Andy

LA MARATHON | Meet Andy

In the world we live in, it’s easy to let the magnitude of the need we see around us and the busyness of our own lives paralyze us from doing our small part. Meet Andy. Active business man, devoted father, yet unwilling to let life crowd out his care for real people with real needs. Take a look…


 

So…where are you from? What do you do?

I split time between Santa Cruz and Los Angeles and live in both places. I’ve recently left YouTube, where I’ve been for the last 6 years mixing the Bay Area technology with the creative YouTuber talent in LA. Currently I’m working on VR solutions to empower creators and causes to bring experiences and empathy to their audiences in a sustainable way. I also am chairman of a non-profit artist network in LA called The Alchemy.

Have you ever tackled something as big as a marathon before?

AndyTMMetaphorically yes, co-founding and launching a few tech companies certainly has each felt like a marathon. But for physical exercise, I’ve done one half-marathon before, and Tough Mudder which is a half-marathon distance.  

Well those sound like a good start! How did you first get connected with Good Neighbors?

Through James and Jamee Kyson. I’ve been looking to exercise with a purpose in 2016 and heard that James and Jamee were preparing for this race and seemed like a great fit.

Man, we picked great team captains! Haha. What does a day of training look like for you?AndySon

Not as regular as I want. I travel a lot and have kids so I sneak in runs when I have downtime or need to take phone calls.

Have you had any interesting experiences while training?

The most interesting thing I’ve found is to have “running meetings” where I meet up with someone I want to talk to about a creative project, and we talk while we do a training run. It’s a great use of time, the mind is very creative, but breathing and talking can be tricky!

What’s your favorite pump-up song?

Giorgio Moroder by Daft Punk

Nice! And we’re always curious…what’s your favorite cheat day snack?

My diet rules have swung wildly lately and have landed on organics and have eliminated processed foods, sugars, etc. So I don’t have a snack at the moment, however when I finished my last two races, I had an incredible craving for In-N-Out Burger. So I plan to eat a double double animal style immediately after this race.

I think most people in LA can relate to that craving. Haha. What do you want your finish line hashtag to be? Though I might be able to guess…

It’s time to eat my Double Double ….. #AnimalStyle


 

Bingo! Haha. Thanks Andy. We’re honored that you value our efforts around the world enough to take action- and join our team! Lets go build some wells! Click below to give Andy your support!

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LA MARATHON | Fast Friends

In the old days, an adventure for a cause might look like riding off with a fellow knight to defend the nearby villagers. Today, it’s probably a little more like grabbing your best friend and running the LA Marathon to raise money to build clean water wells for people in Zambia. Here are some friends who have teamed up for just such an adventure as a part of our Good Neighbors marathon team! Take a look..


MaribelLily1TEAM: Maribel & Lily

So Maribel, where are you and Lily from? How’d you meet?

Lily and I met about 5 years ago while working at Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Blvd. We trained together, became fast friends, and have been ever since!  Lily was fresh from New Orleans and I am originally from Corvallis, Oregon. Lily is now a Massage Therapist for Burke Williams and loves her career. I am currently a hairstylist and makeup artist at Sarasuta Hair Salon in Studio City, and freelance for TV and film.

What does a day of training look like for you and Lily?

We usually train daily and in the early hours- before heading out to work. They say the hardest part of training is getting that first foot out the door, and boy is that true. We both work long hours, so as exhausted as we may be, we push ourselves up and out daily! Running for such a great cause is definitely a good motivator to get us going. As Lily says, “I’m slow, but I’m moving!!”

Haha. Have you had any funny moments or memories in your training?

Lily’s funny training moment was a bug flying into her mouth the other day! (We’re pretty sure the cars driving by thought it was funnier than she did!) As for me, other than the occasional trip-and-almost-fall (so you pick up your speed to make sure you don’t) is my frequent funny moment. I’m super clumsy, so it’s not too embarrassing anymore!

So what’re your favorite pump-up songs to help push past that clumsiness?

Our pump up songs!!! Lily’s go to is HAM, by Kanye West and JayZ. Mine is Work B**ch by Britney Spears.

Nice. And with all this training, you’re probably eating healthy, but what’s your favorite cheat day snack?

Both of our favorite cheat day food is PIZZA!! Pizza! Pizza.MaribelGive

Mmm. And last but not least, what do you want your finish line hash-tag to be?

We’ve agreed our finish-line hash-tags will be: #tinderellarunsla #willrunforbeer #maribelmademedoit

Haha. Sounds like you’re the right kind of instigator to have around.


 

EunjiGina1 copyTEAM: Eunji & Gina

Tell us a bit about yourself, Eunji. Where are you from? How did you meet Gina?

My name is Eunji Park, and I was raised in Korea until the age of 9 when our family of four immigrated to San Jose, CA for my father’s job. In 2014 our family moved to Irvine, CA, and I started attending Irvine High School, which is the school I currently attend as a junior. That’s where I met Gina, who is my partner in the LA Marathon, one of my best friends, and Good Neighbors club co-founder at our school. Something in us just clicked and we were able to become close very quickly. We are really excited about this new club, and all the upcoming events like the LA Marathon!

We love everything you’re doing with the Good Neighbors High School Club! Have you ever taken on something as big as a marathon before?

I haven’t actually overcome anything like this before. I enjoyed working out, just not running. But ever since I was young I’ve loved challenging my own self-discipline. I even gave up my favorite foods- meat and dairy- for six months for no reason! This love for a challenge is what got me into running. I found out that I actually can run more than a mile! That fact was eye opening to me so I wanted to see what my limits were.

Wow. So how’d you first get connected with Good Neighbors?

I joined a Christian dance ministry called “God’s Image” when I lived in San Jose. I was very committed to dancing and singing for God- who allowed me to experience all the events in my life and become who I am. The dance EunjiGiveteam supports Good Neighbors projects, which is how I first found out about the organization. When I heard about child sponsorship, I became even more interested in the organization because one of my life goals is to support a child with my own money. I’ve been researching more about it, so I think I’ll start my sponsorship sometime this month!

That would be…aaamazing!


 

RalphOrlando1TEAM: Ralph & Orlando

Ralph, tell us about you and Orlando. Where are you from?

I was born in El Salvador; Orlando was born in the USA. We met in our parents’ church and were both around twelve years old when we started to hang out.

So have you guys ever tackled something like a marathon before?

Outdoor activities weren’t too important to us, but we grew to enjoy them. This will be the first time we both go into something as rigorous as a marathon. Orlando was involved in his school’s Decathlon team, so he’s aware of the amount of work that goes into an event like this. This will be the first time for me to run this distance, but in high school I was part of my school’s cross country team- and I love to run- so it’ll be an exciting time for me.

That’s good to hear! What does a day of training look like for you?

It looks like sleeping, running, running, eating, weights, and more sleeping. I can attest to Orlando’s workout because it’d be about the same. Sounds like fun up until your legs are aching and you can’t even stand up! haha.  

Haha. So what’s on your playlist to keep you going?

My favorite pump-up song would have to be “6pm in New York” by Drake, it’s just an adrenaline filled song that fuels you up during your run. Nothing like getting the blood cooking.

Speaking of cooking..what’s your favorite cheat day snack?

My favorite snack of the day would have to be cucumber, lemon, and salt. So delicious. My nutrition hasn’t changed because of the marathon.  I don’t eat most food that’s bad for you, except a lot of TACOS! Soda is a huge Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 4.02.02 PMno-no. Fast food is already nasty, so I don’t really have “cheat” meals. 

Okay, envision race day as you cross that finish line…what do you want your hashtag to be at that moment?

It would have to be #whatatimetobealive 

That’s good. We might just borrow that one.


You can give individually to any of the these teams by clicking on the “Give Now” buttons with their image, or scope out the rest our LA Marathon team here! Thanks for reading and being a part of our journey. We appreciate it more than you know!

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LA MARATHON | Meet Chris & Ally

There’s something electrifying about a marathon- however daunting.  There’s something deflating- when the unbroken spirit that knows “I can!” is told “You can’t…you are not allowed to participate with us in our adventure.”  There’s something heroic- in a heart that looks beyond its personal disappointment and into the eyes of a thousand thirsty children in Zambia, Africa. 

Meet Chris Koch and Ally Iseman. Yes, it would be a victory for the LA Marathon to allow Chris to participate in the race, but he looks past that and chooses to run for our water project in Zambia, whether it’s on the official route or one self-scripted.  We are proud to call Chris and Ally our teammates, so we interviewed Chris’s lovely partner in crime to get a deeper glimpse into the history and heart of this larger-than-life couple.


 

So Ally, we’re dying to know about you guys, and of course, how you and Chris met! What’s the story?

Chris is from a small farming community an hour south of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, otherwise known as “the Texas of Canada,” or, “The Beef Capital of Canada.” In stark contrast, I am a vegan from the Maryland suburbs of DC. I actually call my area “subrural” as I’ve got cityscapes and politicians on one side and sheep and hay fields on the other!

We both met back on October 16th, 2014 at our mutual friends Justin and Emily Baldoni’s house. It was a casual get together around spiritual conversation and Justin introduced us right away. We connected immediately and spent almost the entire night talking. As Chris likes to say, “It was like the rest of the party just disappeared and the two of us were alone in a room.” I do remember that room having hummus, but I digress.

Chris had such a strong sense that if he didn’t get my contact information that night, he would regret it for the rest of his life. I’m so glad he did. We kept in touch for the next 4 months while we were both doing some traveling and things.

KochBackgrinHe was scheduled to speak in Phoenix February 11-13th and knowing that I was someone always down for an adventure, he called to invite me to fly out and catch up. Since I was barred from this invitation by prior commitments, I made the half joke that he should instead come to LA that weekend to “be my Valentine.” He bought a ticket, and we’ve been inseparable ever since. 

What a start! You guys seem like pretty active people, have you always enjoyed outdoor adventures? What have been some of your favorites?

We’re both adventure seekers, though his tastes tend to be somewhat more extreme than mine. I’ve always been connected to the outdoors, I find a lot of peace there, and enjoy camping, hiking and backpacking. I’ve hiked or backpacked through the deserts and mountains of Israel, Arizona, Yosemite, snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, rode horseback through many a countryside, and rock climbed on the cliffs of Colorado.

Chris grew up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and spent a lot of time camping as a kid. He grew up skiing, snowboarding, golfing, and to this day he still loves being outdoors whether it be along the beach, in the mountains, or the jungles. Some of his favorite outdoor adventures were learning to surf in Brazil, kayaking, and swimming/bathing with elephants in the Cambodian jungle. This year we are planning to trek to the Mount Everest base camp (if not further) together as a fundraiser for people with disabilities in Nepal.

Wow. So you clearly both have a heart for causes…what inspired you to be involved with the LA Marathon for Good Neighbors?

KochBeach

Chris and I heard about the #Run4Water team from our friends James and Jamee Kyson the week after we had been talking about wanting to do a marathon together at some point. As we are always looking to challenge ourselves and each other, we also like to partner that with service by making our adventures fundraisers and bringing awareness to important causes. When we found out that the charity event would be taking place on our one year anniversary, it was a no brainer- we signed up immediately.

And we’re so glad you’re joining us for this adventure! In any endurance challenge there is usually a moment when you feel you can’t go any further. What keeps you inspired to push through those moments?

During my longer training runs, when I have run farther than I ever have before, the thought that pushes me through each wall is that this isn’t just about me. Especially with the resistance we’ve received from the LA Marathon organizers, we’ve been given an opportunity to bring awareness to issues of inclusion.

Whether we run as a part of the official LA Marathon on February 14th, 2016 or we run the same distance and time on our own path  so we can meet up with our team afterwards, we are not doing this simply for ourselves. Completing this challenge has become bigger than us.

What a great perspective. What would you tell someone who wants to get involved in a cause, but doesn’t know what the first step should be?KochKids

I strongly believe, through my own firsthand experience, that the first step to ANYthing is simply “make a choice.” Any choice. Literally. Whether that is choosing what cause you are most passionate about supporting and sharing that with your friends and family, or choosing a group to start volunteering with once a week, choose something and do it! All the other opportunities will open up before you once you make that choice.

And just for fun- what’re the top two items on your bucket list?

KochRaceHa, we are a bit of a Bucket List Couple as it seems our list(s) keep growing. Every time we check something off, three more things get added! One of my big ones would be to go to space… when the kinks are a little more ironed out of course. Another would be a camping/backpacking/horseback riding journey from one end of Eurasia to the other. This planet is so beautiful and ancient and I would like to experience as much of her as possible from as many perspectives as possible while I can.

Chris would love nothing more than to go on an “epic kayaking excursion” whether it be down the Pacific coastline or the entire length of the Columbia River. He would also love to explore Antarctica. Both of our lists go on and on and on and many items are shared, thankfully!

Thank you so much Ally. Just one more thing- we’re just curious- what’s your favorite “cheat day” snack?

I don’t know that I really have a cheat day per say, I try to just listen to what my body tells me it wants and as a whole foods based vegan (read: not much if any processed foods), most of what I eat is pretty darn clean. The closest thing to a cheat would be that I can tend to overindulge in raw desserts. Being a Canadian, Chris is partial to a good bowl of poutine and an IPA.


 

Thank you Ally (as I dump out the rest of my doughnuts.) Haha.  Our team is better, brighter, and faster for having you both on it!

Make every mile more meaningful for Chris and Ally by donating to our Zambia water project below!

 

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LA MARATHON | Meet Katrina

 

A meaningful encounter can happen literally- anywhere. Trader Joes for instance. It may seem like your typical grocery store, where you check off your typical grocery list, and rush past your typical shoppers. But if your name is Katrina Deaton, Trader Joes might just be the place you get recruited by an enthusiastic stranger to join in their next great adventure. But we’ll let her tell the story…

 Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?

To keep this from becoming an ad for a dating site, I’ll skip my height and astrological sign. I’m originally from Philadelphia, PA. I moved to LA almost four years ago to pursue my career in writing. I’m a poet that also writes scripts for television, films, and theater. I’m saving the novel writing for my seventies.

Have you always enjoyed running? What made you start?

My relationship with running is like the average relationship someone has with a parent, I love it, but sometimes I just don’t feel like dealing with. For the most part, once I create a healthy discipline with it, my body craves it. I use it  to get out unwanted energies or to escape my reality for awhile. And of course, we can’t forget the awesome physical conditioning it creates. I currently work at Trader Joe’s and many of my coworkers are health nuts who eat very well and do marathons, iron man’s, and cross training. I wanted to fit in with the cool kids. It was the best form of peer pressure I ever succumbed to.

Have you ever tackled something as big as a marathon before?

KatrinaRunThis is my second marathon. My first marathon was with the Rock and Roll LA Marathon. Before then, tackling life seemed to be a pretty big thing :-)

What inspired you to run the LA Marathon on the Good Neighbors team?

I was ringing up James Kyson and his wife, Jamee [Co-Captains for Team Good Neighbors] at Trader Joe’s. They looked like they had been working out and when asked, they said they had just come from a run. I mentioned to them that I had started training for a marathon a month earlier I could no longer attend. It was in Vegas. They told me all about Good Neighbors and invited me to be apart of the team. I was soooo excited. I didn’t think twice about it.  I always strive to do things with a purpose, a purpose that serves someone other than myself. What better way to do this than to run, which serves me, and raises money for a phenomenal cause.

Do you have a mental strategy to combat thoughts of quitting if the marathon starts to get tough?

I usually talk down to myself or pray or both. It usually sounds something like this, “dear God, please help my lazy, out of shape butt, get up this hill.” If that doesn’t help, the children and elderly people passing me by, usually put some pep in my step.

Have you uncovered any parallels between your training journey and your life journey?

Absolutely. Discipline is the name of a game I don’t like to play. But, it helps me in the long run; No pun intended. Running also allows me to convene with nature, my surroundings, and myself in a way I wouldn’t ordinarily connect.

What’s your favorite pump-up song?

I don’t believe I have one. I have to work on that.

What’s your favorite cheat day snack?

Every day is a cheat day. If I ran, I earned it. I love doughnuts.

What do you want your finish line hashtag to be?

#wheredoweeat

Haha! Roscoe’s anyone?  Thanks Katrina!

If you’d like to fuel Katrina’s feet, she’s running to raise donations for our Zambia water project! The more donations the more inspiration in her tank- just click the grinning link below!

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Anna

LA MARATHON | Meet Anna

It’s not every day you meet someone who can pronounce Kyrgyzstan, much less who grew up there! Meet Anna (Anya): with a Korean smile, a Russian accent, and a heart to  push past her own limits! We love getting to know more about the people who choose to go the distance; not only on our Good Neighbors USA LA marathon team, but to provide clean water for our friends in Zambia as well! Take a look…

 

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?

Originally born in Uzbekistan, I grew up in Kyrgyzstan since I was two. When I was 17, my family moved to Los Angeles and I’ve been living here ever since. Although I am fully Korean, Russian is my first language. Hence, my name in Russian is pronounced Anya. I graduated from Pepperdine (Go Waves!) and currently work as a senior healthcare analyst. My life motto is Gandhi’s quote “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Have you always enjoyed running? What made you start?

I believe I started running in college. Running became a good way for me to release stress and give me some energy boost. I like running outside – it helps me to take my mind off of things.    

What’s your favorite pump-up song?

I don’t think I have a favorite one, I like to mix it up. I listen to anything from R&B to hip hop to reggaeton.

Have you ever tackled something as big as a marathon before?

Running a full marathon has been my goal for many years, but I was always hesitant and worried I wouldn’t be ready. My former coworker Kayley -who ran the LA Marathon last year-  encouraged me and told me I could do it. I don’t think I will ever be fully ready (both mentally and physically) to run 26.2 miles, so I just decided to do it this year. I Anna1learned about Good Neighbors from my friends Esther and Kohyun who work for Good Neighbors, and I also ran a 5k with Good Neighbors last year.

What does a day of training look like for you?

It really depends but I try to mix up my training routine. I go running outside and hit the gym a few times a week.

Have you had any “I hope no one saw that” moments during your training?

One day I went for a run even though I was uber tired- never going to do it again! As I was running, I tripped over something, plummeted on the ground, and pretty much kissed the pavement. That was quite painful aaand embarrassing. Haha!

Do you have a mental strategy to combat thoughts of quitting if the marathon gets tough?

I think the faith that people have in me- including my family, friends and coworkers- will give me strength to finish. I don’t want to let them down. I promised my friend Esther that I will finish the race (she is one of my biggest supporters!). Also, knowing that I am running for a good cause will be my motivation.

Have you uncovered any parallels between your training journey and your life journey?

After I ran a half marathon last August, I realized that I will never Ann2know how far I can go until I give it a try and step out of my comfort zone. The same principle applies in life: we will never achieve our dreams and goals unless we push ourselves and take risk. I had been telling myself I wouldn’t be able to run a half marathon- much less a full marathon- in the near future because it just seemed unattainable. Some people have even tried to talk me out of it. But here I am daring to challenge myself. I know that both a marathon and life journey won’t be easy- there will be roadblocks on the way. But I am willing to take a leap of faith, and dream big!

What’s your favorite cheat day snack?

Donuts of all shapes and kinds.

Most important of all, what do you want your finish line hashtag to be?

I know it sounds very cliche, but I would say… #ididit

Thanks Anna!

If you’d like to donate to Anna’s cause- the Good Neighbors USA water well project in Zambia- click below!!

 

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