she says. “Sometimes it is a chance to get outside and catch up with friends away from cell phones, computers, TV and other distractions…I am always happier when running!”