Meet the 261 Fearless NYC Marathon Charity Team

With the TCS NYC Marathon just days away, we thought it would be a great idea to introduce you to members of the 261 Fearless charity team!

We asked these Fearless women a few questions and hope their answers give you an insight into what makes them tick!


How did you learn about 261 Fearless?I was part of the 261 Fearless Boston team. What an amazing adventure that was for me. Kathrine asked me to prepare a few words on behalf of the international part of the Boston team. I talked about three things: 261 Fearless must continue to develop all over the world and especially in countries where it is difficult to run freely, 261 Fearless must include men because men helped Kathrine in her fight, 261 Fearless must communicate and tell these positive stories that will inspire others.       What made you want to run the New York City Marathon as part of Team 261 Fearless?My personal motto is 'Pourquoi pas?' I am 56 years old. I thought that this was a unique opportunity that would never again come my way… I had had such a wonderful experience in Boston. I wanted to renew the experience. I have only been to New York once… 27 years ago…          What makes you Fearless?Running made and makes me fearless. I started running seriously at age 47. When I realized how long I could run, how liberating it was, I felt strong for the first time in my life. I had always thought that I was lousy in sports, that I was a bookworm and all of sudden I was running semi marathons. I ran my first marathon for my 50th birthday. Since then I have accomplished so much. Tell us something unique about youI am French. I come from a small town in Anjou. I started travelling when I was fifteen. I wanted to see the world, learn different languages and I did. My husband is American. Our three children are bilingual. We lived in Austria, the United States, France, Belgium. I work for an international organisation and continue to travel a lot. I am just a citizen of the world, tolerant and curious, wanting to learn until my last breath. I love to write. Writing and running are my two most favourite activities. What are you most excited about when it comes to the NYC Marathon?Participating in a famous marathon, being reunited with Kathrine and some of the Boston team members, being in New York, meeting new friends. A new adventure!


How did you learn about 261 FearlessI learned about 261 Fearless in Boston when I was at the Adidas store getting my jacket embroidered and Kathrine was retiring her number. I was immediately inspired. I knew then I wanted to get involved.What made you want to run the New York City Marathon as part of Team 261 FearlessI have had hopes of running the NYC Marathon, I have tried several times via qualification and I am just seconds away.  I've also entered the lottery three or four times, so when I saw Kathrine was putting together a team I knew the opportunity arose! What makes you Fearless? I am a driven person by nature.  I like the feeling of accomplishment.  I like to succeed; I don't like to fail! Tell us something unique about you! I started running when I was 40, I've always been an avid athlete, but never a long-distance runner.  Marathon was a bucket list item.  In my first my marathon I qualified for Boston, the rest is history.  I am a driven person by nature.What are you most excited about when it comes to the NYC Marathon?  To experience my third major!


How did you learn about 261 FearlessI applied to be a 261 Fearless Ambassador in 2015 and have been with this awesome group ever since!What made you want to run the New York City Marathon as part of Team 261 Fearless? I wanted to run for a purpose. This is the second time I've been blessed with getting into the race through the lottery. It is such an amazing experience!What makes you Fearless? I push through whatever obstacles come into my path and cross the finish line of my goals. I've learned through running and my faith how truly capable and strong I can be.Tell us something unique about you! I am a blogger over at GirlsGotSole.com. I've loved writing ever since I was very young, and blogging has become an extension of the craft. I also love inspiring others through my journey.What are you most excited about when it comes to the NYC Marathon?All of it! Seriously, the entire experience is like nothing else. That glorious Verrazzano bridge start, the streets of NYC screaming your name...the finish line! So, so much!


How did you learn about 261 Fearless?I heard about 261 Fearless while training for the 2017 Boston Marathon.  All of the buzz around Kathrine's 50th anniversary run piqued my interest.  I listened to several interviews with her leading up to the race and began to follow 261 Fearless on Facebook.What made you want to run the New York City Marathon as part of Team 261 Fearless?Well for one, I love NYC and the marathon was on my bucket list.  After Boston, another marathon, especially New York (which is notoriously hard to get into via lottery) was not on the books until one evening while lying in bed checking Facebook, the call for runners for 261 Fearless came across my news feed.  I suddenly found myself fantasising about running this great race alongside an icon of women's running, so I threw my name into the hat!     What makes you Fearless?I think it's the sense of empowerment that comes from running that bleeds over into other areas of my life.  Running is like a well-spring of faith; if I can accomplish a major feat like running a marathon then I know I have what it takes to face lots of challenges that life is sure to throw at me. My legs may not always be able to go the distance but I think my heart always will.       Tell us something unique about you!Well, I think of myself as extraordinarily ordinary and I'm really okay with that!  I like to cook, my husband and I recently became vegetarians so this adds a whole new spin to life in the kitchen.  I'm not too bad of a singer and back in the day I won $50 singing 'Stand by Your Man' by Tammy Wynette which totally cracks me up to even think about.  I am horrible at any sort of sport that requires hand/eye coordination but I did once manage to score a basket in a game of donkey basketball.  Go figure.  Mostly, I hope my claim to fame is that I'm raising two amazing children to become adults who find their own way to be fearless.     What are you most excited about when it comes to the NYC Marathon?I am excited to be a part of an iconic race alongside the woman who helped pave the way for me to be there.  I have just finished Kathrine's book, Marathon Woman, and it has given me such a sense of gratitude for how she dedicated her life's work to helping average women such as myself have the opportunity to find our own strength through running.  Aside from that I am really looking forward to a weekend away with my husband and a little street vendor falafel! 


How did you learn about 261 Fearless?I learned about 261FEARLESS while completing a Toastmasters project manual. We were to relate an inspiring story to others, including the moral of the story. I was looking for a modern feminine story of overcoming adversity and I had heard of Kathrine Switzer and actually met her at the Niagara Falls International Marathon expo she had spoken at, and I had read her book too. When I met her, she was done speaking and I really didn’t understand at the time what she did, what it meant and how my run mattered to anyone else. I had been walking around the expo alone and it was my first marathon. Well, now I know plenty and feel blessed to be where I find myself!What made you want to run the New York City Marathon as part of Team 261 Fearless?I want to run to continue to help the progress of 261 Fearless. I also desire to improve upon my Boston marathon run time and experience. While realising how significant it was and how proud I am to finish. What makes you Fearless?Hmmm. It’s been somewhat of a curse to suffer from anxiety and overthink things at times. Yet the way Kathrine speaks to my mind, she said you might feel scared but when you need to do something that you believe you are called to do you show up and answer the call. That’s fearlessness, and I am fearless that way. I need to see through my commitment to the team and Kathrine and demonstrate women are strong and resilient. I can do this. I will finish so help me God. What are you most excited about when it comes to the NYC Marathon?I am super stoked to be on the team and run with Kathrine again. I thought the Boston Marathon was my only big event this year to experience and help this club. NYC will be incredible and I will smile and shine as bright as possible for 261Fearless and in support of women running to become empowered in their lives. 


How did you learn about 261 Fearless?I met Kathrine at the NYC Marathon Expo in 2014. She told me about 261 Fearless and her upcoming women's run in Palma in 2015 and she encouraged me for my first marathon that weekend. After that I ran in Palma with my cousins. Then I became a 261 Fearless Ambassador, afterwards I made a Train the Trainer Course in 2016 in Austria with Edith, another wonderful 261 women, and in March 2017 I started 261 Fearless Club Switzerland. These are some of the best things which I've done in the last years. I met Kathrine several times since 2014 and she is such an amazing and inspiring woman! I'm happy to be a little part of 261 Fearless.What made you want to run the New York City Marathon as part of Team 261 Fearless?We ran the women's run in Bregenz this year with 261 Clubs from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and with Kathrine Switzer. It was such a great weekend with a lot of laughter, joy, empowerment and many nice women. I was really happy after that weekend and filled with new ideas and motivation to do more for 261 Fearless. So, I decided to apply for the team. I'm really happy that I got a space!What makes you Fearless?Running! After crossing the marathon finish line in NYC 2014 I felt really fearless. Like in Frank Sinatra's song 'New York, New York': "If you can make it here, you'll make it anywhere!" And then, I did it! I started my own 261 Fearless Club and also in my job I made some really cool steps on the career ladder.Tell us something unique about you! Everybody is unique! And together we are powerful. But if you want to know something special, I can tell you that I have chocolate with me, always! In my office, at home, when travelling around the world. I cannot live without Swiss Chocolate :-) And the other thing: I was a member of the Swiss Army Band and we took part at many Military Music Tattoos in Switzerland and abroad. That was also something really cool in my life. What are you most excited about when it comes to the NYC Marathon?In 2014 I ran NYC Marathon. But not in a team. It will be a pleasure to experience the NYC Marathon Weekend as a team. And I'm so excited that I can run as a 261 Fearless Team Member with all the support from our sponsors, families and friends. I'm happy that we got the possibility to spread the 261 Fearless Spirit in the streets of New York. And I'm looking forward to meet Kathrine and Edith again. Two really cool women! And of course, all the other 261 Fearless team members! 


How did you learn about 261 Fearless?I heard about 261 Fearless through my work’s (Bose) partnership with the organisation, and learned more about the organisation’s vision from Kathrine Switzer when she spoke at the Women@Bose Annual Seminar.What made you want to run the New York City Marathon as part of Team 261 Fearless?I grew up running with my sisters and brother and school cross-country teams, but it’s been years since I had that kind of accountability. Having a community to run alongside, to support healthy life choices, and to encourage me to take on new challenges is so important – which is why I wanted to join this team of runners, have the accountability for training, and the opportunity to fundraise for the organization so that other women can experience the same benefits.What makes you Fearless?My faith in Jesus Christ makes me fearless. And when Kathrine spoke about her start running – just one mile per day at first – and the confidence that immutable achievement under her belt gave her to tackle the next challenge, it really resonated. Faith grows when it is exercised; just like a runner going out for ever-increasing distances in training builds faith in her ability to complete a marathon.Tell us something unique about you!The last marathon I completed was with all four of my sisters. They are dear friends and the best running buddies.What are you most excited about when it comes to the NYC Marathon?Meeting the team in person, and experiencing NYC in this unique way!


How did you learn about 261 Fearless?I learned about Kathrine Switzer when I registered for my first half marathon, the Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon, in June 2017, at which Kathrine attended, encouraged and cheered. My running clinic instructor, and manager of the Running Room I go to, told me about Kathrine's book, Marathon Woman, and I thought it would be a good idea to give it a read before potentially meeting her at the race. She also told me about 261 Fearless, but I didn't really pay attention until after I read Marathon Woman, and I looked 261 Fearless up online.What made you want to run the New York City Marathon as part of Team 261 Fearless?When I ran that half marathon, I was star struck by Kathrine high-fiving people as they ran by her at the 8th kilometer. As I went by and gave her a high five, I told her she was awesome, to which she replied “no, YOU'RE awesome”. And that stuck with me for the rest of the run. I admire that Kathrine could train to win the NYC marathon, and that she believes if she can do it, anyone can. And I admire that she put her own publicity in athletics on hold in order to make it possible for women everywhere to run and feel empowered. I had never been fond of running until a year and a half ago. And I truly believe that if I can do it, anyone can.What makes you fearless?Imagining successTell us something unique about you?I started painting a few years ago now, and I LOVE it! I met Jane Davenport and Donna Downey last summer, and that was the highlight of my year.What are you most excited about re: NYC marathon?Just being there. Sharing the experience with people from around the world. Experiencing NYC in a way most people don't see the city. Doing what a year ago I NEVER thought was possible.


How did you learn about 261 Fearless?  When I met Kathrine in Oct 2015 she was relaunching her book Marathon Woman at a charity breakfast for Girls on the Run NYC.  I was so moved by her presentation and story.  261 Fearless was in the beginning stages and I kept checking out the website for updates.  Once I qualified for Boston a few weeks later I knew I would be involved with 261! What made you want to run the New York City Marathon as part of Team 261 Fearless?  After running Boston with the team I couldn't wait for NYC.  This will be my 10th marathon since 2011 and my 5th NYC.  I'm a native NY'er and grew up watching it every year on TV and didn't really understand how extraordinary an experience it was until I did it.  It is the biggest International block party with all walks of life and the support and energetic magic is so powerful!!  Being a part of this team is so unique because this is where Kathrine trained all those years ago.  When I read Marathon Woman I felt so connected to her and the training she did.   I have been so fortunate and empowered by my running and finally experienced my greatest passion in life!  When I think that in this lifetime "running a marathon" for women was forbidden I can't wrap my head around it!  We have come so far, but still so much more to do!  Movement and running has given me the courage to live life to the fullest and has empowered me to share this message with the world!  And that is what we will do on Nov 5th!What makes you Fearless?  My deepest belief system and personal journey in life has been to have courage and go after what you love!  There are no boundaries only fear that can impede the idea that anything is possible.   I often get in my own way but my other fundamental belief in life, every day is a new day.  I am constantly reinventing myself and through the power and freedom of running I have opened up my mind and heart in countless new ways!

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