Meet Our 2023 NYC United Half Marathon Runners!

On March 19th, the amazing humans listed below will run the NYC United Half Marathon with team Experience Camps. As you’ll see from their bios below, they are all in different ages and stages of life. What they have in common: grit, endurance, and a strong desire to step up to support grieving kids. We hope you’ll cheer them on along with us, and maybe even get inspired to run the TCS New York City Marathon for us this November!


Kylen Anderson: I learned about Experience Camps through my daughter, Ellen, who has been a volunteer at Camp Somerset (the host camp for Experience Camps in Maine) for the past five years. She runs for Ellen, her son Isak, and every camper who gets to experience the best week ever at Experience Camps. 

Sara Deren: I’ve had the great fortune of leading Experience Camps for the last 15 years. I put my whole heart and most waking hours of my life into serving our community – usually in front of a computer screen! Running the half marathon felt like a great way to stay active in the cold winter months while working towards the goals that drive me every day. Doing this FTK (For the Kids) and with a team was the motivation I needed to lace up and get it done! 

Hannah Ehrlich: I live in New York City and work as an independent life coach and consultant, in addition to working towards becoming a LCSW. I’ve been involved with Experience Camps as a volunteer in Pennsylvania since 2017. I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2015 and am excited to be training again for the New York Half. I’m running for Experience Camps because I believe in the mission and being a part of this beyond just one week a year! It’s always FTK (For the Kids)! 

Alicia Firman: I am a licensed clinical social worker and registered play therapist. I work full-time in a school providing therapy and part-time teaching fitness classes. During the summer you can find me at several grief camps or exploring the mountains! I enjoy traveling, meeting new people, hanging out with my two dogs and finding the best cupcakes in the town I’m in! I’m running the 1/2 marathon because kids’ grief matters! 

Trevor Franklin: I’m a group fitness instructor from Lubbock, Texas. I love full body, athletic style training that can translate to daily life. I’ve spent five years doing both group fitness and one-on-one training and have worked at fitness studios such as Orangetheory Fitness, Performix house, Spartan, and City Row. I pride myself on delivering energy and passion in all things health and wellness. 

Emily Koffsky: My siblings began volunteering for Experience Camps over a decade ago, and I could not be more grateful to have followed in their footsteps. Joining the Experience Camps community has added invaluable friendships, enduring support, and endless laughs to my life! As a lifelong camper and jogger, I am so excited to be running in support of these exceptional campers and the best week ever! 

Chris Knight: I am 17 years old, and I run track and cross country for the Baylor school in Chattanooga Tennessee. I have been involved with Experience Camps for two years and am hoping to be a counselor this year. 

Billy Matthews: How is it possible to find hope and even joy in the depths of grief? I don’t know, but Experience Camps delivers just that. I run to raise awareness for children’s mental health and to honor my 12-year-old son, Trevor, who died by suicide on April 6th, 2021. I have personally experienced the life-changing impact Experience Camps has on children who feel alone and misunderstood due to the loss of a loved one. There are numerous support resources available for grieving adults – grieving children have few. Experience Camps fills the void.

Lexi Kimball: Hi! My name is Lexi and I am running this Half Marathon for my mama and my campers who I’ve had the pleasure of being a counselor for 3 years. Watching my mom get sick and leave our earth at a young age forced me to grow up a lot sooner than I was ready, but Experience Camps gives so many young girls and boys the opportunity to not only be a kid, but be around other kids like themselves. I’m a former college bball player with zero experience running (lots of experience putting a round ball in a hoop though), so very nervously excited to see how this goes!

Stephanie Rohrig: I’m the Clinical Director of Experience Camps for girls in Georgia. I’m also a clinical psychologist from New York City, a runner, yoga instructor, and a full-time mom to a sweet and spunky little girl. I first joined the Experience Camps team as a clinician in Maine in 2019 and have loved being a part of such a meaningful and fun-loving community. Being a part of campers’ and staffs’ “best week ever” and helping people connect over their grief experience has been a great honor and joy.

Justin Weidenfeld: Although I like to think I’m athletic, I am definitely not a runner! Now living in NYC, I was inspired to sign up for the 2023 NYC Half Marathon by my family, friends, and the Experience Camps community. Since my dad passed away from a sudden heart attack in 2018, I’ve volunteered with Experience Camps in various capacities. I’m serving as the Program Director for the Georgia Boys Program. I’ve heard so many life-changing stories and built countless life-changing relationships motivating me to put one foot in front of the other in my everyday life. I thought to myself, what better way to honor our campers and my amazing dad by challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone and run a half marathon?

Liz Znamierowski: I’m a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Yale Medicine’s Community Health Care Infant/Maternal Health program. I split time between CT and NYC, and spend my summers in Maine as a member of the medical team at Camp Manitou. When not seeing patients you can find me chasing me puppy “Friday,”making strong coffee, and looking forward to running FTK (For The Kids)!

Looking for other ways to support Experience Camps? Here are more events coming up soon!