New York — It might have been Halloween, but Gene Derkack wasn’t fooling around.
“How about if we run the mile at what will be Meb’s marathon pace, about 4:54?”
“Or how about Tatyana’s pace, about 3:54?”
After a quick chorus of “No ways,” a dozen or so Team USA Endurance members set off for a one-mile loop through New York’s Central Park on Friday afternoon, running alongside 2004 Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi and 11-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden.
The group returned about nine minutes later, not even winded, to take a few photos and talk strategy for Sunday’s New York City Marathon with Keflezighi and McFadden.
The runners are part of this year’s Team USA Endurance, and their donations help provide training equipment, coaching and other support services for American athletes in preparation for the 2014 and 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“This is our second year; last year, the program raised $100,000,” said Derkack, the United States Olympic Committee’s director of leadership & capital gifts. “We’re close to doing so again this year.”
In return for their support, team members not only interact with Team USA Endurance co-captains Keflezighi and McFadden, but they also receive an automatic race entry to the New York City Marathon and valuable training support. Last year, all 25 team members finished the race. READ MORE