Horizons’ Marathon Runners: Kate Adams & Nikki Charifson
Home City, State: Boston, MA
Company: Horizons for Homeless Children
Home City, State: Boston, MA
How long us have you been involved with Horizons, and how did you first hear about us?
Kate: I’ve been involved with Horizons for over 3 years! I heard about the organization through a friend who worked here at the time, and after learning more about the organization and the great work it does for the homeless community in Massachusetts I applied to join the Horizons’ team. It was my first job out of college, and I’m happy say I’ve been here ever since I first connected with the mission!
Nikki: For me, I learned about Horizons through my company Criteo, a Boston-based global technology company. Horizons visited our office for a Lunch and Learn presentation, where I got to know more about the work Horizons does in the community and ways we could connect. In this meeting, I learned about Horizons’ Marathon Bibs and knew I had to get involved! It’s always been a dream of mine to run in the Boston marathon for a great cause. I’ve been an active runner since I was 13-years-old, and have been watching the race from my hometown, Framingham, every year. I can’t wait to participate myself!
Why did you choose to run for Horizons over other organizations you’re involved with?
Kate: I’m here every day and see firsthand the amazing work all the donations are going towards. I see parents reaching their goals, children thriving in our education centers – I couldn’t think of a better organization to run for!
Nikki: The cause really resonated with me. Homelessness is an epidemic across the country and working with you guys has been an eye opening experience.
Let’s talk strategy! When asking family and friends for donations, what strategies have you found to be the most successful?
Kate: I try to share the stories that I see every day at Horizons. I draw on my own experiences– stories of parents breaking out of the cycle of homelessness, feeling confident in themselves and investing in their children’s success. People hear of the amazing work that’s happening at Horizons and pull out their wallets! I also hosted a spin class and raffle for my birthday at Dillon’s restaurant which raised $3,100 and was a great success.
Nikki: Horizons for Homeless Children is an easy cause for people to get behind and donate to. #GivingTuesday was a big win for my network, especially by utilizing the Facebook match (even though I sadly did not receive the match!). I’ve also hosted a few events: charity spin class, bartending night at McGreevy’s with all tips and 10% of the bar proceeds going to my fundraiser. I won my fantasy football league and put the winnings toward fundraising and also did superbowl squares!
What training strategies have helped you prepare for the marathon?
Kate: I feel really fortunate to be part of the John Furey 26.2 marathon program. This program provides onsite Physical Therapists, Wednesday hill runs and Saturday long runs. Being able to run the course has been a real benefit, if I was training on my own I wouldn’t have that opportunity.
Nikki: Working with John Furey has been great, and I found the marathon informational session here at Horizons incredibly helpful. Learning how to train properly has been so important. Lots of stretching, foam rolling, and using my new massage gun has helped me prepare.
What has been the most challenging part of this experience for you?
Kate: The most challenging part for me was working through an injury for about a month. It was hard because I had to slow down and figure out what the injury was stemming from, while also keeping up with training. In the long run it helped me because now I know how to prevent and deal with this particular injury in the future.
Nikki: I would say the time commitment is the most challenging. It can feel like a part time job having to train and fund raise simultaneously.
What will be the most rewarding part of this experience for you?
Kate: I think running into Boston, especially the last 5 miles of the race, will be the most rewarding. I am looking forward to feeling the Marathon Monday energy, and I will be thinking about our Horizons kids and families as I get close to the finish line.
Nikki: It will be so rewarding seeing my friends and family out in Framingham, Brighton, and the finish line, and having everyone cheer me on! I also think reaching the $10,000 fundraising goal will feel amazing.
What will be the first thing you eat after you run 26 miles?
Kate: A nice hearty piece of avocado toast with egg!
Nikki: Bananas! Perfect to eat after running.
What is your ideal weather for April 20th?
Kate: I enjoy running in the cold degree temperatures, overcast and 45-50 would be ideal.
Nikki: I love the warm weather! 60 and sunny would be the perfect conditions for me.