One of the most important aspects of Karen Brown New York is our mission to give back so it’s no surprise that our team members also make it a priority in their personal lives. Our wedding and event assistant Rene Beight shares with us why she chose to sign up for the TCS NYC Marathon and how she decided on the charity to run for.
What made you decide to sign up for the TCS NYC Marathon?
Rene: Last year, I wanted to join Team ASPCA to run in the NYC marathon, but I convinced myself that my body just wasn’t capable of running 26 miles, and I’d never be able to raise the $3,500 required to join the team, anyway. But in April, my younger sister joined the Navy, and I thought to myself, if she can make such a huge commitment, I certainly could too!
What does your training schedule look like and do you set specific goals before each run?
Rene: I’m already an avid runner and am already completely comfortable with a half-marathon distance (13.1 miles), so I haven’t gotten into my “real” training yet. I did find a suggested training schedule for intermediate-level runners online, though, which consists of running anywhere from three to six miles a few times a week with long runs (eight to 20 miles) on the weekends. Additionally, in “training” for half marathons in the past, I’ve found that just staying active with spin classes and other sorts of fitness classes really helps!
How do you do to push through the pain while training?
Rene: GOOD MUSIC! Although, it’s funny, when I’m actually running a race, I don’t even listen to music most of the time because the energy around me is so motivating, with the other runners and people cheering on the sideline. I think running a full marathon for the first time will really test my limits though, but knowing that all these people have supported me and the ASPCA through my fundraiser will really motivate me to keep going. I have to do it for all of you!
Which charity did you decide to run for and why did you choose it?
Rene: I’m running for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). It’s hard to say what, exactly, led me to the decision to push my physical and philanthropic limits for Team ASPCA, specifically. It could have started in elementary school, when I voluntarily and independently joined the ASPCA mailing list (my mom eventually unsubscribed me because I cried too much every time they sent a heart-wrenching story and photos). Or maybe it was adopting Snacks, hands-down the best cat I ever had. (I snatched up this obese 8-year-old white short-hair from the pound in San Diego during my last year of college, and he saw me through some severe highs and lows.) Over the years, my family has had a few rescued animals as pets, and I have a very special place in my heart not just for them, but for all animals.
How are you fundraising for your charity?
Rene: I’ve been calling upon friends and family via email to please donate whatever they can. Anyone who donates $25 or more receives a custom pet tag that I designed (a heart-shaped tag with “I [paw print] NY” engraved on the front, with room to engrave vital information for your pet on the back, so as to prevent lost animals ending up in the already over-crowded shelters).
I’m also planning a number of fundraising events throughout the summer, the first of which will be a 1-hour donation-based bootcamp-style fitness class in McCarren Park in North Brooklyn this Saturday, June 27 at 11am. Because I, along with a few of my good friends, are certified fitness instructors, we figure why not host a class for a good cause?
What advice would you give someone who wants to run a marathon?
Rene: Just. Do. It. I’m trying to squeeze in everything I have the inkling to do, especially while I’m still young, because I know my body (especially my knees!) won’t last forever, and I want to do this while I’m in good shape for it. And, really, I’ve always told myself I couldn’t in the past, and now it’s time to prove myself wrong.