On Sunday Nov. 6th, the amazing humans listed below are running the TCS New York City Marathon! They trained through crazy weather and muscle cramps and very early hours, and they’ve shown incredible endurance for months. Let’s get to know them and shower them with Experience Camps love! Below are their explanations about why they are running, and we have two ways to support them: Come cheer for them in person with us and/or make a donation in their honor? Inspired to run a race on our behalf? Contact Margo at email@example.com.
I am extremely proud to finally be representing Experience Camps in the 2022 NYC Marathon! After a two-year delay, with a cross-country move, getting engaged, buying a house, and getting married, I am ready to run! I’ve been an Experience Camps volunteer for the last seven summers so I’ve seen firsthand the impact that this week has on the kids who attend camp. I’m running in memory of my Dad Stephen LeBlanc, who died when I was eight years old. I ran the Boston Marathon in 2018 and 2019 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and am so excited to continue my marathon tradition in memory of my Dad by supporting Experience Camps! New York City and Experience Camps were a constant source of joy and comfort in my life during my 20s, and I can’t imagine a better way to honor them.
Pump-up song: “Dancing on My Own” by Robyn
I was never a runner. I always hated running and some days, I still do. But with a bit of inspiration, a whole lot of dedication, and the community of support around me, I’m back for round two of the NYC marathon. I’m running in honor of my brother Jordan who died in 2012, and my mom, Meryll, who died in 2021. I volunteered with Experience Camps in 2018 and fell in love with our mission and program. I’ve been a member of the Experience Camps HQ team for four years, and am proud to be running 26.2 #FTK. I can’t wait to see all of my favorite humans out on the course and help transform the lives of grieving kids.
Pump-up song: “Hulk” by Blaxx
I am running because I know firsthand what Experience Camps does for kids. After the sudden loss of my wife, the first thing that came to my mind was how it would alter my son’s lives. Experience Camps provided a way for them to express their grief with their peers in a safe environment, while still challenging them to make the best of what their new world would be. When picking them up from camp, I knew right away the impact camp had on them from their smiles. Camp showed my sons that they were not alone in the grief they felt and that there was a brighter future ahead of them.
This is a picture of my late wife Holly and my son Cooper. I know you asked for a picture of me, but really this picture is why I am running this race.
Pump-up song: “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen
“I chose to row in high school because it was the one sport I could sit on my butt and not run… little did I know they made us warmup with a one-mile run I could barely finish! But, now here I am running my first marathon! Originally I’m from upstate NY and now live in NYC, and I can be found running all around the city. Supporting this camp means a lot to me because I lost a parent when I was young, and I’m so grateful to have a network who helped me fundraise to support all the kids who will attend camp!”
Pump-up song: “Peanut Butter Jelly” by Galantis
My name is Jackie Dowling, and I’m so excited to be running my first marathon this November for Experience Camps! I was born and raised in Massachusetts and went to college in Upstate New York. Throughout all of the places I’ve lived, running has been my constant. I love exploring new running routes, paths, and trails wherever I go. My love of running has led me to do four half-marathons to date: Syracuse, Philly, Weston (virtual COVID half marathon), and Austin. Currently, I’m lucky to be exploring new running routes along Lake Michigan as my boyfriend and I just moved to Chicago! When I was first introduced to Experience Camps, one of the first things that resonated with me was how ‘play’ is one of the central cornerstones of life at camp. As an avid soccer player growing up, sports gave me an invaluable space to forge bonds and feel supported by a community of my peers through ups and downs both on and off the field. I am so grateful to be able to support Experience Camps and help ensure kids who need it the most have access to safe spaces to explore and process grief through play.
Pump-up song: “Higher Love: by Kygo and Whitney Houston
For the past nine summers I’ve volunteered with Experience Camps, initially as bunk counselor, then a unit leader. and now as a program director for our camp in Pennsylvania. While I can’t say I’ve been much of a runner before this year, I can think of few better communities I’d rather train for than Experience Camps. The way I look at it, there’s no reason I can’t go out in the heat and think with every step about the kids who have taught me what true perseverance and strength looks like. When I’m not running, I am a writer at Sports Illustrated.
Pump-up song: “Work Out” by J. Cole
I am an artist living in the St Louis area, and I started running as a way to stay in shape. I never thought I would end up running a marathon! This year was my first year volunteering with Experience Camps and my first ever marathon. Volunteering for Experience Camps was a life-changing week, and I’m so excited to run for the campers. I’m running in memory of my father and grandmother.
Pump-up song: “Work Bitch” by Britney Spears
I live in New York City but am from Cherry Hill, NJ (right outside of Philly). I attend NYU where I am currently in my third year of graduate school getting my Master’s in Clinical Nutrition. I am pursuing a career as a Registered Dietitian and hope to work with the eating-disorder population in the future. I also work part-time at a workout studio in New York called Solidcore. I ran the NYC Marathon last year and had a BLAST. It was an unforgettable experience filled with unmatched excitement and energy. As soon as it was over I immediately knew that I’d want to run it again next year. When it became time to decide who I would fundraise with this year, I happened to come across Experience Camps through the summer camp that I grew up attending and now currently work at, Camp Mataponi. Mataponi had been doing some fundraising for Experience Camps throughout the year, so I decided to reach out about a potential spot on their marathon team. Having the opportunity to fundraise for an organization like Experience Camps is a dream come true.
Pump-up song: “Paper Planes” By MIA
My name is Danny Goldberg. I lost both my parents by the age of 25–my dad when I was 20 and my mom when I was 25 years old. I’ve been involved with Experience Camps for 8+ summers and have volunteered at over 10 camps. I’m running the marathon on behalf of Experience Camps because I love the impact that camp has on these kids. I look forward to running in honor of my parents and all of the kids and their loved ones!
Pump-up song: “REPRISE” by The Lumineers
What started as a random “Can I actually do this thing?” turned into years of fulfillment fundraising for different charities while attempting to keep myself in decent shape. This will be my 6th marathon; I previously ran in support of Daniel’s Music Foundation, Team for Kids, Education Through Music, The Red Sox Foundation and now the most important one of all for me, Experience Camps. I was connected years ago with one of the board members through my work who I looked to for mentorship on non-profit work. This was a great opportunity to support an organization that is important to him. Tragically, after signing up to run with Experience Camps, my best friend passed away unexpectedly leaving behind his four year old and his one year old, and suddenly this all took on completely new and significant meaning. I’m honored to run for such an awesome organization that I believe will one day take on great importance for his family and mine.
Pump-up song: “Jump” by Van Halen
I was not a runner growing up. I played soccer and did gymnastics. I started running with my kids because it was super fun to participate in local 5ks as a family. After the death of my kids’ dad in 2016, we all sought solace in running. My boys are elite runners, and I still enjoy road racing with my girls. The NYC Marathon 2022 will be my 7th marathon and my second NYC Marathon. I am thrilled to have been selected to raise money for Experience Camps, an organization that is near and dear to my heart. In July 2016, Eric Burgess, father of my four children, died unexpectedly. My wonderful children, Benjamin, Abby, Sam, and Maddie (who ranged in age from nine to 15 at the time) and I began our grief journey as a family, and are still coping with the grieving process. Sam and Maddie have been campers at Experience Camps in Maine and have met the most amazing people and formed deep friendships with other kids who “get it” because they have lost a parent or sibling in their lives. Experience Camps is an amazing organization that helps grieving kids feel supported and have fun at no cost to their families.
Pump-up song: “Training Montage” from “Rocky”
I am so excited to be running my 1st NYC Marathon with Experience Camps! As someone who attended camp with my cousins after we experienced the unfathomable loss of my uncle, I know how lucky we were to have the opportunity to attend camp together. I want to give all grieving children the opportunity to attend Experience Camps at no cost to them. I am originally from Philadelphia, and I’ve lived in NYC for over eight years. I cannot wait to represent Experience Camps on the streets of NYC!
Favorite pump-up song: “Pepas” by Farruko
I live in Long Beach, NY with my wife (Elana) and two kids. When I was 15 years old, I lost my dad. I remember vividly the loneliness, and the thought like no one else could “understand.” I am so excited to be running the marathon in support of Experience Camps and play a small role in helping kids feel supported and connected when dealing with their loss.
Pump up song: “Thunderstruck” by ACDC
After a two-year delay (including two hip surgeries), I am excited to be representing Experience Camp’s in the 2022 NYC Marathon! I moved back to New York with my fiance just before the pandemic after a number of years living in Boston and have been loving life in the city ever since. I currently work in strategy consulting, and when I am not busy at my computer, I really enjoy going for long runs around Central Park and up and down the East and Hudson rivers. I am running this year’s marathon to support the great cause of Experience Camps! I have seen the direct impact of involvement in the community on one of my very good friends, Danny Goldberg, and really appreciate the opportunity to participate in raising awareness and funds for the organization. From a running perspective, I expect this to be a great challenge coming off of two surgeries this yea,r and it being my first official marathon. I appreciate all the great support for Experience Camps and look forward to seeing everyone on Marathon Sunday!!
Pump up song: “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + the Machine
I’m running the NYC Marathon for Experience Camps because I had the opportunity to volunteer at Experience Camps in Maine for three summers and got to see the impact of Experience Camps firsthand. A week at camp offers a truly safe and welcoming place for kids who have experienced a loss, and I’m looking forward to bringing more awareness to this amazing organization. This will be my first marathon, and I’m pumped to be part of the team!
Pump up song: “What’s my age again” by Blink 182