Going the Distance for Summer Search

We’re grateful for all of our supporters at Summer Search. No matter how they show their support — from making a donation, to volunteering their time, or simply following us on social media — they are helping us provide the opportunities and resources needed for our young people to succeed.

Well, in just a few weeks, a handful of active supporters will be running in the 2018 TCS New York City Marathon and raising money for Summer Search!

In fact, for the first time, Summer Search New York City is an official charity partner of this prestigious race, which takes place Sunday, November 4. The 26.2 mile course goes through all five of NYC’S boroughs and includes more than 50,000 runners from around the world!

2018 TCS New York City Marathon

This isn’t the first time we’ve had folks “go the extra mile(s)” for Summer Search. In past years, our supporters have run the Boston and NYC Marathons, and have participated in 5Ks and even cycling/spinning events, all to sweat and raise money for our organization. Members of our community also use these kinds of athletic events to give back to other causes close to their hearts.

2015 Boston Marathon team
Lauren at the 2015 Boston MarathonTop: Summer Search Boston’s 2015 Boston Marathon team, which included alumnus Daniel Araniz. Bottom: Summer Search Boston alumna Lauren Benoit running her first Boston Marathon to raise money for a local charity, also in 2015.

This year’s NYC Marathon team includes two Summer Search alumni — Ana Maria Medina, from Boston, who also works for Summer Search Boston as their Corporate Relations Manager, and Gilbert Nunez, from NYC — as well as our Chief Operating Officer, Nick Hutchinson and generous donor Jack Rabun.

Ana Maria and GilbertSummer Search alumni Ana Maria Medina (left) and Gilbert Nunez (right).

As they enter the home stretch of their race preparation, Ana Maria and Gilbert shared how and why they decided to take on this 26.2 mile challenge.

Summer Search: Have you run a marathon before?

Gilbert: This is my second marathon. I ran the NYC marathon last year.

Ana Maria: The 2018 NYC Marathon will be my third marathon length race. I’ve trained twice before for NYC Marathon but for some reason or another never completed it. I am honored and look forward to running on behalf of Summer Search.

SS: How are you physically and mentally preparing? 

Ana Maria: I continue to use a marathon schedule to help prepare me physically. Mentally, I love running so as long as my body doesn’t give up on me, I can run (slowly) for days!

Gilbert: I think the preparation is easier the second time around. I’ve been a runner since high school, so I always refer back to those workouts, techniques, and race strategies. But what I’m doing to train physically is run 4 – 6 miles nearly every other day during the week. During those in-between days, I do supplemental workouts by bouldering (which is great cross-training) or going to the gym. I make sure to stretch and/or foam roll most nights, even if just for 10 minutes to keep good circulation, which is necessary for the recovery process. On the weekends (usually Saturday morning) I do a long run, increasing mileage every week.

In terms of mentally preparing, most of that comes from just maintaining this schedule along with work and other life responsibilities. Meditation also helps keep focus. The long runs are especially important because I need to not only acclimate my body to withstanding that distance, it also helps me get over the mental fatigue of having to go for that long. 

SS: How has being part of Summer Search prepared you for the challenge of running a marathon?

Ana Maria: Years before joining Summer Search, I promised myself I would never run a mile, let alone over 26 miles. Soon after joining the Summer Search program and realizing my potential, I saw the world differently and understood the importance of persistence and pushing against limitations. To top it all off, seeing Emily Edwards and Jay Jacobs (my Summer Search mentors) running the Boston Marathon inspired me to take up running again and run marathons around the world.

Emily-running-familyEmily Edwards (center), currently Summer Search’s VP of Development, with her family after a community race around Jamaica Pond, one of the places she and Ana Maria have run together in the Boston area.

Gilbert: Being part of Summer Search has prepared me in a variety of ways, ranging from thinking about why I want to do this and finding the purpose and motivation to complete this, to constructing an actual plan that will help me achieve my goal. Summer Search has shown me the potential I have within myself and continues to show me support as I keep growing and learning.

SS: What does it mean to be running for Summer Search as alumni?

Gilbert: Summer Search is a very large part of the reason why I am here today. Being able to join this team and give something back to the organization that changed my life in so many ways is an honor and a privilege. Channeling Summer Search’s previous slogan, I hope that this can serve as inspiration for others to “be the change they wish to see in the world.”

Ana Maria: It was always my dream to help create opportunities for an organization that has done so much for me. I am honored to be part of this incredible organization and to see daily the effort people at all levels give to ensure we support our future generations.  

Good luck to all of the athletes – especially those who are running for Summer Search! Your resilience and courage are inspirational.

By the way, you can support Summer Search’s runners via their Crowdrise fundraising pages:
Ana Maria Medina’s page
Gilbert Nunez’s page
Nick Hutchinson’s page
Jack Rabun’s page

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